I’m a woman, I work in the gambling industry and I also gamble in my spare time. There I said it, though I must admit that these facts can sometimes attract a few raised eyebrows. It’s getting better now that we are in 2023 but in the past I’ve had some pretty negative responses. Whether misogynistic or from people who simply don’t understand that gambling can be a lot of fun.
When I lived in the UK I was an avid horse race bettor, going to meetings up and down the country. Studying form and getting excited about trainers and stats was my thing. The first time I attended the Cheltenham Festival I remember being mocked as I tried to check a bookies' odds. I was asked why I wasn’t wearing a fancy hat and dress like the other women were. Well, quite frankly I was there to win and put my newly devised betting strategy to the test. After a while these experiences began to get annoying. This led me to start making bets using my smartphone at popular online casinos such as bet365. It was easier, and quicker and I didn’t need to face any judgment.
Over the years I’ve worked with many amazing females in the online gambling industry. And discussions have often led to shared negative experiences like the one I just mentioned. Yet it seems acceptable for the guys to make bets on the footie or play poker online. It’s an outdated opinion that any form of gambling is for blokes only. With us women relegated to playing bingo and buying lottery tickets.
But are these shared experiences and attitudes making women shy away from gambling? And is enough being done to break through the stigma that only men can gamble?
Let’s check out some official stats from the UKGC’s latest participation data:
Perhaps the most surprising bit of data I discovered was from a recent study by NatCen and the University of Liverpool. It was found that women who have online casino/bingo accounts play for longer, more often, and spend more money than men.
So, women are definitely not shying away from online gambling in the UK anyway. If anything the interest is increasing.
Widespread data suggests that the majority of online slot players are women, which does surprise me a bit. Stick with me on this one.
Whenever I browse over slot collections of new online casinos I’m checking out, it always seems awash with half-naked women. I might see the odd game with a male Herculean type character but the general trend is of women not wearing much. Even most of the ancient Egyptian slots feature a seductive looking goddess or two.
I’m not being prudish at all here, but it’s something I notice all the time. And I think that if game providers want to tap into women getting into online gambling, they need to do a bit more. Perhaps with an emphasis on welcoming online slots for all genders?
On the subject of online gambling appealing to all genders. Have you visited any of those online casinos that are female focused? Seeing high heels and giggling women doesn’t do much for me when I’m looking for somewhere to wager my cash. With lobbies full of pink coloured icons and bingo games, and rarely a decent live casino in sight. Though thankfully these types of online casinos are few and far between.
The figures speak for themselves when you consider the data from an Optimove 2016 survey. Women on average made 32.3 yearly online casino deposits when compared to 19.4 made by men. The same goes for the average yearly deposit amounts which for women was €1,143 compared to €940 by men. Women also make up more than a third of online casino VIPs. So it definitely pays for platforms to become more female friendly.
Whilst online casinos are getting better at welcoming women in, I don’t see many sportsbooks which I can say the same about. Most feature images of male sports players and when females are represented they’ll be in short dresses and blowing a refs whistle.
Even the color schemes veer towards the masculine.
All of this is surprising considering the data for women in sports betting. Oh yes my Good Luck Mates, in the words of Aretha Franklin - sisters are doin’ it for themselves. A study by Global Wireless Solutions in the US found that in 2021, 4.6 million women signed up for sports betting sites. Whilst male users still far outweigh females, this figure is a massive 115% increase compared with 2020. FanDuel reported that it drew in an estimated 1.7 million female members in 2021. DraftKings also amassed an extra 900,000 women in the same year.
So are women shying from online gambling? Absolutely not, according to the data I’ve discussed in this article. I believe that the rise in availability of welcoming online casinos has helped women escape judgment. There’s no need to go into a land-based casino or a bar to play some slots. If your mates don’t fancy a trip to the bingo hall then you can whip out your phone and play.
I do still feel there’s a bit of a stigma attached to us female sports bettors. Though like online casinos, it’s easier to now make bets without raising anyone's eyebrows. Overall, I look forward to seeing attitudes change and to signing up to more female friendly platforms in the future.
Until next time readers.
This article delivers the thoughts and opinions of the author, and it doesn't represent the stance of GoodLuckMate.