Did you know how researchers found out that gambling has been around since paleolithic, even before written history? And the first dice with six sides (quite similar to the one we are using today) is dating back to Mesopotamia, 3000 BC. Gambling was and still is, a favorite pastime to both young and old, rich and poor. Even though practiced worldwide, there are still some general misconceptions about how men and women approach an excellent game of poker, roulette, horse race betting, or gambling in general. But are men and women different when it comes to a good bet?
Who Plays More – Men or Women?
According to casinohex.in, one of the most common misconceptions is that men prefer to gamble more often than women, but is it so? While data may vary from country to country, the general trend in more liberal countries is that gambling is still men’s hobby, but women are catching up.
One of the biggest gambling companies, 888, showed that their UK audience consists of 56.2% men and 43.8% women. While men still take the lead, the fight for gender equality ensured that women have more free time on their hands, so they are attracted to gambling more and more. But, even though women gamble more, they are not so prone to develop problem gambling.
Problem gambling, or ludomania, was and remained a predominantly male issue. According to Dr. Robert Lefever, one of the leading addiction specialists, it is not entirely casinos’ fault that men gamble more recklessly. It is only in their nature. Dr. Lefever, a problem gambler himself, believes there are three crucial reasons men gamble more.
First, and foremost, it is in their genes to be more prone to risky behavior such as gambling. Also, men tend to get hooked on things of addictive nature, such as alcohol, gambling, cigarettes, and drugs more often than women. Second, it’s the environment. He believes how some situations are particularly risky as they encourage behavior described in the first point. The third reason why men gamble more is that companies target them more frequently and aggressively than women. Also, betting, one of the most popular gambling activities among men, is closely related to the sports industry that is still more male-oriented.
Men like Betting, Women like Slots
A research conducted by a team of scientists from Australia and Switzerland named Gender differences in gambling preferences and problem gambling: a network-level analysis provides a lot of information about why men and women bet and how they gamble. One of the most exciting themes of their research is the games men and women play.
Lottery and scratch cards seem to be the most popular types of gambling among both sexes. The third most popular game among females were slot machines (10.7%), while male audience preferred sports betting (13.5%). But, considering this study was done on both online and offline players, it doesn’t represent the online community objectively.
The survey by 888 provides an in-depth insight into the world of online gambling preferences. According to them, 73% of men prefer sports betting online activities, while 60% of women engage in bingo. In the UK, bingo is considered to be more than just a game. It is a socializing event, and people play it to stay in touch with their community. The second most popular category among men was online poker, while women prefer sports betting and slots.
Why Do We Gamble?
The games we play may indicate the reasons why we play. An Australian study, commissioned by the Victorian Responsible Gambling Foundation, shows some interesting results.
“When we look at people’s motivations to gamble we can see men were significantly more likely than women to gamble for general entertainment, while women were more likely to gamble for charity or because gambling relieves stress, loneliness, and boredom,” foundation chief executive officer Serge Sardo said.
Another Australian study, conducted by a group of scientists, explains how women often see gambling as a highly social activity, and younger women even say they gamble with friends as a part of a night out. For many women, gambling represents escapism, a way to forget all that worries them in daily life, a perfect place where they can spin a few rounds, or make a few bets while chatting with their peers.
On the other hand, therapist Liz Karter teaches how men gamble because they want to experience the rush of the game and the anticipation of winning. She says how men usually say they want to experience the “high” or the “buzz”, while women prefer terms like “zoning out” or “into the bubble”.
Big Players Make Big Bets
The wage gap between men and women is a fact, but does it affect how much money men and women are willing to spend on online casinos and betting sites?
888’s research shows how most of their female users (51.8%) spend only between one and ten pounds every week. When it comes to men, only 35.9% of them deposit smaller amounts. 19% of women and 25.4% of men prefer to deposit anywhere between 11 and 20 GBP. Generally speaking, men always tend to deposit more, and when deposits reach £500, they deposit twice as much as their female counterparts.
Another important thing is that women are more commonly loyal to a single casino brand. They use one online casino for the time being and don’t play on multiple platforms at once. 35% of 888 female users play only on their platform, while 31% find time to play on two websites. When it comes to the male audience, 29% of them are loyal to their casino, while 33% play on multiple sites.
It seems that women play smaller amounts, but that is not as surprising as the games they play require less money. A spin on a slot machine is usually just a cent or two, while participation in a poker tournament or sports bet can cost at least a dollar or two.
Gambling is no longer reserved just for men, and the shift is more than obvious. Only ten years ago, casino ads were focused on pretty girls in skimpy outfits or people in business in suits playing poker. Still, nowadays, they are not as sexualized and chauvinist. Modern online casinos finally understand how women make 50% of their audience and create compelling marketing messages that speak to them.
Also, more and more casinos look to integrate games that are female-friendly, like slots and bingo. Even though men deposit more, they also like to switch things up and change their casinos more often, while women stay loyal to their favorite brand, and even build a whole community on the gambling platform. Sports betting platforms, usually more oriented towards men, started to offer categories that are not necessarily sports-related and potentially become a hit among women (for example, Oscars).
Women are becoming a new powerful force in the casino industry, and we can only wait and see how they will change the landscape of the gambling industry.