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Why Women Gamble More Than Men in Casinos


Gambling is a popular hobby in all corners of the globe. However, there is no single motivation why people indulge in this hobby. Naturally, the primary reason most risk their financial stability on games of chance is the desire to win money. Nevertheless, there are many other purposes, conscious and subconscious, why many engage in this pastime. Some do so to add a dose of excitement to their life. Others aim to relieve stress and loneliness, and a chunk utilizes this activity to participate in self-destructive behavior. The list of stimulus gambling offers is vast, and both genders get attracted to different aspects of it.

In general, men gamble far more than women (twice as much) and are far more likely to develop a compulsion towards this activity. On average, 66% of all men like to wager, and 58% of women lay down some category of bet during their lifetime. If these numbers seem pretty even, one must consider they also include sports betting, horse racing, and lottery draws. The latter is interesting as it features near equal participation by both sexes, with men having a slightly higher edge. Men are also more likely to walk onto a casino floor to test their luck on gaming products like blackjack and roulette. Yet, their betting rates can differ drastically from women’s, who tend to get more engrossed in casino-style entertainment. Below, we examine how this intended recreation affects them. Moreover, we will look at what fuels their desire to keep wagering.

Females Motivations for Gambling

According to multiple psychologists, women, same as men, mainly gamble to win money prizes. Secondary motivations for this gender partaking in betting include a want for socialization and escapism.

Dr. Henrietta Bowden-Jones, the director and founder of the UK National Problem Gambling Clinic, claims that – “gambling soothes women, it numbs their pain.” In her experience, many start betting due to bereavement, using gambling as a device to keep themselves distracted. Common causes include divorce, retirement, and a history of addiction or abuse.

Virtually all stats show that women begin this activity later in life than men. That is so because they do not have the same level of introduction to it that males get, on account of how tied gambling is to sporting events, which acts as a gateway to casino-like wagering. Women often find a different, more unconventional path to it. But, once they do, they have a higher propensity to develop a compulsion towards it quicker.

The differences between the sexes concerning gambling do not stop there. A 2018 Australian study conducted by Simone McCarthy and Samantha Thomas showed that women react with sadness and distress when they incur losses on gaming floors. In comparison, men show anger and frustration. Women’s reaction is more akin to signs of depression, and they are more likely to lose control of time when betting.

Games Preferred by Female Gamblers

In general, females’ games of preference are slot machines and bingo games. Research indicates that the reason is that they offer the alluring combo of easy-to-grasp gameplay and enticing prizes. That appeals to women, as they crave simplicity. Men, on the other hand, are continuously looking for loopholes that will give them an edge. Thus, they get more attracted to casino products where they believe that implementing strategies will better their chances en route to profits. So, they have a predisposition towards more complex forms of gambling.

Some estimates state that around 70% of slot revenues stem from women gamblers. There is little opportunity to verify if this percentage is accurate on a global scale. The US National Council on Problem Gambling does believe that 95% of women are escapist gamblers, mainly playing slots, video poker, and lottery-styled games.

Women & Problem Gambling

NCPG estimates are that among gamblers aged 45 to 64, women outnumber men in the US. A 2019 survey in Sweden yielded similar results. Ulla Romild, the investigator behind the report, says that 64% of problem gamblers in Sweden are women, with those seeking treatment reporting online casinos as their gambling genre of choice.

Even though women are theoretically less risk-averse than men and less likely to fall prey to their impulses, their participation in gambling statistics keeps rising. The line of thought for why this is so is that this activity is less taboo these days, and it is accessible for anyone with a smartphone and internet access. Moreover, there has long been a well-recognized male bias in gambling research, which is now slowly going by the wayside. Thus, today’s figures regarding how many women visit gaming establishments and their betting rates are more objective. Still, no one can dispute that women’s attributes can often lead them to bet more than they should when enjoying casino gaming.

About the Author

Shelly Schiff has been working in the gambling industry since 2009, mainly on the digital side of things, employed by OUSC. However, over her eleven-year career, Shelly has provided content for many other top interactive gaming websites. She knows all there is to know about slots and has in-depth knowledge of the most popular table games. Her golden retriever Garry occupies most of her leisure time. Though, when she can, she loves reading Jim Thompson-like crime novels.