Many people like a flutter from time to time, but did you know that people in the UK spent £14.5 billion on gambling between September 2017 and 2018? Online gambling accounts for around 38.8% of this and, by extension, most of the revenue. What has also become clear in the past few years is that more women are starting to enjoy gambling-related events and activities. In some cases, they’ve seen some massive wins (more about that later).
In the UK, the National Lottery is the most popular activity, which may or may not come as a surprise. Next is scratchcards… again, possibly not a big deal, but what’s behind the higher numbers of women gambling these days? The variety of games that gambling operators have brought onto the market is one good reason.
Poker, roulette, slots — for which there’s a whole host of themes — sports betting and more… The industry spoils customers for choice and there’s no reason for women to just stand by the men’s side and let them have all the fun anymore. Those days are long gone and you can even get online scratchcards, if you wish, rather than walk into a brick-and-mortar newsagent or supermarket and buy one.
One of the other reasons is that women tend to prefer social gaming. This would include slots and bingo, which they can play together in groups and which offer opportunities for conversation, such as chat in the case of online bingo. They enjoy the shared experience of gaming, so games that involve a strategy which detracts from this will appeal to them less. They also enjoy games that are a little shorter or involve less concentration, allowing them to just focus on enjoying the game itself and the more social side of gaming.
The variety of online games has also lessened the stigma around women gambling and allowed them to enjoy the activity just as much as men. Women appear to enjoy luck-based games, whereas men prefer sports betting and table-based games, although this doesn’t mean you won’t ever see women playing roulette or sitting down at a poker table. It would also seem that the chance of winning big prizes has also encouraged more women to gambling. The one thing that men and women do coincide on in terms of their gambling habits is that both like to make use of casino bonuses and other gambling site bonuses.
The appeal of games is something that game developers and designers have taken into major consideration. They’ve tried to make them more attractive to women by giving the games something of a pinker, fluffier feel. In some cases, this may have worked, but the world of mobile gaming has given women more access to gaming and allowed them to become more knowledgeable about online gaming. Pink, fluffy designs just won’t cut it. Women are not happy to settle with just bingo, which, traditionally, many have viewed as more of a women’s game than a men’s one. They want as slickly designed games as the men do!
Slots have played a major part in the appeal of gambling to women. They are involved in 40% of all the gambling online, whereas women don’t appear to bet much online in casino games. The theme of the game may be the reason for them wishing to. The stake levels — which vary greatly — add to the entertainment and can make for entertaining games. In fact, one lady has been witnessed to win £1.7 million and defy odds of 625 million to one, which has allowed her win two progressive jackpots on the same slot online. These large jackpots, as well as social media, have allowed operators to target women and attract them into the online gaming space.
What is interesting is that some of the differences in gaming preferences are highly generational. Research has found that Baby Boomer ladies prefer slots, whereas female millennials (and male ones) see them as boring. When they play electronic gaming machines, they want them to be interactive and when they play slots, they prefer them to be skill-based because they’re closer to the smartphone games or social games that they’ve played as they’ve grown up.
Their attitudes towards gambling are also interesting. The research also showed that women aged between 18 and 34 felt that slots were a more ‘dangerous’ form of gambling. Their view on sports betting and wagering on horses was much different. They felt it was a more low-risk form, due to the nature of sports books running bets only on limited events, whereas the nature of slots is rapid-fire.
One factor which may or may not influence how women play is how they react when they lose a game. Men tend to become more aggressive when they lose. You’ll find some kicking a slot machine or screaming at it. You may also find them becoming slightly territorial and being rude to casino staff. This is much different to women, who are more likely to show signs of sadness or distress if they’re losing at a casino. If you see a woman acting like this, this is a red flag and could also signify some form of depression.
Gambling is no longer the domain of the men. The creation of online gaming, which has introduced lots of new games to the market, and the accessibility of gaming on mobile has opened the floor up to the ladies as well. Some smart targeting by games operators and the lure of some big prizes has attracted more women to gambling, who are able to enjoy the activity without feeling some of the social stigma they may have done so in years gone by. These are good times for any lady who wants to try their luck online.