Gambling is traditionally a man’s game, but more and more women are entering this man’s world to play. Some people still think of gambling as a masculine hobby, but everyone can enjoy gambling.
In fact, women and men are drawn to gambling for the same few reasons: money, fun, and the excitement of winning.
As women enter the world of betting, they are doing some things a little bit differently. For the most part, these differences are simply because women have different levels of comfort when it comes to spending and different opinions about betting.
Here are the five main differences between male and female gamblers.
1. They Play Different Games
The most popular way to gamble, overall, is sports betting. However, when you break down the types of games that males and females prefer, we begin to see the differences.
The most noticeable difference is that men and women are choosing to bet on different things.
In addition, ladies prefer to play against the dealer, while men tend to prefer competition with others. Another difference is that females prefer small, fixed bets, while men are more comfortable with wagers that are not predetermined.
When you understand these underlying preferences, it is easy to see why men and women choose the games that they do. Women, in general, play more online bingo, slot machines, raffles, and lotteries. Men overwhelmingly prefer sports betting, horse racing, poker, or casino table games.
Some women love a good game of blackjack, and many men play slots. Other factors such as age, economic status, and the role of technology in gambling also affect who plays which games.
Nevertheless, these general preferences provide some interesting information, particularly to those trying to market to a variety of gamblers.
In the coming years, I predict that the number of female gamblers will continue to grow. As more women join the conversation, we will hopefully gain greater insight on why women choose to play different games than men.
2. They Spend Less
Ladies tend to spend less and make fewer risks on their bets in virtually every circumstance. Females will place a smaller amount of money on the same stakes as their male counterparts.
They are more likely to choose pre-determined wagers, which means they are less likely to raise their bet when they are caught up in the excitement of the moment. Women also tend to have smaller bankrolls that they are willing to risk in the first place.
One reason that women tend to risk smaller amounts of money is that women tend to be more pessimistic about their odds of winning.
Men’s optimism goes hand in hand with the types of bets that they are making – they are more optimistic because of their belief that they can use strategy to get a win. Women, for the most part, assume that the odds are stacked against them.
3. They React to Wins and Losses Differently
The way that bettors react to their wins and losses is the one place that traditional gender stereotypes tend to remain true. Women react emotionally, while men tend to be more aggressive.
When women experience a significant loss, they are more likely to cry, sigh, or show signs of nervousness or sadness. In our society, women tend to be more comfortable expressing their emotions than men, so it shouldn’t surprise us that women still express their feelings in a casino.
When men experience a major loss, they tend to get aggressive. They have a tendency to kick or hit the table or slot machine. They may even begin to yell or disrespect the dealer. Men are also more likely to become territorial over their machine or their seat.
but in different ways.
After a big win, men’s aggression changes the way that they bet. They tend to bet more to try to win even more, and their strategies tend to become more aggressive as well.
Women are more likely to cash out after a big win. Women’s cynicism about the odds of the game also means that they are less likely to increase their bets during a winning streak.
4. They Play at Different Times
Both male and female gamblers wager at the same time of day. But the difference becomes apparent when you begin to consider the circumstances that affect when, how often, and for how long they play.
Women are more likely to complete obligations and responsibilities before taking the time to gamble. They tend to feel more responsible for things like cooking and cleaning, so they are more likely to make sure these things get done before they relax with a game of bingo.
They also tend to have frequent, short bursts of free time, so they will often play a few quick games at different times of day, instead of playing for hours at a time.
For this reason, online betting is a favorite among women, because they can play when they want, for as long as they want. Men tend to prefer in-person trips to the casino or a neighborhood poker game in addition to their online bets.
Generally, men start betting in their early twenties or their college years. Women, on the other hand, tend to begin gambling once they have established a sense of financial security and independence, usually when they are in their thirties.
Perhaps the most intriguing difference among timing is when women won’t gamble. Men see gambling as a social event, so they don’t mind mixing it in during other social events.
Women are much less likely to focus on gaming during other social functions. Men are more likely to place bets online during activities such as social gatherings and even weddings or funerals. Women almost always stop their games during special occasions.
5. Online Gambling Versus In-Person Gambling
Women overwhelmingly choose to gamble online instead of in person, especially when they are starting out.
Online gambling is flexible enough to work with whatever schedule they want. And women feel more comfortable on online websites because they are less likely to be pressured by the other players.
Online gambling offers women anonymity that they cannot get in person. This anonymity is vital for two main reasons. First, women still tend to feel ashamed about gambling because it is not a widely-accepted female hobby in our society.
Second, the other players cannot use gender to intimidate women. Women who play online can play without anyone making fun of them or hitting on them, so they are more able to focus on learning the game.
When it comes to online gambling, women tend to choose one site to be loyal to. As they become more comfortable with gaming, they may focus on one or two gambling sites. Alternatively, men are more likely to use three to five websites at any given time.
Casino loyalty tends to be about the same for each gender, but it is interesting to note that most casino loyalty programs offer extra benefits or services to those that they consider “elite” members.
These elite members are almost exclusively male. Therefore, men are more likely to be convinced by a loyalty program because they are more likely to earn valuable rewards. The elite status of loyalty programs is usually based on the casino’s bottom line.
Since men tend to bet higher amounts and gamble more frequently (especially in person), they are more likely to reach the higher levels earlier.
Hopefully, women will become more comfortable playing in person, and as more women become more financially successful, they will be more willing to make high-risk bets.
As gambling becomes a more accepted female hobby, women will learn more and teach each other. They might become more comfortable with playing all sorts of games and become more optimistic about their chances of winning.
But for now, I’m just glad that more women are gambling.