Who is more prone to gambling today, man or woman? Let science explain!
By: Sarah Zaneti
Historically, gambling has been a mainly men’s hobby in most of their spare time. Since the appearance of Lotto games, dominoes and cards in China in the 9th century, men have been predominantly engaged in betting. But what effect did gender differences have on it?
Today, with the legalization of land-based casinos in numerous countries, women have started participating in betting. Particularly, with the swift growth of online casinos worldwide, women’s engagement in gambling has sharply increased.
Yet recent studies in social sciences have proved that a relevant difference remains in the gambling patterns between men and women. Both have shown different play engagement, game preferences and gambling behaviour. Undoubtedly, Psychological characteristics are at the core of these gambling mechanisms differences by gender.
İn day-to-day life, little is known about gambling by gender variations and the profound psychological basis that explains it. Maybe you would guess who is more likely to gamble based on your intuition and the social stereotypes in your country, but have you ever wondered about the psychological explanation behind it?
İn this article, we share our social expert’s report on this up-to-date topic.
Who bets more, man or woman? Statistics
According to the Gambling Commission, 63% of British adults gambled in 2017. Despite the little difference in statistics, both men and women have proven to participate in gambling. While 66% of all men in the UK reported being engaged in some forms of gambling, 59% of women expressed their participation.
The rise of online female gamblers in the last ten years is a fact that needs to be addressed apart. Today in the UK, women are playing a more active role in profit margins than ever before. Particularly, the number of online female bettors has tripled. Obviously, women prefer online casinos to land-based ones, which is probably more or less understandable, isn’t it? The spread of online casino sites has made access much easier for everyone.
İt is also essential to note that the rise of female gamblers is not limited to only the UK but reflects an international phenomenon. Let’s consider the example of Australia, as shown below. Aussie female gamblers number has increased from 7,2% in 2011 to 35,2% in 2015.
Moreover, studies in Arabic countries have shown that gambling is no longer a behaviour that is limited to men. For example, in a recent survey conducted in Lebanon, experts have shown that men and women are engaged in betting, including sports and slots, in 2022. Results have also revealed that Lebanese females show a lower risk of problematic gambling than males.
As a loyal player at Betfinal, you might be curious and wish to take a closer look into this.. In 2022 approximately 25% of daily new accounts are created by women at betfinal online casinos. These statistics include female bettors from different countries involving Kuwait, Morocco, Canada and Portugal. İmpressive, right? Let’s understand the deep mechanisms of this change in statistics.
Gambling preferences by men and women separately
If you take a look at gambling history, sports betting has been the preserve of men; however, today, women have started showing more interest in sports. For example, in an online survey in the US, while 73 % of male gamblers have expressed their preference for sports betting, 40% of female gamblers said that it was their favourite gambling activity.
Women have always preferred games such as lottery and bingo. However, according to UKGC, many are now interested in other games, including sports and slots.
For example, the latest studies of YouGov have revealed that while British women are more interested in bingo, keno online, lottery and slots, British men are more concerned by sports betting and poker games.
Of course, it is essential to keep in mind that these statistics reflect only the results of samples taken from specific countries. As shown above, we can notice slight differences in numbers among various countries, but in general the trend continues around the globe. Consequently, these statistics represent only a general view of gambling mechanisms by gender to shape an approximate map of majority and minority in gambling tendencies.
Gender variations in betting behaviour
Male gambler & Female gambler
As mentioned above, gambling includes adults regardless of gender, yet women and men are different in their betting behaviour.
While women tend to bet longer than men, male gamblers tend to make higher deposits than female gamblers. İnterestingly, in the UK, women lost less than men in online casinos, with averages of £2.6k and £3.7k per year, respectively.
İn addition, men are seven times more likely than women in the UK to show problematic gambling behaviour. The same pattern has been proven in Arabic countries; women tend to be more conservative and have higher self-control towards their betting habits.
When we look at the market, some bookmakers pay enormous attention to gender variations. They adjust their customer approach based on the betting trajectory difference between male and female players. Most of them agree that even though women and men share similarities and differences, women are more likely than men to show these betting behaviours:
- İnvest time and do research before initiating any casino game.
- Consider bet sizing by starting small and testing their strategies according to profits.
- Start with small amounts of deposits and multiply them gradually as much as they gain experience.
- Consider casino sites as entertainment where they enjoy gaining expertise.
- They tend to be more occupied by learning strategies than winning big.
Notice that female gamblers’ behaviour includes the essential strategies for a successful bettor. Experts’ best gambling tips involve most of what women tend to practice at online casinos.
When it comes to social behaviour, you would think that women would display more emotions of shame rather than pride towards their gambling habits, right? That is a misleading global stereotype! Booommm!!!
Interestingly, recent Canadian studies have shown that both males and females feel ashamed when talking about their gambling activities. Regardless of gender, both women and men are equally prone to hiding their online accounts from their friends and families.
Psychological patterns of gambling by gender differences
In response to our main question of this article, despite the growing number of female gamblers today, the number of males remains slightly higher. Let’s look at the psychologist’s explanation of this question.
Dr Robert Lefever, an expert in addictive behaviours, attributes specific personality traits to the gender differences in gambling habits. He believes that men are likelier to gamble because they tend to be more hedonistic and ‘macho’ than women. İn other words, it is a trait that shows an aggressive pride in masculinity. That is, men enjoy gambling because they perceive it as a reinforcer of their masculinity.
İn the same context, Dr Lefever emphasizes that men are high risk-takers, and this trait leads them to show more gambling habits than women. To paraphrase him: “Men are generally greater risk-takers than women; they tend to be rather proud of it.”
The association between risk-taking, gender and gambling has interested many social experts. For example, in her research, the psychologist Mara Mather found that men were significantly more risky in their behaviour while women were more conservative. She believes this difference plays a key role in gambling between men and women.
Let’s delve into the depth of these associations by considering one interesting research realized by the psychology department at the University of California in 2012.
İn their study Gloria Wong and her colleagues have associated three main psychological factors that might explain gender differences in gambling :
- İmpulsive coping
- Social anxiety
The research has shown that the number of men engaged in gambling was significantly higher than the number of women. Unfortunately, the number of male gamblers more prone to developing problematic habits is also sharply higher than that of female gamblers.
As shown in the bar chart above, compared to female gamblers, male gamblers tend to show higher scores in risk-taking and social anxiety but lower scores in impulsive coping. These are the psychological traits that tend to distinguish women and men are at the core of gambling differences by gender.
Published: October 2022
By: Sarah Zaneti