Study Shows Women Are More ‘Successful’ Gamblers with Lower Addiction Rates

  • Women are believed to be more successful at gambling
  • They place smaller bets and lose less money
  • They have lower addiction rates
  • However, the number of women who are problem gamblers is rising
Research shows women see gambling mainly as entertainment and take fewer financial risks when betting
Research shows women see gambling mainly as entertainment and take fewer financial risks when betting

While there is only a small difference between the number of female gamblers to male gamblers, around 44% to 56%, the focus on men with addiction problems gives rise to an argument that female gamblers are more successful.

Variety of ways to play

This could be in part down to the types of gambling that each sex favors. It has been well documented that men tend to lean towards casino games and sports betting, whereas women prefer lottery, bingo, and online slots.

The numbers of those having a flutter are certainly rising, as the global gambling market hit $449.3bn (£353.8bn) in 2018.

But women, in particular, appear to be more successful. This may partly be ascribed to the fact they place lower but more frequent bets, meaning that if any cash is lost it is only small amounts. Men have a tendency to place larger bets on more outlandish odds, e.g. accumulators.

Free spins

New research shows that women are also more likely to take notice of the freebies available in the market. Whether it’s making use of those 50 free spins or a free deposit to play with, they make sure they get their money’s worth.

Most importantly, women tend to see gambling as entertainment. They are happy to play for free spins with a modest payout at the end, as long as they have had an evening of fun. By contrast, men tend to mark their success by their balance at the end of the night.

That’s not to say that women don’t suffer from gambling addiction. Recently, more attention has been paid to addiction as a whole, with a focus in the UK particularly on getting more funding into the treatment system.

More addiction cases now known

The charity GambleAware recently announced another £3.9m ($4.9m) to expand its treatment program. Meanwhile, industry leaders have agreed that more should be done to tackle gambling addiction for both women and men.

Another charity, GamCare, recently released statistics showing that the number of women seeking help has risen sharply. Over the last five years, the number has almost doubled, from 2,439 in 2014 to 4,129 in 2018.

In a high-profile case in November 2018, a 23-year old woman from New Zealand left her two-month-old baby alone in a car while she went inside a pub to play poker games for an hour. When the infant was found, it was around 19C in the car with the windows only cracked open.

The mother admitted a lapse in concentration and was given 100 community hours and a four-month suspended sentence. She could have faced a 10-year prison sentence. The woman has since started a voluntary addiction course.