Gambling is an aged-longed recreational activity that has been in existence for generations. In the 21st century, the popularity of internet-enabled mobile devices has made different forms of gambling easy and more accessible to people. Do you know that about 26% of the world’s population, 1.6 billion people are frequent gamblers? Apart from these frequent gamblers, about 4.2 billion individuals gamble occasionally, at least once a year. This involves males and females across ages and socio-economical levels.
In the past, gambling was a male-dominated activity. There was a significant difference between the ratio of men who gamble against the ratio of women. In recent times, however, things have changed. A 2016 survey by 888 showed that 56.2% of the total number of gamblers is made up of men while 43.8% is made up of women. These stats apply to all forms of gambling including online gambling and brick and mortar casino gambling. A more recent survey will show that the ratio has become even closer in 2020. Although men and women gamble, psychologists have identified key differences between the way men gamble and the way women gamble.
What’s The Difference Between How Women Gamble And How Men Gamble?
1. Women Prefer to Gamble Online
This is an obvious one. Most women prefer to gamble online in their comfort zone compared to gambling in brick and mortar casinos. This is primarily because even if society has become more inclusive, women are still stereotyped to an extent. So, women, especially when they are just starting, prefer online gambling options to physical locations. When they gamble online, they enjoy complete anonymity. They don’t need to worry about who sees them at the casino. They don’t need to worry about men trying to intimidate them. There will be no external pressure from fellow players. They will follow their gut and lose or win on their terms.
2. Women Have Highly Emotional Reactions
Biologically, there isn’t much difference between men and women when it comes to emotions. However, there is a strong cultural expectation of masculinity and femininity. In most societies, women are culturally expected to be more emotionally expressive than men. This stereotype stuck over the years and it also applies to gambling. Studies show that women have a more emotional reaction to gambling than men. When they win, they tend to express positive emotions significantly. When they lose, they express negative emotions. For example, when a woman wins a big game, she becomes overjoyed and starts jubilating. If she has friends and family around when she wins, she may be compelled to get them gifts from her winnings. If she fails, on the other hand, she may start crying and may transfer the aggression to those around her.
3. Women Cash Out More Frequently
When a woman gets a big win, she is more likely to cash out and enjoy her earnings than keep pushing in an attempt to win more. The case is different with men. Most men double down and start betting more aggressively after a big win. This is because women become more propelled to protect their self-interest when they win but men want to massage their egos. Women hardly concern themselves with things like territorial claims or proving themselves to other players after they win. When women are on a winning streak, they rarely increase their stakes or go for more difficult odds. They keep playing safe.
4. Women are More Loyal To Their Brokers
Another key factor that distinguishes how women bet from how men bet is their attitude toward brokers. At first, a woman will be more likely to bet with a single online betting platform or physical casino. As she begins to master betting, she may trust one more. However, it’s unlikely for women to bet on more than 3 platforms at a time. They find a broker they can trust and place all their bets through that broker. The same cannot be said for men. Men can use up to 5 brokers at the same time. They hardly have any loyalty for a single broker. They try their hand on different platforms to increase their chances and take advantage of promotions.
5. Women Don’t Spend As Much As Men
Even if more women have been betting in recent years, they still don’t spend as much money as men on gambling. Women are less likely to take risks with money they can’t afford to lose. The $40 billion gambling industry has a lot of high-risk takers and most of them are men. Apart from betting less money than men, women also prefer placing pre-determined bets. Even when they get excited, they have more self-control over how they bet compared to men. Women also own smaller bankrolls than men. This is because they are more pessimistic than men when it comes to their odds. Men rely more on chance while women rely more on strategy.
6. Women Bet During Their Free Time
In the traditional setting, women tend to spend more time on other responsibilities before they gamble. Men may neglect other activities and focus on gambling first thing in the morning. Women, however, may feel obligated to finish their responsibilities before they gamble. It doesn’t matter what these responsibilities are; it could be anything from house chores, school or work. They prefer to get those things out of the way before they start betting. Men can bet at intervals while they are working or in school. Women see gambling as more of a recreational activity to be done during relaxation. This is one of the reasons why women prefer online betting. It gives them the flexibility they need.
7. Women Start Gambling At A Later Age
Women tend to start gambling at a later age than men. While the legal gambling age in the United States is 18, records have shown that young men below 18 are more likely to start gambling illegally than women. Most women who make gambling a regular recreational activity do this after they have found financial independence. The stats show that women become frequent gamblers from 34 years and above. Men, on the other hand, become frequent gamblers as early as 20 even if they have not become financially stable. This is why women are less likely to have a gambling problem than men.
8. Women Don’t Play the Same
Women tend to have different tastes in games than men. Men prefer games like poker, blackjack, and video poker. They always go for games that give the house a lower edge to increase their chances. Women, on the other hand, prefer specialty games and slot machine games. This is why they love games like Bingo and Keno. One of the key reasons why they prefer these sorts of games is that they require less time investment with chances of high payouts. These games also have straightforward rules and simple designs. They don’t require critical thinking or formulation of strategies. Even in the online betting world, few women bet on football when compared to the number of men who gamble on football.
The eight points listed above are the key differences between the gambling habits of women and the gambling habits of men. These 8 variables all come from two primary factors; women like playing it safe and women gamble for fun. The same cannot be said about men who see gambling as the perfect opportunity to exhibit their superior skills over others and mark their territory in the casino. They don’t see gambling as a form of socialization and recreation like women.
Finally, it is important to note that these are not rules. When it comes to human behavior, there is always an exception. So, the fact that most women like playing it safe doesn’t mean there aren’t any women who love to risk it all. The fact that women prefer slot machines doesn’t mean there aren’t women who love poker and blackjack. In the next few years, there will be another shift in the industry that will influence these differences between male and female gamblers.