The world of gambling used to be unfamiliar for women. During 4,500 years they lived in the male-dominated society. Sometimes women even served as live bets in games, but female gamblers were very rare.
According to researchers’ estimates, 51% of the world population takes part in any kind of gambling activities every year and the online gambling market increases by on average 23% per year. The number of female gamblers is also increasing dramatically. To be sure, casinos don’t offer special games for women. But what do they prefer? According to statistics, females spend more time playing bingo, slot machines, and online poker.
Why Do Women Gamble?
There is a fundamental difference between the female and male attitude towards gambling. This difference seems to result from the discrepancy in female and male perception of gambling. So, if you ask a woman to describe her visit to a casino, she will most likely tell you about its atmosphere, other visitors, her feelings and related emotions. If a man starts describing a casino, you will hear other stories: how he succeeded in playing at the roulette table, or about a greedy slot machine, or cards dealt to him in blackjack. All male stories are related to money, either won or lost.
Some people believe that gambling is used by women to escape from their daily routine, and they prefer games with a low number of actions and less creativity. Women enjoy gambling when they are financially and personally independent. Female gamblers attend casinos to have a good time. Actually, they do not care about wins and losses. They just spend their time, enjoying every minute of their stay in the casino.
If you try to find the main reason for female gambling, it is very difficult to select one option, since there are at least three of them:
Firstly, gambling is a very good thing to escape from problems. Women can carelessly gamble and pay attention to those who may look at them cross-eyed or think something bad of them.
Secondly, gambling is an excellent source of entertainment and pleasure for successful and wealthy business ladies.
Thirdly, some women gamble to get rich or to improve their financial situation.
Taking into account the three reasons mentioned above, we can make a conclusion that women have deep and quite reasonable causes to gamble.
Let’s start our review with bingo. It is an ancient game whose history dates back to 1530. It has been gaining popularity all over the world since that time. In fact, bingo seems to be a female game of chance. Indeed, over 100 million gamblers play bingo all over the world, and about 70% of them are women. According to a survey conducted in the United Kingdom, 25% of respondents gamble twice a week or more. So, why do females choose bingo?
The social aspect of bingo underlies this fact both in land-based casinos and online gambling houses. Unlike males, female gamblers are not thrill-seekers. They like chat, and there is no doubt that bingo is the most sociable kind of gambling. The chat features are very important in online bingo, so that players can gamble and enjoy chatting simultaneously, as you can see in the screenshot.
It really resembles a casino bingo hall, where you can both chat and gamble. Taking into account this fact, it is easy to explain the huge popularity of online bingo. Bingo has always been a popular social game, and now it can enjoy its well-deserved fame on the Internet. Games that require skills (for example, poker and blackjack) have always been more popular among males due to their addictive nature. Women adore bingo, since it is a simple game that requires less attention, making it more suitable for social communication.
We are well aware of the fact that males and females are very different human beings, and this statement also makes sense concerning their gambling preferences. If we take into account the psychological aspects of gambling, males want to find strong feelings. They should dominate their opponents. And female gamblers prefer games based on luck. Therefore, they often choose bingo and slots.
In addition, low bets in slots seem to be very attractive to females, since they do not want to win huge amounts. They just want to have fun and enjoy the gameplay. Slot machines and bingo are the most economical kinds of gambling, and this fact attracts women. The games with low bets are very popular among female gamblers.
Gamblers had played poker only in land-based casinos and poker rooms before its online version appeared. Such establishments are not the most hospitable for women. Poker was considered to be a true male game, and if a woman appeared at the table, she was being mocked. However online poker protects women from sly hints and insults. Males don’t prevail in online poker.
Communication capabilities offered by the Internet have completely changed the situation. Women start competing with men at online casinos. According to statistics, the current percentage of female gamblers in different online poker rooms ranges from 30% to 60%. Due to qualifying online games, such as World Series of Poker, female users have started to participate in offline tournaments. A lot of female winners, including Annie Duke, Victoria Coren, Liv Boeree, and Vanessa Selbst, have recently appeared.
How Did the Internet Affect Gambling among Women?
The distribution of games in land-based casinos used to be simple and straightforward:
Female customers used to play simple games with low bets (for example, slots and bingo);
Males used to prefer the complex table games with higher betting limits.
However the appearance of online games has dissolved these boundaries, and the number of online female gamblers is growing very rapidly. The Internet has changed everything, and the world of gambling is not an exception.
Availability of online games allows female gamblers, who used to be embarrassed sitting at the poker or blackjack table along with males and suffering from their scornful gaze, to play absolutely anonymously. This opportunity allows revealing an interesting consistent pattern: despite the fact that female gamblers prefer slot machines or bingo in land-based casinos, many online games show a 50:50 gender split.
According to a survey with participation of 10,000 gamblers conducted in 2011 in the United Kingdom, 48% of players at online casinos are women. Most of them prefer video slots and bingo. It is interesting to compare bankrolls and time spent on gambling: women deposit on average 67 euros, while an average man’s deposit is 94 euros. Therefore, it is no wonder that women lose less money, despite the fact that they play more! On average, female gamblers play nine hours per month, while male gamblers spend only 6.5 hours at the table.
Researchers have also reported that women prefer online casinos to brick and mortar gambling houses for the first visit. This fact can be explained by various reasons. For example, the Internet gives women a sense of comfort and anonymity. They are able to participate in those games that have always been considered to be a prerogative of males. Due to the anonymity of online casinos, female gamblers may feel more comfortable surrounded by numerous male players.
Online Casino are Replaced by Brick are Mortar Gambling Houses
The number of female gamblers has significantly increased recently in the land-based casinos. This may be caused by the fact that after acquiring necessary skills at online casinos women become more confident and believe that they play well, so that they are ready to meet their male opponents nose to nose. In fact, the number of women, who participate in the World Poker Tour and the World Series of Poker, has increased. Most of them acquired their skills while playing at online casinos.
Annette Obrestad can serve as an example of such a woman. A young Norwegian girl initially made a name for herself in online poker. She started playing at the age of fifteen and chose a naïve childish nickname Annette_15. Since online gambling was anonymous, she was able to gamble, despite the fact that the age of 18 years was set as the minimum age for gambling in Norway. Annette was able to collect a bankroll thanks to freerolls without making a single deposit. She started winning serious money. She won several tournaments, including the $500,000 Pokerstars, $500,000 UltimateBet Tournament, and $136,000 Full Tilt Poker Tournament.
She was so well up in poker, that she was able to win without taking a look at her cards. During one of the tournaments she even used an adhesive tape to close her cards, sticking it on the screen. Thanks to her perfect art of bluffing and the ability to understand tricks of opponents, she could beat 180 other gamblers and won the tournament that made Annette famous.
The day before her 18th birthday Annette won her most significant tournament. It was the World Series of Poker Europe (WSOPE) Main Event. She set a new record by winning $2.1 million: it was the largest prize won by a female gambler for the whole poker history. This victory made her both the only winner of the WSOPE Main Event and the youngest person to ever obtain a World Series of Poker bracelet.
Most women are social creatures. This means that they prefer those games where it is possible to chat (e.g., bingo). Unlike male gamblers, they don’t want to dominate or search for strong feelings. Instead, they look for simplicity and pleasure. Women don’t need to reach the top, and this is the reason why they select slot machines and bingo. At the same time, more and more women are playing online poker, which provides them with the opportunity to get rid of males who annoy them.
In recent years, women’s abilities and perseverance have helped to level gender-based differences in gambling. It is obvious that women have contributed to significant changes in gambling. So, the world of gambling keeps developing.