Women and Gambling – What are the opportunities?
March 20th, 2023, Oliver Rowe

Women and Gambling – What are the opportunities?

In this piece, we dive into YouGov Global Gambling Profiles data to gain insights into the core attitudes and behaviours of women gamblers in the UK.

Our data shows that women make up over a third of all gamblers in the UK (36%). Gamblers here refers to those who say they’ve placed a bet other than participating in the Lottery in the last 30 days.

But while women make up a lower share of the gamblers’ pie on the whole, they may be contributing more heavily to certain gambling verticals. This may be particularly true of bingo and keno because female gamblers (15%) in the UK are three times as likely as their male counterparts (5%) to have engaged in these in the last month. Female gamblers are also twice as likely to have bought online scratch cards (11% vs 6%), and they over-index on online casino slots games as well (18% vs 14%).

Additionally, women gamblers also spend more on some of these categories. For instance, 15% of them spend more than £15 each month on slots compared with 12% of men. Similarly, 12% of women gamblers spend over £15 each month on bingo/keno compared with 8% of men.

It is in sports gambling that women’s participation lags behind most significantly. Only a third of women gamblers (31%) placed bets at an online sports bookmaker in the last 30 days compared with 55% of men. This could be a direct result of the fact that women are generally less interested in sports – for reference, only a fifth of all women (20%) in the UK are interested in the Premier League compared with 53% of men. The opportunity for the gambling industry is to capitalise on the growing popularity of women’s sport to try to further expand the base of women gamblers.

There is evidence that the process of harvesting growing interest in sports into gains for betting companies is already well under way. In May 2021, only 17% of female gamblers in the UK said they bet on football, and that share has risen dramatically to 30% as of January 2023. During the same period, the share of female gamblers who say they are interested in the Premier League has grown from 25% to 40%.

Furthermore, the act of betting itself might further cement women’s interest in sport. Half of them agree that “placing a bet on a sport makes the sport more interesting to watch” (48%), and a similar proportion of them say “when I bet on sport it makes me more likely to watch the game” (44%). However their betting is more straightforward, being less likely than men to place Accas or in-play bets.

Overall, horse racing is the most popular sport to bet on among women gamblers, with a third of them having placed bets on the sport in the last 12 months (34%). Football (which is the most popular betting sport among males) takes the second spot at 24%.

For brands looking to tap into women gamblers, it is important to know what factors they consider when selecting gambling websites. A third of them say an “easy to use app or website” is a key consideration (35%). Nearly a quarter seek out platforms with the best odds (23%) and a fifth of them are on the hunt for promotions (20%). The platform being fun (17%), habit (13%) and selection of best slots/games to play (12%) also influence the choice of platform.

So, who are these women gamblers? The data shows that women gamblers skew slightly younger, with nearly a third of them aged between 18-34 (31%) as opposed to 27% of male gamblers. Interestingly, female gamblers are six-percentage points likelier to belong to lower income groups than men gamblers (30% vs 24%).

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Methodology: YouGov Global Gambling Profiles, which includes data from 24 countries, is based on continuously collected data from several sources, rather than from a single limited questionnaire. Learn more about Global Gambling Profiles.