Prior to the clamor for gender equality, the world of business, politics, education, and even sport has been male-dominated. The gambling industry is not left out. However, women seem to be challenging the status quo as they are becoming increasingly interested in almost every facet of life previously dominated by the male folk.
Additionally, technology has reinforced the need for gaming companies to target new markets and customer groups. Today, gambling has become a mainstream activity, independent of gender. There is also an increasing number of women on the Tipster forum as seen on the popular betting community site, OLBG.com. However, it cannot be ascertained what betting behaviors would be exhibited by the increasing number of women.
The aim of this article is to appraise the increase in women’s involvement in the gambling industry.
Technology and gambling
The role of modern technology in mainstream gambling cannot be overemphasized. Usually, the gambling industry was stereotypically associated with men. However, with the introduction of online gambling coupled with various studies conducted on gambling based on gender, women now gamble more than ever. They no longer have the awkward feeling that may trail their visit to a brick-and-mortar casino.
Many studies reveal that women constitute up to 40% of iGaming customers. The studies also reveal that Sweden has the largest percentage of female casino players (at 32%) while the UK, Italy, and Spain have 30%, 21%, and 18%, respectively. This high percentage was also confirmed by the Swedish Gambling Commission.
With the knowledge of the increasing participation of women in the gambling industry, online casino companies are beginning to tap into the potential of increasing player numbers by modifying their betting websites. Some of the modifications are evident in the following aspects.
Formerly, betting sites adopted macho designs which are usually associated with the male gender. However, with the new interest by the other gender, online casinos are adopting a more neutral design in terms of layout and color schemes. Some slots are specifically designed by game makers to capture the female players. This is by using color schemes, themes, and images that are attractive to the female gender.
Themes used in advertisement
Just as every other sector promotes their services, online casinos also promote gambling, targeting both male and female players. Apart from the gambling act, they also focus on the fun associated with the act. This is to make it appeal to a significant number of players. Unlike men, women are known to visit casinos in groups rather than individually.
Research reveals that women spend more time on social media, especially Facebook and Instagram, than men. Many online casinos capitalize on this form of engagement to target more players, especially women. By following a betting site link through their social media accounts, they become more willing to play, share their activities, as well as their wins on social media. This further helped to give wider publicity to online casinos.
Women betting behavior
Based on gender-based statistics, unlike men, women adopt luck-playing rather than use strategic methods. It was also revealed that women prefer lotteries, slot games, and online bingo games rather than poker, a game dominated by male players. Notwithstanding, there have been stories of women that hit big wins in poker games.
To further encourage the participation of women in the cards game, there is a rising trend of women-only tables and tournaments. This is because of the discovery that many women are put off by the fact that they are treated poorly at the table. However, this seems to be reducing as many women are breaking the records.
Horse racing is yet another sport where women have been underrepresented. However, women are becoming attracted to the sport as there are now a significant number of female jockeys, owners, and even trainers. There is the Ladies’ Day event which holds at Ascot. Though it is more of a social gathering and fashion expos, gambling activities also take place, though on a smaller scale. Even with the increasing female participation in the sport, there continue to be huge differences in earnings from the sport by both genders as men players tend to earn more.
Are there successful women in the industry?
It is often common to view punters who are women through the male perspective. Though gambling has been thriving for centuries, women were not always in the picture. Movies such as Ocean’s Eleven and Casino, for instance, depicted the trend of male domination of the industry. There are, however, a few famous female gamblers from Europe and the United States.
One of the most successful women in the gambling industry is Vanessa Selbst, a New York-born professional poker player who turned into a Wall Street investor. Winning three World Series bracelets, she ranks number one in the Global Poker Index. She has netted about 12 million dollars in winnings. Annie Duke is another professional poker player who dominated the industry for up to 20 years. She was the winner of the 2004 World Series of Poker bracelet. Selbst and Duke are currently retired.
Some successful women that are still active in the industry are: Annette Obrestad, an up-and-coming Norwegian poker star who won millions of dollars from playing poker even before she clocked 19; Denise Coates, an England-born woman who founded Bet365 Foundation, which hosted about 22 million customers worldwide after three years of its establishment; among others. Out of the need to stay ahead of the competition, Coates and her team developed online in-play betting, which allows players to bet even as a game or match is on.
The gambling industry is an evolving one as different technologies and improvements aimed at increasing interest among the target audience have been made. Also, the role played by women, especially, as it concerns promoting the industry and its activities cannot be undermined. Though the number of female players might not have equaled that of men, their growing influence may see them compete head-to-head with men in no distant time as more women fight for more representation in the industry.
WRITTEN BYSiarra K