Once upon a time, not so long ago, gambling was the exclusive preserve of men. The stereotypical gambler was a middle aged man, smoking a rolled up cigarette, stopping off at the bookmakers to place some bets on the way to a sports game. Fruit and slot machines stood in corners of male-heavy pubs, played by men, who would take their winnings back to the table and buy more drinks for their male friends. Even at the higher end of the market, where richer people played card games like poker, it was the preserve of tuxedo wearing James Bond types. If you go looking for images of women ten or twenty years ago partaking in gambling in any way, shape or form other than bingo, you’ll struggle. Indeed, when women have been drawn in historically, it’s usually the perceived glamour of the hobby that persuades them to give it a try.
Nowadays, though, things are changing. More women – especially online – are trying their hand at a variety of different forms of gambling. There have even been scientific studies performed into gambling differences between the genders, and we’re going to share a few of the results of those studies with you now. A little gamble every now and then doesn’t indicate that you have an addiction and a problem. As long as you can afford to lose occasionally, there’s nothing wrong with chasing the thrill of a win! So what’s finally persuaded women to roll the dice?
The Changing Face Of Gambling
One theory would suggest that it’s down to presentation. We talked about the stereotypes associated with men and gambling earlier on – especially when it comes to casinos and slot machines. The games have traditionally been engineered to appeal to male tastes. Images of glamorous or scantily clad women on slot machines have been around for as long as slot machines themselves. The themes of the games often focused on cars, or male-orientated action movies. Everything from the color schemes to the positioning of the machines was designed to appeal to the male eye.
You only have to look at Rose Slots to see how that’s changed. The progression of gambling from the pubs to online has allowed gaming companies to diversify their offerings and broaden their appeal. Many games – and entire websites – are now designed with female gamblers in mind. Major gambling brands have gone looking for female customers, and have started to show considerable success in bringing them in.
Location, Location, Location
Having a safe space to gamble is considered to be a plus for female players. Physical casinos are largely still a male preserve, and statistically there are still more men in pubs and bars than there are women. That’s not say women don’t enjoy going out – we all know they do – but they tend to visit wine bars or locations where a traditional slot machine would look out of place. The internet has completely changed that.
Allowing people to gamble from the comfort of their own home has changed the perception that gambling is something that goes on in smoky, sweaty buildings where people drink heavily and lose control. The idea of trying to win a little money from home has made the prospect feel more comfortable and accessible to women. With gambling apps increasingly popular on smartphones, you no longer even have to leave your own bed if you don’t want to! Very few women would relish the idea of playing games with drunken men leering over their shoulders. The fact that they no longer have to do so has seemed to result in more of them giving it a try.
One trend that comes across heavily in the research is that women broadly prefer lower stakes than men. Female gamblers are happy to risk a small amount of money chasing a moderate award, whereas men are more likely to spend big money chasing big prizes. Historically, that fact excluded a lot of women from the table – literally. When casinos and slot machines were purely physical constructions, the minimum stake was whatever the dealer or machine said it was. If the lowest bet at a card table was £25, you either laid down £25 or you passed on it. If a slot machine wouldn’t accept less than a pound, then it was a dollar or nothing.
Online slots and games, which don’t have to deal with carrying high physical loads of small change, don’t have to worry about that. Many of the more intelligent games now allow you to set your own minimum bet, and adjust the prizes accordingly. If you only want to bet a few pence a time in return for a chance to win a few pounds, the option is open to you. Women who were previously put off by the stakes can now bet at a level that’s acceptable to them. And because they can, they are.
A Matter Of Time
Another issue that comes from the days when gambling had to be done in person rather than online was the time it took. Not every town and city around even has a casino. If you had one within a couple of streets of where you live, you were very lucky (or not, depending upon your attitude towards it!). A big night of gambling usually involved plenty of planning. You had to pick a night, arrange travel, factor in the time it took you to get there and back, and decide how much time you wanted to spend at the casino. In short, it wasn’t something you could just quickly step in and out of. That’s not to say women didn’t enjoy getting dressed up for a night at the casino, but it did tend to mean that such nights were few and far between.
Now, gambling can be fitted around our busy lives. It’s something you can pick up and put down in five minute periods, depending on when the mood or opportunity takes you. Like we said earlier, some people gamble on smartphones in bed. Some people will hop on for a while in the morning or evening. You no longer have to fit your schedule around the chance to earn a little cash; you can fit it around your schedule instead. There’s more opportunity – and therefore there are more female players who would otherwise struggle to fit it around their daily routine.
As gambling markets continue to adapt to their new female client base, we can expect more innovation and female orientated features to be introduced to come. One thing is for certain – if you are a girl who likes to gamble, there’s probably never been a better time!