Think about the classic casino scene from the movies. The male lead is at the table, the stakes are high. His glamorous lady friend is by his side, keenly watching, she might even get to blow on the dice for luck, or if the man is feeling particularly chivalrous, she can roll the dice.
It’s a scene played out time and time again on the big screen, but one that is increasingly looking more and more like fiction. Gone are the days when a woman’s role in the casino was limited to good luck omen, because more and more ladies are getting in on the action themselves. And it’s about time too.
It’s largely been thanks to the internet, which has opened up a new frontier in gaming. Mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets have opened even more doors, allowing more women to gamble and play online, any time and anywhere.
However, according to a recent survey, women are responsible for just 2% of bets paced on live online casino games. So what has been the way in for women? Online games such as slots have been the key to attracting more female players. They now account for about 40% of all players gambling online, with around 44% of women saying they have gambled at some point, according to data from the UK Gambling Commission (compared to around 53% of men). Around a third of women admitted to gambling at some point in the last month.
The rise in popularity of online gaming has in large part been responsible for women entering into the world of online gambling. However, there is more to the story. Games like bingo have traditionally been seen as more of a female past time, so it would be easy to imagine that this is the draw for women players. But male players make up around 55% of all online bingo bets, so the traditional gender lines don’t seem to carry over into the online world.
Women players especially seem to enjoy luck-based games (as opposed to their male counterparts who seem to enjoy sports and table games more). Games like Starburst and Atlantis Jewels are very popular with female players, who seem to enjoy the luck-based winning elements. And although some game developers still seem to think that women want pink and fluffy designs, a new generation of savvy online women players are proving them wrong.
Women are being successful too. A female player recently won £1.7 million at bgo casino, reported by Casinopedia, defying the odds of 625 million to 1 to scoop two progressive jackpots on the same online slot. And these sorts of big money games are the ones attracting this new generation of players. Social media and television campaigns are increasingly targeting women players in an industry that was once solely aimed at men. While men are still more likely to gamble online – at around 21% – the numbers of women players are catching up – at around 14%. The numbers are even closer for social gaming, at around 23% to 19%.
Women players are also less likely to go too far, with around only 2 to 5% of people in Gamblers Anonymous being female. Female players are more likely to be risk averse, understanding that their luck is not with them, than male players, who are more likely to carry on.
Thanks to online games such as bingo and Starburst, the stigma surrounding gambling for women is long gone. Ladies enjoy playing just as much as men. So who knows, perhaps we’ll see a movie soon where the female lead is at the table, and her glamorous male companion is the one who gets to roll the dice for luck.