Picture Credit: Erik Mclean via Unsplash
Picture Credit: Erik Mclean via Unsplash

Online casino play is a multibillion dollar industry and any operator needs to stand out in a competitive sector. There may be plenty of business to go around but digital casinos need to innovate and provide plenty of choice to their customers.

Online operators also need to understand that customer base. What are the key demographics and which games do those individual groups prefer? One study suggests that women players prefer a spin on the slots to card and other table games and that’s an interesting point to consider.

Taking a spin

Slot machines are popular with all customers, particularly in the UK where online games replicate the traditional physical slots that were prevalent in pubs and clubs. But the way in which these titles are played may well be more appealing to women.

Pubs and physical betting shops, which also house slot machines, are traditionally seen as male domains. With online play, there is no potential for discrimination or a feeling of intimidation at walking into an unwelcoming establishment.

It’s just so easy to find a digital casino, sign up with a welcome offer such as a free spins no deposit deal, and start playing. In just a few minutes, a huge choice of games is available from poker, roulette, blackjack and more. With so many options, just why are women switching on to the slot machines?

The core demographic

The study in question comes from the Oregon State University-Cascades and it confirms that females are more likely to play slots than their male counterparts. Those women tend to be homeowners between the ages of 55 and 60 but the games have a following through all age ranges.

The figures are quite remarkable as they suggest that this demographic could provide up to 70% of an online casino’s revenue. Naturally, these findings have led to a number of theories as to why this should be the case.

How's your luck

Many observers perceive that men are attracted to games where a strategy needs to be applied. In contrast, women are happy to rely on sheer luck. Naturally there are exceptions in both cases but those who fall outside of this simple explanation tend to prove the rule.

The preference seems to emanate from primeval times when the men were the ones quick to wage war. From very early times, strategy became a key part of the conflict as the warriors worked out how they could overcome the enemy.

That need to outwit your opponent has continued through many wars and is, apparently, evident in the most peaceful of human beings. Rather than take up arms, the majority of men may just be content to take on others and win a few hands of poker.

Naturally there are exceptions to this rule but this point of view isn’t a generalisation. On the whole, men prefer the strategic approach to poker while women like the sheer luck that comes with spinning the slots.

Picture Credit: Omar Houchaimi via Pexels
Picture Credit: Omar Houchaimi via Pexels

Other key elements

Speed and convenience are two additional factors that may have played a role in this survey. Slot games provide instant results, and it will usually take just one spin to determine whether you are a winner or not.

In contrast, card games are slower: Blackjack can be concluded fairly swiftly but not at the same speed as the slots. At the longer end of the scale, games of Texas Hold’Em Poker, with several opponents at the table, may take several minutes before the winner is declared.

Everything about a slot suggests speed and drama. There is music, bright lights and flashing buttons with reels waiting to be spun. It’s thought that the striking colours and stunning graphics might be helping to switch women on to slots.

In contrast, poker halls are perceived to be smoky, dingy rooms where light barely breaks through. This may not be quite the case in the online world but that preconception could be keeping female players away from the card tables.

Making the most

The question of promotions and offers could be another reason why women head to the slots at the expense of other options. Following those welcome deals, most operators also list regular promos for ongoing customers.

Free spins, matched deposits and free tournaments are often on the line. Perhaps the desire to seek out value for money is the key here. As those most likely to effectively control a budget, free spins in a slot game provides the opportunity for women to win cash prizes without any financial stake. It’s a tempting bonus and one that is regularly snapped up.

Options for all

The findings may have led to discussions over some uncomfortable stereotypes, but they are clear in key areas. Women players prefer the slot games while their male counterparts are drawn more towards card and other table options.

The reasons for this are open to debate and they may underline some of the preconceived ideas that humans have about men and women. Male as hunter-gatherer looks to wage war and outwit his opponents by harnessing strategy.

Women, on the other hand, are simply drawn in by bright lights. Perhaps the reality is that today’s female is far busier than the male and wants a game that is quick to play and doesn’t take up too much of their more valuable time.

It’s time to draw your own conclusions as to why women prefer slots.

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