Betting on bingo: how women dominate low stakes gambling


When it comes to gambling, men and women have always been seen at two very different beasts. Looking back in history, men were always the predominant gamblers in society, with the pastime looked at as a pursuit that the fairer sex simply wouldn’t enjoy. Thankfully, that sort of attitude has now been relegated to the coffers of history, and with it, a new breed of gambler was welcomed into the fold, albeit in a slightly different way.

Winning is fun, but fun doesn't always mean winning

Firstly, it has to be said that some women obviously gamble in much the same manner as men do. But in general, there are some notable differences in what men and women prefer to bet on.  With men still hugely dominant in the high stakes games and sports betting, women have in general, taken to smaller stakes, and in turn smaller risk betting. If you look at bingo games in the UK, it is predominantly enjoyed by women, whether it is being played in person (at organised meetups) or online, and is advertised accordingly. The physical meetups are regularly billed as a ‘girl’s night out’, and the apps and websites are often coloured in schemes that look especially appealing to women. But why the divide in betting in the first place?

It is generally thought that women simply enjoy the social side of gambling more than men do. For the guys, the eyes are firmly on the prize money from the moment they walk into the betting shop, or log onto the website (again, in general). Women on the other hand, tend to enjoy the social aspect of gambling as much, if not more so than the winning. This originated from the organised events, and spread into the digital realm quickly, as online betting shops noticed this, and started adding chat rooms to many of the Bingo websites, allowing players to recreate the social aspect of the night out.

Men however, tend to be much heavier users of sports betting apps, many of whom are curiously missing the ability to chat to other patrons. This could be down to the fact that simply betting on a horse or ball game doesn’t require any chat between gamblers, but in the same breath, neither does Bingo really, does it? Women, generally being the more social of the sexes, seem to just enjoy having a little interaction with their gambling. In that respect, games likes online Slots and Bingo chat rooms scratch two itches at once.

A pattern that spans the globe


This also aligns with the fact that women tend to bet smaller amounts, and risk less overall when betting. That isn’t to say that winning at the Bingo or on the slot machines isn’t part of the allure, but it most certainly isn’t the only reason women get involved. For some, the Bingo hall or website has created a space where they can relax with their friends, have fun, and perhaps win a little extra cash. For those women who lead such busy lives that catching up with friends has been put on the back burner, this sort of social betting can be a crutch to lean on in much the same way some people go to the bar after work to relax, or play online video games.

This is a trend that continues worldwide too, with Canadian women also preferring Bingo and slots, much like their English counterparts. With Bingo becoming popular later in history for Canadian women, any regional bias towards games should be easy to prove, but the data actually backs up the idea that men and women simply prefer different types of games. With lotteries still being the most popular form of betting for women, Bingo and Slot machines come a close second and third, with men, yet again preferring the likes of Poker and sports betting across the board in Canada.

Women, betting, and the future


Going forward, it will be interesting to see how companies bet on their female customers in the future. With women enjoying gambling in ever increasing numbers, we are bound to see new varieties of games being created to capitalise on a previously untapped resource. This could take the form of other games that were previously un-monetized, in much the same way the hugely popular HQ app has done. This interactive quiz now regularly gets audiences of just under a million viewers, four times a day, with prize money of up to $1500 up for grabs. The success of this will surely push other app creators to ‘gamify’ other gambling pastimes, or indeed reverse things by using currently popular game types and adding a sprinkling of betting. Monetized Candy Crush, anyone?

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