The result from a research commissioned by GambleAware in the UK was recently published. IFF Research and the University of Bristol with expert advice from GamCare were the ones collecting and analyzing the results and found that women are influenced by a range of different drivers when it comes to gambling.
Some operators have started using more gendered marketing such as female celebrity endorsements or just more targeted campaigns which are aimed specifically at the female demographics.
Why Do Women Gamble?
The reasoning behind the commissioned research was to gather more inside knowledge about the reasons behind British women taking up gambling and how it affects them in life. Part of the research focused on their experiences in terms of treatment and support services.
“There has been limited research previously carried out into women’s experience of gambling,” said Anna Hargrave, chief commissioning officer at GambleAware.
The 4 Biggest Driving Factors
As far as finding out the main driving factors, the result showed there are four that stand out.
- The initial findings point towards “Psychological Motivators” which can lead women to seek positive emotions. When asked, the women participants described the temptation of gambling as being a thrill. For a lot of players, gambling online is a way of escaping negative emotions, such as stress, loneliness and/or boredom.
- Another reason is the social factors. The participants shared their experiences of sometimes having turned to gambling to maintain their relationships with either friends, acquaintances, family or even colleagues. The social component may have shown to be a bigger influencer than expected.
- Then there’s of course the financial incentive, which plays a crucial role in anyone’s gambling, not only women. Just the idea of winning a lot of money becomes even more appealing when the economic pressures are rising. To be able to help boost the overall household finances or get yourself out of an economic situation is easy to relate to.
- Marketing and advertising is number 4 on the list and considering the amount of marketing there is, it would be strange if it didn’t have any effect. As the marketing becomes more and more demographic specific, using female brand ambassadors can have another type of impact on women.
GambleAware Finds Results Concerning
After the results were presented, Anna Hargrave (GambleAware’s Chief Commissioning Officer) expressed her concern regarding the survey results.
“The research shows the drivers for gambling amongst women, which may lead to them unfortunately experiencing gambling harms, and demonstrates that there are many factors driving women to gamble more. We were particularly concerned by the effect marketing and advertising is having,” Hargrave said.
Laura Burke, GamCare Women’s Programme Manager, supported this sentiment: “This is why this research is important to help us continue building understanding of the unique challenges women face when it comes to gambling harm, and how we can increasingly tailor our support services around them.”
Several Recommendations for Offering More Effective Support
As a result of the findings, the researchers emphasized the importance of several services and the fact that even them should be more gender specific. Having access to a variety of services like this becomes important.
We have seen before how the overall gender gap in gambling participation is narrowing and the societal perceptions that there are a lot more male than female players.
Another important recommendation is of course support for those affected indirectly by someone else’s gambling behavior. Women are more likely to fall into this category but it should of course be available to both genders.
I don’t think there was anything new that was presented as far as the results go. We already know that women most often have different reasons for gambling than men do and I have written an article about it before.
On top of that, the majority among US adults that are showing interest in crypto investments happens to be women.
The casino industry is far from the only one where marketing has become a lot more effectively targeted towards specific demographics, not only towards women. Other industries like fashion, cars and even real estate, they are all using the same targeting methods and having the same results.
Support Services Are Needed
I do agree with the fact that society as a whole needs to help people in general who are dealing with mental health issues, financial troubles etc no matter what the reason for it is. Implementing more available support services can help do the trick and I’m all for it.
Playing at online casinos should be fun but as with everything, there’s always a risk that some people overindulge and end up in a negative spiral.
Reports of Positive Trends
It’s not all negative though as several countries have reported a decrease in terms of gambling problems. You may have read my article about Sweden not that long ago and recently Norway also reported the number of people having gambling issues has more than halved since 2019.
Let’s help our fellow casino players and continue to enjoy all the fun the industry brings.