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Women or Men – Who is Better at Betting?

Studies have identified the differences in gambling behavior between men and women. We can now answer, do women win more than men, or are men likely to take more risks and does our gender dictate our gambling behavior?

Men vs Women

Key takeaways

  • The female market is rapidly growing despite the stigma that is still attached to gambling
  • Women may bet less frequently but they do bet smarter
  • Football is the primary betting sport for both women and men

With the popularity of sports betting rapidly increasing, it is interesting to consider how many more women are now betting on sports and how they fare compared to men when they place a wager.

Bizjournals used data analyst GWS to discover that in 2021, more than 4.6 million women in the United States signed up for a sportsbook betting app. That equates to a rise of 115% compared to 2020. Though the number of male users still exceeds females by 250 percent, the rate of men using sportsbook betting apps grew by just 63 percent in the same time period.

BetRivers obtained 600,000 new female customers in 2021, compared to just under 380,000 men, whilst FanDuel signed an estimated 1.7 million women in 2021, according to GWS.

Credit: John Schnobrich on Unsplash

According to an article in Gaming Today, football and basketball are by far the most popular sports for betting on for both men and women. Over 75% of men and women will bet on the NFL, with more than 40% of males who bet regularly also gambling on college football. Women tend to bet on college sports less frequently at less than 20%.

A study conducted in December 2019 in the US by Sports Betting Dime, discovered that 29.7% of male bettors placed more than $500 in sports bets per month, but only 12.2% of female bettors did. From the same study, it was also learned that women appear to gamble more casually as 65.2% of women who wager on sports regularly in the United States, risk less than $100 per month.

That being said, while men may be gambling on sports more frequently and for more money, it is actually women who are seeing a better Return on Investment (ROI). 888 Holdings commissioned a study in 2020 that revealed female bettors in the state of New Jersey saw a 19.7% return on their bets during the measured period, while men lost 5%. The same study also discovered that female bettors were 74% less likely to place parlay bets, which can be a high-risk/high-reward activity.

The study not only looked at sports betting but also at how men and women fare comparatively in relation to casino results and discovered that, once again, women outperform men. For example, in the age group 25-34, whilst women lost 12.2% in online casino games, men lost 23.8%. The contrast was starker for younger gamblers: females aged 18-24 actually won a 30.1% return on their investment in online casino games, whilst men came in at a shocking -67.3 percent.

Credit: Clayton Ewerton on Unsplash

The stigma that is still attached to gambling could perhaps be a factor as to why fewer women gamble than men. Female gamblers may fear being met with disapproval if they admit they enjoy gambling. However, we know that men are more frequent consumers of sports media and coverage (although this gap is shrinking) and therefore are more likely to be emotionally involved in the process of betting.

In relation to modern-day betting, with many women still being more risk-averse, they appear to view betting opportunities as potential investments rather than pure entertainment. In fact, studies have identified that 20% of women are frequent purchasers of data analytics tools as an aid to improve their betting, compared to 15% of men. Shown by the smaller deposit sizes, women are also more likely to test systems and reduce their risk initially, maintaining more discipline over their bankroll than men.

James Fallows

James Fallows

A qualified sports journalist, James is more than familiar with all aspects of the gambling world. At The Curious Gambler, James is keen to delve deeper into what makes this billion-dollar industry tick and offer up some well-learned advice along the way.