Do Men Bet Differently than Women?


Betting marketers are struggling to find the optimum mix, strategies and promotions to attract punters and develop services and products that are tuned to the desires, preferences and expectations of customers, so that bookmakers can be more aligned to the market itself. In doing so, one major issue has to do with the role of gender in the betting behaviour of punters, which has implications on what bookmakers offer. Find out everything about bookmaker’s considerations when making marketing mix decisions based on existing knowledge on gender differences!

Is betting a male-dominated activity? Is it mostly for men, who are by nature more prone to risk-taking and who are generally greater fans of sports? Is it that men like betting more than women? Is it true that men can be more easily carried away by their enthusiasm, impulse and passion for a game and so engage deeper in betting? Are men betting more aggressively than women? Or do all these stereotypes have little relevance in the world of bets? Let’s find out what experts and survey results have generally shown about the difference in men’s and women’s behaviour in betting.

Men and Women as bettors


Well traditionally it has been male punters making up almost the entire gambling market, while only a very small fraction of this market was being captured by women. But this seems to be changing, with the gap between male and female bettors generally closing. In the UK, for example, a recent study illustrated that 1/3 of men have placed a bet in the last twelve months, whereas this figure when it comes to women is nearly 1/4 – not such a big difference, apparently. Earlier studies had shown that men had considerably higher levels of gambling and betting involvement than women, indicating that the differences owed to gender are probably shrinking.

Betting frequency differences between men and women

Overall, men are more frequent bettors than women, even though the number of female punters is going up. Men are said to be exposed to stronger and more intense incentives and drivers for betting, and this might justify their higher frequency in betting. But they are also reported to have greater losses and greater wins compared to women, as a result both the frequency of betting and the amounts bet.

Men’s and Women’s Betting preferences


Surveys reveal that men and women have different preferences when it comes to gambling. Men are preferring mostly sports betting, where they can develop their own strategies, apply their knowledge and utilize their own capabilities and skills in their effort to win, whereas women are preferring mostly games that entail predominantly the element of luck. This is not quite unexpected, considering that sports betting, which requires a lot of game understanding, reading, critical evaluation and predictive ability, is more likely to be chosen by those who are by their nature or predisposition more prone to liking sports and who are generally greater fans of sports games. At the same time, women opting for games that have more luck, is a fact fairly shown on their preference over purchasing lottery tickets or playing bingo and keno.

Betting amounts by men and women

Gender also seems to play its role when it comes to the amount spent by men and women on betting. Women are more conservative when they place bets, often overestimating the risks of losing their money. This can be explained by the assumption that they like to bet on games that are mostly based on luck and, being more pessimistic or realistic of the chances of winning, they tend to spend less so as to mitigate potential losses and minimize the relevant risk. On the other hand, men, spend more and they do so mostly because they are more confident that they can beat the odds by developing and implementing their own effective strategies

Men’s and women’s motivation for betting


As for the motivation for gambling, a recent UK survey showed that both men and women are mostly citing reasons such as fun and entertainment as well as betting to win big, but also that men are more likely to engage to betting in order to demonstrate their skills and enrich their experience of sports (for example bet while watching a football match). Again, this is not out of the blue, considering that men gamble on sports and they are also the primary sports’ viewers!

Men’s and women’s responses to wins and losses

And finally, there are also reported gender differences in the responses and reactions of gamblers to respective wins or losses. Men are portrayed as more aggressive and impulsive when they experience losses and more overconfident when they experience wins, while women are more conservative in their losses and cheerful and optimistic in their wins. Men believe that winning is predominantly owed to their strategy and their own abilities and skills to predict, forecast and make strategic choices. When losing, they experience greater frustration and thus get more angry and aggressive. Women, on the other hand tend to feel very enthused when they win, attributing their wins more to good luck, and they are more preserved and conservative when they lose because they are not getting their hopes up from the very beginning.

So, overall there are differences in the betting behaviour of male and female punters, but it is very likely that these are not based exclusively on gender, rather on the stereotypes and social underpinnings of genders. It could simply be that some behaviours of men and women are shaped by stereotypes or even interpreted based on stereotypes and in each of these cases, the behaviour is not fundamentally pertinent to the gender, but to the deeply held social beliefs and expectations. Or it could simply be that men and women do actually exhibit different behaviours when it comes to betting and gambling and that we should take for granted that they have different interests, needs and preferences in that respect.