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GambleAware Examines Women Gambling Habits

By Manny Wood.
Fact checked by Wilbur Thompson.

New research conducted by GambleAware has examined the gambling habits of women and the potential risks associated with overspending and developing pathological behaviour.

In-depth research conducted by GambleAware has examined the gambling habits of women and the potential risks associated with overspending or developing pathological behavior. It has been observed that many female users employ language that is not directly related to gambling and does not convey the same sense of urgency and caution as terms like “free spins” and “bingo.” This use of language may downplay the risks associated with gambling in the minds of consumers.

The report, which received support from the University of Bristol, GamCare, and IFF Research, extensively studied consumer habits across nearly 100 pages. Several key drivers of gambling behaviour in women were identified, and the research categorized these triggers into four main groups.

For instance, financial drivers were recognized, whereby consumers believe that gambling can address financial pressures at home or improve their household finances. In many cases, gambling is seen as a means to overcome poverty, domestic abuse, or troubled relationships.

Targeted advertising emerged as another influential factor affecting women and perpetuating continuous gambling. Referred to as gendered advertising by researchers, this practice encourages women who already gamble frequently to try out new products. The report acknowledges the need for further examination of the extent and impact of gambling advertisements on consumers, and it recommends investigating this relationship more thoroughly.

Anna Hargrave, the CCO of GambleAware, commented on the research, emphasizing the importance of gaining a deeper understanding of the motivations behind women’s gambling habits and how they can be better supported. She stated that the research showed the drivers of gambling among women, which could, unfortunately, result in gambling-related harms, and highlighted the numerous factors that contributed to women gambling more.

Psychological factors also play a role. When discussing gambling, women express a desire for a “buzz” or “thrill,” which allows them to escape negative emotions and alleviate boredom and stress. Additionally, social factors contribute to women’s gambling habits, as peer pressure from colleagues, friends, family members, and acquaintances may influence their participation.

In addition to these factors, researchers found it noteworthy how women discuss gambling, as mentioned earlier. Not all women use the term “gambling,” opting instead for phrases such as “getting my free spins,” “placing a bet,” or “going to the bingo.” In essence, the language used may potentially obscure some of the risks associated with the activity.

Overall, this research is particularly timely, as the gender gap among gamblers is rapidly closing. Consequently, efforts to address the issue should focus on both genders, rather than solely on men, who traditionally form the predominant demographic among gamblers.