Men vs. Women: Is There a Difference in Problem Gambling Trends?

men and women at card table

While gambling was traditionally a gentleman’s activity, it’s now becoming popular among men and women alike. In fact, everyone who gambles does so for the same reasons: money, fun, and the thrill of a win. However, the similarities in their gambling behaviors may end here. Let’s look at the way gambling habits vary between men and women.

Men and Women Play Different Games

The most significant difference between male and female gamblers is the type of games they participate in.

Games Women Like to Play

Female gamblers typically play more slot machines, lotteries, bingo, roulette, and raffles than male gamblers. This is because women prefer to play low-risk games where they can relax and unwind. They also favor these forms of gambling because the games involve small, fixed bets and are against the dealer (rather than other players).

Games Men Like to Play

Men who gamble are drawn to games based on strategy so that they can feel they have control over the outcomes. They also prefer competition against other players and are not intimidated by wagers that are not predetermined. They crave the adrenaline rush that is associated with risky bets. For these reasons, you will find that male gamblers prefer sports betting, horse racing betting, and casino table games (like poker).

They Play at Different Times

Men and women with gambling problems often engage in gambling activities at different times. Women often complete their obligations, such as cleaning the house and helping their kids with their homework, before jumping onto their favorite online casino site. They also tend to spend short periods of time gambling on their phones when they have free time rather than spending hours on a specific site or game. It’s also rare to see female problem gamblers participating in gambling activities during social events.

In contrast, male gamblers tend to spend hours at a time gambling. They also prefer going to physical casinos or playing table games with their friends. They even see gambling as a social activity and often place bets during social gatherings.

They Wager Different Amounts

Research suggests that women place smaller bets than men because they are more pessimistic about their odds of winning. Because they suspect the chances of a win are low, female gamblers typically have small bankrolls and choose games with predetermined wagers so that they don’t risk their money when caught up in the excitement of playing.

Male gamblers, on the other hand, are very optimistic about their chances of winning big, so they are willing to place large wagers upfront. They tend to believe they can use strategy to improve their chances of winning and will go all-in even if there’s a high risk of a loss.

Their Reactions to Wins and Losses Differ

By nature, women are more emotional, so it makes sense that they would express their feelings after a loss, even inside a casino surrounded by other people. Female gamblers who lose are more likely to cry and show signs of disappointment and sadness than men. Male gamblers who lose tend to act out aggressively. They may kick or hit the table or slot machine and yell at the dealer or other players.

Men and women who gamble also behave differently when they win. Male gamblers on a winning streak are likely to bet even more and formulate aggressive strategies. Women, on the other hand, tend to cash out after a big win because they believe their chances of a better win are slim.

They Gamble in Different Locations

Women overwhelmingly prefer gambling online. This is because they have anonymity when they play. Gambling is not a widely accepted pastime for women, inciting feelings of shame. However, when they play online, they don’t have to worry about what people think. They can simply play freely.

Men frequently place bets online, especially since their most popular form of gambling is sports betting. However, they are also more likely to frequent physical casinos than women because they enjoy the social aspect of the games.

Problem Gambling Help for Men and Women

It’s important to note that these differences in gambling habits between men and women have not been presented as a way to say that women do not need to worry about their gambling patterns as men do. In fact, women are still at risk of developing a gambling disorder if their behaviors are not carefully self-regulated.
If you or a loved one appears to be suffering from a gambling problem, help is available. You can join fellow gamblers in recovery through Zoom meetings and even sign up for online gambling self-exclusion. You can also call or text 1-800-GAMBLER for additional resources and guidance from licensed professionals. Don’t hesitate to reach out; get help today.


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