Female gamblers are increasingly moving towards different forms of online gambling, but the National Lottery remains the most popular product amongst women.
According to the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) research released for last week’s International Women’s Day, 42% of women gambled in the previous four weeks, with the most widely used verticals being the National Lottery, scratchcards and bingo, as well as other forms of lottery.
UKGC noted a trend that demonstrated that women are increasingly switching from playing National Lottery draws in-person to participating in online lotteries.
In the category of women aged over 35, the rate of online gambling has increased by 8% between 2017 and 2021, leading the UKGC to assert that “we also know that online gambling is becoming increasingly popular amongst women of all ages”.
In particular, women aged 35 to 54 were the most likely to gamble at 32%, with lower and older age groups participating less, although the UK’s regulator detailed that “lotteries are universally popular” across age demographics.
Younger women were more likely to bet privately within their friendship groups, in addition to playing fruit and slot machines in gaming centres and arcades.
The research acknowledged problem gambling statistics, with the Commission finding that female problem gambling and low-risk rates are lower than those among men, at 0.2% and 0.9% respectively. Meanwhile, the moderate risk rate stands at 1.4%, similar to that of their male counterparts.
One key finding from the study was that some women, as one respondent put it in her own words, have a “love-hate relationship with gambling”, balancing risks with entertainment.
The UKGC detailed: “It’s important to note here that there have, for a while, been questions about the suitability of the tools that are being used to accurately measure and identify female problem gamblers and some have suggested that the statements covered by the PGSI may not be as effective for women as they are for men. This is a really important area that we’re working to better understand.”
Using the evidence to influence decision-making, UKGC stated that it plans to continue the survey on a regular basis, whilst also increasing the sample size to bolster the findings from its existing quarterly telephone survey.
The UKGC concluded: “This will significantly enhance our ability to understand gambling behaviours amongst subgroups of the population, including women, and to enable us to better tell the stories of their experiences and identify ways that we can improve regulation and reduce gambling harm.”