Gambling has an impact on such a mass scale it can’t really be measured. Online gambling has enabled people to gamble with freedom of nobody else knowing if they wish. An overall figure of how many people gamble in the World can’t be calculated. However, Gambling Commission calculated the gross gambling yield of the Great Britain gambling industry following March 2018 at a staggering £14.4 billion. It is clear that the industry is booming, but who does and who doesn’t gamble?
Traditionally, males are more associated with gambling then females. This is backed by history in some ways. Card games like poker and blackjack were played in taverns, where the majority of people would be men. This was also the case for betting on horses, which is a form of gambling enjoyed by both genders today. Pubs today more often than not are accommodated by at least one slot machine or so. However, in the 18th and 19th century, British pubs hosted some unlawful forms of betting like ratting, a gruesome show where bets were placed on how many rats a dog could kill in a certain time. But is it still the case today? The expansion of online gambling means that anyone can gamble from wherever they wish. With the rise of equality, this enabled females to engage in the world of Gambling more than they ever have before.
Statistics from the UK Gambling Commission found that in 2016 62% of men admitted to some sort of gambling activity in the past year. Closely following that was 52% of women who had done some sort of gambling in the past year. However, it should be noted that location plays a pivotal impact on gambling participation. Someone who lives in the country is less likely to gamble than someone who lives in a built up city with accessible casinos and book makers. But, it is evident that the female gamblers are increasing. Both genders have rather different gambling behaviours. Men are renowned for games that require some skill or knowledge like poker or sports betting. Whereas females are stereo-typically more drawn to games of chance like bingo or slots, which don’t take much process of thought. Considering this, could the launch of independent tipster websites who post daily free tips for the general public have had an effect on the rise in female gamblers? With the launch of online gambling, the rise in female gamblers isn’t surprising. The gender divide in advertising also makes it clear who gambling companies are trying to target:
The above video features strictly just women, the man is made to leave and the music and use of the colour pink are all clear indications who they’re trying to target. Bingo has always been seen as a more female friendly game as opposed to male, but male players make up around 55% of all online bingo bets. So maybe the traditional gender lines are starting to fade with the introduction of online gambling?
Contrastingly, a Bet365 featuring ‘hard man’ Ray Winstone as the face of it. The use of dark colours and a big tough guy promoting some of the site’s different football bets screams out to a male audience. He has also been used for numerous Bet365 adverts, and is now almost associated with the company when people picture it. This indirectly says bet with Ray, be like Ray. The adverts are also very commanding, as if he’s telling people to do so.
The Gambling Commission found that from the year to December 2017 97% of gamblers gambled at home. This clearly goes down to how easily accessible it is now, and it’s commonly used as a way of escaping from reality to relax. But when does it become a problem? Gambling and other risk taking behaviours has been positively correlated with testosterone. This is a factor as to why men are known for gambling more than women. It has been proven that men gamble more frequently and with higher stakes than women do. A survey asked 1000 people who had gambled online in the previous 4 weeks that if they won £500, would they cash it in immediately or wager some more? The answers found that 72.3% of women said they would cash in a £500 win. This compares to only 61% of men. Women tend to be more cautious when it comes to decision making, which may be beneficial for them in the gambling industry, as opposed to men.
There is relevant support and assistance that exists for people who start to have issues with the way they gamble. It has been identified as a problem that needs addressing, and there is free helplines and medical support that can be used. There is also settings on online betting sites that let gamblers put a limit on how much they are allowed to wager over a certain period, and can even be blocked from accessing gambling sites full stop. However, due to the mass amounts of gambling sites that exist today, there is plenty of choice for people who block themselves from one account to just sign up with another. The commission found that on average, online gamblers have four accounts with online gambling operators. This shows how simple it is for people to get around it, and can be rather dangerous. Although, there is a self-exclusion facility for gambling addicts to ban themselves from gambling premises. A multi-operator self-exclusion facility is being developed for online gambling companies, called GAMSTOP. The first phase of GAMSTOP includes a large number of online gambling websites (but not all of them) and is now available for consumers to sign up to. From the 2017 report, it was found men are more likely to be classified as problem gamblers with 1.5% of men identified as such compared to 0.2% of women.
Look out for next week’s blog post which will focus on problem gambling, and if you haven’t seen last week’s post you can here.