Understanding women’s gambling behavior

Accessibility, technology, and social norms can slightly be blamed for this. Meanwhile, these are just some of the few factors responsible for evolution. The world of gambling has experienced long phases of development, and circumstances have also played a huge role in women’s gambling habits. They find it hard to understand their addictive behavior.

The female gambling addiction – the context.

Now, you’d ask, why do women gamble? Also, do women risk more than men? How often do the gamble? Are women more likely to have gambling addictions? These are questions that deserve an answer. OUSC recently published research that was done to understand the psychology behind women’s gambling habits. For women, compulsive gambling is a hidden addiction.

Why do women prefer Lottery Game and Slots? Both Lottery Game and Slots offer more significant payouts. In the gambling industry, lotto and slots provide the biggest payout.

An escape mechanism.

Escapism is the name: women who talk about their fight against problem gambling always point out how they go to casinos to pursue a win all in the name of lifting a low mood. But they are more likely than men to chose the different modes of gambling, all of which are aimed at helping them escape their current trouble. ‘Thanks’ to escapism, she achieves a temporal detached state.

Female and Male Gamblers.

Both genders have different preferences as far as gambling is concerned, and this is not farfetched. Women visit a casino to have a ‘nice time’ while men prefer playing casino games individually. Generally speaking, men prefer games such as Video poker, blackjack, and poker, which are all strategic games. Men want to play games where they think they’ve got a chance to beat the house.

Women prefer games of probability, while men prefer games of skills. While men love to display their competence amongst their friends, strangers, and romantic partners, women also allow them to enjoy the social aspect of the experience.

Women who become compulsive speak of winning a bet to lift their mood and play a poker game to zone out. However, more than men, they choose modes of gambling that allow then to escape a stressful situation with 100% attention on the game. It is not uncommon for women to completely zone out through playing a game of slot or merely staring at the computer or mobile screen while gambling. They absorb themselves entirely during this period and do so until all their feelings are numbed. We call it escapism; they achieve this by completely disembodying themselves from it or by putting themselves in a detached state.

Women’s crave for casino games started right before the advent of online gambling. Though their love for slot machines was carefully concealed as their shameful secret, online casinos have made it much easier to gamble while doing undetected. As long as they’ve got a smartphone, this addiction can go on undetected.

The Excitement.

It’s possible for men to recall their gambling experience. Men are more likely to come forward and talk about their gambling problems than women. This is the exciting feeling of anticipating a win while betting. The experience is spirit-lifting, and men are more likely to leave their troubles behind as the excitement slowly helps to lift the mood, transcend a difficult time.

What’s the motivation?

Liz Karter once said: “Problem gambling is about survival; the intention being to change a distressing psychological and emotional state through experiences gained from gambling.”

Gambling addiction happens to both genders if we go deeper. Peeling it down each layer, starting with the devastating loss and piling debts., we would find the underlying cause of gambling addiction, and it is not the desire to hit the jackpot and cash out. Neither is it drive self-destruction.

Gambling addiction is about one thing, and that is survival. That’s the intention to change an emotional state via the experiences gained from gambling. Endurance is what both genders have in common. The unique paths each gender takes to get to that destination is what differentiates both.

Signs of problem gambling in women.

When compulsive gambling starts, men show aggression, while women show anxiety and sadness. In 2018, a research was carried out in Australia by Simone McCarthy and Samantha Thomas. Both found that women who experienced boredom and loneliness were at higher risk of displaying gambling addictions. The study also showed that women who got bored while playing were also at the highest risk – therefore, group visits to casinos are healthy.

Another research was done in 2017, and in this study, researchers found that men were more likely to display anger when they experience a losing streak, while women, on the other hand, display sadness and other distress signs like crying. While in a sad state, you’ll see them showing signs of depression.

But why do women gamble?

There are lots of reasons why women gamble, but one factor that stands out is her relationship. Her current relationship is either choking her or she’s not just getting enough attention. It’s safe to say that her responsibility in her current relationship that she’s in is overwhelming.

It might seem like we’ve answered this question earlier, it’s still worth discussing. Women lose their sense of self and time when she gambles more than usual. A critical part of recovery and treatment is investing more time in rediscovering themselves. Unfortunately, wasted time can never be regained.


Even though there are different viewpoints regarding women and problem gambling, one thing is clear; both genders show different signs and exhibit different behaviors in how they approach gambling. Women prefer going to the casinos for the sake of socializing with friends and enjoying every moment, which is why they play social games.

Women also react differently to pressure and show unique signs of compulsive gambling. More research studies are going, and soon, we will find out how to help women spot and prevent compulsive gambling. Hopefully, now you understand why women gamble.