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Women and Sports Betting


Sports betting has traditionally been a male-dominated industry, but the number of women participating in sports betting is on the rise. Let’s take a closer look into women and sports betting, and why there is a growing number of women participating in sports betting and developing addictions.

Is Sports Betting Gambling?

Firstly, it’s important to understand that yes, sports betting is gambling. It is argued that it is not, since sports betting is more skill-based than casino games like the slots.

The legalization of sports betting is growing in the United States, leading many to believe that sports betting is safe, and is not the same as gambling.

However, in sports betting, you are still wagering money on an unknown outcome, which is gambling.

Why Female Sports Betting is On the Rise

Females are quickly becoming more involved in sports betting, and the rate at which women are signing up for sports betting apps is nearly double that of men.

In 2019, the American Gaming Association found that 31% of core sports betting customers are women, while another study found that women make up 47% of all sports fans.

With more women entering the industry, perceptions of it being a "man's game" are changing, and sports betting is becoming more inclusive.


Here are some of the reasons why more females are getting into sports betting.

Gambling Ads

Women are being targeted with gambling ads because sportsbooks see a big opportunity for female customers. One of FanDuel’s very clever ads writes, “Tired of never being invited to play fantasy football? We were too.” The sports betting industry is attempting to break down the belief that sports betting is only for men.

Increased Accessibility

Women are able to place bets from the comfort of their own homes on mobile devices.

Legalization

More women are choosing to place bets now that sports betting is legal in many states.

Increased Visibility of Women’s Sports

The more that women are represented in sports, the more comfortable they feel with watching sports and participating in sports betting.

Increased Social Acceptance

These days, sports betting is very socially accepted, and even encouraged. Women who felt excluded from sports betting in the past due to its male dominance, are now starting to participate in sports betting.


Risks of Sports Betting

Although sports betting is legal in many states, doesn't mean it is risk-free. Here are some of the risks associated with sports betting.

Unpredictable outcomes - No matter how familiar you are with a certain sport or the teams, you cannot predict the outcome of a game. Financial stress - There is no guarantee of winning a sports bet. This can lead to financial stress when you place a bet that doesn’t turn out how you had hoped. Skewed Odds - Sportsbooks will often offer larger payouts for outcomes that are less likely, in order to get more bettors to place a bet on that outcome. This means that when you bet on this outcome and lose, the sportsbook gets to keep your money. Addiction - Sports betting is basically designed to be addictive. If you aren’t careful, it can quickly take over your life, causing excessive spending and creating strains on your relationships.

The Female Gambling Stigma

If a woman develops a gambling problem, she is unlikely to seek help, due to the massive stigma around female gambling and addiction.


This is largely due to the fact that gambling tends to be seen as a male activity. There is also a lack of representation of women in gambling addiction research and treatment.

This keeps women from attending support groups such as Gamblers Anonymous, because they worry that these meetings will be male-dominated.

Women are also generally perceived to be responsible caretakers and nurturers, which causes female gamblers to feel irresponsible and out of control.

For these reasons, women who struggle with gambling addiction may feel ashamed or embarrassed to seek help, and many end up suffering in silence.


Resources for Female Gamblers

If you are a woman struggling with a gambling disorder, you are not alone.

Here are a few Facebook groups we recommend:

Here are a few social media accounts we recommend:

  • The Girl Gambler (Twitter) - Recovering gambler, Stacey Goodwin, shares her story of gambling addiction, and empowers women to seek help.

  • The Broke Girl Society (Podcast) - Podcast host, Christina is a recovering problem gambler who speaks to other problem gamblers about the struggles of dealing with their addiction, with the hope of erasing the stigma and shame around female gambling addiction.

  • The Bet Free Life (YouTube Channel) - A long-form show about gambling addiction, help for gambling addiction, recovery, and the impact of the gambling industry on gambling addiction.

  • Gambling Got the Girls (Podcast) - Two recovering female gamblers discuss their experience with gambling addiction and being in recovery. The goal is to bring awareness to the public about gambling addiction and how to seek help.

Tips for Betting on the Super Bowl Responsibly

More than seven out of ten women who placed a bet on sports in the U.S. in 2020 and 2019, gambled on the Super Bowl.

With the upcoming Super Bowl of the Philadelphia Eagles vs. the Kansas City Chiefs, you may be considering getting involved in the action and placing some bets.

Here are some things to keep in mind before placing a bet.

Set a budget - Only spend what you can afford to spend.

Take a break - If you are betting constantly, this could be a problem. Take frequent breaks, and try to enjoy the game without placing bets all the time.

Educate yourself - Familiarize yourself with the types of bets, the sport and the teams before placing bets.

Don’t chase losses - The biggest way people lose money while betting is by trying to win back the money they lost. Accept the loss, and move on.

Don’t bet while under the influence - Placing bets while under the influence of alcohol or drugs can lower your inhibitions, leading you to spend excessive amounts, or make poor betting decisions.

Treatment for Female Gamblers

At Algamus, we have worked with many female clients, who we have led through a female-focused treatment program. Since men and women process their addiction differently, it’s important that men and women receive treatment that works best for them.


Our team of gambling counselors understand the psychology behind why women gamble compulsively compared to men, and are well-equipped to treat women from all phases of life with various types of gambling disorders.

Our female-focused residential gambling treatment program consists of cognitive behavioral therapy, group therapy, mindfulness, and more.

For more information on how Algamus can help, view testimonials from our clients, or speak to our gambling counselors who can help you determine the next best steps in your recovery journey.

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