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If I were to ask you to close your eyes and picture a sports bettor in your mind, how likely is it that this sports bettor would be a male? The answer is: very likely.
When we think of sports betting, we think of a world dominated by men.
Whether we are on the phone with a customer service representative who works for one of our recommended offshore sportsbooks, or whether we are interacting with our bookie, we are likely men in conversation with men.
Our perception of the sports betting world being dominated by men has other sources.
In The Hogan Family, it is Dave and his friends, not Sandy, who get into sports betting. The same is true for Eddie and Waldo in Family Matters.
Our sense that it is exclusively men who engage in sports betting is an outgrowth of our participation in a culture that has different expectations for men and women. The entire sports world has traditionally been run by men.
While women occupy a greater role, these are confined to sideline reporters and cheerleaders. Female analysts, such as those specializing in the NBA, remain a stark minority. These analysts remain subject to sexist criticism.
This tendency to criticize the likes of Doris Burke, despite her competence and knowledge of basketball, is reflective of men’s expectation that women leave sports to them. The sense that sports betting is a man’s activity is just a subset of this wider gendered perception.
Let the data speak for itself: sports betting is not just actually a man’s activity. There has been an exponential increase in the number of women who are using sports betting apps.
From 2021 to 2022, the number of female users grew by 115%. To put the point in numbers, in that year, 4.6 million women joined at least one sports betting app.
It’s No Surprise
This growth in female sports betting app users couldn’t have come as a surprise. Already in 2019, the American Gaming Association determined that women made up 31 percent of sports betting customers.
So many women have been betting on sports because a lot of sports fans are women. It might not seem this way to many people because many people assume that the women who attend sports games are just there to keep their husband company.
But studies have shown that nearly half — 47% — of all sports fans are women. Men who don’t watch women’s sports would be less likely to perceive the female presence in the sports world.
But women do watch the WNBA and they do like to watch the men play, too.
Desire for Customers
Sports betting companies are indiscriminate: they want users, regardless of their gender. So it stands to reason, especially in view of the large number of women who like sports, that they should try to appeal to women.
Teasers, parlays, and other forms of betting will appeal to every human being — every human wants to make a lot of money and to make it fast. Sports betting sites also offer women’s sports, such as the WNBA.
Women have in recent years been registering for sports betting apps at higher rates than men because they represent a demographic that sports betting sites are still tapping into.
The daughter whose father declined to explain how football works and other women who have been excluded from sports as a consequence of male prejudices can take matters into their own hands.
Instead of relying on help from discriminatory fathers and brothers, they can use their own private mobile devices to join the sports betting world — sports betting apps won’t discriminate against women.
When you’re looking to confer with somebody knowledgeable, when you’re looking for someone to look over your betting card, be sure to remain open to women.
Getting Women More Involved
The readiness of women to join mobile betting apps should teach us all a lesson. If you have a daughter or a sister who sees you watching football and asks you to explain what’s happening, you should get her involved.
Answer her questions. Tell her how to understand what sees on the television. Even explain to her how what she sees on television could lead to you making more money. Women can like sports and they can be members of the sports betting community that are just as valuable as men.
There are already some women in high places, such as Kelly Stewart, who made it to the position of vice president of a company that publishes sports betting content. But there are likely still women out there who, owing to their gender, have not found their place in the sports betting world.
Even if women do get excluded from sports in social settings, sports betting apps enable them to satisfy their curiosity and to engage in sports betting on their own.