Does your sex reflect your choice of casino game?

Men and women are inherently different, that’s a psychological fact we have drummed into us from the moment we’re born. From the second the midwife declares “it’s a boy/girl” and wraps the male baby in a blue blanket or the female in a pink blanket, our expected gender roles are cut out for us. Men are expected to be tough, protective and virile while women softer, gentler and maternal.

These intrinsic gender traits are the driving force behind many marketing ploys, with all kinds of products targeted specifically towards either of the sexes. So what about casino games? Are certain games directed specifically at either males or females? And does your sex reflect your choice when it comes to deciding which casino game to gamble on?

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Why are men and women drawn to different casino games?

When it comes to dissecting the sexes, not a single stone lies unturned and the psychology behind gambling is no different. Many studies have been done into whether or not men and women play different casino games and the reasons behind these preferences. Most studies on the matter relate to land based casinos, but the same theories can be applied to online gambling.

Studies have shown that men are drawn to skill based games like blackjack and poker and are more likely to frequent the table games within a casino rather than hit up the slots. The psychological reasoning behind this is that by nature men are wired with the desire to dominate and outsmart their rivals, subconsciously competing for alpha-male status. Skill games give men the chance to exercise their instinctively competitive nature, receiving an ego boost when they’re able to outsmart their competitors and revel in the glory of a win. Men are also bigger thrill seekers, so will look to the games that provide the biggest thrills, which is why men are more likely to be high rollers and place high stake wagers on risky games like craps and baccarat.

On the contrary, women are more social creatures and tend to flock to luck based games like slots, bingo, lotto or scratchies as these games require less attention to detail, allowing more focus on the social aspects of gambling. Women also desire a sense of community, which is why you’ll find more women in online bingo rooms and utilising chat features at online casinos. Females are more likely to choose their casino games based on the desire for entertainment and the chance to interact with others rather than purely thrill seeking.

Do men or women gamble more often?

The difference in gambling behaviour between the sexes doesn’t just lie with game preferences. Studies have shown that in land based casinos and online gambling venues men are more likely to gamble more often and with higher stakes than women. One of the biggest reasons for this difference is the motivators as to why people gamble.

Studies have shown men gamble for the excitement factor, for that rush of the thrill, while women were more likely to gamble to escape the stress of daily life, more like a distraction or social outlet. It’s that thrilling feeling that produces adrenaline and triggers the reward responses in the brain, which is why men gamble more than women. It all comes down to hormones, with testosterone being the driving force behind gambling — a scientifically proven fact as males with lower testosterone levels are less likely to gamble than men with higher testosterone levels.

Men are also much more likely to become problem gamblers than women, due in part to the higher desire for risk taking but also due to other psychological differences, like the fact men are more likely to consume alcohol than women. Higher alcohol consumption leads to poor decision making skills, with men more likely to make high-stake wagers or bet outside of their means once intoxicated.

There are many contributing factors beyond sex as to what makes a person gamble, with things like age, location, education, marital status and income also playing a big part into the gambling habits of individuals.

Is online gambling targeted at men?

Playboy Bunny blackjackTheoretically, online casino operators aim their services at both men and women, with the desire to attract both sexes to their venues. However, just like any successful business, online vendors focus their marketing strategies towards the main target audience most likely to spend money at their site, which as the research outlined above shows, is men. As males are more likely to gamble and have a higher tendency to make higher wagers, online casinos target men, or more specifically, the heterosexual male by featuring attractive women on their advertisement banners and homepages. This is also evident by games like the Playboy live dealer suite or Immersive Roulette, games hosted by attractive female croupiers that carry sex appeal to draw players in.

In saying that, women make up a large number of the registered players frequenting online casinos and there are many games targeted at a female audience. There are even some casinos that specifically target women, evident in the use of pastel colours, cute animation and even floral designs.

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