More than just bingo: Figures reveal gambling habits of UK’s women

  • Report commissioned by UK Gambling Commission finds 59% of UK women have gambled in the past year
  • Gambling most popular among women aged 55 to 64
  • Just 2% of women had played at online casinos in the last year, but lotteries and scrathcards hugely popular
  • Still far behind men in terms of participation in sports betting and casino games

A report has helped to shed light on the gambling habits of UK women and revealed what wagering activity is most popular across the nation’s females.

Women's participation in gambling in the UK has been revealed in new statistics released by the UK Gambling Commission.
Women’s participation in gambling in the UK has been revealed in new statistics released by the UK Gambling Commission.

The report was commissioned by the UK Gambling Commission by gathering data from a number of recent surveys in England, Scotland and Wales, with the aim of examining the issue of problem gambling – an increasingly high profile political concern in the UK in recent years, with fixed odds betting terminals currently featuring most prominently under the microscope.

Among the many revealing statistics in the report is the fact that 59 percent of UK women have gambled in the past year.

This figure is less than the 66 percent recorded for men, who remain much more likely than women to take part in almost all gambling activities.

Offline bingo still a firm favorite

Buying National Lottery tickets is the most popular form of gambling among UK women, with 43 per cent having purchased a lottery ticket in the last twelve months.

Scratchcards and other forms of lottery were the next popular forms of gambling.

For scratchcards and other lotteries, the participation rate was the same for men and women at 23% and 15% respectively.

Most forms of gambling show a similar level of popularity among men and women, with the exception of offline bingo.

This was the one area of gambling in which women had a higher level of participation than men, with 8% of UK women having played bingo – twice as many as the comparable figure for men.

The report also showed that middle-aged women are more likely to participate in gambling than other age demographics.

The gambling participation rate for women aged 55 to 64 was 65 percent, while for women aged 16-24, it was 50 percent and over 75s it was 48 percent.

Problem gambling much less

Women were much less likely to have problems with gambling compared to men.

By the measures given, the problem gambling rate was 0.1% or 0.2%, compared with men at 1.1% or 1.3%.

Women were at their most vulnerable to problem gambling in their earlier years – from age 16-34.

Betting and casinos less popular

Only 2% of women played at an online casino in 2015, the year the data was gathered from, less than the 5% of men who did the same.

The controversial fixed odds betting terminals were also unappealing – just 1% of women used them compared with 6% of men.

Online sports betting is also not much of a turn on – only 2% of women engaged in that activity compared with 12% of men.

But a bet on the horses was popular – 9% of women had a flutter in 2015, compared with 15% of men. Sadly for poker, 0% of women played a hand in pubs or clubs, although there was no data for online.

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