Casinos & bingo the gambling of choice for South African women

The role of women in South African gambling needs to be better unerstood

A RESEARCH study into gambling and women has been released, and it shows the fairer sex are more likely to play lotto and casino games than men.

Released by the National Gambling Board and titled Gambling Patterns Among Women, the report showed women were also much less likely to gamble on sports than men.

Overall the report showed men are much more likely to gamble than women, but a comparison between the 2019 statistics and those from five years earlier show women’s share of the total Rand gambled has increased.

The categories of gambling that women are more likely than men to do are Lucky Draws (51.1%), Scratch Cards (54.4%), retail casinos (52%) and bingo (67.6%). Men on the other hand were far more likely to bet on sports and racing events.

NGB also released the findings of a UK report from GambleAware, titled “Women in Focus: a secondary data analysis of the Gambling Great and Support Study”, which is one of the first reports detailing gender-specific data analysis.

The report says 35% of problem women gamblers come from black, asian or minority backgrounds and are classed as “high risk” of harm from gambling. Males from the same ethnic backgrounds made up just 29% of those classed in high-risk categories.

GambleAware CEO Marc Etches said it was important to understand the differences in female vs male gambling patterns.

“This research indicates that women, particularly in the capacity as an effected other, experience gambling harms in different ways to men and this report is an important first step in understanding those differences,” he said.

Of major concern is that 39% of women surveyed in the UK study said the stigma and embarrassment attached to having a gambling problem stopped them from seeking treatment.

The NGB did not release any further statistics about the role women play in gambling in South Africa, with the report inspired by National Women’s Week. There was also no statistics released on the growing role of online sports betting sites and gambling.

You can read the full report about women and gambling in South Africa released by the NGB here.


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