Is It Time for Women to Embrace Sports Betting?

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Hearing a group of women talk about the latest odds for NFL matches or discussing fantasy football is rare, even though they are watching sport in higher and higher numbers. Some think it’s because it doesn’t interest them, others believe it’s the result of a male dominated betting industry.

Sports betting is often seen as a man’s world. Adverts target young men, while women, despite making up almost half of the US’s sports fans, are overlooked. Now, sports betting companies are trying to change that. But why is that? And will it give more exposure to women’s sports?

Women NFL football fans are rising

In 2020, women made up 47 percent of all the NFL football fans – and the number is growing. So perhaps it’s not surprising that companies like FanDuel are trying to tap into this unexplored market. For far too long sportsbooks and fantasy leagues have simply assumed that women would not be interested, often based on the assumption that women are too risk averse. But the reality is that they are more likely to make use of betting offers on sites like than companies have previously thought. And if they do, the industry will grow exponentially. 

Gender stereotypes are still a barrier

But right now, the biggest barrier is the way that ads and marketing are excluding women entirely. Everything is geared towards men. And that’s a shame since there are a lot of social benefits from betting on matches, if not to mention the monetary rewards. Women who enjoy the NFL can put their knowledge to good use by wagering on match results. Although research from City University in London suggests that women dislike financial risk taking, this might prove to be a benefit in betting as it lowers the risk of gambling addiction. It also could mean that women do more prep work before wagering, leading to more profitable wins.   


Paving the way for women’s sports

Getting more women interested in sports betting could see a growth in women’s sports overall. Although many enjoy watching men’s leagues like the NFL, some believe betting could result in a growing audience for women’s sports too. That’s because betting is a social activity that encourages whoever is wagering to watch the matches and engage with the sports in all possible ways. So, if women were to do more sports betting, chances are they might start looking towards women’s leagues too, which could give lesser watched matches a bigger audience and more exposure. The potential is huge as sportsbooks would no doubt take notice. 

A glimpse into the future

What the future will bring for betting is still uncertain. But with sports wagering becoming legalized in more and more states across the US, and with more taking place online, women are bound to play a bigger role in the market. Whether this will have any real impact on women’s sport or simply mean that more money is spent on popular men’s leagues like NFL is still too early to tell. But there will no doubt be changes in the years to come. 


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