The rise and rise of women gamers and gamblers
Twenty years ago, if you had been asked to describe the archetypal gamer, you would probably have painted a picture of someone who was: a) Male, b) Aged 15-25 and c) Had neither the social skills nor the complexion to venture far from his darkened bedroom.
Asked the same question about the typical gambler, you might have come up with either James Bond, all tuxedo and dry martini, or someone along the lines of Paul Newman’s Henry Gondorff in The Sting, a latter-day chain smoking, Scotch-swilling cowboy.
In both cases, the point is you would have identified the two pursuits as male-oriented. Yet today, that is simply not the case.
Female gamers outnumber the men
As far back as 2014, The Guardian newspaper reported that some 52 percent of gamers were female, yet it has taken time for the news to filter through to the game developers. Undaunted, they continued to focus on male-dominated games, where the main female role was to be rescued, fought over or in some other way restored to what, we can only assume, they saw as her rightful location in either the kitchen or the bedroom.
Three years on, however, and the landscape is finally changing, not least because of the smartphone revolution and the popularity explosion enjoyed by that other “male dominated” pastime, gambling at the casino.
Online gambling more popular than ever
Smartphones have brought gaming to a wider audience than anything the world has seen before, in terms of age as well as sex. These days, commuters are as likely to be enjoying an online game during the train journey to and from work as they are to be reading a book or newspaper. And the online casino sector is aimed squarely at this market with more and more casino’s also catering directly for female customers the most popular being 888Ladies.
The truth is, most of us like the idea of a game that is both a diverting pastime and presents the opportunity to win some money. If we lose, it is only money we would have spent on some other diversion, and if we win, that’s a bonus. And with the free deposits and bonus spins that the online casinos offer, new members are not even gambling with their own money.
Part of the lure of the online casino for female gamblers is that there is a perception, true or false, that the land-based varieties are full of the James Bond and Henry Gondorff archetypes we mentioned earlier. Another is that a night out at the casino is a major commitment, and not something most of us can do on a whim. A visit to the online version, however, can be fitted in any time, and does not require hours of preparation.
Female gamers see gaming as, above all else, a way to wind down for a few minutes between other tasks, whether it is at home or work. Casino games are perfect for this – after all, how long does it take to have a game at the slots or the spin of a roulette wheel.
Casino sites specifically aimed at women, it seems that the developers have at last!