According to GWS research

Over 4.6M women joined sports betting apps in 2021; female users now signing up at faster rate than men

Reading time 2:53 min

According to a new analysis by Global Wireless Solutions (GWS), more women are participating in sports betting as it gains popularity across the United States due to the legalization of the activity in more states. More than 4.6 million women signed up for sportsbook apps in 2021, accounting for a growth of 115% year-over-year

While the number of male users still exceeds females by 250%, the rate of men using sportsbook betting apps grew by a lower 63% in the same period. The biggest apps in US sportsbook gambling saw up to 1 million new female users sign up

GWS found that FanDuel brought in more new US female users in 2021 than any other sportsbook gambling company, with an estimated 1.7 million women joining since the previous year. Second was DraftKings, which added an estimated 900,000 new female users.

BetRivers, along with its associated New Jersey outlet PlaySugarHouse, also succeeded in attracting new female users to the extent that the company now has a higher proportion of women than men in its user base, accounting for around 54% to 46%. The company saw approximately 600,000 women sign up in 2021, compared to just under 380,000 men. 

This growth was part of a broader trend that has seen the number of sportsbook app users double every NFL season following a series of bills across numerous states that have made online sports betting legal. However, much of this increase in app usage has been driven by the younger generations, with those aged between 25 and 44 showing double the monthly sportsbook app usage than any other age group.

Despite the fact that the statistics show significant growth in female users across different sportsbook platforms, GWS found that women tend to use mobile betting apps less frequently throughout the year. 70% of female app users only engage with the apps for 1-5 weeks per year, compared to 61% of male users. 

It was also found that the vast majority of smartphone sportsbook gamblers only use the apps intermittently, with over 64% engaging with them for no more than five weeks across the year. However, the findings show that those who give gambling apps a constant use make up for it with the top 5% of users making up over 51% of all app use. The top 20% of users are responsible for 83% of sportsbook app usage.

GWS also used its consumer panel to measure the perceptions of 663 American adult gamblers, finding that sportsbook bettors reported losing money less frequently than bookmakers’ profits might suggest. When surveyed 29% of sportsbook app users said they had lost more than they had won, but the same amount 29% also said they won more, overall, than they had lost.  

Paul Carter, CEO of Global Wireless Solutions

This seemingly over-inflated view of sportsbook winnings also adds explanation to the reactions many sportsbook gamblers had to a loss. Rather than reducing the amount spent on bets or quitting altogether when they lose, the data showed that sports gamblers often doubled down, with 17% increasing the amount placed on the next bet. Other common reactions to losing money on sports bets include swearing in public (12%), getting drunk (10%) and throwing one’s phone in disgust (6%).

In an official press release, Paul Carter, CEO, Global Wireless Solutions, spoke about these results and said:  “The power of increasingly sophisticated applications, smarter mobile phones and ever stronger digital connectivity has made many aspects of our lives easier and more convenient – and now, this includes sportsbook betting. It seems that the increase in mobile betting has enabled sportsbook app makers to reach demographics they had historically struggled to attract, including women and younger adults."

"While it is of course important for people to bet in a responsible way, it’s interesting to see how superior digital connectivity is allowing industries to adapt and reach new audiences. One of the most beneficial aspects of the proliferation in mobile technology is its increasingly catch-all nature, with new groups turning to trends and experiences they might have previously ignored," he added.

The survey was conducted from November to December 2021 using GWS’ OneMeasure Consumer Panel. The results were based on a total sample of 663 adult respondents aged 18+. 

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