For many years, gambling has been associated with men, and not woman. It wasn’t as if woman didn’t gamble, it was just that society put gambling into a certain category in which women were deemed too pure to be associated with it. In reality, gambling has been an integral part of all cultures, sexes and races for centuries. Bingo is possibly the most obvious example of a female gambling phenomenon, along with Keno and other social gambling games.
Male orientated gambling came about simply because men prefer games of skill like Poker, Blackjack, or even games like Craps or Roulette, while woman prefer escapism gambling such as slots and other luck-based games. This would account for the abundant number of male players entering the doors of land-based casinos.
A Shift in Demographic Focus
When the first online casinos opened their digital doors back in the mid 90’s, the types of games that graced the virtual floors all seemed to target a male-orientated audience. Perhaps this was largely due to the fact that, at the time, the demographic for players who owned a home computer and were brave enough to gamble online were men between the ages of 21 and 45.
What we are seeing today is a complete shift in demographic structure. This has mostly been aided by the advancement of mobile technology and the prevalence of mobile casino games. Back when online casino games could only be accessed via a desktop computer, a large portion of gambling enthusiasts were not given the ability and freedom to play when the mood would strike.
The Mobile Gaming Revolution
Today all of that has changed. Mobile gaming has become so prevalent that the global stats for players who gamble have gone up significantly. Access is the key, and having instant access on a device that never leaves your side is certainly going to make a difference. It is no surprise then that the number of female gamblers accounts for roughly 45% of the market, and well over 48% in certain countries.
With this in mind, we have to ask ourselves, are the types of games being produced adequate for the target market? We know from the stats that men prefer card and table games while women tend to opt for slots, Scratch Cards, Bingo and Keno games. Should we not be seeing more female orientated slots then? With games like Playboy, Bikini Party and other male-orientated titles hogging the focus, are gaming developers not scaring away their true target audience?
The Allocation of Slots
Much can be said about women in gaming. For starters, women create just 15% of all the video games hitting the market. While the numbers are certainly improving, having a man at the helm does mean the game will have a certain masculine feel. That being said, we are definitely seeing a turning of the tide. Perhaps some of the developers have realised that the female slots market is growing, especially on mobile platforms.
Just a few years ago, you would be hard-pressed to find a game that had anything to do with cuddly teddy bears, butterflies, love stories or female protagonists. The games that did feature female leads were often games such as Tomb Raider, Agent Jane Blonde, Girls with Guns or Immortal Romance. It could be argued that while the games had a female lead, the portrayal of a busty, scantily clad beauties were solely for the enjoyment of male players.
Games for Women
The good news is the gaming market is balancing out and creating games for all types of players, both male and female. Consider the introduction of games like Hot City, Geisha Story and True Love. These are classic female themes at work and focus on shopping, unrequited love and a fondness for shoes. Games like Cute and Fluffy, Butterflies and other squishy games have also entered the market, much to the delight of many female players. Women have even got their own hunks on display with the Chippendales slot, which is a steamy representation of the band of male dancers known for their bulging biceps and tight thongs.
While the global casino market is still in the process of evolving, we are starting to see a slow increase in gender-neutral games, or games targeted for a female audience. At the same time, an increase in live dealer games can be seen in the mobile market, as both men and women want a more immersive casino style experience – and attractive dealers of both genders are manning the tables!