Women and Gambling Addiction – The Factsheet

For decades, gambling has affected more men than women – that was a decade ago, and these claims are getting overshadowed by today’s trend. The gap is closing, and more women are meeting the criteria for compulsive gambling. National Council on Problem Gambling once stated that amongst the gamblers within the ages of 45 to 64, women outnumber men, shocking, right? Absolutely not.

What comes to mind when we hear the term “Problem gambling”? That another man has been diagnosed with the gambling condition…That is a wrong notion. Many women, as struggling with compulsive gambling, and the number keeps increasing regularly.

Quick Facts about Compulsive Gambling and Women.

  • Studies show that 95% of women who gamble use it as a medium to escape their current issues.
  • It is common amongst ladies to use gambling as a form of escapism. While relaxing, they seek to gain anonymity and ‘lone’ time. They’d distance themselves from overwhelming situations. The idea of winning money is not their primary goal.
  • They begin gambling later in life much more than men but often develop problem gambling quickly.
  • Acceleration triggers, such as significant lifestyle, retirement, or divorce, have shown to increase the chances of women becoming addicted to gambling.
  • While both men and women gamble in casinos, women often gravitate towards bingo, video poker, and slot machines. They typically react to gambling ads more so than their male counterpart.
  • Compulsive gambling is more prevalent in minority communities, and Hispanic, African American, and Native American women may be vulnerable to gambling due to the role played by gambling in these different communities.
  • Women with a severe case of gambling addiction tend to have a much higher rate of affective disorders and a history of physical abuse than men.
  • 67% of women who seek help are between ages 40 and 60.
  • According to Volberg R and Wray M., problem gambling is more heavily stigmatized for women than for men due to the gender role stereotypes.
  • Women who gamble wager more often in response to the gambling cues they notice as well as the adverts aired by the gambling companies compared to their male counterparts.
  • Adolescent girls who gamble are four times more likely than boys who venture to struggle with depression (Pantalon MV, Maciejewski PK, Desai RA, Potenza MN 2005)
  • Women are just expected as men to gamble at casinos and play the lottery. It’s a significant increase in participation over the past two decades. 
  • Once you recognize that pathological gambling affects both genders but has different causatives, and the effects are different in both men and women, you can be better informed to know and seek treatment as soon as possible.

How do women Gamble?

For women, the goal is to successfully create a medium that allows them to zone out. Creating an escape vacuum from life’s glaring reality. Playing Slot machines that encourage repetitive actions will enable them to zone in no a singular thing, and in this case, that would be the game in question. Men bet on sports games that are only a few hours in length; it could also be a few days in length. On the other hand, women love quick wins and losses; that’s why they play these games: lottery tickets, bingo, and a lottery ticket.

Problem Gambling and Women.

Human evolution has caused a slight change in gender roles, and women have moved far beyond the traditional role they played in the past. Till this day, many people see women as homemakers, caretakers, with that picture in a person’s head, it’s hard for such an individual to picture women having gambling-related problems. Most women don’t speak out about their drug and alcohol addictions because many people don’t recognize it. The fact that compulsive habits affect women; for them, that’s unfathomable.

Despite not matching the male stats, you now have female representatives in various treatment centers, one-on-one counseling sessions, and support groups.

The adverse effect of secrecy in gambling for women.

People often ignore the solitary escape mentality. The main reason women go into a gamble, to begin with, goes beyond recreational functions. Unseen by others, these underlying factors escalate to something bigger. It increases before significant others, family members, and friends. For years, the act of buying lottery tickets, playing online casinos go unnoticed. They purchase lottery tickets when they go out with friends, do grocery shopping. They subconsciously visit places that are closer to gambling establishments.

For lots of women, there’s a thin line recreational gambling and problem gambling. When gambling in secrecy can no longer be hidden due to uncontrollable circumstances, it ultimately leads to an exciting time for family and friends who find out late – this is when they notice that the savings are gone, and the properties have been mortgaged out. That is when trust turns to anger, and love turns to hate. Gambling addictions can destroy a good relationship, and sometimes, families are ruined. There’s also the legal trouble that will leave more holes in the family’s pocket.

A factsheet published on the gaming control board’s website shows that there is a link between at-risk and women problem gamblers with the following mental disorders:

  • Nicotine Dependence.
  • Social Phobia.
  • Panic Disorder.
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder.
  • Dysthymia
  • Depression.

How to find help for your problem gambling addiction.

There are support groups out there that are ready and willing to help if only you can reach out. Secrecy in women gambling has left some people broken for years. You don’t have to live your life that way. Help it out there! Our organization will help you through your dark times and lead you to through the right path thanks to our specially designed, tailor-fit programs. What do you think about our factsheet? Do you have any questions you’d like us to treat or you are struggling with gambling addiction? Feel free to drop in the comment section below; we’ll be glad to answer your questions and attend to you as soon as possible.