Research now on new study on female gambling and the influence of pop culture on betting

Female gambling Research

Bookmakers are offering gambling markets on television programmes such as The Bachelorette starring Sophie Monk.

Deakin University launches new study on female gambling and the influence of pop culture on betting. The rise of reality television betting, female-targeted pokie machines and Instagram influencers will form part of new study on women’s changing attitudes towards gambling.

The research, undertaken by Deakin University, will analyse if the saturation of advertising is making gambling more socially acceptable for young women. Associate Professor Samantha Thomas, from Deakin’s School of Health and Social Development, said gambling companies were increasingly targeting women with a range of tailored marketing strategies.

During Melbourne Cup week in 2017, online bookmakers were using female celebrities and influencers to promote products in their social media posts. It also includes the promotion of entertainment options and women’s groups from clubs and hotels, and a range of female-centred entertainment options from the casino.

The Melbourne Cup Carnival is an unequalled world-class event that encompasses the finest racing, entertainment, fashion, culture, food and wine all in one place.  Encompassing the famous Melbourne Cup Day, along with three other key racedays, Victoria Derby Day, Crown Oaks Day and Stakes Day, the Melbourne Cup Carnival holds a unique position in world racing as there is no comparable week where crowds of such magnitude gather to celebrate thoroughbred racing.  The Melbourne Cup is the iconic race of the Carnival, with increasingly the best thoroughbreds from around the world showcasing the very best of the sport.

The manufacturers of poker machines are using branding that is much more friendly and appealing to younger women as well, including the development of Britney Spears, Ellen and Big Bang Theory themed machines. Bookmakers are even offering gambling markets on events that are popular with young women, such as The Bachelor.

Associate Prof Thomas said women’s traditional preference for luck-based, rather than skill-based, gambling is changing. Until recently online bookmakers typically gave women a decorative role in advertising, but they are now starting to feature women as the protagonist.

The new Crownbet ad specifically features a woman, Australian actress and model Nicky Whelan repeatedly using the tagline: ‘If I were a betting man’. The ad portrays a sense of female empowerment and confidence through wagering.

The new study will access if the saturation of advertising is making gambling more socially acceptable for young women, and why their attitudes towards some forms of gambling, such as sports betting, are changing.

While there has been a significant amount of research on young men and gambling, there is almost no research on the gambling behaviours of young women in Australia.  So to properly understand this behaviour to develop strategies and help reduce and prevent gambling harm among young women, researchers are looking to speak with young women aged 18-34 who have gambled on the pokies, horses, sports, or at the casino in the past year. To find out more about the study, email gambling.research@deakin.edu.au.

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