2 Jun

Gambling on Pokies: Splitting Hairs between the Genders

Differences between Men and Women Gambling on PokiesThroughout the years, a multitude of studies have shown that Australians have the most profound love for gambling. Of all the ways to place a bet, gambling on pokies is the most dominant form among Aussies. Oddly enough, there’s an interesting set of differences between how and why men and women play poker machines.

Based on a throng of surveys and research materials, men play for different reasons than women. Their bodies have a different reaction to situations of winning and losing. They even respond differently when displaying addictive behavior.

Motivation for Gambling on Pokies

Statistically speaking, men and women play poker machines for completely different reasons. While both see it as a form of entertainment and cultivate enjoyment from the process – particularly when winning – the motivation behind it differs immensely.

Gambling on pokies could easily be compared to the types of movies men and women are commonly drawn to. Men tend to prefer action and suspense movies, whereas women are often drawn to dramas, romantic comedies, and other real-life situational films. With that being said…

The majority of men gamble because they find the activity exciting. They get a rush from this and other risk-taking activities. Women, on the other hand, most often play poker machines as a means of escape. It might be an outlet for frustration or otherwise unsatisfying situations at home.

According to one study, the two most common reasons women gamble are to “cheer myself up”, and to “get relief from stress”.

Age Gap In Gender-Related Gambling

Men are in it for the adrenaline rush, so they tend to start gambling at a much younger age than women, often in their twenties or thirties. Since women are more prone to gamble as an escape mechanism, they generally don’t start until they are older. They may become bored at home once the kids grown up, or their relationship may turn sour over the years. Whatever the cause, women are more likely to become gamblers after the age of 40.

Gambling Addiction in Men and Women

Based on the reasons why men and women are gambling on pokies, you can probably guess which one is more likely to develop an addiction. That undesirable award goes to the ladies.

Studies have indicated that nearly twice as many women display problematic gambling behavior than men.

However, addiction can be more difficult to detect in men than women. This can be attributed to the old adage that females ‘wear their heart on their sleeve‘, while men are more prone to bottled up anger. When a gambling addict is losing, that generalized description becomes visibly discernible, especially in women.

According to a pair of recent Australian studies that compared male and female reactions to gambling on pokies, one of the first “red flag” indicators that a male gambler may be developing a problem is when they respond aggressively to a poker machine.

When they are losing, men may kick or hit the machine they are playing. They may choose to stand, even when a seat is available, hovering over the machine in a territorial manner, as if to indicate this is their machine and everyone else better back off. They may also speak angrily to staff mebers and other people around them.

When women display problem gambling behavior, they rarely react with aggression, instead displaying depression like symptoms. They appear visibly sad or crestfallen, and may even begin crying.

This information has been invaluable to problem gambling research centers, and is being used to train casino employees to detect problem gambling behavior and offer assistance people gambling on pokies.