Ladies First: Women Joining Sports Betting Apps is at a Record High 

While men remain dominant as participants on sports betting apps, the number of women signing up has increased dramatically by over 63 percent. contributor Kimberly French, a freelance horse racing writer and Assistant Director and Production Manager at the New York Racing Association, takes a look at how women are quickly adopting the sports betting boom.


I don’t remember ever not gambling. My dad had us filling out football parlays when I was in kindergarten. There were always the non-monetary side wagers, too, such as my brother having to do the dishes for a week if the Cowboys lost.  

Betting was a fact of life in my family. 

I work in horse racing, which not only is a niche sport, but up until the last several years was the only professional, yes professional, sport, where gambling was legal. Handle from racing is what drives the business, so, for me it’s always about how many people watched and wagered. 

More than 4.6 million women signed up for sports betting apps in 2021 and female users leapt by 115 percent since 2020.

This should not come as a shock. Most women watch games with their boyfriends, brothers, husbands, and fathers. They also take their sons to practice and watch from the sidelines. Why not place a wager when it’s legal? And isn’t an app such a convenient medium to use?  

It’s a no-brainer.  

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In 2019, the American Gaming Association reported that 31 percent of regular sports betting customers are women. Another study performed by Gemba discovered 47 percent of all sports fans are women.

If someone is a fan, it is only natural they are predisposed to betting because they feel a sense of identity. Women signing up for sports betting apps simply follows suit.

Also, has the increased exposure and promotion of women’s sports altered the landscape when it comes to gender imbalance? In other words, are we closing the chasm between male and female sports? 

Progress has certainly been made in that arena as many sports implemented programming during the pandemic most viewers previously had not been exposed to. In addition, many sports view fan base expansion as crucial for their survival and growth in the future.

They seek to enhance and improve sustainable revenues, bring in new fans, and construct numerous ways for people to participate.  

Again, all common-sense stuff.  

When it comes to horse racing, the shift to mobile applications rather than on-track wagering was likely more appealing to women. When all the data you need is at your fingertips and it literally takes seconds to place a $5 wager, obviously ease of access plays a major role.  

Can we use the fact more women are signing up for sports betting apps than men as an indicator of closing the gender gap in sports?  

No. It is simply a natural progression where educated, passionate women want to get in the game. And it is now easier than ever to do exactly that.

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