With the online gambling sector set to triple to an astounding USD25 billion by 2010, one cannot help but question the masked identity of the consumers who game online, and just how is it that these people are keeping the market alive with possibility.
According to recent media reports the world online is vastly becoming a women’s playground with at least two thirds of the majority of gamblers and poker players being of the female sex. The biggest gambling event in history, The International Casino Games, boasts at least 56 of their 100 esteemed players who are to take part in the prestigious finale tournament aboard a Caribbean cruise, are female.
So just what is it that drives the ‘fairer sex’, as they are commonly known because of the patriarchal view that women are no more than objects of beauty that to be ‘seen and not heard’, to go online and game away?
Head of Poker Girl, a website catering for the gambling needs of British women, Julian Morel says, “the majority of our [female] clients are in property, fashion and public relations (PR), and the prizes like manicures and facials are not the reason why they game online.”
Morel attributes the spike in female players on the Internet to the social aspect of gaming online. The interaction could be seen as the equivalent to a ‘girls night out’ which is typically a night when girlfriends get together and let their hair down for some fun and a good chat.
The good ol’ ladies of Wisteria Lane in the award-winning soapie, Desparate Housewives, have also been contributing to the growing interest in poker, and it is a fact that well-known female celebrities like Nicky Hilton, Jennifer Tilly and Mimi Rogers, all hold regular poker tournaments so they can duke it out with other celebrity players for the title of “Star Poker Player”. Television shows like Las Vegas and sports shows such as ESPN Poker and The Small Town Poker Tour, all add to debunking the mystery that is gambling.
Celebrity endorsements enhance the popularity of many online endeavours as can be seen with the new Palms Home Poker Host, a poker software initiative, taken on by Jamie Spears, father and mentor of the illustrious pop star Britney Spears. This only adds to the attractiveness accrued to gambling online download here and for many women who look to the stars as their role models, seeing a Britney or Ben Affleck playing poker would give them the incentive to try it out too.
Usually this leads to regular sessions online and winnings that are quite appealing when it comes to beating the odds in games like Texas Hold’em, which is proving to be a women’s favourite when gaming on the Internet.
John Hughes, Marketing Director for 7Sultans Online Casino and Royal Vegas Online Poker says, “We are seeing an increasing number of female poker players. As women tend to be more disciplined and analytical than men, poker as a sport seems to offer both a social and competitive aspect, making it the perfect ladies’ game.”
So there it is in black and white, women like the freedom that Internet gambling affords them and winning online gives them the added bonus of being independent, and being able to afford the finer things in life is just one of the incentives that any woman needs to get gaming.