Gender Comparison Research Data Summary

Research and Data


Gender Comparison Gambling Data

Here, you’ll find a summary of problem gambling research data specific to Gender Comparisons from our Resource Library. For more information click research citation links.

For quick reference, data topic categories on this webpage include:



General Gender Gambling Data


  • 2x the rate of frequent gambling among males compared with females (Welte, 2011).
    • 28% of males engage in frequent gambling, as compared with 13% of females (Welte, 2011).
  • Male gambling involvement escalates earlier in life and have higher rates of gambling at a younger age than females (Welte, 2011).
  • The odds of gambling in the past year were significantly higher for males than females (Welte, 2011).
  • Frequent gambling is near its highest prevalence by (Welte, 2011):
    • 18-19 years-old for males.
    • 30+ year-olds for females.
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Gender Aging/ Older Adults Data


  • Women over the age of 60 have a risk of problem gambling that is equivalent to, or even higher than, that of men in the same age group (Morgane, 2019).
  • The prevalence of at-risk or problem gamblers is high among women over 65 years of age (Morgane, 2019).
  • Retired women over the age of 75 are targeted gamblers most susceptible to gambling marketing (particularly to electronic games machines) (Morgane, 2019).


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Gender Asian Communities Data


  • The root cause of Asian women who were in painful situations of physical and emotional abuse stemmed from uncontrolled gambling by a spouse (Colby et al, 2022).
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Gender Co-Occurring SUD Data


  • Rates of gambling and drinking in the past year is consistent for both (Barnes et al., 2013):
    • Males (81% vs. 62% respectively), and
    • Females (70% and 57% respectively).
  • Males have 2x the rate of frequent and problem gambling, and heavy drinking and alcohol abuse, than females (Barnes et al., 2013).
  • Alcohol abuse is highly prevalent for males and young people, in particular, across neighborhoods of all types (Barnes et al., 2013).
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Gender College & Young Adult Data


Identifying as male.
  • 5x the odds of being a heavy or problem gambling male as females regardless of college student status (Barnes, 2017).
  • 38% and 31% are the rates of heavy gambling for non-college and college young men, respectively (Barnes, 2017).
  • Is the most important and consistent risk factor for gambling behaviors whether in college or non-college settings (Barnes, 2017).
  • The most popular forms of gambling for males are lottery, card games, pools and raffles, sports betting and games of skill (Barnes, 2017).
Identifying as female.
  • 5% rate of non-college females were identified as struggling with problem gambling (Barnes, 2017).
  • 2% rate of college females were identified as struggling with problem gambling (Barnes, 2017).
  • 12% of non-college females report heavy gambling (compared to 6% of college females) (Barnes, 2017).
  • 5% of non-college females struggle with gambling harm (compared to 2% of females attending college) (Barnes, 2017).
  • The most popular forms of gambling for females are lottery, card games, pools and raffles, and bingo (Barnes, 2017).


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Gender and Sports Betting Data


  • 28% of men bet on sports versus 12% of women (NCPG, 2021).



  • 54% of NCAA men (31% of NCAA women) think sports wagering is a harmless pastime (NCAA, 2017).
    • These figures are substantially higher among those NCAA men (76%) and NCAA women (61%) who wager on sports.
    • 50% of NCAA men who bet on sports think they can consistently make a lot of money on the activity.
      • They also feel that many others violate NCAA wagering bylaws.
      • 25% believe coaches do not take these rules seriously.
  • Women engage in nearly all gambling activities at much lower rates than men (NCAA, 2017).
  • For men, although playing cards for money was the most common gambling entry point for current NCAA men, we are increasingly seeing sports wagering being cited as their first gambling activity (NCAA, 2017).
  • Division I men’s basketball and football players continue to be seen by gamblers as important potential sources for information that can provide a betting edge (NCAA, 2017).
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Gender Veteran Data


  • Males were more likely to report both at-risk gambling and problem gambling when compared to females (Metcalf et al, 2022).



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Research Recommendations

  • Age- and gender-targeted prevention and intervention strategies are warranted to reduce the serious consequences of gambling among young adult males in the U.S. population (Barnes, 2017).


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Metcalf, Olivia & Lawrence-Wood, Ellie & Baur, Jenelle & Hooff, Miranda & Forbes, David & O’Donnell, Meaghan & Sadler, Nicole & Hodson, Stephanie & Benassi, Helen & Varker, Tracey & Battersby, Malcolm & Mcfarlane, Alexander & Cowlishaw, Sean. (2022). Prevalence of gambling problems, help-seeking, and relationships with trauma in veterans. PLOS ONE. 17. e0268346. 10.1371/journal.pone.0268346. (Link to Research)

Guillou Landreat M, Cholet J, Grall Bronnec M, Lalande S and Le Reste JY (2019) Determinants of Gambling Disorders in Elderly People—A Systematic Review. Front. Psychiatry 10:837. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2019.00837. (Link to Research)

Breivik, G., Sand, T. S., & Sookermany, A. M. (2019). Risk-Taking and Sensation Seeking in Military Contexts: A Literature Review. SAGE Open, 9(1). (Link to Research)

Winters, Ken & Derevensky, Jeffrey. (2019). A Review of Sports Wagering: Prevalence, Characteristics of Sports Bettors, and Association with Problem Gambling. Journal of Gambling Issues. 43. 10.4309/jgi.2019.43.7. (Link to Research)

This study is the first major national research on gambling issues and public attitudes about gambling since the 1999 National Gambling Impact Study Commission. Conducted in 2018, this study surveyed more than 28,000 U.S. consumers to understand their beliefs and attitudes of various forms of gambling. (Link to Research)

NCAA. (2017, November). Trends in NCAA Student-Athlete Gambling Behaviors and Attitudes. National Collegiate Athletic Association4. (Link to Research)

Barnes, G. M., Welte, J. W., Tidwell, M. C., & Hoffman, J. H. (2013). Effects of Neighborhood Disadvantage on Problem Gambling and Alcohol Abuse. Journal of behavioral addictions2(2), 82–89. (Link to Research)

Welte JW, Barnes GM, Tidwell MC, Hoffman JH. Gambling and problem gambling across the lifespan. J Gambl Stud. 2011 Mar;27(1):49-61. doi: 10.1007/s10899-010-9195-z. PMID: 20499144; PMCID: PMC4383132. (Link to Research)

Barnes GM, Welte JW, Hoffman JH, Tidwell MC. Comparisons of gambling and alcohol use among college students and noncollege young people in the United States. J Am Coll Health. 2010 Mar-Apr;58(5):443-52. doi: 10.1080/07448480903540499. PMID: 20304756; PMCID: PMC4104810. (Link to Research)


Further Reading