The majority of gambling occurs at casinos according to the data from the Illinois Problem Gambling Help Line. Females reported gambling at casinos at a 10% greater rate, when compared to their male counterparts.
Interesting gender differences can be found in the other forms of reported gambling. Lottery is the second most common form of reported problem gambling for both males and females. For females, casino and lottery gaming comprise 96.3% of all gambling, with only 3.7% of females gambling in other ways. In males, while casinos and lottery are the most common (88.3%), 11.7% participate in other forms of gambling.
BDA explored the relationship between the ages that males and females begin gambling. The data shows a noteworthy difference, males participate in gambling much earlier in life. Males begin gambling around age 10, peaking by the age of 24, after which fewer males initiate gambling. Females seem to be introduced to gambling later around age 18, and continue to be introduced at about the same rate through age 54.
By age 24, 61.1% of males have gambled, where as only 29.3% of females are introduced by the age of 24.
“I have been gambling since I was a teenager. I’d prefer not to have anything mailed to me because my wife doesn’t know how bad my gambling has become.”
The majority of both male and female problem gamblers contacting the help line do so within 5 years of their gambling problem. The data also reveals that more than 40% of callers have gambled for more than 5 years.
“I started gambling when I was 21 but it really has gotten out of control over the past few years. I’ve tried to quit a few times but haven’t been able to stop on my own.”
Notable gender differences were found in the rates of reported co-occurring addiction problems. 18% of males reported a history with alcohol compared to 13% of females. Males also reported higher rates of drug addiction history, 8% compared to 3% of females. Overall, males were 10% more likely to report a history of drug or alcohol addiction than females.
"I’m a recovering alcoholic and when I quit drinking, my gambling increased. I haven’t had a drink in 25 years.”
The data below clearly shows that the majority of both male and female gamblers learn about the help line through casino marketing materials and Lottery tickets. Combined, almost 2/3 of gamblers calling the help line learned about the number from gaming industry marketing.