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Women’s sport appeals equally to both male and female bettors, and sports bettors want more opportunities to bet on women’s sport.

These are two key takeaways from a new study conducted by online research data and analytics technology group YouGov, which was funded by StatsPerform and advisory firm Women’s Sports Group.

The survey, which exclusively targeted the UK, gathered responses in August 2023 from 2,500 male and 2,500 female sports bettors.

Key findings indicated that around 60% of regular male and female sports bettors, defined as those who bet at least once a month, actively watch or follow women’s sports. 

Additionally, a significant majority of both regular male (81%) and female (96%) sports bettors who follow women’s sports also engage with men’s sports.

Furthermore, the study indicates a strong anticipation for increased viewership of women’s sports in the coming year, with nine out of 10 male and female sports bettors expressing this expectation.

Women’s football popularity

Women’s football emerges as a particularly popular choice, ranking among the top four sports followed by both male and female bettors. 

In fact, 23% of regular male sports bettors have placed bets on women’s football, a figure comparable to those for men’s cricket, tennis, boxing, and rugby.

However, despite similar viewership ratios for men’s and women’s football, the study highlights a discrepancy in betting behaviour. 

While bettors follow and bet on men’s football in similar ratios, only half of male bettors and one third of female bettors who follow women’s football also bet on it.

Characteristics of female sports bettors

Younger demographics are more prevalent among regular female sports bettors who engage with women’s sports, with two-thirds falling below the age of 45. 

According to the study, both male and female bettors wish to have more opportunities to bet on women’s football. 

Specifically, 61% of female bettors and 46% of male bettors among those who have bet on women’s football expressed a wish for more opportunities to bet on the sport.

When asked about reasons for not betting on women’s football, 38% of male bettors admitted to never having considered it, while 34% cited a lack of knowledge as the primary deterrent.

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