Are Women Better At Sports Betting Than Men? One NJ Sportsbook Decided To Find Out

The fairer sex may have an unfair advantage in terms of sports betting.

A new study shows women sports bettors outperform men in several measurements of the activity.


888 Holdings, the company behind 888 Casino, 888 Sportsbook and 888 Poker in New Jersey, completed a study of individual sports betting results in the state.

Breaking those results down along gender lines reveals some interesting information and trends.

The significance of the study depends on perspective, but there are some takeaways that are appropriate regardless of one’s gender.

At 888 Sportsbook, women win more, men typically lose

The bottom line of the study is that based on NJ sports betting data 888 pulled since January, women see a return on investment of 19.79% on their placed bets.

Their male counterparts, however, saw an average loss of 4.6%.

That’s a significant difference.

Not only are women recouping their amount wagered plus seeing a return of nearly 20%, but men are typically losing their bets.

It’s immaterial to mention any physiological difference giving women an advantage, so the only other possibilities are cultural, psychological, or strategical differences.

The first possibility likely plays a part but doesn’t provide a complete explanation. For that, we need to dig a bit deeper.

The trick? Betting with the head instead of the heart

How boys and girls are socialized in US society may actually give women an advantage when it comes to sports betting.

Among girls, making an emotional connection to professional sports franchises isn’t considered as much of a norm. Of course, it is not necessarily impossible for women to be emotionally invested in a sport. But most don’t connect on any visceral level.

Because of that, those girls are more likely to grow into women who don’t have as strong an attachment to certain teams.

That means, when money is on the line, women make decisions with their heads and not their hearts.

For smart bettors, any money placed on a sports bet is expendable income.

Socialization of girls in our society teaches them to value other things above participating in sports betting. So they could more regularly make choices to spend most of that expendable income on other things besides a sports bet.

That decreased amount of money to invest in sports betting could force women to be more selective about what bets they take.

But the 888 study shows that younger women are actually better than their aunts, older sisters, and mothers at sports betting.

Here’s a closer look at the data from 888:

Average ROI for sports betting

AgeWomenMenAge Group Avg

Right in the sweet spot of the age breakdown

Breaking down the results of the 888 study by both age and gender creates a new narrative. The best sports bettors in the sample were women who were born in the 1970s and 1980s.

Women between the ages of 35 and 44 claimed the highest return on investment at 129.6%. Women aged 25-34 weren’t far off at 127.06%.

Interestingly enough, the next age bracket for women ranked the worst. Women aged 45-54 saw a loss of 61.72% on their placed bets.

Conversely, that was the best-performing age group for men. The return on investment for men ages 45-54 was 16.9%.

It’s hard to pinpoint why women born in those decades outperform others by such a high margin. Other data strengthens the narrative, however.

Women perhaps more than just superior sports bettors

888’s study also analyzed the numbers from NJ online casino games. Unsurprisingly, women again outperformed men in general in those games and online poker.

On average, women saw losses of 24% in online casino games and 36% in online poker. Men registered at 47% and 41.6% on average in the same.

Average ROI for online casino

AgeWomenMenAge Group Avg

Average ROI for online poker

AgeWomenMenAge Group Avg

There is a bit of variation when it comes to the age breakdown, however. Women aged 18-24 performed the best in online casino games. Women 55-64 lost the least in online poker.

For the men’s side, the 25-34 group was best at casino games and the same 55-64 group was best at online poker.

Too soon to say women are better than gambling

For as much as the 888 study suggests women are better gamblers, at least in this sample, there are important things to remember.

The data reveals trends in one group of people at one time in one geographic region. It isn’t sufficient to make a blanket statement like women are better at gambling than men.

Making that statement would require a much larger study, done across decades and accounting for a number of factors.

It’s not that the data in this study is useless; it’s just that it’s not sufficient to make such judgments.

Based on the study, however, there’s no reason women should approach sports betting with any less confidence than men.

And on the flip side, it can’t hurt men to ask women their opinions before placing bets. It might just save you a few bucks.

About the Author

Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a lead writer for PlayUSA and the manager of BetHer. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.