Sports Betting Sees More Women Bettors In Maryland & Beyond

Written By Aleeyah Jadavji on February 21, 2023
More women betting on sports in US

Sports betting has exploded across the US, as more states legalize both in-person and online sports wagering. That growth includes female bettors, as more than 7 million women have signed up for sportsbook accounts over the last two years.

That’s a growth rate of more than 150% since 2020, according to studies by Global Wireless Solutions. The NFL is driving much of that growth, with FanDuel and DraftKings being the most popular sportsbooks with women.

Percentage of women signing up with sportsbooks outpaces men

After launching Maryland online sports betting last November, the state has seen a significant uptick in betting from Marylanders. In fact, PlayMaryland’s latest projections show the state could enjoy $4 billion in wagers in 2023.

The early February report released by Global Wireless Solutions (GWS) revealed that more than 3.2 million women registered at sportsbook betting apps throughout the US in 2022. This was an increase of 45% over 2021. This far outpaced the growth of men, which grew 23% from 2021.

When you combine that with the more than 4.6 million women who signed up at sportsbooks in 2021, it’s more than just a national trend. It’s a revolution. Interestingly, the 115% growth rate of women signing up in 2021 over 2020 also outpaced men signing up, which was 63%.

The number of male users still tops female users by around 250%.

FanDuel & DraftKings attract the most women bettors

FanDuel, DraftKings and BetMGM each brought in more than 1 million new female users on mobile in 2022. In 2021, FanDuel attracted the highest number of new woman users, with 1.7 million women signing up for accounts.

DraftKings was second, with an estimated 900,000 new female sign-ups. BetRivers rounded out the top three in 2021 with 600,000 new female users. Surprisingly, BetRivers had more female sign-ups than male, the latter being just under 380,000.

NFL betting popular with women

According to GWS, almost 60% of women with sportsbook accounts bet on Super Bowl LVII, compared to over 70% of men. The NFL remains one of the most popular choices for betting among females — especially during the football season.

Daily user rates increased by 33% for women during the NFL season compared to usage in the offseason. This number was at 69% for men. 

Additionally, 20% of female sports bettors said they preferred to bet on women’s professional sports. This could be a good sign for retaining female bettors now that the NFL season is over.

Regulators work to welcome more women into the industry

While many women are placing bets, there are also many women involved in the industry itself. The Small, Minority-Owned, Women-Owned Business Sports Wagering Assistance Fund (SWAF) was designed to diversify the industry.

In Maryland, SWAF can be used to obtain grants or loans in three instances.

  • Sports wagering license application assistance
  • Assistance with sports wagering operations 
  • Training to support participation in the industry

There are three program options that small, minority-owned and women-owned businesses can take advantage of.

  • Grant amounts from $800 to $25,000, not to exceed 50% of the license or published final background check fee
  • Sports wagering operating support grant up to $50,000; reimbursable grant up to 50% of eligible operating costs
  • Sports wagering training support grant up to $50,000; reimbursable grant up to 50% of eligible training costs

Given these initiatives and statistics, women are definitely becoming more involved in the sports gambling world.

This comes as a promising sign for the industry in Maryland, which has awarded approval to two female-owned retail sports betting facilities thus far.

Photo by Shutterstock
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Aleeyah Jadavji

Aleeyah hails from Toronto, Ontario in Canada and has been working predominantly in the poker industry since 2015. From writing articles to interviewing big winners and live reporting on poker's biggest stages, she's seen it all. Aleeyah loves to cook and create content to showcase her passion for food and travel. She now reports on all facets of the growing U.S. gambling industry.

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