How can we support women affected by gambling effectively?

Women and men are motivated to gamble for different reasons. Men usually gamble
to show their skill and women gamble due to isolation or to provide additional financial support for their families. Women may not be comfortable sharing their personal experiences with men present in the room relating to their family, their feelings and mental or physical health. Providing gendered safe spaces for women to share their experiences in a non-judgmental way is the most effective way to support women who are experiencing gambling harm.

Motivations for women to gamble may be linked to their health. It is important to discuss or acknowledge:

  • Women’s menstrual cycle with the different stages and hormonal balances
  • Menopause
  • Conditions that can be causing chronic or long term pain such as endometriosis and PCOS
  • Pregnancy and postnatal care
  • Attempting to conceive
  • Miscarriages

At certain times in a woman’s menstrual cycle, they could be more susceptible to gambling harm due to their hormones increasing and decreasing.

4 things we can do to support women experiencing gambling harm

  1. Create a women only safe space
  2. Safe space for women’s children
  3. Provide flexible support - time, days, duration of support, online or in-person
  4. Consider motivations related to Women’s Health

In 2021 over half of women in Scotland (56%) participated in gambling. This is 16% higher than among women in England. Up to 1 million women in the GB are at risk of harm from their own gambling.