The growth trajectory for women’s sport over recent years has been undeniable, proven in stadium attendees, television or viewing figures, betting turnover and commercial merchandise sales.

This was no more evident than during the 2023 Women’s World Cup, which propelled the women’s game even further into public attention. Offering the betting perspective, SportCast Partnership Manager, Aidan O’Sullivan, and Betby CPO, Sergey Tsukanov, shared their observations with Insider Sport.

Insider Sport: Last year’s World Cup was one of the most successful ever. Did betting patterns reflect that? 

Aidan O’Sullivan: The 2023 Women’s World Cup saw a notable increase in demand from operators and bettors worldwide, and during the tournament we powered more than 1.3 million sports betting transactions. Due to the boost in interest, we offered our most extensive range of player stats markets, provided by SportCast, including  shots/shots on target, assists, passes and tackles.

Sergey Tsukanov: Yes, the Women’s World Cup was quite successful from a betting perspective, but there were a couple of factors that boosted interest. Firstly, the tournament took place at the right time when there were no other major sporting events taking place. 

Secondly, this year’s event was hosted in Australia, and was also a bonus, as women’s football has long been popular there. Betting patterns reflected that more than 8.5% of all football bets during the tournament were placed on the Women’s World Cup and this accounted for 3.2% of the turnover. 

IS: Is the bettor demographic changing as betting on women’s sports is increasing in popularity? If so, how? 

O’Sullivan: I believe the women’s game has grown in popularity with a wider audience, particularly since the Women’s World Cup. This became obvious when I was chatting during the summer with one of our UK-facing partners on this. 

They informed me they had seen more bet slips in the England vs Australia women’s friendly than in the Man City vs Bayern UCL men’s tie on the same night. It is true that the women’s game was live on terrestrial TV that night, but that bit of insight proved to me that popularity for the women’s game is trending upwards.

Tsukanov: As more people become interested in women’s sports, the demographic of sports bettors is definitely becoming more diverse. With greater media coverage and visibility, more sports fans are engaging with women’s sports, which can naturally lead to an increased interest in betting. 

From our perspective at Betby, we have yet to see a significant uplift in activity around women’s sporting events, but that’s not to say it won’t happen. Women’s sport is definitely on the rise and with a much stronger, global focus, and with teams and individuals that resonate with sports fans, it is certain to add to interest levels.

IS: Are there any specific events or betting markets that tend to appeal more to women than men? 

O’Sullivan: Having the ability to offer player stats for the Women’s World Cup through our partnership with StatsBomb was a real game-changer for us. Many of our competitors did not offer specific player markets such as shots/shots on target, assists, passes and tackles, and we were only too pleased to come to the table with an offering that mirrored our Tier One league offering.

Our US partners saw massive slip numbers on the likes of Alex Morgan and Sophia Smith prop markets, while Australia’s star Sam Kerr moved the needle across all partners, such is her popularity.

The new generation of bettors appear to be gravitating to the game within the game element of player stats betting and having less interest in the 1×2 markets, with just the three possible outcomes. 

Tsukanov: Some sports and events may traditionally attract a more diverse audience and are appealing to both women and men. Sports like tennis, and events within the Olympic Games have historically been popular amongst both women and men. 

The appeal and interest of sporting events and betting markets is purely down to that bettor’s preference, irrespective of gender, and you can certainly not make broad generalisations when trying to segment audiences and look into individual preferences.   

IS: Have there been any success stories that will now be replicated going forward into future events?

O’Sullivan: Elsewhere in women’s sports, we offered full-season coverage on the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) season, with the Las Vegas Aces recently winning in the finals. 

While not at the level of NBA betting in terms of slips and volume, it most certainly matched up well against our NCAA hoops offering. Partners always appreciate a complete offering of competitions that fill the gap in the summer months, and similar to the Women’s World Cup, player stats were through the roof here. 

Tsukanov: As I’ve mentioned, we haven’t seen any yet sadly, but I am sure they aren’t too far away. We are unable to drill down in our data to see whether it is a man or a woman who is placing wagers. This means that ultimately, we simply can’t detect an increased interest amongst our female bettors when key women’s sporting events are held.  

The great thing about betting is that the audience is so diverse, with different tastes and preferences. Of course, once we see a pattern or trend, we’ll be keen to enhance our offering to ensure we are fully immersed with all segments of our player base.

Previous articleFeyenoord partners with Endeavor Streaming to create ‘Feyenoord ONE’
Next articleBBC lands up to 12 Super League games in new TV deal