Exponential growth in viewership for women’s football underlines the potential when it comes to engaging a new market with sports betting.
Speaking as part of a panel at SBC’s Betting on Sports Europe Principal Consultant at 1710 Gaming, Tina Thakor-Rankin, emphasised the Women’s World Cup in Australia 2023 will provide ‘a new betting demographic’, as the sport provides a platform for promoting equality forward as ‘the sport becomes more and more popular’.
She stated: “When the Middle East – known for suppressing women’s rights – starts to use women’s football as a sign to the world they are modernising and liberalising, suddenly things start to switch up.
“The Saudis have a diversification programme for 2030, and as part of that, they started to liberalise and came up with three things; women can drive, women can go to the cinema and women can go to a football match.”
As the country uses the sport as a way of modernising, Thakor-Rankin added: “They just hired an experienced coach from the Bundesliga to kick-off their women’s league. This is Saudi-Arabia using women’s football to show the world they are changing and liberalising.”
Moreover, with Australia hosting the women’s cup, the country is looking to use this ‘as a springboard’ for its olympic bid in a further push of the sport.
Thakor-Rankin suggested that this is potentially more important to them than the Australian Sydney Olympics, and added: “For the first time ever in living memory, we are going to have one tournament where every single woman, colour, creed, religion and race is gathered in one place.
“The Women’s World Cup 2023 is going to be the anthem for gender equality. This is a push for social and cultural change.”
Furthemore, she described 2023 as heading towards a ‘perfect storm’ in terms of sports betting and that the significance of women’s world cup ‘cannot be underestimated’, stating that women bettors make more money than male equivalents. Yet, she also acknowledged that this may be biased among the trading team.
“This is going to be people placing bets on teams that don’t have a chance of winning, but just so they are involved – so they can say I did it, I was there,” Thakor-Rankin explained.
“Bookies in Australia have already started to gear up. Bookies in the US have also woken up to the potential of a women’s sports bettor.”