Gaming Society, UNLV’s IGI Put Women Sports Bettors First With Historic Partnership

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Betting education platform Gaming Society has forged a partnership with the International Gaming Institute (IGI), a nonprofit academic center at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). Together, the groups aim to mold the future of sports betting through research.

“We are thrilled to join The Gaming Society in this collaboration to advance research, education, and innovation in women’s sports and betting,” says Brett Abarbanel, IGI executive director. “We have aligned goals in exploring how betting can support the growth of women’s sports in a sustainable, responsible manner. We look forward to collaborating on this under-discussed area in our existing educational programs, including IGI’s International Conference on Gambling & Risk Taking.”

Gaming Society and IGI plan to conduct research to better understand women sports bettors, as well as women’s sports fans and their attitudes towards betting. The goal? Make the sports betting industry “more inclusive and accessible,” according to the press release announcing the deal. 

“Market research and data on fan behavior is critical in driving future innovation within the sports betting industry,” says Jaymee Messler, Gaming Society co-founder. “Over the past year, Gaming Society has partnered with leading leagues and brands to make sports betting more inclusive and deepen fan engagement, with particular focus on women bettors and women’s sports. Now, together with IGI, we will help advance the industry with bettors’ behavioral data and insights that will offer a new lens through which teams, leagues, and brands can understand their fans. We are looking forward to joining forces with IGI, while also empowering the next generation of industry professionals.” 

Betting Education Initiatives

The partnership between Gaming Society and IGI will feature collaboration of various betting education programs. One such initiative is an expansion of Gaming Society’s Betting Academy 101. Responsible gambling programs are also on the docket. 

The planned programs will teach bettors about the constantly transforming sports betting industry and landscape. 

Gaming Society also plans to start a mentorship program, pairing UNLV students with professionals from the sports and gambling industries. The project aims to foster connections between college students and give them access to industry careers. 

Nancy Lough, Co-Director of Sport Research and Innovation at UNLV added, “We’re thrilled to be a part of this cutting-edge research establishing an understanding of female sports bettors and women’s sport consumers. Advancement of women’s sport business relies on an appreciation of the value women’s sport offers to fans and sponsors. Collaboratively we will increase awareness of the exciting business opportunities in women’s sport, while also establishing UNLV’s IGI and the Gaming Society as the go-to source for thought leadership and workforce development.”

Bridging The Gender Gap In Betting

Much of the new partnership between Gaming Society and IGI will focus on learning more about female bettors, a vast minority in the current landscape. Overall, the industry knows relatively little about women’s betting habits and preferences compared to men. 

women sports betting
Photo Contributor: Wpadington

“We know that the number of female bettors continues to rise year-over-year but the amount of information available about their overall habits and user demographics isn’t as clear as it is in comparison to male bettors,” says Marissa Coleman, VP of Business Development at Gaming Society. “We also know that half of sports fans are women, but only around 20% of total sports bettors are women. In the early adoption of legalized sports betting, sportsbooks mainly focused on maximizing new state launches and acquiring active bettors who were mostly men. This was evident through male-focused marketing efforts by a large portion of sportsbooks.”

We’re well past the early adoption days now, though as the May 2018 repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act is nearly five years behind us. Coleman says sportsbooks are finally starting to catch on. 

“As the sports betting industry continues to mature,” Coleman says, “sportsbooks are increasingly focused on targeting women bettors…This effort is focused on onboarding new female fans into the space. One of the primary reasons for our new partnership with UNLV is to conduct research and gather data, with a strong focus on female bettors. We want to know more about their overall attitude toward betting and their motivations for betting. With this information readily available, the industry can create more opportunities for inclusive betting and increase overall engagement among female bettors.”

IGI and Gaming Society seem poised to bring new findings to light and change the industry to become more friendly and accessible to women sports fans.

About the Author
Cole Rush

Cole Rush

Writer and Contributor
Cole Rush is a contributor to Gaming Today. Cole is a Chicago-based writer in the gambling, media, and entertainment space. His work has been showcased in various gaming industry magazines and online columns.

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