Gambling is on the rise in all segments of society, but experts are seeing an increase in the number of women who are becoming addicted.
In Arizona, more than half of the calls to gambling help lines are from women, up from just 20 percent two decades ago. Don Hulen of the Arizona Council on Compulsive Gambling says the majority meets what he calls the ‘escape’ gambler profile.
“(They) didn’t start gambling till later in life, gambled primarily at what we call luck games, that being machines, were quiet, reserved, caring, giving.”
In the push towards equality, women have not found a way to shed some of the more destructive traits of power and independence. Valerie Lorenz of the Forensic Center on Compulsive Gambling.
“Women in the past would not have access to money that they could just spend readily or they wouldn’t be able to go to a gambling site. But now you can go to a grocery story or to an airport and buy lottery tickets or whatever.”
With the help of sophisticated marketing research, Lorenz says the gambling industry is ensnaring women.
“Women are more attracted to certain symbols, they might even have romantic types of themes on the slot machines.”
And she says women are taking the bait.
“Of addicted gamblers 20 years ago, about 10 percent would be women. Now it’s 50/50 and we’re seeing large increases on the women’s side.”