top of page
  • Writer's pictureShamaria Massenburg

Is there a lack of coverage for women's sports betting?

Updated: May 8

There’s no gambling in STATSdraft, but it is an interesting lens to view sports attention imbalances through. That’s why we are thrilled to share this thoughtful inspection of that landscape with you.


 

Sports betting has become wildly popular since being legalized in 2018. With over 50 sportsbooks available in the U.S. and the option of betting over or under for your favorite teams, 20% of consumers bet daily.


“I bet on women's MMA once a week. I probably have 5 or 6 friends that I talk to that bet on women's sports. Hopefully, after more time goes by, there will be more high-level fighters and data,” said Abraham Khan, a women's sports gambler.


While this new phenomenon has taken the sports world by storm, no one asks why we aren't seeing promotional content for women's sports. While women's sports are offered in several sportsbooks, the increase in women's sports coverage doesn't necessarily mean equal opportunity for women athletes. This discrepancy persists despite the current climate of sports and the rise of standout collegiate players like Paige Beuckers, Angel Reese, Caitlin Clark, JuJu Watkins, Malaysia Fulwiley, Cameron Brink, Hannah Hidalgo, and many more.


In an episode of The Big Podcast With Shaq, legendary former NBA Player, Shaquille O'Neal, can be seen saying that he doesn't know anyone in the 2024 NCAA men's tournament and that the men “suck.” It's no secret that the women were more popular this year, and the numbers support that fact, yet the women's NCAA tab on fan duel is somewhat hidden within the app, under the “More NCAAB” tab, and is the 10th option in that row.


“What gets tricky with NIL and the marriage of even mentioning NIL and sports betting, is that a lot of the NIL laws mention that student-athletes cannot sign deals that go to taboo areas,” said NIL Expert, Tory Feldman.


At the professional level, there's increased attention on the WNBA in recent years because of players like A'ja Wilson, who is arguably the face of the league, Nneka Ogumike who is a current player and ESPN broadcaster, WNBA veteran and ESPN broadcaster Candace Parker, Aaliyah Boston, and now Caitlin Clark, who was drafted to the Indiana Fever on April 15. These are just a few women who are all well-qualified and persuasive faces who could help to continue garnering recognition for the women's game if given the opportunity.


In 2022, the National Women's Soccer League (NWSL) won a $24 million settlement in their fight against gender discrimination and equal pay. The U.S. Women's Soccer League has been widely more popular than the Men's for quite some time. This trend was further highlighted when Apple agreed to a 10-year streaming partnership with Major League Soccer (MLS), to further grow the sport. Additionally, it's worth noting that when using FanDuel on a mobile phone, all women's sports are located within the "Women's" tab, which is the last one available on that row. On DraftKings, customers would need to select "All Sports" in the bottom right corner on a mobile phone to place bets on any women's sports, except for the WNBA, which is positioned last in the top row.


Where Can I Bet?

The following betting apps have been ranked by Shebettor as the best apps for women's sports gambling and offer a multitude of women's catalogs:

  • Fanduel

  • Ceasars Sportsbook

  • DraftKings

  • BetMGM

  • BetRivers

While streaming a show on Tubi, a FanDuel ad will appear twice, within 10 minutes of each other. The ad features a highlight reel of NBA games, showcasing enlarged images of well-known NBA players like Kevin Durant. This is just one example of a missed opportunity to include a female athlete within the same advertisement.


It's worth mentioning that FanDuel CEO, Amy Howe, has been a longtime advocate and catalyst for women's sports betting. Rather, this analysis focuses on what factors are likely contributing to the lack of visibility of women's sports within these apps.


In 2022, 2x WNBA Champion Kelsey Plum garnered a lot of attention when she appeared on a podcast discussing the common misinterpretation of WNBA contracts and their fight for more pay. We are past the days when stats and viewership were the “reasons” for the lack of visibility regarding women's sports. The 2023 WNCAA Tournament accumulated a record-breaking 9.9 million views with LSU's 102-85 win over Iowa, while the 2023 NCAA Men's Championship hit a record low, dropping 15% from the previous year. At a time when women's sports are gaining more recognition than ever, betting companies should be jumping at the opportunity to create commercials and advertisements geared at women's sports fans.


The Bigger Issue

Other factors come into play when considering whether there is a lack of promotion for women's sports betting, such as casinos not offering prop bets. However, the bigger issue lies in the fact that while these women are not able to profit from sports betting in any way, millions of people are betting on these women daily and cashing in big bucks. With the Women's NCAA Tournament reeling in over 18 million viewers, Caitlin Clark was the most wagered-on player in the 2024 NCAA Tournament, yet she like any other player, wasn't able to profit from this at all.


L'oreal Gamble, a former professional Women's basketball player added her thoughts.


“As women, we work so hard to get the money we deserve. NBA players walk in making millions, we're not even there yet. There are people making millions betting on these women winning these games.”


What Can Be Done About It?

“It is an interesting thought that there's just a ton of money floating around these athletes. Whereas, a select few of them are just able to earn a ton of money. I don't know that it will ever be reconciled, because of how taboo betting is within athletics, which is for good reason,” Feldman said.


Regarding the lack of promotion surrounding women in the professional leagues whose likeness is being used within these betting apps, athletes do have the option to fight for their right to publicity.


“There is an argument that can be made that she has a right to publicity for the fact that you slapped her name up there and her face up there and that's who you're betting on. To fight this, someone would have to be willing to potentially put their professional career on the line. If anyone wants to take it, call me,” Feldman added.


Overall, attention and coverage of women's sports are rapidly increasing. However, what will it take for the structural changes to be made, so that women are compensated fairly? Because it seems like men, fans, and everyday consumers can profit off of their likeness. At the very least, companies should be promoting women athletes equally to enhance their brand visibility and position them to generate higher profits.


“Let's show respect to the people who even have to feed their families by going overseas and continuing to play the game of basketball because it's not a large enough platform for them to continue to play here. It's time to bet on women,” said Christian Featherson, a Basketball Operations Assistant for the Greensboro Swarm.


About the Author



Shamaria Massenburg is a sports reporter from Raleigh, North Carolina. She attended the University of Kansas where she obtained a B.S. in Sports Journalism and maintained a 3.5 GPA. Massenburg has worked for notable companies like Apple, Adidas, the University of Kansas, and the Oklahoma City Thunder. Her work as a multi-media journalist propelled her into academic research with a specific focus on race, gender, and sport. Massenburg will be attending Louisiana State University in Fall of 2024, where she will begin a master's program in Mass Communications. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family, traveling, and shopping. Stay up to date on her upcoming projects through her LinkedIn and YouTube channel, Courtside With Shamaria.


 

Even though there’s no gambling in STATSdraft there’s never an end to the gaming options. Join our WNBA and NWSL leagues or create your own and play along with your favorite teams. And don’t forget to invite your friends and fellow fans!

42 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

留言


bottom of page