Female Pioneers In Basketball & How It Impacts The Gambling Market

Although basketball is considered an American sport, home to the best professional league, several other countries have significant numbers of people taking up the game. The popularity of a sport is arguably the most important determining factor in how big the betting market is. While basketball is still fairly American-centric, an international fanbase likes to watch the NBA, which is reflected in the gambling market. 

Back in the 1990s, American basketball held onto a more significant portion of the overall market than it does today. Thanks to advances in the internet and how people can tune in to watch their favorite basketball teams, it has brought in a larger and more inclusive audience. Female basketball players have helped bridge the gap and smash through any antiquated or prejudiced views that unfortunately exist in sports. Overall, this has combated and sterilized old-fashioned opinions and allowed the game to flourish internationally.

A Changing Market

The rise of women’s sports has been a great leap for equality. Even as little as a decade ago, male sports dominated the airwaves, and while they’re still more popular, more channels are broadcasting women’s sports. It’s not just basketball seeing this growth; female soccer, boxing, and tennis all receive a lot more airtime than they have over the last few decades, and this trend is set to continue. However, this shift is also causing more women to explore gambling markets as more men and women become interested in female sports.

Female Professional Sports Stars Who Championed Change

Although the WNBA doesn’t see the same audience as its male counterparts, it’s historically a league that has suffered immensely due to a lack of television coverage. Lauren Jackson is one of the most outstanding women’s basketball players of all time, and the Australian power forward spent ten years in the league, championing and spearheading the changes we’re seeing today. 

She is one of many, across all sports that have helped to springboard and celebrate excellence in female sport. These female athletes are truly inspiring and often have to combat much more difficulty in their rise to the top than their male counterparts. Male sports stars, whether in basketball, boxing, soccer, or tennis, command higher fees and are paid considerably more than their female equivalent. 

While there is an argument to be had that this boils down to viewing numbers and advertising revenue, the recent explosion in the popularity of female sports has helped to combat this argument. For instance, when England’s women won Euro 2022 soccer tournament, all 80,000 seats at Wembley were full. 

Likewise, Katie Taylor is one of the most popular sportspeople in Ireland and one of the best amateur boxers ever. Her fight of the year contender against Amanda Serrano was an edge-of-the-seat thriller in front of a sell-out crowd of over 19,000 people at Madison Square Garden. So the old misconception that female sports can’t attract the same levels of drama, skill, or audience is wide of the mark, with tangible statistics and evidence to back this up.

The Impact Of Basketball Gambling

All the female sports stars we discussed in the previous section have helped to fuel the market for more significant female-only events. While the WNBA might not have reached the same heights as women’s soccer or boxing, it is undoubtedly on the up. Outside of America and Europe, female sports still struggle to find the same level of equality currently being championed in the West. Jearzy Ganade is one player who knows all too well the difficulties women face when trying to establish themselves as sports professionals. 

So while there’s still a long way to go, most basketball fans and analysts believe equality is heading in a positive direction. Gambling markets can be a strong indicator of how popular a sport is. While gambling companies will offer a range of markets for various sports, it also needs to be financially viable. In the past, women’s sports, such as basketball, haven’t had coverage on television or a notable social media presence to warrant gambling markets. 


However, as that landscape moves with the times, bettors are more interested in female basketball, such as the WNBA, and international games like the Olympics. This recent uptrend in gambling on female sports could continue as there’s more of a presence for women’s matches on mainstream television and social media. 

Without pioneers in the sport like Lauren Jackson, Maya Moore, and Sheryl Swoopes, it’s unlikely that associated markets like gambling would be experiencing the spike we’re seeing in today’s day and age. The rise of mobile phones and digital gambling has also helped to advertise these markets to new costumes. Still, ultimately the main driving force has been the increased visibility to a mainstream audience, which would have been impossible with some of the female pioneers we have touched on today.

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