Traditionally, football has been thought of as a male preserve, as has gambling as a leisure activity and, at least to some extent, those perceptions continue. Progress towards gender equality, in all walks of life, has been slow, but steady, although gender gaps obviously do persist. However, gambling, especially gambling on football, which has introduced a new generation to betting, is freely accessible to men and women.
A case in point is that of an unidentified housewife who, in November, 2017, staked £1 on a 12-fold accumulator on weekend football matches at a William Hill betting shop in Leysdown-on-Sea on the Isle of Sheppey, Kent. Apparently, the woman in question had been placing a similar bet every weekend for the previous six years, following in the footsteps of her husband, who had been doing so for the previous forty years, without much success. Her selections reportedly required no skill, but only one of them was odds-on; highlights included Burnley to beat Southampton at 4/1, Reading to beat Derby at 16/5 and Burton Albion to beat Millwall at 10/3. All told, her 12-fold returned £574.278.41 for a £1 stake.
Betting shop employee Carli Faulkner, who posed for publicity photographs with the winning betting slip, praised the win, which was, far and away, the largest payout she had ever experienced, as ‘real girl power’. William Hill spokesman Rupert Adams added, ‘‘In my 15 years in the business working for William Hill I have never encountered a bigger football win by a female punter for just a quid.’