US gaming supplier International Game Technology (IGT) has released new data revealing a 22 per cent increase in women poker players across the company’s DoubleDown Casino social gaming business in 2013.

The data was released as a follow-up to DoubleDown’s ongoing US Social Casino Index project, which offers a detailed look at social casino player preferences based on more than 6m online and mobile players.

DoubleDown currently offers more than 40 free-to-play social casino games, but said that poker remained as “one of the most popular games among all online social casino players.” It offers four types of poker including Texas Hold’em, 5 Card Draw, Omaha Poker and Facebook: Wild Action Texas Hold’em.

While men are still the majority of poker players, there was a 22 percent increase in female players in 2013 over the previous year, with more than a third of social casino poker players female.

“As the world’s largest virtual casino, we pay attention to trends and make note of the fact that poker is appealing to broader audiences both online and on the casino floor,” said John Clelland, vice president of global marketing at IGT Interactive Group. “Poker is traditionally thought of as a male-dominated game but our data proves that female poker players are on the rise in social casino.”

DoubleDown also found that women spend about as much time playing free-to-play online poker as men each week, 51 minutes versus 58 minutes, with women playing with more (3 per cent) virtual chips than men.

The research found interesting data from typically non-gambling states such as Utah and Hawaii, where women in Hawaii play almost 6.5 hours of poker in social casinos every month while women in Utah play with 7.76m virtual chips per session.

The Social Casino Index also revealed that players in Hawaii tend to use their mobile phones for game play more than players in any other state.

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