Playing the odds: gamblers and divorce. I remember an incredibly cheesy Kenny Rogers song from the late 70s (come to think of is, did Kenny do any songs that weren’t cheesy?) about a gambler that contained the lyric: “You’ve got to know when to hold them, know when to fold them”. I suppose there is a certain amount of truth to this… but what about the serious side of Gambling.
What about its impact on families, and on divorce rates in particular? Well, according to this article on the “Stop Predatory Gambling” website, compulsive gambling has an enormous impact on divorce rates. In fact, the divorce rates amongst compulsive gamblers is 53.5%. That is nearly three times the national average of 18.5%!!!
Interestingly, you don’t only have to be a gambler yourself to see the impact of casinos, and casino life on marriage. Apparently, of the top 15 jobs that have an active impact on divorce rates, eight of them can be directly connected to the gaming industry (of course, many of these exists away from the casino environment as well).
These jobs and associated divorce rates are:
- Dancers: 43%
- Bartenders: 38%
- Massage Therapists: 38%
- Gaming cage operators 34%
- General gaming employees (Dealers, Croupiers etc.) 31%
- Entertainers 28%
- Waiters/Waitresses 27%
- Maids 26%
The thinking is, that these types of jobs see people working irregular hours in low pay conditions. The fact that alcohol (and often drugs) are also easily accessible can lead people to fall prey to temptation and the accompanying fall-out on their marriages for doing so.
But clearly, those with active gambling compulsions are most at risk of finding themselves facing a divorce petition. If you read the words “Playing the odds: Gamblers and divorce” and found yourself wondering if they apply to you, then it may be that a speaking with someone about things may be helpful. Gamblers Anonymous offer guidance and assistance to any family or individual who feels that gambling has become a problem that is affecting their lives.