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Will more liberal gambling in Maryland affect divorce rates?

The Maryland General Assembly recently passed a proposal that will allow investors to build another casino in Prince George’s County, a short distance from the Washington metro area. Maryland divorce attorneys are taking note because they recognize that this may lead to more gambling, and more gambling may result in more troubled marriages.

The proposal will also allow casinos to remain open 24 hours a day and will allow them to offer poker and roulette. The measure also proposed to reduce certain taxes affecting casinos and their patrons. The governor of Maryland will have to review the proposal, and some of the items proposed may require voter approval in November.

The governor called a special session of the General Assembly in order to pass this measure. He hoped that expanding the gambling business in Maryland would help raise income from the state and create new jobs.

Addiction to gambling and divorce

As one of the most common causes of divorce, addictions to gambling (or other things) can wreak havoc on a marriage between two otherwise committed individuals. Any addiction, including gambling, naturally drives a couple apart as the addicted spouse spends more and more time feeding his or her habit and less time working on the marriage.

Moreover, a gambling addict often will face serious financial difficulties. Even when not accompanying an addiction, financial difficulties alone contribute to many divorces.

How more gambling in Maryland will affect the state’s divorce rate remains to be seen. It would not necessarily be fair to blame the casinos-as opposed to the gambling addicts themselves-for the breakup of a marriage. In any event, however, if a person’s spouse suffers from a gambling addiction and is unwilling or unable to get help for it, that person may wish to speak with a Maryland divorce lawyer to see what his or her rights and options are to deal with what in all likelihood is a tragic and stressful situation.

Source: VCStar.com, “Md. General Assembly OK’s gambling expansion bill”, Aug. 14, 2012

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