Whilst 2014 has been a progressive year in many ways, one thing that continues to decline, statistically, is love. These damning statistics released just last week:
- 42% of marriages end in divorce. England and Wales (ONS, 2014)
- More than 236,000 people divorced in 2012. England and Wales (ONS, 2014)
- Almost half (48%) of divorces in 2013 involve children under 16 years. England and Wales (ONS, 2014)
- 40-44 is the most common age bracket for divorce. England and Wales (ONS, 2014)
- 65% of divorces were on petition of the wife. England and Wales (ONS, 2014)
Of every divorce in 2011:
- In 71% of cases it was the first divorce for both partners
- In 19% one party had been divorced previously
- In 9% of cases both had divorced previously England and Wales (ONS, 2014)
With a staggeringly high 42% of marriages ending in divorce, it becomes clear that there is a huge national problem.
Statisticians will likely attribute domestic violence, conflict in ambition and arguments over children as the most relevant causes for this epidemic problem.
What I am most interested in however is the subject of online gambling, and whether this could have any impact on the rising rates of divorce.
In complete contrast to the above figures, the online gambling industry is currently booming. There are now over 1000 gambling websites available at any persons’ fingertips, making it easier than ever to gamble from home. Predicted to top a £41.4 billion pound turnover in 2015 (13.8 billion in 2005) could the correlation between an increase in online gambling and divorce be merely a coincidence?
My immediate reaction is no.
Whilst, like in anything, there are extreme cases of addiction and huge net losses, online gambling is largely seen as more recreational than “hardcore”. Would a £1 – 25 team football accumulator really alienate you that much from your partner? Hey a £50 spin on roulette could even spark some much needed excitement into a stale relationship.
I believe the only major problem online gambling can create in a relationship is a lack of trust. It’s fine to gamble, yet it is not fine to keep it a secret from your partner. With the modern day relationship revolving around shared bank and credit cards, in and out goings from gaming sites should not be made discreet. There are plenty of entertaining sites out there that offer responsible online gambling, including www.pokiesparty.com.au and www.pokiesking.com.au.
For a healthy relationship to exist where one partner is a gambler, I believe that they should be completely honest with every transaction they do. Getting this information out in the open would help diminish the somewhat negative opinion on gambling, and would give the other partner the option to limit and monitor their significant others behaviour. This would also be a perfect way to prevent the likelihood of addiction, or the chance of losing substantial amounts of money.