Gambling addiction is a serious issue affecting individuals and their families worldwide, including in Australia. Understanding the signs of a gambling problem in a spouse is crucial for early intervention and support.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in 2018-2019, Australians spent over $24 billion on gambling, with the majority of this expenditure on electronic gaming machines (EGMs).
The Productivity Commission’s 2010 report highlighted that problem gambling affected approximately 115,000 Australian adults, with an additional 280,000 at moderate risk.
Online gambling has been on the rise in Australia. The Australian Communications and Media Authority reported a 67% increase in spending on online gambling in 2020.
These are worrying statistics.
What are the Signs of a Gambling Problem in a Spouse?
A major sign is financial secrecy. When your spouse has frequent, unexplained withdrawals from joint accounts or secretive handling of finances, this could be a sign.
When there are cash withdrawals from TAB ATMs, ATMs from odd areas around bars and clubs, they have signed up with memberships to the Casinos, and there are spends on the same day from bank statements showing them being in a club or bar.
Another sign is increasing debt. When there is an increase in significant debts, unpaid bills, or requests for financial assistance of late, their credit card repayments are overdue; they have debt collectors after them, and their spending is unexplained.
With mounting debt, another indicator is changes in spending patterns. The credit card is used more frequently, and they are selling assets or are required to borrow money. They are also showing signs of distress, especially after a big night out.
If your spouse is showing less interest in previously enjoyed hobbies or social activities or increased unexplained absences, it is another sign they are gambling.
What You Should Not DO
Confronting your partner with allegations of infidelity during a highly charged emotional state is ill-advised. Emotional confrontations can make it more challenging to gather evidence as your partner becomes more guarded. They are more likely to look out for private investigators or people lurking around when they are carrying out an infidelity act. It may also lead to acts of violence.
Attempting to investigate your partner independently is seldom effective. Investigations require specialised skills, and amateur attempts can jeopardise the chances of obtaining conclusive proof.
Talking about their Cheating:
While transparency is typically a virtue in a relationship, cheaters often continue to deceive. So, if you confront them, expect lies. A dishonest partner may deny infidelity or offer false explanations, prolonging uncertainty and jeopardising an investigation down the track.
Private Investigators and Evidence Collection
The Private investigators from National Inquiry Agency can play a crucial role in assisting spouses or family members when dealing with a suspected gambling problem.
Surveillance can be employed to monitor a spouse’s activities, such as visits to casinos, betting venues, or online gambling platforms. Video and photographic evidence can help confirm suspicions.
Private investigators can then interview individuals who may have insights into the spouse’s gambling behaviour, such as friends, colleagues, or casino employees.
Identifying the signs of a gambling problem in a spouse is a critical first step in addressing this issue. With the increasing prevalence of gambling addiction in Australia, seeking assistance from private investigators can provide the evidence needed to confront the problem effectively.
Can this Evidence be used in Family Law Proceedings?
In family law disputes, particularly those involving child custody, financial settlements, or spousal support, gathering evidence is often crucial to presenting a compelling case. If you suspect that your spouse’s gambling habits are affecting your family situation negatively, using a private investigator to observe and document their gambling activities can be a strategic decision.
In this article, we will explore the benefits and considerations of employing private investigators for this purpose.
Private investigators can help establish patterns of gambling behavior, such as frequency, duration, and financial impact. This information can be vital in demonstrating how the gambling habit affects family life.
If your spouse’s gambling results in neglect of family responsibilities or financial mismanagement, private investigators can document these instances, providing concrete evidence for your case.
For financial settlements, evidence of gambling losses can impact property division, spousal support, and other financial arrangements. Also, if you suspect that your spouse is squandering marital assets on gambling, a private investigator can help track and document these expenditures, potentially safeguarding your financial interests.
Before hiring a private investigator to observe your spouse’s gambling, it’s essential to consider whether the use of a private investigator complies with local laws and regulations, particularly regarding privacy and surveillance.
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