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Sports Betting and Reckless Spending

North Carolina will soon decide whether to make gambling on sports legal. There are two bills, one in the North Carolina House, the other in the Senate. House Bill 631 of the 2021 Session is a bill to authorize and regulate sports wagering. Senate Bill 688 looks to be a mirror of the House Bill. In short, these bills would make wagering on professional sports legal in North Carolina. The operators of any sports betting business will be allowed to utilize cryptocurrencies as wagers or payments, meaning consumers can deposit cryptos in their accounts. The bills will define these cryptos as “cash equivalents.” These are assets convertible to cash for use in connection with authorized sports wagering. The legislation’s inclusion of cryptocurrencies is easily the most interesting element. The use of these virtual currencies could propel the value and usefulness of the payment medium even further.

We have written previously on virtual currency and how it could be a factor in divorce and separation. But this new bill will also have some impact on families. As part of post-separation support and alimony cases, marital misconduct is a factor that the courts can consider when making an award of spousal support. It is up to the judge to assign weight to the misconduct. One form of misconduct is reckless spending of income and/or waste of assets or concealment of assets. Gambling can become an addiction. A spouse funneling increasing amounts of marital income towards gambling is marital misconduct. When gambling gets to the addiction stage, concealing assets to further fund the addiction can become an issue. It is possible that virtual currencies could make the concealment easier.

The two bills are not yet signed into law. However, if you feel that your spouse is recklessly spending income or wasting and concealing assets, please speak to a family law specialist. As cryptocurrencies are becoming more commonplace, it may be time to talk to your spouse if you think they have begun accumulating these assets.