Gambling can be described as “the risky dealing of money for the sake of increasing it at random”. The Bible is not condemning gambling, wagering or lotteries. However, it does warn us against being addicted to money (1 Timothy 6:10; Hebrews 13:5). Scripture also urges us not to seek to get rich quick (Proverbs 13:11; 23:5; Ecclesiastes 5:10). And gaming is just aimed at the love of money and no doubt seduces people with the promise of quick and easy riches.
What is wrong with gambling?
Gambling is a complex subject, because if it is not abused, it is simply a waste of money, but not necessarily a sin. People spend money on various types of entertainment. In this case, gambling is no more a waste of money than going to the cinema, eating inordinately expensive food or buying unnecessary things. But at the same time, the fact that money is wasted on other things does not justify gambling. Money should not be wasted at all. It is better to save for future needs or to donate to God’s work.
Gambling in the Bible
Although there is no specific mention of gambling in the Bible, there are mentions of laying down the will of chance in its pages. For example, the Levites cast lots to choose an animal for sacrifice. Joshua used lots to divide the land among the various tribes of the Israelites. Nehemiah used lots to determine who would live within the walls of Jerusalem and who would live outside the city. The apostles cast lots to choose a replacement for Judah. Nevertheless, Proverbs 16:33 says, “A lot is cast in the floor, but all his decision is from the Lord. Be that as it may, nowhere in the Bible is the use of “chance” or gambling for entertainment described, much less presented as an example for God’s followers to follow.
Casinos and lotteries
Using various tricks and schemes, casinos try to encourage gamblers to risk as much money as possible. They often offer inexpensive or free booze, which leads to intoxication and, consequently, a reduced ability to make informed decisions. Casinos are set up to collect large sums of money and give nothing in return but momentary and empty pleasure. Sometimes lottery organisers are persuaded that it is a good way of funding educational or social programmes. However, according to statistics, lotteries are usually attended by those who are least able to afford to spend money on lottery tickets. The lure of “getting rich quick” is too strong for those in financial difficulty. And because the chance of winning is infinitesimal, it has a detrimental effect on the lives of many people.
Why lotteries displease God
Many people justify their participation in lotteries and gambling by their desire to make money for the church or for charitable activities. While these are good motives, the reality is that gamblers rarely use the money for good purposes. Studies show that several years after hitting the jackpot, the vast majority of gamblers are even worse off financially than they were before the jackpot was paid. Very few, if any, use the money they win for charitable purposes. Furthermore, God does not need our money to fund His mission in the world. Proverbs 13:11 says, “Riches through vanity are exhausted, but he who gathers by works multiplies it. Our God is all-powerful and He can provide for all the needs of the church by honest means. Can God please God with money earned by selling drugs or stolen from the bank? In the same way, God does not need money “stolen” from the poor through the lure of enrichment.
In 1 Timothy 6:10 it is reported: “For the root of all evil is covetousness, to which some have given themselves up to the faith and have caused themselves much affliction. Hebrews 13:5 says, “Have an unmerciful disposition, being content with what you have. For He Himself said, ‘I will not leave you nor forsake you. Matthew 6:24 notes: “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one and love the other; or he will be zealous for the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.
Church ministers often have a negative attitude towards gambling houses, because of the increased risk of wasting large sums of money. The dissatisfaction is also connected with the consumption of alcoholic beverages, with which some weak-minded visitors may overdo it. Under the influence of alcohol, these customers lose self-control and may become overly enthusiastic. Therefore, it is advisable to avoid such excesses and not to engage in rash behaviour.
Don’t pin your hopes on the casino
The chance of easy money is particularly appealing to people who are in difficult situations and are experiencing financial difficulties. However, it is in such cases, you should not rely only on luck. There are warnings and hints in certain chapters of Scripture to refrain from risky ventures.
What do church ministers say about casinos?
Church ministers lead us to the fact that any passion, which is associated with excitement and quick gain, often leads to the decline of spirituality of the person, its moral decay, loss of values, reference points in life. For this reason priests strongly against casinos and gambling equate them to sinful deeds. They recommend such people to think about it, to lead as far as possible a righteous life, and in the form of entertainment it is better to choose walking in nature, visiting cultural events, reading the scriptures and prayers. It is difficult to disagree with such advice, for self-development is always good for everyone.