Nearly all states allow some form of legalized “gaming. Many allow legal casinos and even more have a lottery. In addition, much gambling is still illegal. Americans gamble more money each year than they spend on groceries! In Mississippi more money is spent on betting than on all retail sales combined. Usually the people who gamble the most are the people who can afford it the least: the poor and the elderly. The purpose of this study is to consider whether or not gambling is morally acceptable. We hope to discuss what constitutes gambling and what the teaching of Jesus Christ says regarding its moral significance. Note: The following study was written primarily to warn people about the dangers of gambling.
A game of chance or skill – any event of uncertain outcome. Before the game each player agrees to risk losing his possession in exchange for the opportunity to take the possessions of others, depending on the outcome of the game. The loser will give up his possessions without being recompensed, and the winner will gain possessions without repaying the loser. Activities That Are Not Gambling People sometimes confuse the issue by claiming that certain acts are gambling, even though some essential elements of gambling are missing. Crossing the street, driving a car Some people say, “Everything in life involves a gamble. These acts involve no wager and no stakes. There is no agreement to try to take someone else’s possessions. Games without stakes or bets The same games, on which people sometimes bet, can be played simply for fun with no possessions put at risk. Some say this is gambling because one risks losing money.
But again there is no wager, but there is compensation. There is no agreement to take other people’s property without compensation. The intent is to produce goods or services of benefit to others in exchange for that which benefits us. This is expressly authorized in Scripture. Stock is a means for people to become part owners of a company. Buying stock is no more inherently gambling than is ownership of any other business. The intent is to make a profit by producing something of benefit to customers.
Investors receive their share of these profits in the form of dividends or increases in the value of the stock. Further, when stock is sold, both buyer and seller agree on the price. There is no wager – no prior agreement to risk loss at another’s expense. If either thinks the price is unfair, they refuse to deal. It may be possible to gamble or otherwise sin in the stock market, but buying stock does not inherently constitute gambling. But again, there is no wager and there is compensation. No one agrees to gain at the expense of someone else’s loss. If no such loss occurs, the customer has purchased the peace of mind of knowing he would have been compensated if he had experienced a loss.
In short, none of these examples constitute gambling, since no one necessarily wants uncompensated losses to occur. But the gambler always wants financial loss to occur, because he hopes to profit from those losses. Activities That Are Gambling In the following examples, all the elements of gambling are present. Casino gambling: slot machines, roulette wheels, dice and card games, numbers games, etc. Charity and church-sponsored bingo, raffles, etc. If someone says, “It’s for a good cause,” then just make a donation and skip the gambling! Bazaar and fair booths where you pay to spin a wheel and try to win a prize, etc. Amateur gambling including poker games for money, office pools, matching quarters for cokes or coffee, playing marbles for keeps. Also included are some athletic leagues where winners are not just awarded a trophy or plaque, but players put money into a “kitty” then play to try to win some of the money. Even if small amounts of money are involved, such activities still violate Bible principles.
i have lost all my money gambling