Is Gambling A Sin?

Considering 1.2 million people have taken their lives by the loss of gambling, more than 10 million Americans are compulsive gamblers - more than the number of alcoholics, and millions of people have lost their families and welfare from the cost of gambling, blood money that is in the pocketbook of the winner, it could very well be that Gambling is a sin.

In order for someone to win, somone has to lose, and christians should always strive for a win, win situation with others. "Lay down your life for your friends". "Love your neighbor as yourself." Would you actually want to see your friends or neighbors lose their home, their cars, their lives, while everything God has given them is accumulating in your bank account? Would God?

Annually, $1 trillion are spent on legal and illegal gambling, God's money, money that has cost the destruction of the children He created so wondrously as His own. Is it God's will for us to strive to obtain money through the loss and destruction of another? Would He bless one with gambling money when it costs God's beloved ones their soul? Would your consious really be free as the loser pulls out a gun and blows their head off, at the same time you are buying that new outfit, tons of groceries, making that payment to keep yourself out of debt?

Therefore, Let's not simply pick at the sides of this torrential, global affair,
let's delve into the core of it.

What is gambling?

It originated from the Old English word gammon - the basic concept of a game. Gambling is based on sheer chance and randomness - without skill or personal involvement. It's not like normal competition, in which you strive for a prize by producing something better, by accomplishing something sooner, or by doing something more efficiently.

In the hope of winning something of greater value, a person risks something of value to the forces of chance beyond his or her control or rational expectation.

Gaming is playing for money in any game of chance, such as slot machines, Roulette, bingo, craps, pay-off pinball machines, punch boards, dream books, chain letters, pyramid money games, poker, black-jack, etc.

Is It A Sin To Gamble?

Study The seems to believe that gambling is a sin. Here is what they have to say:

"Yes, it is a sin to gamble. It is a sin because one goes against God’s plan for man, that he is to earn his living by the sweat of his brow, Genesis 3:19. It is a sin because it will cause one to spend their salary on gambling instead of providing for one’s family. It is a sin because it can cause someone to become so heavily indebted that they lose their job, their home, and their family. It is a sin because it will cause one to do dishonest things in order to get more money to gamble. It is a sin because it can be addictive, just like drugs or alcohol, killing one’s initiative to do honest work. It is a sin because basically it is taking money from many to give to a few. It is a sin because, as all studies show, a community is negatively impacted when gambling is allowed".

They continue,

Is it wrong to play the lottery?

It is our firm conviction that playing the lottery is wrong. The lottery is recognized in all circles as gambling, and such does not mix with Christianity. Christianity is designed to promote the well-being of all adherents, whereas gambling’s purpose is to line the pockets of a few. There is a saying in gambling "the house wins" which is just the opposite of Christianity where everyone wins. However, the highest cost of gambling is not the amount lost but the lives that become marred by obsession, cheating, thievery, lack of self control, the effects of one’s loss upon families, friends and businesses. These are but a few of the tragic results.

The law of God does not allow the "something for nothing" philosophy. Man is not to "sponge" off of those who do work (II Thessalonians 3:10-14; Ephesians 4:28). Gain obtained through exploitation of other people is wrong (James 5:1-4).

While there is no specific Biblical command saying, "Thou shalt not gamble", the principle is there in positive commands and precepts in such scriptures as already cited as well as numerous others some of which are, Matthew 7:12; I Corinthians 8:1-13;10:31; Romans 14:13-21; Colossians 3:1-3.

Christianity and gambling do not mix. Therefore, we would discourage a Christian’s involvement with the lottery or any other form of gambling".

Got Questions Ministries gives their answer to "Is gambling a sin? What does the Bible say about gambling"? This is what they were inspired to write:

"While there is no Biblical condemnation of gambling, there are some principles involved that could be used as a guide. If, for instance, a person is seeking to have their needs met through hopes of a quick fix of their finances, Scripture indicates that our needs are met of the Lord, not through hopes of a quick fix, but through the labour of our hands (See Eccl. 5:10 & Prov. 13:11).

God who gives His children the power, or ability and gifting, to produce wealth. It is this accrued wealth, under the stewardship of the elect, which has a specific divine purpose in God's economy--chiefly, to establish His covenant in the earth. The power and abilities which God gives His children to "get wealth" are not "get rich quick schemes," but, rather, diligent, purposeful work, investment in the kingdom of God, and the principle of covenantal inheritance. It is through these divinely chartered means that covenantal dominion is effected in the earth.

Gambling can be defined as “risking money in an attempt to multiply the money on something that is against the odds.” The Bible does not specifically condemn gambling, betting, or the lottery. The Bible does warn us, however, to stay away from the love of money (1 Timothy 6:10; Hebrews 13:5). Scripture also encourages us to stay away from attempts to "get rich quick" (Proverbs 13:11; 23:5; Ecclesiastes 5:10). Gambling most definitely is focused on the love of money and undeniably tempts people with the promise of quick and easy riches".

Delving further into this controversial subject, gives their answer to "Does the Bible condemn gambling?"

"The Bible indicates that gambling is incompatible with Christianity. Some, for example, may feel that gambling simply fills an economic need. But Jesus taught us to pray, "Give us today our daily bread. How could a person greedily gamble for money and then pray this? Or how could he follow the exhortation: "Keep on, then, seeking first the kingdom and his righteousness, and all these other things [material necessities] will be added to you? Matthew 6:11-15.

The Bible further advises: "Let your manner of life be free of the love of money, while you are content with the present things" Hebrews 13:5. The gambler often is anything but content. In fact, he is greedy, and the Bible says that greedy persons "will not" inherit God's kingdom. 1 Corinthians 6:9,10.

True, some argue that they gamble not for money but for excitement. The Bible roundly condemns, however, those who sidestep godly principles and become lovers of pleasures rather than lovers of God, 2 Timothy 3:4,5. Further, Jesus said: "You must love your neighbor as yourself." (Matthew 22:39) How can a person love his neighbor while trying to take away his neighbor's money? How can gambling be harmonized with the fundamental principle, "There is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving"??? Acts 20:35.

Not to be overlooked is the fact that gamblers often invoke "the god of Good Luck." something the Bible clearly condemns. "But as for you who forsake the LORD and forget my holy mountain, who spread a table for Fortune." Isaiah 65:11.

Finally, consider the corrupting influence gambling has on a Christian's useful habits. Paul explicitely stated in 1 Corinthians 15:33, "Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character." The Christian way of life involves hard work and thrift. "He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need". Ephesians 4:28. Jesus himself showed he was not wasteful when, after the miraculous multiplication of the loaves and the fishes, he gave orders that the leftovers were not to be wasted. John 6:12,13. But rather than following in Jesus footsteps, the gambler is more akin to the prodigal son of Jesus, parable, who squandered his property by living a debauched life. Luke 15:13."

A Puritans's Mind , a website by C. Matthew McMahon, Ph.D. said this, "Gambling and Lotteries are sin: No opportunity ought to be given for subjects to squander their goods, for God has forbidden this." offers us this information on gambling.

The church has spoken out very little and done virtually nothing in opposition to the presence and influence of gambling. Government, especially on the state level, is an advocate for gambling, and the church needs to take a stand, expose the evils of gambling, and declare how it's really at odds with the principles of Scripture.

Why gambling is wrong?

Not justified by the casting of lots. In biblical times lots functioned much like dice. They were made of sheep's knuckle bones, and the roll of those bones indicated a certain meaning. When the people had to make an important decision and had difficulty determining God's will, He sovereignly intervened and caused the lots to fall in such a way as to tell His followers what to do. At no time did anyone ever put something of value at risk.

Denies the reality of God's sovereignty. Chance, the major promise of gambling's outworking, is the fabric of a human imagination that wants to deny the existence of a sovereign God. The Lord has established His throne in the heavens, and His sovereignty rules over all (Ps. 103:19).

Builds on irresponsible stewardship. The worst possible stewardship is for someone to throw God's resources away at the altar of a god called chance or luck. It's idolatry of the worst sort. Nothing we have really belongs to us; it belongs to God, and we should use all of it to His glory (Matt. 6:19-20).

Erodes the biblical work ethic. We are to earn our bread by the sweat of our brows (Gen. 3:19) not from games of chance. The addictive wagering process saps the good that a decent salary can afford.

Driven by the sin of covetousness. Gambling - and its accompanying greediness - violates the 10th commandment (Ex. 20:17). It assumes that God has not given us what we ought to have and that there is somehow more wealth that will finally make us happy.

Builds on the exploitation of others. It exploits people who can least afford to be victims and violates the eighth commandment, You shall not steal (Ex. 20:15). For everyone who wins something at gambling, there are millions of losers - people who have been duped by the seductive marketing appeal of gambling and prompted to throw away large sums of money.

The subject of Gambling on All Expert's website "Christianity -- Christian Living" blog, gets closer to the truth when Elder Greg Madden gives:


God commands us to live a life of faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. Proverbs 3:5-6 makes that clear. We are under God's providential care. When a person gambles, the focus is all together different. The focus shifts to LUCK, CHANCE & FORTUNE. A careful study of Isaiah 65:11-12 makes it clear that God abhorred that kind of behavior then and he abhors that kind of behavior now.

The gains of the winners are paid at the expense of the losers. In winning, one receives the wages that another person has earned without giving anything in exchange. Just because it is robbery by consent does not make it right. Gambling is nothing more than sophisticated stealing. Ephesians 4:28 says "Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth."

Gambling is an attempt to get something for nothing twisted by the willingness to take a risk. It is the desire to "get rich quick" without working for it. The desire to gamble is fueled by the love of money and we know "the love of money is the root of all [kinds of] evil" (I Timothy 6:10). Note the rest of the verse, "…which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced them-selves through with many sorrows."

We are warned about the "something for nothing" and the "get rich quick" craving in the Bible. Proverbs 10:4 says "He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the hand of the diligent maketh rich." Again Proverbs 28:20 & 22 says "A faithful [honest] man shall abound with blessings: but he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent. He that hasteth to be rich hath an evil eye, and considereth not that poverty shall come upon him." Finally, Proverbs 13:11 says "Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished: but he that gathereth by labour shall increase." One writer paraphrased it this way --Wealth from gambling quickly disappears; wealth from hard work grows.

I Corinthians 4: 1-2 says, "Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. More-over it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful." I believe to risk money haphazardly in gambling is to completely disregard the Biblical truth that our possessions are a trust for which we must someday give full account to God!

I Corinthians 6:12 says "All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any." There is only one thing that is to be in control of the believer’s life and that is THE HOLY SPIRIT (Ephesians 5:18). There is no doubt that gambling is addictive. It "gets in your blood". Edgar Allan Poe was a compulsive gambler and so was famous gambler, Nick the Greek (Nicholas Andrea Dandolos). He won as much as $50 million in a single night. By his account, he went from rags to riches and back again 73 times in his life. During his life time he won and lost more than $500 million. He died broke, on Christmas day in 1966. . "Should Christians be involved with lotteries or other forms of gambling?"

The Bible does not specifically forbid gambling, but there are several biblical principles that should make Christians hesitate to participate:

God presents work as the normal way to get the money we need (Eph 4:28; II Thess. 3:12; Prov. 31). When a person cannot work, the second choice is prayer (Phil. 4:6, 19).

All my income belongs to God, not me (Psa. 24:1), and I am not free to use it as I wish. I am a steward, who should use it for God's purposes. Christians are called on to meet the needs of their family (I Tim. 5:8), and share with others, particularly Christians who have needs (2 Cor 8-9; Gal. 6:6-10; 3 John).

Ask: Does God want me to use His money to buy a lottery ticket?

God uses money to accomplish important purposes in my life:

     A. Meet basic needs (Matt. 6:11; I Tim. 6:8).
     B. Build character. (Phil 4:10-13)
     C. Give direction, by providing or withholding resources.
     D. Helping others through me.
     E. Show His power by providing miraculously.

Ask: Does gambling accomplish these results? Am I looking to God or to the lottery for my needs?

4. Greed and covetousness are sin (Ex. 20:18; I Tim. 6:9; Heb 13:5), and these are motives in most gambling.

5. Proverbs warns of disaster for people who want to get rich quickly (28:20,22).

6. Wealth that comes easily goes just as easily (Prov. 13:11).

7. Wealth gained the wrong way breaks up families (Prov. 15:27).

8. Gambling can be addictive, and even if you don't fall prey to it as a compulsive habit, your example may cause others to be enslaved by it (I Cor. 8:9, 13).

Author: Dr. John Bechtle

Is Gambling Entertainment or a Sin ? By Pastor: John Reaves Sr.

One of our visitors at church asked about gambling, since a Lutheran pastor wrote that he considered playing the lottery once a week to be "entertainment" and therefore, with only a dollar at stake, harmless.

Gambling is a sin because it is based upon gaining from another's loss, in other words, a sophisticated form of stealing. Gambling is also sinful because it is fueled by coveting, which violates the Ten Commandments. Our confessions state: "For although you go your way as if you had done no one any wrong, you have nevertheless injured your neighbor; and if it is not called stealing and cheating, yet it is called coveting your neighbor's property, that is, aiming at possession of it..."

If you think that the lottery is not based upon getting something for nothing, then watch the ads on TV, which fuel coveting by promising millions of dollars in return for a "small investment."

One must be blind to ignore the cases of mothers and fathers who fail to clothe and feed their children because income has been diverted for the "big win" at the racetrack, lottery, or card game. Can we happily spend money taken from these children?

Nor should we cloak sin with Pharisaical limits and say, "It's only one dollar a week." Those who buy lottery tickets are buying the ads which seduce people who cannot afford to gamble. If I steal only one dollar from my neighbor, is it not a theft because of the small sum involved? One dollar a week adds up.

C.F.W. Walther used to teach that stealing a penny is a sin, just as much as stealing a fortune.

The lotteries, riverboat gambling, and Indian reservation casinos have all attracted crime without benefiting the community. (An Atlantic City resident told me that legal gambling increased crime without raising wages.) The Word of God warns us against the mentality behind the "big win" which will solve all our problems.

Proverbs 21:25-26 (KJV) "The desire of the slothful killeth him; for his hands refuse to labor. He coveteth greedily all the day long: but the righteous giveth and spareth not."

God will not let the righteous go hungry or his children begging for bread (Psalm 37), but Donald Trump's casinos and the state lotteries will. Ironic fact: Trump had to beg the courts to protect him from bankruptcy, caused by his casinos in Atlantic City. Also, many "legal" gambling operations have been penetrated and subverted by organized crime.

If Lutherans go to church every week and play the lottery, are they not pronouncing their blessing upon all gambling? Paul warned us not to tempt others with our behavior, even if we can justify it. (1 Corinthians 8:11).

Gambling, like all other sins, will lead us away from Christ by hardening our hearts. We are forgiven through his death on the cross. The Word not only reveals the will of God but also gives us the power to obey it, first showing us our true condition then offering us the forgiveness and comfort of the Gospel.

Those who are still tempted to play the lottery should remember what professional gamblers call their clients: suckers.

To Play or Not to Play ? By Larry Burkett, founder of Christian Financial Concepts.

There was a time when the word "entertainment" meant going to such places as ballparks, theaters, and amusement parks. The word "gambling" referred to playing the slot machines, card tables, and roulette wheels of Las Vegas.

But in the last three decades, the line between entertainment and gambling has faded. In fact, we could say that gambling in America now is a major form of entertainment.

As always, sin has consequences, and gambling is no exception. Proverbs 22:8 says, "He who sows iniquity will reap vanity," and since our sowing has been so widespread, we are reaping a major harvest of suffering.

When I think of what it's doing to our nation, I'm reminded of what a prophet said about Israel more than 2,000 years ago: "For they sow the wind, and they reap the whirlwind" (Hosea 8:7).

Should Christians gamble?

Of course, there are people, including state leaders, who would argue that gambling is a good thing because it provides entertainment, creates jobs, and funds education in states like Georgia.

They also might argue that other things, like fried foods and credit, are harmful when used excessively, and they would be right. Therefore, should Christians gamble if they do so in moderation?

Although it's easy to argue against gambling from a purely secular standpoint, the primary argument against Christians gambling is spiritual.

To entice someone to gain money at the certain loss of another violates virtually every principle taught by Christ. It breeds selfishness, greed, and covetousness and, in fact, promotes them.

"For many walk, of whom I often told you, and now tell you even weeping, that they are enemies of the cross of Christ, whose end is destruction, whose god is their appetite, and whose glory is in their shame, who set their minds on earthly things" (Philippians 3:18-19).

Furthermore, gambling is the ultimate get-rich-quick scheme. (1) The participants may be encouraged to risk money they can't afford to lose. (2) They may know little or nothing about what they are doing. (3) They're forced to make hasty decisions. (4) They operate on the greater sucker theory. In other words, when they dump money into the slot machine, they believe there was a greater sucker before them who risked his or her money and then quit just before the big jackpot.

Any get-rich-quick scheme is developed to entrap the weak and especially the poor. After all, what does a wealthy man need with a get-rich-quick scheme? Gambling is an almost irresistible enticement to people who want to meet the needs and desires of their families but find that they cannot.

So, regardless of how socially acceptable gambling has become, it's still preying on the weaknesses of others. This runs counter to the Scriptures, which encourage us to help the weak and seek good for all men. "And we urge you, brethren, admonish the unruly, encourage the fainthearted, help the weak, be patient with all men. See that no one repays another with evil for evil, but always seek after that which is good for one another and for all men" (1 Thessalonians 5:14-15).

Many Christians are guilty of supporting lotteries, bingo, racing, and so forth under the assumption that gambling really doesn't hurt anyone. That's exactly what Satan would have us to believe.

We pass our value system along to those around us--first, to our own families, then to our friends and neighbors. If our value system is no better than the world's in which we live, then truly we have been conformed to the image of this world.

"Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense either to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God; just as I also please all men in all things, not seeking my own profit, but the profit of the many, that they may be saved" (1 Corinthians 10:31-33).


Proverbs 13:11
Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.

Hebrews 13:5-6
Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”

1 Timothy 6:10
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this "craving" that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.

Ecclesiastes 3:13
That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his "toil—this is the gift (blessing) of God."

The Bible says run from get rich quick schemes. It says it over and over again. Proverbs 21:5 (LB) says, “Steady plodding brings prosperity; hasty speculation brings poverty.”

Proverbs 21
"The plans of hard-working people earn a profit, but those who act too quickly become poor."

Proverbs 13:11
"Wealth from get-rich-quick schemes quickly disappears; wealth from hard work grows over time."

When God gives money, He gives slowly and shows how to spend it. When satan showers with money, he does it quickly and slyly, and yes indeed one may believe it came from God.

Don’t whittle away what God has given you by falling for get-rich-quick schemes. Instead, keep working hard and slowly building wealth. GOD’S WISDOM IS, PLAN WELL, WORK HARD, & BUILD WEALTH SLOWLY.

Who are you bowing down too? A god of chance and luck, or too our God of certainty and abundant and eternal blessings.

Does the thought of going into a casino excite you?
Does winning tons of money give you great pleasure?

Is Gambling A Sin?
You decide and let the Holy Spirit Guide!