Gambling

Andy C

Well-Known Member
Is gambling a sin? I feel like maybe it should be, but I know of no verses that actually forbid it.
I agree with the below from Jack Kelley. Myself, I have not placed a bet on anything since I was a teenager. I have over the years occasionally played poker with friends, but never a high stakes game, and nobody lost more than they could easily afford.


“Gambling is not a sin until it becomes a habit that you can’t control. As long a you can afford it and the money you lose doesn’t jeopardize your ability to meet your financial obligations, but is just a form of entertainment, there’s no problem. Personally, I’ve never had so much money that I could feel OK about throwing it away, but that’s just my opinion.

As you’re making your decision, remember Paul’s admonition in 1 Cor 6:12:

“Everything is permissible for me”–but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible for me”–but I will not be mastered by anything.”

Gambling is a very addictive behavior. You can’t say for certain that you won’t develop a problem, any more than a person taking their first drink or smoking their first cigarette can. Be careful”.

https://gracethrufaith.com/ask-a-bible-teacher/is-gambling-a-sin-2/
 

Tall Timbers

Imperfect but forgiven
Gambling is a sin for me, maybe not for others, and I don't judge anyone for gambling. Me, I don't enter games of chance. As a crewdog (aircrew member), we tended to do different things based on where we were deployed. When deployed to Kadena, most of the guys would have card games where they gambled. I assumed poker. Gambling, boozing, and cigars was the activity. It's interesting that they knew without asking that I wouldn't want to participate.

The only exception was one night at a Pub at RAF Mildenhall in England a very worldly fellow who I'd been crewed with for a long time kept trying to get me to play on this one gambling machine that he frequented. One night we were there, I think we took some of our meals there, and I was fond of a pint of Guinness... he got my attention and wanted me to come over. He put some money in my hand and there was already money he'd put in the machine. The machine was producing winnings apparently, and I could tell he wanted to share that with me so badly, that I did it for him. Sure enough, the winnings kept coming. He wouldn't let me give any of the winnings or the starter money he'd given me back to him, he just wanted to share something with me that he enjoyed. I never felt bad about doing that as I was really doing it for him.

Another time when I was doing missionary work in Colombia, There was a raffle to raise money for I don't remember what. The winner would get a 100 pesos, which was the equivalent of about 3 US dollars, or 3 days of work for the laborers in the area. People kept asking me to buy a ticket and I kept telling them I didn't gamble in games of chance. Plus, I don't think I had a peso in my pocket... I usually didn't have any money. A neighbor campesina decided to buy a ticket in my name. When she told me what she'd done I told her she could keep the winnings should it come to that. She refused, but finally agreed to accept half if the ticket won. My ticket won. I had to go to the local police to collect the winnings. While there the head guy showed me the jail cells and told me that when a person is in jail they don't eat or drink unless someone brings food and water to them. The walls were earth and many feet thick. It was very dark inside and there were no "facilities" nor a bed of any kind. Just a dirt floor and walls that were around 4 feet thick or so. There was crime in the area, usually on weekend nights when people would get liquored up. Fights would break out and inevitably someone would be murdered by machete.
 

Andy C

Well-Known Member
Gambling is a sin for me, maybe not for others, and I don't judge anyone for gambling
Romans 14 does not mention gambling, but it does stress some areas may be considered sinful for some, and not sinful for others. If something is a controlling factor over anyone, and they continue to engage, then yes, it would be sinful for them.

I have never had any issue with gambling, or drinking. However, I have not gambled at all for at least 10 years, not have I had any alcohol for the last 18 months. If I were to do either of these areas again, I would not consider it sinful FOR ME, since it never had any control over me.
 

Amethyst

Angie ... †
Gambling wasn't a controlling factor for me, as I never really participated, but I still consider it sinful for me.
Gambling is not fitting behavior for a Christian.

All it takes is one time for a man with a wife and kids to lose their entire savings on one game. That would bring shame to the Lord and the mans family.

Having said that, context is necessary. Some would stay stocks are gambling. But are all your savings in stocks?
 

Tall Timbers

Imperfect but forgiven
Having said that, context is necessary. Some would stay stocks are gambling. But are all your savings in stocks?

I am an investor. A long term investor as opposed to a "trader". I don't do puts or calls, I don't invest on margin. I see some forms of trading as gambling. I wouldn't be an investor if I considered what I was doing gambling. When I turned over an investment account to my oldest boy who happens to be a math genius I think he was thinking he was going to conquer the markets and become rich. He lost everything in short order and it was quite a bit that he lost. I was afraid he might be a gamblingaholic but when I last visited him he said he's completely avoiding investing activities of all kinds now. I was worried for him but I think he learned a valuable lesson.

95% or so of my life's income has come from profitable long term investments. I believe that my type of investing undergirds the economy and provides jobs. The markets used to be a really positive force but with the advent of computer based trading, day trading, AI assisted programmed trading, it's really become little more than a casino. Long term trading (buy low, sell high) still has a good platform, but is much more painful now because of increased volatility in the markets that generally are not logical.
 

Amethyst

Angie ... †
I am an investor. A long term investor as opposed to a "trader". I don't do puts or calls, I don't invest on margin. I see some forms of trading as gambling. I wouldn't be an investor if I considered what I was doing gambling. When I turned over an investment account to my oldest boy who happens to be a math genius I think he was thinking he was going to conquer the markets and become rich. He lost everything in short order and it was quite a bit that he lost. I was afraid he might be a gamblingaholic but when I last visited him he said he's completely avoiding investing activities of all kinds now. I was worried for him but I think he learned a valuable lesson.

95% or so of my life's income has come from profitable long term investments. I believe that my type of investing undergirds the economy and provides jobs. The markets used to be a really positive force but with the advent of computer based trading, day trading, AI assisted programmed trading, it's really become little more than a casino. Long term trading (buy low, sell high) still has a good platform, but is much more painful now because of increased volatility in the markets that generally are not logical.
Sounds like you've developed level headedness about it all :thumbup Maybe Americans more than any are prone to extreme depression based on the ups and downs of the stock market and I dont believe God ever meant for it to be that way. I have stocks too but i have to play it safe. Dont gain too much or lose much either.

It seems plain greed is at root of all this.
 

Tall Timbers

Imperfect but forgiven
Maybe Americans more than any are prone to extreme depression based on the ups and downs of the stock market and I dont believe God ever meant for it to be that way.

It's not an easy profession, that's for sure. I know I've got a little more skip to my step when the portfolio is up a good bit, and it's overall extremely stressful. God helped me learn not to worship mammon, and the lessons weren't easy, but needed. Since I'm living off of our assets now since I've been retired for 20 years, I have to be very cautious too. Inflation is the only reason I continue to invest, otherwise I'd retire from that too.
 

Andy C

Well-Known Member
It's not an easy profession, that's for sure. I know I've got a little more skip to my step when the portfolio is up a good bit, and it's overall extremely stressful. God helped me learn not to worship mammon, and the lessons weren't easy, but needed. Since I'm living off of our assets now since I've been retired for 20 years, I have to be very cautious too. Inflation is the only reason I continue to invest, otherwise I'd retire from that too.
I have never once directly bought any stocks, nor paid any attention to the stock market. I prefer real estate, I need to see what Im investing in, or living in.

I knew you did well in the market, especially when you showed up for our lunch in a limousine, and a driver which looked like a penguin, but more likely was a man dressed in a tuxedo.
 
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Tall Timbers

Imperfect but forgiven
I have never once directly bought any stocks, nor paid any attention to the stock market. I prefer real estate, I need to see what Im investing in, or living in.

I knew you did well in the market, especially when you showed up for our lunch in a limousine, and a driver which looked like a penguin, but more likely was a man dressed in a tuxedo.

No, it was indeed an Alaska penguin, especially trained to drive limos. I thought if they could learn to surf, surely they could also learn to drive...
 

Baby Yoda

Watchman
Thanks for the replies. I personally don't feel petty gambling is a sin, however as someone mentioned risking house and grocery money that hurts your family is sinful. Really trying to settle a friendly disagreement with a co-worker.

What I remember reading somewhere is that the problem is you aren't trusting God with your future when you gamble. I don't really think it's a big deal if you don't abuse it. We do occasional scratch-off lottery tickets, it's fun.
 

daygo

Well-Known Member
Is gambling a sin? I feel like maybe it should be, but I know of no verses that actually forbid it.
Basically yes it is, suppose it depends on money spent eg if you gamble away large part of your salary on it and it becomes an addiction where the people suffer closest to you just my opinion.
 

alisani

Well-Known Member
I like a game of poker just as a game. My dad taught me to play as a kid and we played with pennies or pebbles. To go beyond that...not for me. I have a mental image of the Roman soldiers gambling at His feet while He is on the cross in complete agony. For His clothes no less. I can't do it.
 

twerpv

Well-Known Member
I say that gambling is betting money (or something of value) that you cannot afford to lose.
So (in my opinion and my opinion only)
Gambling is a sin but betting is not.
 

seated with Christ

Come quickly, Lord Jesus.
It is risking the monetary loss to your family and the loss of God provision and gift - it is not trusting God.

I never gambled and smoked until I was enrolled into a Baptist church school. Outside of that I played video poker once and won $.75, I never cashed it in.
 
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