What does the Bible say about gambling? Is it wrong? I feel that it is, but I don’t know where to find verses to back that up. 


Although the word “gambling” is not directly mentioned in the Bible, there are clear Bible principles that we violate when we participate in gambling whether we play government sponsored lotteries, visit the casino or indulge in a neighborhood poker game.

First, what do we mean by gambling? Simply put, is the activity of staking something of value on a game of chance hoping to acquire gain. We put money or something else at risk hoping to acquire the money or goods of others who also put theirs at risk.

Why is it wrong? We can list just three principles that help us understand the sinfulness of gambling.

First, it violates the “golden” rule. See Matt. 7:12. Here, Jesus tells us that we should treat our neighbor as we would want them to treat us. But, in gambling, our goal is to take all we can from our neighbor.

Second, Gambling is stealing by consent. That is, all agree that, if the game of chance ends in a certain way, they will take from one another. We would not enjoy someone directly stealing thousands of dollars from us, but we consent to allowing others to take thousands of dollars from us in a game of chance. Eph. 4:28.

Third, gambling encourage covetousness and not hard work. The Bible plainly teaches us to work hard, providing for ourselves and for others. And, if we do not, we should not enjoy the privileges of eating and being cared for. 2 Thes. 3.

Finally, although there may be some who try to make a direct parallel between gambling and making an investment, these are not the same. When you make an investment in the stock market, you are giving to a company who produces a product or a service. Both you and the company have a chance to profit (or lose) based on the performance of the company. If you do not like its performance or have made what you believe to be a reasonable profit, you can always sell your stock.

By Gary Hunt

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