The Pros and Cons of Gambling
What are the good and bad points, or the pros and cons of gambling?
The pros or good thing about it, is that gambling is used to punish the wicked. Gambling is like robbing the wicked
of their wealth. As we read in Proverbs, "The fool and his money are soon departed."
Those who scorn the righteous go gamble what they have, and come back with nothing. That is their punishment.
The cons of Gambling:
The Bible teaches that we are to be good stewards of the financial resources the Lord
has given us. In Luke 16:10-11, Jesus says:
Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever
is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not
been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?
We are not to squander the finances the Lord gives us on riotous living (Luke 15:11-24), but rather we are to use them to provide for our families and to support the Lord's
If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. (1 Timothy 4:8)
However, for every person who makes a net gain gambling at casinos, there are hundreds
of others who suffer a net loss ... and the losses often drive families to financial
ruin. Gamblers in the United States suffer a total net loss of over 70 billion dollars ($70,000,000,000.00) per year!
In addition, those who are already financially struggling, gamble away three times more
of their money than middle class gamblers in hopes of getting rich quick, which
drives them even deeper into financial despair.
Not only does gambling take resources which should be used to provide for one's family, but it also causes significant increases in divorce, domestic violence, child abuse,
and also greatly increases the number of suicides in a community.
II. Avoid Temptation
The Bible tells us that we are to avoid the temptation of lust for money, which only
ends in disaster.
People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap, and into many foolish
and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money
is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the
faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. But you, man of God, flee from all this
and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.(1 Timothy 6:9-11)
[See also: 1 Corinthians 10:13, and 1 Corinthians 6:18,
Hebrews 13:5, 1 Timothy 6:17, and Luke 12:15.]
God's people are to do perform honest labor to earn money, and not pursue get rich quick fantasies.
He who works his land will have abundant food, but the one who chases fantasies will
have his fill of poverty. (Proverbs 28:9) [See also: Proverbs 13:11, and
2 Thessolonians 3:10.]
The best way to avoid the temptation of slot machines and casinos is to keep them out
of our State.
III. We are to look out for the welfare of others
Christians are to look out for the welfare of others, and help them to avoid sin; not
lead them into temptation. Jesus said it his way:
Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through
whom they come. It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone
tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. So watch
yourselves. If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him.(Luke 17:1-3)
[See also: Matthew 22:39, Romans 12:9-10, and Ezekial 3:18-21]
Even if you would not be tempted to gamble at a casino, the statistics show that many
others will be, and that the results for them will be disastrous. Studies show that slot machine gambling produces reactions in the brain similar to
cocaine use. An estimated 4% of casino patrons become pathological or problem gamblers;
and 52% of casino revenues come from these problem and pathological gamblers.
These gamblers sell all they have, and then beg, borrow and steal to support their gambling addictions.
IV. We are to look out for the welfare of society
The Bible teaches that God's people are to promote righteousness in society, and not to let sin abound.
Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people.
When the righteous thrive, the people rejoice; when the wicked rule, the people groan.
However, where casinos and racinos thrive, sin abounds.
In the first six years of casinos in Minnesota, the crime rate in counties with casinos
increased more than twice as fast as in non-casino counties. Robberies increased by
20%, despite increased expenditures by law enforcement agencies. 62% of gamblers
committed illegal acts as a result of their gambling. A Gamblers Anonymous survey
showed that 47% admitted to stealing to finance their gambling.
Racinos cost communities much more than they give communities. For every $1.00 of
revenue generated by legalized gambling, taxpayers must dish out at least $3.00 in
increased criminal justice costs, social welfare expenses, high regulatory costs and
increased infrastructure expenses.
Finally, casinos and racinos kill existing local businesses. Racinos include
restaurants, bars, and hotels. Within just four years of the casinos arrival in
Atlantic City, one-third of the city's restaurants and retail businesses closed.
Of course, the more money people spend on gambling, the less money they have to spend
on retail items. Citizens in the State of Mississippi legalized casinos in 1993; and
by 1995 they were spending more on gambling than on all retail sales in the State.
In summary, many Biblical principles oppose casino/racino gambling, and there are no good reasons to
have gambling in our community.