DISCUSSION: Is Gambling Ungodly?
- Bet, Casino, Dice, discussion, Gambling, Lottery, opinions, Sports bets, Wager
- November 26, 2014
For about four days last September, I spent an average of 3-hours each day in a cybercafé close to my parents’ home. As it turned out, that cybercafé also doubled as a registered bookie for an online sports betting site presently operating in Nigeria. Within those four days, I observed as young men trooped into the cybercafé to do only one thing- wager a few hundred Naira, on the outcomes of foreign league soccer matches, in hopes of earning a few thousand Naira if they were lucky. On noticing this trend I thought to myself ‘Nigeria is in trouble’.’ If young men would rather spend their time and money gambling on the internet instead of doing other more productive things on the internet, then the future of our nation is in trouble’.
Was I wrong to think that way? Was I being too pessimistic and simply over exaggerating the possible effects of a harmless pastime? Maybe. Maybe not.
WHAT IS ‘GAMBLING’?
Gambling is the wagering/betting of money or any thing of material value on an event which has an unknown outcome. The main intent of such wagering is to win more money and/or material goods. Some outcomes of gambling games are based solely on chance as in lotteries, slot machines, the tossing of dice, the tossing of a ball on a roulette wheel e.t.c. while the outcome of some gambling games are based on the combination of chance, training and strategy such as in sports and poker.
WHY DO PEOPLE GAMBLE?
From my study so far, people gamble for the following reasons;
- To overcome boredom
- To distract themselves from pressing problems/stress/worries
- Just for the fun of it
- To enjoy the competition or challenge of trying to beat other players/the bookie/dealer
- To solve financial problems
THE MOST OBVIOUS PROBLEM ASSOCIATED WITH GAMBLING
Well, although gambling could be fun, research shows that it could (not would though) get us into trouble. The main problem associated with gambling is the fact that gambling has the ability to develop into an addiction similar to drug addiction. This means that a person who picks up the habit of gambling is at risk of becoming an addict/a problem gambler.
Some of the negative physical, psychological and social consequences of problem gambling on the addict include: migrain, distress, depression and anxiety related disorders. Other members of society also suffer at the hands of such addicts as they have been know to steal or even kill in order to get money to feed their addiction to gambling.
WHAT DOES THE BIBLE SAY ABOUT GAMBLING?
Nothing- at least not directly. I haven’t read one thing in my Binle that directly tells if I should or shouldn’t gamble as a Christian. Or if gambling is a sin or not.
THE ISSUE/MY QUESTIONS
Since the Bible seems silent on the issue of gambling, do you think its O.K for Christians to gamble? If only just for fun?
Do you think gambling is an ungodly activity in and of itself? And why do you think so?
And finally, If you are of the opinion that gambling is in someway ungodly or unwise for a Christian, what scriptures have informed your perspective, seeing that the Bible doesn’t directly address this activity?
I eagerly look forward to your insightful comments and opinions. Shalom!!!
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