Online Gambling: Pros and Cons

online gamblingFrom a religious point of view, gambling is not exactly recommended; many countries and especially Ango-Saxon ones, base their laws on Judeo-Christian morality and thus consider gambling a taboo. Yet, why? Another view one can take is that sport is sport and since it is legitimate for entertainment to cost some bucks, why should this particular kind of entertainment be frowned upon?

In fact, on the Christian side, one would be hard pressed to find a clear biblical restriction, both in the Old or New Testament, against gambling. Yet, there are a few passages that make such an inference possible. Some examples in the New Testament clearly state money should be generated by means of work. Should that not be possible, one should turn to prayers (Eph. 4:28; IIThess. 3:12; Phil.4:6, 19). This can be interpreted as forbidding professional gambling. And what about gambling as a game? It may be argued that gambling exemplifies greed as well as covetousness, both of which are prohibited and can surely be viewed as contributing factors to the wish to gamble. Lastly, there are a several Scripture arguments stating that quick wealth leads to disasters, money gained through indecent means harms families (Prov. 15:27) and, since it is a Christian duty to set a good example, one should not get involved in potentially addictive activities.

With this in mind, the question arises why it should be problematic if players play merely for entertainment reasons?

This is where the not so clear cut Jewish response comes into play. To begin with, Jewish books state many examples issues where settled by drawing lots: So if God may be asked for answers using lots, why does that not apply to gambling? Post-biblical Jewish scripture, for instance, asserts that professional players cannot be trusted to bear witness. While that tells us that back in the day when this was written such a person might have existed, it says nothing as to whether gambling is legal or not. To be sure, the stoutest Jewish denouncement of gambling originates in the Middle Ages and from Maimonides, a great Jewish teacher. He stated that gambling among Jews was forbidden since it lead to one person taking another’s money against their wish. Nobody wants to loose and therefore he considered money taken by means of gambling as stolen. Nonetheless, some Jewish gambling traditions do exist, such as dreidle spinning on Chanukah or even raffles and lottery style fund raisers in synagogues nowadays.

So with this in mind, is, from a religious standpoint, online gambling forbidden or not? We have provided you with some necessary information to hopefully be able to make this decision on your own.

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