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 Issues | Social Ethics | Gambling


The Issues

During the last ten years, through the introduction of the National Lottery and the development in internet gambling, Britain has seen the growth in gambling on an unprecedented scale. The government is now trying to push through legislation to loosen gambling restrictions by allowing super casinos to open in many towns and cities across Britain. With gambling so common in Britain, some serious questions need to be raised regarding the moral, social and political impact that gambling has on society. The following is a list of eight reasons why Christians should be opposed to gambling:


1. Gambling undermines trust in God for our needs

God wants us to depend upon Him for all our needs. We are not to worry about our life, our food and clothing. Life is more important than the material. The pleasures and treasures of this life are nothing in comparison to God's kingdom and righteousness. Neither chance nor fatalism are condoned in the Bible. What is called for is trust in our Father in heaven who provides our daily bread.


2. It is biblically wrong for a Government to promote gambling

As the prayer book reads, the job of those in authority is to punish 'wickedness and vice' and to maintain 'true religion and virtue'. That sentiment is based directly on the teaching in Romans 13, 1-7. Governments are ordained by God to maintain law and order and protect their citizens and restrain evil. For a government to push a gambling agenda onto a nation is entirely contrary to God's purposes.


3. Gambling promotes superstition

The National Lottery symbol (crossed-fingers) encourage wrong attitudes. In some respects the message is implicit rather than explicit. It is nontheless real. Thus instead of encouraging trust in God gambling fosters an irrational belief in fate. That is surely wrong as the bible says that God is in complete control of the universe.


4. Gambling undermines the biblical command to work

Gambling undermines the biblical command to work. Work is part of God's creation ordinance and Christians are to 'work with their hands,' and 'a man who does not work shall not eat.' Gambling encourges a something for nothing attitude and therefore undermines the importance of working for our needs.


5. Gambling promotes greed

The Tenth Commandment is explicit; You shall not covet. What is the driving force behind most people's gambling? It is the craving desire (which can become an obsession) to have more than one has already got. The bible also says that godliness with contentment is great gain.


6. Gambling encourages wrong motives in giving

Many types of gambling are simply there to raise money for good causes. This ranges from raffles and prize draws to the good causes paid out by the National Lottery. Many people's motives for these types of gambling are unlikely to be to give to good causes (especially the National Lottery).


7. Gambling promotes financial hardship amongst the poor

Statistics show that lower income groups spend more than others on gambling, and therefore also a higher percentage of their overall income. Many poor people see gambling as a way out of financial hardship, however with the odds being so low of winning a fortune, gambling for most people makes their situation worse.


8. Gambling leads to addiction

Many people have become addicted to gambling in Britain. This can lead to serious financial and social problems for those (and family members) addicted. Loss of property and possessions is not uncommon. It seems to be an addiction which many find very difficult to stop.






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