Gambling n lotteries




Case 1 

  A policeman was earning a good wage and was well respected in his work. He was faithful to keep order and peace. However he himself had a problem with gambling. He had a nice home, 5 children and gambled away his home and property. Suddenly the wife was surprised as all the bills came in unpaid. The home was gambled away and there was no place to go. The man repented and was convicted about the Sabbath. He quit his police work and went into selling Christian books. It took a long time to rebuild what he had gambled away. But most important he and his family were saved from Satan's horrid trap of gambling. They suffered the consequences of actions by long hard labor to start over.


Case 2

One time a neighbor told us he had a friend that never gambled in his life. He got a lottery ticket and won at least a million dollars. Stories like this one cause many to slip into a very destructive habit of gambling. It is one of the signs of the end of time. There will be more gambling and loss.


Case 3

We once had a neighbor who wanted to buy our home. Over 3 years he tried to come up with the money. He gambled all his money to get our home. He had several thousand dollars and wasted it all away by gambling trying to obtain the down payment money. Finally


Gambling in its different forms is the fastest growing addiction in America. Twenty years ago it was against the law in all states except Nevada. Now even state governments are using it to meet their budgets. The end result of this mad dash for money is an ugly devastation of our country. As the poor become poorer, there will be increased violence and crime to recover their dignity.
Case 4: A patient of mine was a US mail carrier. She often had sore arms and back from carrying the mail. At Christmas time, she hurt more because more mail was carried and it took longer. One day she came into the office thrilled about a vacation trip. She was going to Reno, Nevada where thousands go to gamble. She had saved up thousands of dollars. She was all excited about her trip plans. She wanted to win and come home with lots of money. She came home real discouraged. She lost it all. She was very depressed.
What does the Bible say about lotteries, or gambling?

There is not a direct text but many principles  cover the reasons people will gamble or play the lottery. One reason people gamble is a desire for quick easy money.

The 10th commandment found in Exodus 20:17 speaks to a selfish problem where people desire more than they have. "Thou shalt not covet"

Bible teaching is clear on the danger of riches. Ecclesiastes 5:10 says, "If you love money, you will never be satisfied; if you long to be rich, you will never get all you want.

What else does the Bible say that can teach us if lotteries, wheel of fortune, or gambling are for Christians?

We are stewards of time and money. Gambling causes time loss and money losses.
To each person God has given time and talent. If these are wasted, many in the family suffer. The person who gambles away the money gets so addicted that others go without basic needs like food, clothes, dental care and health care. Time and money belong to God. "You are bought with a price." (1 Corinthians 6:20) Consider the parable of the talents where the owner gave one servant 5, another 3 and the last got 1. The last man hid his talent in the earth. The owner rebuked him. How much sterner would have been the reproof if he had gambled it away? If your time and money were your own, we could say, "gamble all you please, it's your own business." But to gamble with money that is not your own, to waste time that is not your own, makes one nothing less than a thief in God's sight. And the Bible does say that a thief will not get to heaven. 1 Corinthians 6:9,10.

Jesus tells of a rich man who had earned his wealth by growing things. He made bigger barns and that night he died. His wealth was not gotten by gambling but he had such a strong desire for wealth, he was not sharing anything, just making bigger store houses. Jesus says where your treasure is there will your heart be also. Mathew 6:21

Some churches set up bingo, lotteries and surprise grab bags in order to raise money for some good project. Most careful Christians do not gamble in any form. They class lotteries, slot machines, horse or dog racing, sweepstakes, roulette wheels, poker, bridge, or flipping a coin as gambling. All of these things are chance. Mathew 7:16 says by their fruits you can know them. Gambling leads to poverty and crime. The fruit of gambling is loss, sorrow and shame as well as crime. It brings suffering on the whole family. Because churches do this, others are encouraged to do it and much sorrow follows.

Believe on the WORD of Jesus. He does not approve gambling. Stay on the ROCK Jesus.

Gambling casinos are scientifically designed to squeeze the maximum amounts of money possible from every single patron. It is by its very nature an enterprise wholly dependent on victims. They cause the poor to become poorer. This is selfish greed with a capital "G". Both the poor and the casino owner have greed.

Gambling violates the Bible laws in how to care for the poor. Leviticus 25:35 And if thy brother be waxen poor, and fallen in decay with thee; then thou shalt relieve him: [yea, though he be] a stranger, or a sojourner; that he may live with thee. 
25:36 Take thou no usury of him, or increase: but fear thy God; that thy brother may live with thee. 
25:37 Thou shalt not give him thy money upon usury, nor lend him thy victuals for increase. 
25:38 I [am] the LORD your God, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, to give you the land of Canaan, [and] to be your God. 
25:39 And if thy brother [that dwelleth] by thee be waxen poor, and be sold unto thee; thou shalt not compel him to serve as a bondservant: 

Deut. 15:7 If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any of thy gates in thy land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother: 
15:8 But thou shalt open thine hand wide unto him, and shalt surely lend him sufficient for his need, [in that] which he wanteth. 
15:9 Beware that there be not a thought in thy wicked heart, saying, The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand; and thine eye be evil against thy poor brother, and thou givest him nought; and he cry unto the LORD against thee, and it be sin unto thee. 

Solomon in Proverbs said:

"If you oppress poor people you insult the God who made them." (14:31) "Speak up for people who cannot speak for themselves ... protect the rights of the poor and needy." (31:8-9)


Gambling violates the Bible request to be loving

Since the Law of Christ (Galatians 6:2) mandates a supreme love for God and a love for our neighbour that is equal to the consideration that we ought to give to ourselves, then gambling violates the Law of Love because it only allows or enables the gain of one party at the expense of another. "We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil" (Proverbs 1:13). And, "for the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows" (1Timothy 6:10).

Gambling is stealing.  It is robbery.The winners gain what the losers worked for. Ephesians 4:28 says "Let him that stole steal no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth."

What is wrong with gambling? Look at what these governors said about it.

Governor Washburn, of Wisconsin, in his annual message declared "that church fairs, charitable raffles, concert lotteries for charitable and other purposes, prize packages, 'grabbags,' Sabbath-school and other religious chances by ticket, are nurseries of crime, inasmuch as they promise something for nothing, are games of chance, and are really gambling. He says that the pernicious spirit of gambling is fostered, encouraged, and kept alive by these agencies to a degree little known by good citizens; and that, but for them, the ordinary laws against gambling would be much less violated and much more easily enforced. These practices, he declares, ought not to be permitted any longer to debauch the morals of the young." {GC88 387.2}       January 9, 1873

He also said: "Some law seems to be required to break up the schools where gamblers are made. These are everywhere. Even the church (unwittingly, no doubt) is sometimes found doing the work of the devil. Gift concerts, gift enterprises and raffles, sometimes in aid of religious or charitable objects, but often for less worthy purposes, lotteries, prize packages, etc., are all devices to obtain money without value received.

Another governor said this: "the entire history of legalized gambling in this country and abroad shows that it has brought nothing but poverty, crime, and corruption, demoralization of moral and ethical standards, and ultimately a lower living standard and misery for all the people." A gambler can become just as addicted to his bewitching pastime as the alcoholic does to his liquor or the drug addict to drugs.  Tom Dewey as governor,  addressed the NY legislature with the above words.


Gambling is dangerous and destroys families. Children are started on gambling at a very young age. There are online casinos with easy computer access.  I am alarmed as I see how easy this vice has crept into the American homes by computer. All inhibitions of others seeing what you are doing are gone and then before the person realizes it they are addicted.

  James Dobson says, "Gambling is not harmless entertainment, as its defenders contend. It is not like bowling, baseball or backpacking. It is a greed-driven, predatory vice, scientifically designed to squeeze the maximum amounts of money possible from every single patron. It is by its very nature an enterprise wholly dependent on victims."

Dobson made the following observation: Casinos have become "family fun centers," complete with amusement rides and video arcades featuring casino-style games. Lotteries saturate the airwaves with seductive advertising, using cartoon characters and other ploys to entice the young. In South Carolina, 30,000 video poker machines in such places as pizza parlors and bowling alleys are legally accessible to elementary schoolchildren.

The statistics are amazing. More than 15 million Americans are already afflicted with a gambling problem, and the numbers are growing. For many, their obsession with gambling will culminate in divorce, bankruptcy, domestic violence, criminal activity, child abuse, and even suicide.

According to John Kindt’s testimony before a hearing of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Small Business, "for every $1 the state receives in gambling revenues, it costs the state at least $3 in increased criminal-justice, social-welfare and other expenses. And that’s not all! Legalized gambling is a messy business! It brings addiction (including adolescent addicts), family devastation, crime, poverty, government corruption and economic burdens.

History of Gambling

Old Roman records show a lawyer speaking against this vice.

The Roman lawyer and satirist Juvenal (60-140A.D.) characterized it as a domineering vice of the foolish. Historian Steinmetz looked at gambling as a disfiguring, destructive vice, that often involved murder or suicide.

The Romans worshipped a false goddess named FORTUNA. She was the goddess of FORTUNE & CHANCE. The Roman poet Juvenal wrote of her saying, "Thou wouldst have no divine power if we were prudent."

Giovanni Jacopo (ya-ko-po) Casanova. He promoted the lottery in France in the 1700's

 He was a writer, womanizer, adventurer and gambler. At the height of his career, Casanova convinced the King of France to run a lottery to raise money to build a military academy. Casanova would super-vise the lottery and deduct a percentage for his part. Cash prizes would be offered in a drawing and the king would get the rest for his project. It was very successful. The king was happy, the people were happy, and Casanova lined his pockets.

What is Gambling: 

The following  3 elements must be present for something to be defined as gambling…

  1. A PAY-OFF
  3. THE STAKE (the money or article of value) RISKED BY THE BETTOR

Consider these examples and evaluate if they have elements of the above.

  1. Speculating in the stock market while there are bets if it goes up or down can be just as addictive as gambling and involve loss.
  2.  What about Sweepstakes and contests such as, the Readers Digest, Publishers Clearing House or supermarket contests? While not strictly gambling, "many people get hooked on such gimmicks and the danger is that a false philosophy of financial gain is developed." (Gambling; Dr. Kober, p 3).
  3. Gaming -- playing for money in any game of chance, such as slot machines, Roulette, bingo, craps, pay-off pinball machines, punch boards, dream books, chain letters, pyramid money games, poker, black-jack, etc.
  4. Betting -- staking money on an event which the outcome is doubtful. Examples are, horse or dog racing, cock or dog fights, tennis, hockey, football, basketball, hockey, baseball, pool, etc. You can bet on just about anything.
  5. Lotteries – A lottery is the distribution of prizes by the drawing of lots. Most states run a variety of lotteries. Pick three and power-ball are among the most popular in our area.
  6. Sweepstakes and Raffles – More than 50 countries around the world have sweepstakes, like the Irish Sweepstakes. Technically, a raffel is a lottery where each participant is buying a chance to win. If you buy a ticket or two for a good cause, with the purpose of it being a donation to a worthy organization, I do not see any problem with that.
  7. Pools – A combination of betting and lotteries. The most popular is the check pool at work, though there are football pools, etc
What is not gambling

Giving of prizes is NOT gambling if you do not have to risk anything to get the prize.


For more info:

Information Resources:

Lotteries and gambling Danger! Danger! Danger!

" All these inconsistencies, sanctioned by professed Christians under a garb of Christian beneficence, to collect means to pay church expenses, have their influence with the youth to make them lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God. They think if Christians can encourage and engage in these lotteries and scenes of festivities, and connect them with sacred things, why may not they be safe in taking an interest in lotteries and in engaging in gambling to win money for special objects." {Con 68.2} 

Satan has invented many ways in which to squander the means which God has given. Card playing, betting, gambling, horse racing, and theatrical performances are all of his own inventing, and he has led men to carry forward these amusements as zealously as though they were winning for themselves the precious boon of eternal life. Men lay out immense sums in following these forbidden pleasures; and the result is, their God-given power, which has been purchased by the blood of the Son of God, is degraded and corrupted. The physical, moral, and mental powers which are 
given to men of God, and which belong to Christ, are zealously used in serving Satan, and in turning men from righteousness and holiness. {CS 134.2}
Everything is devised that can possibly turn the mind from that which is noble and pure, and the boundary line is almost reached when the inhabitants of the earth will be as corrupt as were the inhabitants of the world before the flood. . . . {CS 135.1}
They notice that lotteries and fairs and games are sanctioned by the church, and they think there is something fascinating in this way of obtaining means. A youth is surrounded by temptations. He enters the bowling alley, the gambling saloon, to see the sport. He sees the money taken by the one who wins. This looks enticing. It seems an easier way of obtaining money than by earnest work, which requires persevering energy and strict economy. He imagines there can be no harm in this; for similar games have been resorted to in order to obtain means for the benefit of the church. Then why should he not help himself in this way? {CS 201.2}
He has a little means, which he ventures to invest, thinking it may bring in quite a sum. Whether he gains or loses, he is in the downward road to ruin. But it was the example of the church that led him into the false path. {CS 201.3}

The world has many holidays, and men become engrossed with games, with horse races, with gambling, smoking, and drunkenness. They show plainly under what banner they are standing. They make it evident that they do not stand under the banner of the Prince of life, but that the prince of darkness rules and controls them. {CT 343.2} Counsels to parents and teachers by EGW
Gambling Hells

... gambling hells, and the highest excitement prevails; yet probation's hour is fast closing, and every case is about to be eternally decided. There are few who believe with heart and soul that we have a heaven to win and a hell to shun; but these few show their faith by their works. The signs of Christ's coming are fast fulfilling. Satan sees that he has but a short time in which to work, and he has set his satanic agencies at work to stir the elements of the world, in order that men may be deceived, deluded, and kept occupied and entranced until the day of probation shall be ended, and the door be forever shut. {FE 354.2}

Things that lead to Gambling

1. Desire for quick easy  money. Accustomed to quick easy money. "If he makes money fast, he will spend it unwisely, and this prodigality will be his ruin. He must continue to make largely in order to keep up his habit of living. Thus many are drawn into the gambling hells to gain money fast enough to meet expenses. {15MR 70.1}

2. Purchasing shares. Shares in promising enterprises. " God desires His servants to avoid all speculation. Satan may pave the way by making the first investment successful, but Oh, how bitter will be the final outcome! If the professing Christian has success in his first speculation, His ruin is almost certain. Visionary schemes are wildly entered into as schemers present promising enterprises which they declare will pay a large percentage on all money invested. Good men are fascinated and deceived. Shares are purchased. Then comes confusion and loss. Some are totally ruined, having in the excitement invested all they had. In the thirst for riches, reason seems to depart. One or two may gain wealth, to their own injury, but many, many are bitterly disappointed." {15MR 72.3

4. Amusements known to lead to gamblingdancing, card-playing, chess, checkers " There are amusements, such as dancing, card-playing, chess, checkers, etc., which we cannot approve, because heaven condemns them. These amusements open the door for great evil. They are not beneficial in their tendency, but have an exciting influence, producing in some minds a passion for those plays which leads to gambling and dissipation. All such plays should be condemned by Christians, and something perfectly harmless should be substituted in their place. {AUCR, November 24, 1913 par. 7}

5. Peer pressures   Mothers to guard children from wrong influences.

"Warn the mother to guard her children from doubtful associations. It is not safe to bring children in contact with the influences here manifested, for it may prove their lasting injury. Card playing is dangerous to the soul, dangerous to the morals. This disposition to play cards will grow by practice into intensity of habit which leads to gambling. The appetite is aroused for wine and liquor-drinking. {20MR 53.4}
"This family of young men and women need to be garrisoned against the first indulgence of the wine cup, or the first handling of cards. Those indulgences lead step by step to the downward road to immorality, and have a bewitching power difficult to overcome, which presses souls deeper and deeper into the slavery of sin. All who associate with those who practice these indulgences will have corrupt morals. The children have inherited an appetite for wine and stimulating drinks and, if there is a yielding to the tempter, moral power is gone." {20MR 53.5}
The demon is at your side, encouraging you to indulge your desire for wine and strong drinks. The mother has known its terrible effects upon the father and husband. 


In this age of boasted enlightenment, the Christian church is confronted with a world lying in midnight darkness, almost wholly given over to idolatry. A well-nigh universal disregard of the law of Jehovah is rapidly making the world like the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. As in the days before the Flood, violence is filling the land. Gambling and robbery are coming to be common evils. The use of intoxicating liquors is on the increase. Many who have followed their own unsanctified will seek to end their unprofitable lives by suicide. Iniquity and crime of every order are found in the high places of the earth, and those who assent to these wrongs are seeking to shield the guilty ones from punishment. Not one hundredth part of the corruptions that exist is being made plain to the world. Little of the cruelty that is carried on is known. The wickedness of men has almost reached its limit. {TM 457.1}
In many ways Satan is revealing that he rules the world. He is influencing the hearts of men and corrupting their minds. Men in high places are giving evidence that their thoughts are evil continually. Many are seeking after riches and scruple not to add to their wealth through fraudulent transactions. The Lord is permitting these men to expose one another in their evil deeds. Some of their iniquitous practices are being laid open before the world, that thinking men who still have a desire in their hearts to be honest and just with their fellowmen may understand why God is beginning to 
send His judgments on the earth. The Lord will surely punish the world for its iniquity; "the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain." . . . {TM 457.2}

God's Action required


To Rebuke Liquor Drinking.--We have need of men who, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, will rebuke gambling and liquor drinking, which are such prevalent evils in these last days.--Manuscript 117, 1907. 

let those who know the truth find some steady, honest employment, in which they can earn their living in a way that glorifies God.Instead of entering into speculation, let those who know the truth find some steady, honest employment, in which they can earn their living in a way that glorifies God. Those who encourage the thirst for speculation will extinguish the light that God has given to guide their feet aright. Making money easily, they will spend it unwisely, and their prodigality will be their ruin. To maintain their habits of selfish indulgence, they must continue to make money rapidly. The effort to make money fast enough to meet their extravagant expenses, draws many into the gambling hell. . . . {UL 21.4}
My prayer to our heavenly Father is, Lord, let the clear light shine forth. Carefully and prayerfully studied, God's Word keeps men well-balanced. In this Word we find God's way clearly defined. No one who searches the Word with sincerity will walk in darkness. But we cannot cast aside the light God sends, and at the same time walk in its rays. 

God will punish Gamblers

The man who is wholly absorbed in his counting-room; the man who finds pleasure at the gambling table; the man who loves to indulge perverted appetite; the amusement lover; the frequenters of the theatre and the ball-room, put eternity out of their reckoning. The whole burden of their life is, What shall we eat? what shall we drink? and wherewithal shall we be clothed? They are not in the procession that is moving heavenward. They are led by the great apostate, and will with him be destroyed, both root and branch. {BEcho, January 25, 1897 par. 3}
No man stumbles into heaven. No man goes there blindfold. If he will take time to consider, every man may know whether he is in the straight and narrow path, or in the broad road that leads to death and hell. Let every soul inquire, Is my heart renewed by the grace of Christ? Is it transformed by the Holy Spirit? Have I repented of my sins and confessed them? Are my sins forgiven? Am I a new creature in Christ Jesus? Do I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus? Am I willing to make an entire consecration of every hour that remains, to do service for the Saviour? He gave His life for me; He is risen from the dead, and has brought life and immortality to light, that I might be a partaker of the divine nature. Will I purify my soul by obeying the truth, and becoming complete in Him? {BEcho, January 25, 1897 par. 4}

David spoke in the Psalms of being envious of the prosperity of the wicked but then he went to the sanctuary and saw their end. (ashes) Psalms 73

3 For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked... 5 They are not in trouble as other men; neither are they plagued like other men... 7 Their eyes stand out with fatness: they have more than heart could wish. 8 They are corrupt, and speak wickedly concerning oppression: they speak loftily. 9 They set their mouth against the Heavens, and their tongue walketh through the Earth... 12 Behold, these are the ungodly, who prosper in the world; they increase in riches... 16 When I thought to know this, it was too painful for me; 17 Until I went into the sanctuary of God; then understood I their end. 18 Surely Thou didst set them in slippery places: Thou castedst them down into destruction. 19 How are they brought into desolation, as in a moment! they are utterly consumed with terrors... 23 Nevertheless I am continually with Thee: Thou hast holden me by my right hand. 24 Thou shalt guide me with Thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory" (Psalm 73: 3, 5, 7-9, 12, 16-19, 23-24).

The world is rushing on madly, blindly, infatuated with amusements, with horse-racing, and with gambling, without a thought of the final retribution that is coming. Whole cities are being destroyed by fire and tempest. Is your house built securely on the solid Rock? {HM, November 1, 1897 par. 11}
There is a great deal of card-playing, gambling, and horse-racing. These forms of amusement are the fashion in every town, village, and city; and for days and weeks at a time the theme of conversation is the coming horse-race or the athletic exercises of some club. These exercises are carried to an intemperate pass, and minds are fairly drunken with excitement. Eternal things are dropped out of the reckoning of men. A power from beneath is stirring the minds of men, and causing them to act with intense energy. Betting, the giving of bribes and rewards, runs higher and higher, and a panic, little short of madness, seems to actuate the lovers of pleasure. When horse-races or athletic sports are in vogue, it seems that there are very few indeed who have any interest in spiritual things, and little can be accomplished. The very atmosphere seems to be polluted with the presence of evil angels, and Jesus, the world's Redeemer, is not in the thoughts of men. {RH, March 6, 1894 par. 1}
Betting, horse-racing, gambling, dissipation, lustful practices, untamable passions, are fast filling the earth with violence and moral pollution. Bank failures ruin thousands of families. Widows and orphans are left to starve. Every species of indulgence prevails. Men have become so infatuated with vice that they will not listen to warnings or appeals. {RH, December 27, 1898 par. 12}