Our religious viewpoint plays heavily into how we live our lives. Even though atheism is on the rise in our world today, your cultural and spiritual upbringing will continue to drive your everyday life and the decisions you make. Your chosen faith works as your moral compass to determine what is right and wrong for your own life. However, certain subjects can become confusing in the religious mind when weighing them against our internal moral compass. Gambling is one of the topics that can confuse and confound the religious mind. The ease and fun of gambling online on sites such as Alberta Online Casino are truly enjoyable, but what do religions say about it? Here are some of the most prevalent religions in the world and their viewpoint on the subject.
With an estimated 2.4 billion followers, Christianity remains the largest religion in the world. The Bible is the holy book of Christianity and within the Bible rules dictate how to live a moral existence. What does the Bible say about gambling? Is gambling a sin? There are examples of gambling in the bible such as the soldiers casting lots for Jesus’s clothing as he lay on the cross. Throughout the Bible, there are references to various gambling aspects, but most of these are not directly associated with gambling, but other sins that can be associated with the act of gambling.
For example, Luke 12:15 warns us to be on our guard and avoid the potential for greed, and Ecclesiastes 5:10 warns of how the love of money can lead to a life of sin. There are countless other verses that have been used traditionally to keep people from gambling. When you read and study the text, you can clearly see that God is not exactly against gambling, but sins such as covetousness, greed, lying, and various other actual sins. A person that is merely gambling for fun and not for financial gain is not sinning according to the Bible. However, the one that is addicted to gambling can potentially turn the act into a sin.
Approximately 1 billion people throughout the world practice Hinduism. If you are unfamiliar with Hinduism, you may have actually heard the basis of this religion that dates back to 1000 BC. Karma is the central concept behind how Hindus live their life. Basically, what you do in life, whether good or bad, will impact your future. Everything in Hinduism is set on a recurring cycle that manifests as good or bad, depending on your lifestyle.
Within the Hindu religion, gambling for fun is actually frowned upon, as it has no moral direction according to the faith. Strict sects actually forbid gambling completely, as it is said to interfere with the Karmic evolution of life. Basically, strict Hindu people believe that only hard work brings about good fortune, not playing games.
Currently, there are around 1.6 billion Muslims in the world and their Holy Quran is the basis of their religion. Unlike Christianity, where the subject of gambling is not specifically noted, the Quran does state that gambling is evil. This faith places gambling right along with drinking, as it is said to alter the state of reality and lead to more habitual and negative behaviors. Unlike other nations that are very inviting of gambling, most Islamic-run countries bar any form of gambling and believe that only ethical behavior is the foundation of a functional society.
The Buddhist religion is a unique one. It is based on a series of actions that allow one to achieve greater levels of spirituality. Buddhism began in the 6th Century BC and there was plenty of gambling during that time. Although casinos were not invented until much later, Buddha witnessed many instances of gambling and came up with different levels of action. He stated that there are 3 levels of gambling that need to be addressed before you can determine if it is bad or good for your life.
- Recreational – A recreational gambler is one that occasionally takes part in a game, but has no real draw toward devoting a set amount of money toward the action.
- Habitual – The habitual gambler is the person that devotes a certain amount of money toward their gaming experience, but knows when to stop.
- Addictive – The third form of gambler in the eyes of Buddha is the addict. This person has no physical control over their gambling and is always seeking that one big win that will put them over the top, but it never comes big enough for this individual.
According to Buddha, the first two gamblers are fine, as they are in control of their central being. Therefore, the game has no control over them. It is the third and final gambler that has the problem in which the game controls his very being and he or she will do whatever it takes to make their fortune in life from gambling.
Gambling in the Jewish faith is not talked about very much. This religion is often brought into Christianity, but it is its own faith. Judaism references gambling in two different versions. The professional or habitual gambler is depicted as sinful in the eyes of the Jewish faith. This is the person that puts gambling above their chosen faith and thinks of nothing else. Their livelihood is often based on games of chance and therefore, they are not a productive member of society according to Jewish tradition.
On the other hand, Judaism encourages a form of gambling from a very young age. The dreidel is a toy given to children and depending on which symbol the dreidel lands on, a prize is given. There are very small wagers placed on the game, but at its core, it is still a part of gambling.
Judaism is more against what happens from compulsive gambling, in which families can be torn apart and lives can be financially impacted. Although this is the worst scenario, as there are various levels of gambling that do not involve addiction.
Various religions do put certain stipulations on gambling and there are some that bar the action altogether. However, one ongoing theme for most religions on the subject of gambling is to have fun with it, but do not allow it to become your sole means of income. The responsible gambler knows when to stop betting and to quit while they are ahead. There is no real sin involved in gambling as long as you maintain the fun aspect of it.
Responsible gaming is always emphasized in even physical casinos, as gambling addictions are very real. Gambling is not necessarily viewed as a sin by most religions, but irresponsible use of funds in order to gamble can deteriorate your life, and then no one is having fun. Basically, anything done in excess can become a sin, but most things in moderation, including gambling, are perfectly fine.