Gambling -- Don't Bet On It

The more state governments approve of legalizing casinos, lotteries, and various forms of gambling (along with many good organizations and some religious groups), the more citizens become confused about whether it is honorable and right to participate. The first regular lottery was authorized to be drawn for charitable purposes at Malines, in the Low Countries, in September 13, 1519. It was to benefit the Church of St. Peter. An English lottery in 1612 supported the English settlement in Jamestown, Virginia. Between 1744 and 1894, more than 1,300 separate lotteries were approved. Harvard University's Holsworthy Hall was built from such lottery funds. In the 1830's, many Americans began to oppose lotteries. State after state began to prohibit them. In 1894, Congress had closed interstate and foreign commerce to lottery materials, thus ending the lottery craze. In 1963, New Hampshire revived the American lottery tradition by instituting such. John Jacobson, Executive Director of the "National Association of Fund Raising Ticket Manufacturers" stated that in 1992 at least $6.4 billion was spent on bingo, raffles and other ticket games for charity in the U.S.A. The income from the bets netted about $721 million for charities in 26 states and the District of Columbia. The amount did not include the amount of money poured into electronic gambling, such as slots and video machines nor dice, punch boards, horse racing, football parlays, check stub number matching, etc. The association actively lobbies against those devises which competes with the tickets it manufactures. The question is often asked, "Is it sinful to gamble?" I will attempt to answer this question from the Scriptures and by applying some common sense. May it be understood that the amount one gambles does not justify it, as it is the principle of gambling that makes it wrong. Gambling is an attempt to gain without working. All games of chance come under this heading. Genesis 3:17-19 states that man is to work for a living. Likewise, Ephesians 4:28; 6:6 calls for old fashioned work. In II Thessalonians 3:10 the inspired writings even state that those refusing to work should not be given charity. Certainly those who are incapable (physically or mentally) do not come under this category. However, when work is available and one refuses to work