Are CC cash prize games sinful?

I remember going to Catholic carnivals and bizarres and they had roulette and other gambling games in the basement. Some of the prizes were liquor bottles. Also Bingo and church raffles are done regularly. Is this sinful? For that matter, is the lottery sinful? I remember hearing that when I was a non Catholic.

Many will disagree with me; however, IMHO, gambling is only sinful if it reaches the point of addiction wherein you are taking money away from those things that are required for life and reasonable support of yourself and family such as food, housing, clothing, etc…

From the Catechism of the Catholic Church (free online)

2413 Games of chance (card games, etc.) or wagers are not in themselves contrary to justice. They become morally unacceptable when they deprive someone of what is necessary to provide for his needs and those of others. The passion for gambling risks becoming an enslavement. Unfair wagers and cheating at games constitute grave matter, unless the damage inflicted is so slight that the one who suffers it cannot reasonably consider it significant

Why would it be sinful? I learned to play poker from Catholic priests in college…

I didn’t bring this issue up with no basis for the question.

Many Christian denominations cite Titus 1:11 which seems to supports the idea of" filthy gain".

Gambling could be considered to be sinful by some. I think the verse I wrote is up for interpretation.

Well, most things are gambling these days. When have a retirement fund that is stock based or even rate based you are gambling. When you open a restaurant in a trendy part of town hoping it will be successful you are gambling. Our economy is not like other historical ones there is much more to it that goods and services.

In, my house, when you open the fridge and get the turkey out to make a sandwich, you are most definitely gambling. What is potentially sinful is either rigging a situation to “cheat” or if you are irresponsible with your money and therefore cause your own poverty by worshiping greed.

You’ve put forth some common myths. Firstly, investing in a stock is not gambling. Lets look at the word definitions for the two .

Gamble: “To play at any game of chance for stakes. To stake or risk money, or anything of value, on the outcome of something involving chance.”

Invest: “To put money to use, by purchase or expenditure, in something offering profitable returns.”

One might try to see similarities, but the intent is different, and intent is at the core of this issue.

As to the other examples you gave, they are not intent driven and do not involve money per se, nor do they involve “gain”.

I think playing the lottery has been rationalized to be a non sin, along with other games of chance.

You can split hairs with semantics all you want. The CCC was quoted. The Church does not agree that it is sinful. And 2000 years of theologians know more than you or I.

You believe the Church is wrong on this? If it is wrong on the lottery, then what else is false!?

I agree with the CC from the Catechism when they say," they (games of chance) become morally unacceptable when they deprive someone of what is necessary to provide for his needs and those of others."

I get your point though. I need to rethink this. It can be a dicey subject.


When I was growing up, the Father’s Club at my brother’s Catholic High School used to run these twice a year, they were referred to as “Smokers”.


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