Gambling?

What are your guys’ thoughts on gambling? Any types, poker, black jack, betting the ponies?

This all came up while I was watching HBO’s new show “Luck.” And I know the Church isn’t specifically against it, but I also know that it has destroyed many people’s lives.

Then again, so has ice cream, but that’s acceptable.

I’d be curious to hear the answers to this one!

I LOVE gambling… mostly Blackjack because I’m fantastic at it :smiley: but I don’t spend money I don’t have and I’m not an addict (actually my chances to play the game are few and far between because I live in a small town with no casinos or gambling establishments in sight).

Gambling is not good no matter what the CC thinks. I know of people who are hooked , yes addicted to Bingo, and well casino gambling has caused many a good person to loose their marriages, homes and jobs and everything.

Acutally where I live they are thinking of building a casino, I pray they don’t, we have enough foreclosed empty homes, yes it might put people to work, but well its not worth it in the long run.

This is the same philosophy moral relativists take. There is always going to be temptation, but I do not believe that gambling in moderation is bad. The people who are chasing their losses, making it worse, are the ones we think of when we think of gambling. But what about people who go to casinos with a group of friends on a Friday night, spend $50, and even if they lose it all, that’s the same as going to a baseball game or something similar.

It’s like alcohol. It’s not a problem for everyone but definitely for some.

Gambling is a form of entertainment, and is not, in itself, sinful. There wouldn’t be Bingo games and raffle tickets at Catholic parishes if it were.

The Catechism says

2413Games of chance(card games, etc.) orwagersare 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.

I enjoy Blackjack. And sometimes just sitting at a slot machine getting hypnotized. I can be in Vegas in 4 hours, by car. But I only gamble a couple times a year, when we’re passing through Vegas on our way to somewhere else. I figure out what I can afford to lose, bring the cash, and if I lose it all, that’s it. I don’t go to card rooms, Indian casinos (There are 3 or 4 within an hour or so of me),or the horse races; I don’t buy lottery tickets or scratchers, don’t enter the football pools at work, and so on. It’s not a problem for me.

If someone starts gambling money they need to pay rent, deprive their family of the necessities of life, all the stuff compulsive gamblers do, then it’s a problem. Then they are sinning. Not because they are gambling - as said before, it’s just entertainment - but because they’re being irresponsible.

:twocents:

I think some gambling can be fun in small doses. I like to play a few hands of blackjack when if on vacations in Las Vegas or (more often, since I live in Ohio) Windsor. But always at the lowest minimum table and never more than for maybe 10 minutes. So, generally, I think gambling is kind of like alcohol: it’s okay from time to time in moderate doses if you enjoy it but; there’s no such thing as too little of it. A person who refuses to gamble ever may well be a prudent policy, especially if one is susceptible to temptation.

Richard posted the CCC paragraph, which is the right answer, of course. :slight_smile:

I like VLM’s comparison to alcohol. That seems right to me. If you’re go to the horse races or Vegas every once in a while with a predetermined amount of money that you’re willing to lose, it is not that much different from going to a concert or a sports game where you would spend the same thing.

But addiction is definitely a problem, and whenever these issues come on the ballot, I vote against the casinos because they have a track record of causing an increase of a whole host of unfavorable things in their vicinity.

I don’t believe the Bible says anything specifically about gambling. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

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.

It is NOT a sin to gamble if:

  1. It is done in moderation and does not become addictive / controls you.

  2. You have enough money to provide yourself and your loved ones with food, shelter, and all other necessities in order to survive first. In other words, as long as you can afford it after the necessary things are taken care of first.

  3. That particular game(s) is(are) legal.

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