Is betting sinful, in any occasion?

I’ll just post my understanding of that and see if you agree: Betting/gambling shouldn’t be sinful, except for people who are addicted, and/or compromise themselves, like a father who doesn’t buy food for his son because he lost all his money gambling.

But I was thinking, if someone gets very good betting on football/soccer, for example, and spends his/her entire day only betting, he/she would be earning money without doing any work, without helping anyone, without giving back anything to society, would it be wrong? And, in other scenario, let’s say this someone does that in order to have more free time and now spends his/her day doing voluntary work and helping others, that would be entirely ok, right?

My humble opinion: As long as the person comes about the money legally and does not fail to meet his/her obligations to his/her family, I do not see any sin being committed.

Hum…I think your right to be concerned about someone who “lives” by betting…instead of working.

All casino owners, bookmakers, and so on earn their living basically by betting. Are they doing anything wrong? As long as they conduct their businesses honestly, which I suppose some of them, at least, probably do, I’m inclined to view them as part of the legitimate entertainment industry.

Perhaps can be legit way for one to earn a living - but they are not simply “gambling all day” they are providing an entertainment service for others leisure as you note.

That being said my inclination is that it still sounds like a doubtful business to be in…

I do not know.

Neither Scripture (in which there is gambling, including the Romans who gambled for our LORD’s clothing) nor the Church have proclaimed gambling a sin. We should not try to improve on either.

Operating a casino is no different from running a bar, really: both provide a service that while not necessary to life, is desired and demanded. No-one argues that because of drunkenness and drunk driving, that running a bar is a sin. The same would apply to the casino, IMNAAHO.

We are not all expected to do hand or muscular work. A casino is as reasonable an employer as any other.

There are three issues of sin though:

  1. addiction, as some have pointed out;

  2. people failing to meet obligations because of it, although this would often fall into 1);

  3. the criminal element that often accompanies gambling establishments.


We are not discussing casino as an employer.

My inclination is that it still sounds like a doubtful business to be in -particularly from the owners of the casino’s point of view.

Like all gambling

as long as it harms no one its fine


2427 Human work proceeds directly from persons created in the image of God and called to prolong the work of creation by subduing the earth, both with and for one another. **Hence work is a duty: “If any one will not work, let him not eat.” **Work honors the Creator’s gifts and the talents received from him. It can also be redemptive. By enduring the hardship of work in union with Jesus, the carpenter of Nazareth and the one crucified on Calvary, man collaborates in a certain fashion with the Son of God in his redemptive work. He shows himself to be a disciple of Christ by carrying the cross, daily, in the work he is called to accomplish. Work can be a means of sanctification and a way of animating earthly realities with the Spirit of Christ.

I’m willing to bet it’s not.

The odds are against you…

Any time someone caveats something with “in any occasion”, the odds go way down, save for moral absolutes like abortion, euthanasia, etc.

Actually “in any occasion” makes the odds go up.

I guess it depends on how the question is asked.

For example, I suspect betting is wrong most of the time.

Is it wrong “in any occasion?” No.

I think the question here was asked in the sense of - is there “any” occasion where betting is wrong?

Yes yes and yes.

Read that way, I agree.

Kinda like “Heads I win, tails you lose.”



Horse-racing, and to a lesser extent betting, have been a feature of my life ever since I was a lad of fifteen( I am now sixty-six - well, in a week’s time). My father and my uncles, Catholics all, enjoyed a wager at the big Flat and National Hunt meetings held in the UK throughout the year. I can mark the passing of the seasons according to whether Cheltenham racecourse, or Ascot racecourse are holding a weekend meeting.
The big National Hunt meeting at Cheltenham every March is one of the highlights of my year – it usually falls on St Patrick’s Day. A huge contingent of Irish people come over for this event and the warmth and camaraderie has to be experienced to be believed.I know of at least one Irish priest who comes over whenever he can.
As I have grown older I have become a better reader of form and for me this is where the fascination of racing lies. The trouble is that it can be a very time-consuming process when done properly.
Regarding immoderate betting and making a living at any form of gambling, I feel that it must contravene God’s will. I will admit that in my youth I was guilty of reckless gambling on occasion. But I have seen so many people who might otherwise not have much of a social life when I have visited racecourses that I am inclined to think that gambling is not quite the iniquitous activity many would have you believe.

I don’t believe it is, if it is say a small amount of money, or something fun and social (such as an office superbowl pool or something.)

That being said, I am somewhat surprised the Catholic Church hasn’t declared organized gambling (such as ones in Las Vegas and Indian reservations) to be sinful.

Those Casinos only really make money from other people losing money. The fruits of casinos seem to be generally terrible, drawing people who are full of sadness and despair, as well as those who gamble away their life savings.

I can’t think that all gambling is a sin, but I myself have serious ethical issues with organized gambling as a whole.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit