Is bingo gambling?


#1

Our parish has bingo in the basement every week. People (Catholics) make comments that the parish is "raking in a lot of dough" and many other Christians in the area see this as a confirmation that Catholics are at best lukewarm Christian gamblers who drink excessively and often take the Lord's name in vain.

Is bingo acceptable in the Catholic Church? And if so, does that mean gambling or any form of it is also okay for Catholics? I've met many Catholics who brag of their trips to Las Vegas.

Peace.


#2

Here is an excerpt from a gambling website:

"The Catholic church on Gambling

While Bingo is popular throughout the world as a revenue earning game that is played in churches, the Catholic Church's take on gambling has always been a paradox.

On one hand, gambling is strictly forbidden as is written in the New Testament, Corinthians 1:36 "And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other [grain]." This excerpt outlines clearly the biblical commandment against gambling of any forms. The edict is actually against ill-gotten gains.

On the other hand, the Church accept donations from the gambling industry, be it in the form of money or services provided. Furthermore, it was a Catholic priest who first introduced Bingo into church basements, in order to raise money for his parish.

The Church has yet to address these issues, as few believers have even asked them yet. In the event of a theological crisis between the church and the bare facts of reality, as is inevitable as the years go by and the Church loses more and more of its power, many people will be faced with the question whether to continue to pray in a hypocritically church that deals out double standards on every issue, or be free to worship their own deity, whomever that may be, and practice gambling in the best online casino at the same time."

From: www.new777casino.com

Peace.


#3

Moderation is the answer. Obsession with drinking or gambling is an evil, but certainly not when kept in reasonable bounds.


#4

I think it's regrettable that so many Catholic parishes and schools are in such financial straits that they feel bingo is the only answer. Many of our smaller Catholic schools are kept afloat by bingo revenue. Would that people contributed more generously to the school so that it was unnecessary.

But, as Waiting said, moderation is key. Going to a casino and putting some disposable income into a slot machine is not inherently sinful. It's not much different from spending $20+ on a night at the movie theater: you're paying for an experience of entertainment.

Gambling every day or going through your life savings to support the habit is another story entirely. That is a serious problem.

In regards to bingo, I know that many places have their regulars who stake out their same "lucky" spot week after week (often showing up hours ahead of time to do so). Admittedly, the whole thing makes me a tad uncomfortable personally, but I can see how it would be sort of a social thing for those who like it. It's a chance to get together with others and play a game. Catholics do catch flak for it, which is the main reason I would like to see it fall into disuse.


#5

[quote="tsering, post:2, topic:230711"]
Here is an excerpt from a gambling website:

"The Catholic church on Gambling

While Bingo is popular throughout the world as a revenue earning game that is played in churches, the Catholic Church's take on gambling has always been a paradox.

On one hand, gambling is strictly forbidden as is written in the New Testament, Corinthians 1:36 "And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other [grain]." This excerpt outlines clearly the biblical commandment against gambling of any forms. The edict is actually against ill-gotten gains.

On the other hand, the Church accept donations from the gambling industry, be it in the form of money or services provided. Furthermore, it was a Catholic priest who first introduced Bingo into church basements, in order to raise money for his parish.

The Church has yet to address these issues, as few believers have even asked them yet. In the event of a theological crisis between the church and the bare facts of reality, as is inevitable as the years go by and the Church loses more and more of its power, many people will be faced with the question whether to continue to pray in a hypocritically church that deals out double standards on every issue, or be free to worship their own deity, whomever that may be, and practice gambling in the best online casino at the same time."

From: www.new777casino.com

Peace.

[/quote]

I fail to see where that passage from Corinthians has anything to do with gambling.


#6

[quote="Waiting, post:3, topic:230711"]
Moderation is the answer. Obsession with drinking or gambling is an evil, but certainly not when kept in reasonable bounds.

[/quote]

Does that mean I can start a drinking parlor in my church basement to supplement the lack of financial charity in my parish?

I know I sound harsh, but I'm just trying work this thought out: Why does the Catholic Church who follows Jesus and His apostles in charity (Acts 2:44-45, 4:34-35) need Bingo to supplement for the lack of financial giving?

If this is an acceptable practice in American Catholic parishes, and I'm becoming a Catholic, then I must be able to defend it. If I'm not able to defend it from the Bible and Tradition, then why would I accept it?

Peace.


#7

Short-and-sweet explanation, courtesy of the Apologist Michelle Arnold:

forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=18906

The Catechism of the Catholic Church on gambling, which includes bingo:

[quote]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 (CCC 2413).

In short, gambling ... [is] not inherently evil. [It] become[s] problematic when abused or when indulging in gambling ... prevents one from meeting legitimate obligations to himself and to others, especially to family.
[/quote]


#8

[quote="Joe_5859, post:4, topic:230711"]
I think it's regrettable that so many Catholic parishes and schools are in such financial straits that they feel bingo is the only answer. Many of our smaller Catholic schools are kept afloat by bingo revenue. Would that people contributed more generously to the school so that it was unnecessary.

But, as Waiting said, moderation is key. Going to a casino and putting some disposable income into a slot machine is not inherently sinful. It's not much different from spending $20+ on a night at the movie theater: you're paying for an experience of entertainment.

Gambling every day or going through your life savings to support the habit is another story entirely. That is a serious problem.

In regards to bingo, I know that many places have their regulars who stake out their same "lucky" spot week after week (often showing up hours ahead of time to do so). Admittedly, the whole thing makes me a tad uncomfortable personally, but I can see how it would be sort of a social thing for those who like it. It's a chance to get together with others and play a game. Catholics do catch flak for it, which is the main reason I would like to see it fall into disuse.

[/quote]

Good points; intent is a key here. If it's to have a good time, contribute to the parish, and maybe get lucky and take home a few bucks, I see nothing in Catholic moral theology that prevents it. Same with 50/50 raffles. The possible "payout" may be motivation for contributing, but the contribution should be the intent.

BTW, we all know some who seek out their regular, although probably not "lucky" seat at mass every week, no? :D


#9

[quote="CB_Catholic, post:5, topic:230711"]
I fail to see where that passage from Corinthians has anything to do with gambling.

[/quote]

Me too. But the article is insidious. It is enticing Catholics to further gambling and possibly viewing their church as hypocritical, thus giving precedence to loose their faith. I'm sure many who take the time to be on this forum would not be fooled by this advertisement, but I'm sure many poorly catechized may be confused, if not led astray.

Peace.


#10

Gambling is neither prohibited by the Bible (the passage from Corinthians DOES NOT refer to or prohibit gambling), nor is it condemned.

Yes, Bingo IS gambling. There is no way around that simple fact. People invest money in the hope that they will win significantly more than they spend.

As previously stated, the key is moderation. I happen to work as a "Bingo Captain" for my Knights of Columbus council. That means that i am completely in charge of the Bingo games, one night per month (we have weekly games).

The funds from those games are used to provide funding to various charities in our area (including "Right to Life", Rachel's Vineyard", etc).. They are used to provide assistance to churches in our area for renovations, and things they simply don't have the funds for (I live in an area where Catholics are well under 10% of the population). We support Seminarians, we provide direct services to the Developmentally Disabled, etc.

Without the proceeds from our Bingo, we could do none of that work. We would not have any funds to do those things.

So, which is the evil? The gambling (and it IS gambling), or the ability to provide for those that have nothing?


#11

[quote="tsering, post:2, topic:230711"]
Here is an excerpt from a gambling website:

"The Catholic church on Gambling

While Bingo is popular throughout the world as a revenue earning game that is played in churches, the Catholic Church's take on gambling has always been a paradox.

On one hand, gambling is strictly forbidden as is written in the New Testament, Corinthians 1:36 "And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other [grain]." This excerpt outlines clearly the biblical commandment against gambling of any forms. The edict is actually against ill-gotten gains.
.

[/quote]

Such is simply not the case. The passage has nothing to do with gambling.

As for if it is morally permitted..it is is so long as it is reasonable...not excessive etc


#12

[quote="tsering, post:1, topic:230711"]
Our parish has bingo in the basement every week. People (Catholics) make comments that the parish is "raking in a lot of dough" and many other Christians in the area see this as a confirmation that Catholics are at best lukewarm Christian gamblers who drink excessively and often take the Lord's name in vain.

Is bingo acceptable in the Catholic Church? And if so, does that mean gambling or any form of it is also okay for Catholics? I've met many Catholics who brag of their trips to Las Vegas.

Peace.

[/quote]

I don't think the CC has officially stated that gambling is forbidden.

Sure wish I could afford to go to Vegas---just once, to see what it's about.


#13

Here is what the Catholic Church officially states:

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.

(of course there can also be laws against certain gambling in certain places..that too figures into things)


#14

[quote="tsering, post:2, topic:230711"]
Here is an excerpt from a gambling website:

"The Catholic church on Gambling.

[/quote]

It just goes to show that anti-catholic rhetoric will show up anywhere.

While Bingo is popular throughout the world as a revenue earning game that is played in churches, the Catholic Church's take on gambling has always been a paradox.

On one hand, gambling is strictly forbidden as is written in the New Testament, Corinthians 1:36 "And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body that shall be, but bare grain, it may chance of wheat, or of some other [grain]." This excerpt outlines clearly the biblical commandment against gambling of any forms. The edict is actually against ill-gotten gains.

They don't even cite the passage correctly. It is from 1 Corinthians15:36. It has nothing to do with gambling. I don't believe that gambling is ever condemned in the bible. Casting lots was a gambling game.

On the other hand, the Church accept donations from the gambling industry, be it in the form of money or services provided. Furthermore, it was a Catholic priest who first introduced Bingo into church basements, in order to raise money for his parish.

The Church has yet to address these issues, as few believers have even asked them yet. In the event of a theological crisis between the church and the bare facts of reality, as is inevitable as the years go by and the Church loses more and more of its power, many people will be faced with the question whether to continue to pray in a hypocritically church that deals out double standards on every issue, or be free to worship their own deity, whomever that may be, and practice gambling in the best online casino at the same time."

This makes no sense whats so ever accept as an attack on the Church.

To answer the question. Yes it is gambling. In mho, so is buying insurance.


#15

People pay what, like twenty dollars a head these days to go to a movie?

How much to go to a restaurant? Or maybe a day at the races, or a sporting event?

Gambling is entertainment. If you have the disposable entertainment money to go to a movie or restaurant or Vegas, can someone explain the difference?


#16

[quote="The_Old_Medic, post:10, topic:230711"]
Without the proceeds from our Bingo, we could do none of that work. We would not have any funds to do those things.

So, which is the evil? The gambling (and it IS gambling), or the ability to provide for those that have nothing?

[/quote]

Wow, great response. So gambling as taught by the Church is not evil in itself, as is drinking alcohol. What is evil, is the intent and the amount. So if I was gambling for selfish motives, to only gain a reward for myself, then I would be abusing something otherwise neutral and committing a sin. But from what I hear from you, your Bingo program is taking all the profits and turning it around to provide for the Church and the poor and that is awesomely commendable.

I disagree though that without the proceeds from your Bingo, you wouldn't be able to do any of that work. I see no gambling in Acts 2:44-45, 4:34-35 and the work of the Church for the poor at that time was adequately provided for through simple abandonment and endless charity. Personally, I believe we need a great renewal in the Church, and you will see people not only putting everything they have in the basket for the work of God, they'll throw themselves in too.

I know my thoughts are a little radical. Maybe Bingo is just funner?

Peace.


#17

[quote="Sailor_Kenshin, post:12, topic:230711"]
Sure wish I could afford to go to Vegas---just once, to see what it's about.

[/quote]

I got sick of the near nude (I mean blurred out private parts and nipples) pictures advertising prostitutes strewn all over the streets from people handing them out on every corner.

Personally, though gambling is permissible, I don't think it's beneficial for myself, knowing my past history of lack of impulse control. I think I'm going to put my money somewhere else, including the cost of traveling to Vegas.

Peace.


#18

[quote="tsering, post:17, topic:230711"]
I got sick of the near nude (I mean blurred out private parts and nipples) pictures advertising prostitutes strewn all over the streets from people handing them out on every corner.

Personally, though gambling is permissible, I don't think it's beneficial for myself, knowing my past history of lack of impulse control. I think I'm going to put my money somewhere else, including the cost of traveling to Vegas.

Peace.

[/quote]

WHOAH.

I've never been to Vegas. Seriously?

Guess I'll have to stick with Atlantic City or Foxwoods.... or maybe OTB.


#19

[quote="Sailor_Kenshin, post:18, topic:230711"]
WHOAH.

I've never been to Vegas. Seriously?

Guess I'll have to stick with Atlantic City or Foxwoods.... or maybe OTB.

[/quote]

I got a better idea. Let's you and I go to Vegas together and start a ministry to the homeless, the destitute, the prostitutes, those recovering from drug addictions, gambling addictions, alcohol addictions, who have left themselves helpless, eaten alive by their own lack of impulse control (because no one properly modeled it for them), and ruined by massive money making power hungry corporations who skillfully took advantage of their weaknesses.

Better yet, lets make a huge casino shaped like a cathedral right on the strip. We'll call it "The Cathedral" and we'll take all the profits and turn it around to help third world countries and the poor in our own country. Inside we'll have a charitable hospital for the sick and elderly who can't afford their bills and have no one to take care of them. We'll have an orphanage there too. We'll have special programs for alcoholics, gambling addicts, pimps, prostitutes, and druggies right inside the casino!

Peace.


#20

[quote="Sailor_Kenshin, post:18, topic:230711"]
WHOAH.

I've never been to Vegas. Seriously?

Guess I'll have to stick with Atlantic City or Foxwoods.... or maybe OTB.

[/quote]

Yeah, I've been to Vegas, and that is one thing I found extremely irritating. You walk down the street with your husband, and some guy is shoving flyers in his face:mad:

There were a few things I liked--the food was awesome, and at that time cheap (I hear it's not now), and I did win on a slot:D. I went to Mass and heard some of the most beautiful cantoring I have ever heard, the young woman had the voice of an angel, and the whole Mass was exceedingly beautiful and well-done. I was surprised to see that the church was packed.

You could put casino chips in the collection basket:D

Other than that, I wasn't too impressed. Too much glitz. I was ready to go home on the third day.


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