Is gambling a sin?

What is the Catholic understanding of gambling and playing games of chance?


Gambling is not, in itself, immoral but it can lead to immoral behavior if practiced without prudence and temperance. The Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) explains, “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).

Recommended reading: The Virtues.

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