THE WICKED SIN OF GAMBLING

Isa 10:1-4  Woe unto them that decree unrighteous decrees, and that write grievousness which they have prescribed; 2 To turn aside the needy from judgment, and to take away the right from the poor of my people, that widows may be their prey, and that they may rob the fatherless! 3 And what will ye do in the day of visitation, and in the desolation which shall come from far? to whom will ye flee for help? and where will ye leave your glory? 4 Without me they shall bow down under the prisoners, and they shall fall under the slain. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.

Jimmy “The Greek” Snyder said: "I hate gambling. I despise it. And I don't think I'm being a hypocrite. People who gamble. are eventually going to delete something from what they need in order to support gambling. "Legalized gambling is even worse because it victimizes naive people who don't understand gambling and don't have the discipline to know when to "quit." CBS odds maker Jimmy "The Greek" Snyder.

In 1890 President Benjamin Harrison and Congress agreed in condemning the lottery as a swindling and demoralizing agency and prohibited the interstate transportation of lottery tickets. BUT today the apostate United States of America has entered into a love affair with gambling. Lotteries returned to the U.S. in New Hampshire in 1964. Today, lotteries are run in 37 states plus the District of Columbia. Riverboat casinos began operating in Iowa in 1991. By 1998, there were over 40 riverboat casinos in Illinois, Missouri, Iowa, and nearly 50 riverboat and dockside casinos in Louisiana and Mississippi. Indian Casinos began to spring up after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in California v. Cabazon Band of Mission Indians that states are unable to regulate commercial gambling on reservations. In 1988, there were approximately 70 Indian casinos and bingo halls operating in 16 states. In 1998, approximately 298 facilities were operating in 31 states. Today, 48 states have some form of legalized gambling taking place. This includes lotteries, casinos, riverboat casinos, Indian casinos, video lottery machines, and pari-mutuel betting (horse racing, dog racing, jai-alai). In 1998, Americans spent more money on gambling (approximately 50 billion) than on recorded music, theme parks, video games, spectator sports, and movie tickets combined (39.9 billion). According to a poll conducted in 1994, 89% of the respondents said they approved of casino gambling. This plainly shows the vital necessity for a national revival. Psalms 85:6 Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee?

Here are some notes on Gambling.
1. Gambling promotes covetousness. It tempts people with the possibility of easy riches and In 1998, Americans spent more money on gambling (approximately 50 billion) than on recorded music, theme parks, video games, spectator sports, and movie tickets combined (39.9 billion). (National Gambling Impact Study Commission, Final Report.) 1 Timothy 6:10 says, "For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some have coveted after, they have pierced themselves through with many sorrows." Thus it becomes a violation of the 10th commandment, "Thou shalt not covet."
 
2. Gambling wastes money. Some may have an abundance and not miss the losses. However, multitudes do not have it to spare. Studies show that people with incomes under $10,000 a year spend a larger percentage of their money on lotteries than those with higher incomes. According to an article in U.S. News and World Report, welfare recipients in Minnesota are withdrawing more than $400,000 dollars a year from ATMs at state run casinos. It could be argued that the money would be spent foolishly some other way were it not for the casinos, but we do not know that. Undoubtedly, there are families going without the necessities of life because mom or dad have been deluded into thinking they are going to strike it rich.

3. Gambling is addictive. In the same U.S. News and World Report article referred to earlier, Sociologist Rachel Volberg found that four years after the state of Iowa legalized riverboat gambling, the number of problem gamblers had tripled. And stories of ruined credit, bankruptcies, theft and even suicide are numerous. One compulsive gambler from Illinois said, "Casinos are the crack cocaine of gambling."

4. Gambling attracts the criminal element. The U.S. News and World Report article says that towns with casinos have experienced an upsurge of crime at the same time that crime as a whole was dropping in the rest of the nation. A 1994 survey revealed that crime rose 5.8% in those towns, while crime as a whole dropped 2% nationally. The 31 towns that got new casinos just the year before saw their crime rate rise 7.7%.
5. Gambling is a form of stealing. Dr. G. Campbell Morgan, the great 19th Century preacher wrote, "...the whole habit of gambling is of the essence of theft, and this for the reason that it is a means of coming into possession of property for which one has done no honest work. Whether their practices are gilded by the glory of a court, or tarnished by the vulgarity of a slum, the gambler is a thief in the sight of God, and ought therefore to be so in the sight of all honest men."
 
6. Gambling costs society more than the revenues it produces. When the members of Gamblers Anonymous of Illinois were surveyed in 1994, 26% said they had divorced or separated because of gambling, 34% had lost or quit a job, 44% had stolen things from work, 21% had filed for bankruptcy, 18% had gambling related arrests, 66% had contemplated suicide, and 16% had attempted suicide. The costs for services for compulsive gamblers, including treatment and court expenses, has been estimated at between $13,000 and $35,000 per person. Estimates of the number of compulsive gamblers in America are between 6 and 10 million! You do the math!

7. The gaming industry does not make or create anything. Such an industry is a parasite. It exists only because of the productivity of others. Money is shifted around without any tangible goods being produced, and most of it ends up in the pockets of the casino owners.

8. Legalized gambling makes the government a promoter of a "get something for nothing" attitude. Our nation has enough problems without government adding its endorsement to this evil. In reality, government should set the example of morality and righteousness in a nation. Romans 13:4 says that the ruler is "the minister of God to thee for good." But there is nothing "good" about encouraging people to lose their hard-earned money at the casino or the race track, or in the lottery. A nation that encourages such conduct is gambling with its own future.

9. Legalized gambling destroys morals, character, and leads to a more decadent society. Just because something has been legalized by passing a law, does not make it right, and the evidence is abundant that society suffers when gambling reigns. America has ills which many think can be cured by revenues from games of chance. But the spiritual effects will plunge this nation further down into the pit of degradation. "Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap (Galatians 6:7).

10. Gambling Causes Bankruptcy--A new study for the credit-card Industry concludes that gambling could be the fastest-growing cause of record rates of bankruptcy in America (9/20 World). Atlantic City bankruptcy rates were 71 percent higher than in any other N.J. county last year. Counties with the highest bankruptcy rates were the counties close to the river boat casino town of Tunica, Miss. The study suggested a connection between the spread of legalized gambling and the rise of bankruptcies.

11. Gambling is a losing proposition - A lottery bill to fund education seems to some a noble gambit. But it's often a first step to casinos. In five years Mississippi has grown 30 casinos, trailing only Nevada in square feet of gambling space. Gambling is an ancient vice that has destroyed lives, and is a family-killing industry. It sends bankruptcy and suicide rates soaring. A 1997 study from Miss. State University estimated between 46,400 and 88,700 problem gamblers in Miss. If estimates of social costs of gambling are accurate, problem gamblers cost Miss. at least $600 million annually - a lot more than casinos pay in taxes (5/18 C. Today). But, deceptively, these costs are diffuse, while the taxes are money in the bank. Gambling is a losing proposition for those who can least afford it, a tax on the poor. It is immoral and decadent for a state government to entice its citizens to throw their money away. [Calvary Contender June 1, 1998]

12. Senior Citizens have a Gambling Problem - Difficult as it is to believe many retired people gamble away their holding. The ire of Satan against holiness is not confined to tempting the young or middle aged. Every possible method the devil can conceive of to destroy humanity is sure to be implemented in the last days and gambling is of the devil. From the local to the state and federal level of government, legalization of gambling has risen under the guise of funding everything from education to retirement. The truth is legalized gambling cost the taxpayers much more than the revenue it produces. Yet that is not the most corrupt thing about it. It is biblically wrong and a sin against a holy God. Rom. 1:17  "For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith." (Hab. 2:4; Gal. 3:11; Heb. 10:38) - WWM

13. Gambling Panel Asks Aid For Gambling Addiction - Along with recommending a curb on opening more casinos and lotteries the federal panel also asked "insurance companies and managed care providers to cover treatment plans for pathological gamblers." (LAJ, 6/4/99) This is like asking the surviving chickens to clean up the mess of feathers left by the well fed fox. Why don't the advocates admit they made a bad maneuver in legalizing gambling. There is no room for "chance" in life and certainly not in death. - WWM

14. Campaign Contributions From Gambling - A nine-member commission approved a final report to be released 6/18/99 that would ban campaign contributions from gambling. This is the date the National Gambling Impact Study Commission will make its recommendations to Congress, the president, and others. While this commission was wrapping up its study of the gambling industry "House Minority Leader Richard Gephardt flew to Las Vegas to pick up a $250,000 check from the chairman of Mirage Casinos." (Lubbock A-J, 06/07/99) Talk about beating the odds! –WWM
 
15. Gambling: a bad bet - Churches in Canada are becoming alarmed by the social costs of legal gambling and the growing dependence of government on its cut of gambling revenues. The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada (EFC) calls gambling "an insidious form of evil which takes advantage of the poor and disadvantaged and undermines a healthy and just society." (10/26 Chr. Today) It says gambling is wrong because: it appeals to greed; it contravenes the Christian duty to care for neighbors instead of taking from neighbors; it encourages the reckless investment of God-given resources; it undermines a healthy philosophy of work, industry, and saving; and it can become addictive. The EFC further claims that when governments sponsor gambling for education, etc., they give "an implicit endorsement of greed, materialism, and the denigration of the value of productive work."

16. Gambling fever - Record numbers of Americans are becoming addicted to gambling. An estimated 55 million play the lottery at least once a  month, spending a staggering $88 million/day on lottery games (9/97  Charisma). Gambling is a regressive tax on the poor who can least  afford it.

17. Gambling causes suicide, divorce and poverty - Nevada, the gambling center of America, has the highest gambling addiction, suicide and divorce rates of any of the 50 states (Life Light). Where money is highest in priority, lives are poorest in quality. Lottery gamblers with household incomes under $10,000 bet nearly three times as much on lotteries as those with incomes over $50,000.

18. Gambling a deadly menace - Even the liberal United Methodist Church in 1996 added an anti-gambling statement to its Social Principles: "Gambling is a menace to society, deadly to the best interests of moral, social, economic, and spiritual life, and destructive of good government." The poorest families have the most gambling-related problems (8/1 World). A Mississippi State University study found that poor gamblers lost about 10 percent of their income to gambling but richer ones lost only about 1 percent. [ CALVARY CONTENDER - August 15, 1998 ]

19. SEVEN REASONS TO OPPOSE THE LOTTERY
1. It changes the values of the state from a work ethic to a chance ethic.
2. It diverts dollars from goods and services to lottery tickets.
3. The state becomes a bookie.
4. The chance of winning is very low.
5. It is an unpredictable source of state revenue.
6. It exploits the poor and creates new gamblers
7. It is immoral and bad social policy.
 
 

HOME