What Does the Bible Say About Gambling?

What does the bible say about gambling? We can answer this question briefly: nothing! The word “gambling” or synonyms for gambling does not mention once in the Bible. So, nowhere in the Bible does it say that gambling is allowed, but also nowhere that it is not allowed. No one can say ‘gambling is allowed because it says so in this verse' or ‘gambling is expressly forbidden because that's what it says here in the Bible'.

However, many verses in the Bible may indirectly say something about gambling. From some verses, it can be deduced that gambling is allowed, from some verses it can be deduced that gambling is not allowed. We will discuss these verses in this article, but the conclusion is that the Bible does not explicitly answer the question of whether gambling is allowed.

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“Keep Your Lives Free From the Love of Money & Be Content With What You Have.” Hebrews 13:5

Judging by this verse, the advice is not to gamble. Gambling is motivated by greed for money. You gamble with the intention of making more money from your deposit and in the hope that you win a large jackpot of several million euros. That dream and that hope can be called “greed”. This verse is clear: do not be led by greed, be content with what you have.

This is somewhat similar to what Islam says about gambling. There is also a general opinion that gambling is a sin, although it is recognized that it can be beneficial for some people sometimes, but in general, it is harmful.

“The Increase From the Land Is Taken By All; the King Himself Profits From the Fields.” Ecclesiastes 5:9

This verse explains that those who love money will never have enough money and those who love to live in abundance will never have enough income. A wise saying! People who think money is the most important thing in life often never have enough money. There are always other and new things they want to buy or spend money on.

For example, think of lottery winners. It is a well-known fact that people participate in a lottery in the hope of winning many millions. It is also a known fact that a large number of people who have become millionaires thanks to a lottery have eventually fallen into ruin. They have been embroiled in divorces, lost their real friends, and often squandered all their money. Often they end up in debt after buying multiple expensive houses and cars.

“The Lot Is Cast Into the Lap, But Its Every Decision Is From the Lord.” Proverbs 16:33

In this verse no obligation, commandment, or prohibition, but advice. Money thrown into your lap usually disappears quickly. The easier you have earned money, the easier you spend it.

For example, a 10€ that you had to work hard for an hour is less likely to be spent than a 10€ that you accidentally found on the street. For the first 10€ you had to work hard for an hour, for the second 10€ you hardly had to do anything. You just had to pick it up!

Translating this to a casino is difficult. Playing on a slot machine and winning the jackpot by chance, you could say that it falls under “being thrown into the lap”. For a professional poker player, poker is his job and there's no “being thrown into the lap“. After all, the poker player has to play poker almost all day for it.

“Do not toil to acquire wealth; be discerning enough to desist.” Proverbs 23:4-5

This verse advises not to wear yourself out to get rich. This is one of the few verses in the Bible that speaks in favor of gambling. After all, gambling cannot possibly be said to wear you out. Wearing yourself out is working too many hours in the blazing sun or doing too much work. Pressing the ‘spin' button in an online casino not on gamstop can hardly be classified as exhausting.

“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.” Timothy 6 verse 6 to 10

In this verse, it is written that wanting to get rich is a foolish and harmful desire, which leads people to ruin and destruction. Greed is said to be the root of all evil. Namely, because of the desire for money, people stray from faith.

This is another verse to makeup, the Bible states that you should be content with what you have. And should not have greed for money. The first part of this verse seems to be another noncommittal piece of advice. That changes, however, when there is talk of straying from the faith. According to the Bible, it is not the intention to stray from faith. That's why it's better to refrain from gambling.