Here’s what the Church says about Gambling

When it comes to gambling, whether it includes games of chance (e.g. card games), wagers or betting, or even lotteries, is not intrinsically evil, the actual act is not considered a bad thing by the Catholic Church.

The fact is that there is no mention of the word “gambling” in the Bible, although there are a handful examples of casting lots (with a famous example being the Roman soldiers dividing the garments of Jesus at his crucifixion (John 19:24) ). Jesus is never quoted for saying “Thou shalt not buy lottery tickets.” Even some churches hold raffles and bingo nights to support the parish and its ministries.

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church (no. 2413) it briefly explains that games of chance and wagers are not bad. The only thing that Catholic Church feels negative about is the emotions that come from gambling. Which are greed, coveting, selfishness, indulgence, power, worship of money, all of these things can control the mind and soul. When all these emotions are thrown into the mix, God’s law has been violated. These emotions must have been what triggers St. Augustine’s justification for saying that, “The Devil invented gambling.”

However, a person may only take part in these activities only with a strict adherence to virtue. First, the person must act with temperance, thereby keeping his passions and emotions under the control of reason, acts with moderation, and uses material goods in a good way and in accordance with the circumstances of his life.

Secondly, the virtue of justice oversees both the game itself as well as the person playing the game. The game must be fair and all players must have an equal chance of winning. In accord with justice, the player’s gambling must not prevent him from meeting his obligations to support himself or his family, pay his debts, or fulfill other responsibilities.

In that case, as long as the games are played in moderation, so as not to become enslaved by the addiction and evil emotions, and are conducted fairly in such a way that no one is cheated, robbed, or unjustly taken advantage of in any other way, we Catholics are always free to enjoy the excitement that comes from taking risks.

As a result of that, a person must be careful not to become addicted to gambling, because of its excitement or probably the possibility of making quick, easy and big money. The person must not risk money that is necessary for the livelihood of himself or those entrusted to his care.

Moreover, a gambler should always check whether that money could be better used for something of clear and tangible benefit. Even a wealthy person who may have great disposable income must be moderate in spending, bearing in mind that the money risked on frivolous gambling could be used to help those less fortunate.

As the case maybe, there is nothing wrong with gambling as long as it is done within the confines of virtue. Nevertheless, one must always be very careful and vigilant.

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