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Is Gambling a Sin?

In this day and age, we are regularly faced with the temptation of sin. With the vast growth of innovation in technology, entertainment, and, innovations, it is without a doubt that sin and temptation will pop up here and there.

There are some activities that we engage in that we may or may not know if we are sinning. One of these activities is gambling. Is gambling a sin? Well, let’s find out!

Defining Gambling

Based on the New Oxford American Dictionary, “Gamble, is to play games of chance for money, take risky action in the hope of a desired result and an act of gambling; an enterprise undertaken or attempted with a risk of loss and a chance of profit or success.”

Following these definitions, gambling involves games, uncertainty, and money.

How does the Catholic Church See Gambling?

Based on the 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.”

Here, we see how the Church views gambling, as an activity that can result in both unfavorable and favorable outcomes.

How is Gambling a Sin?

The act of gambling becomes a sin if it is attached to sinful things. For example, if you rely on gambling to provide for your family instead of working honestly and working hard, gambling becomes a sin. That’s also because you have knowledge that the money that you are using for gambling is something that your family needs, yet you use it to gamble.

Addiction to gambling may also have elements of sin. Addiction usually leads to excessiveness which can be connected to the sin of greed and pride. If one is addicted to gambling and the addiction causes harm to others and creates covetousness, then gambling can be associated with sin.

How is Gambling not a Sin?

Gambling can be viewed as not a sinful act if the act is done with good intentions and good solid virtues in place. What does that mean? Sometimes, gambling can be taken in simple ways not just in big casinos, and gaming establishments. It can be done through small bets, with friends or family, that’s just for fun, entertainment with no malicious intent. Even in situations where you enter gambling establishments and engage in gambling activities, as long as it is done for pleasure and entertainment fun and not to purely obtain money, gambling is not a sin. To further explain this, when you gamble for entertainment, you usually lose money. And losing money for entertainment is not wrong or a sin.

At the end of the day, the important lesson to remember here is that gambling should be done within your means, with temperance and moderation, and purely for entertainment and fun. If it is done with evil intentions and results in actions of greed, pride, and reliance for it to replace hard work, then for sure without a doubt, gambling becomes a sin.

Learning More about Sins

We hope we were able to answer your question is gambling a sin? If you’re interested to understand the depths of sin and how it can affect your relationship with others and with God, we suggest you check out our post on the Catholic 7 Deadly Sins. You can also check out our posts on the Sacrament of Reconciliation, a great way to combat sin, and receive God’s Mercy.

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