Is Gambling A Sin? 5 Major Religions Say This

I want to play gambling,

B-but, will my religion allow me? 

Hm, many people who gamble as a kind of pleasure do not consider the ethical or moral consequences of their behaviour. Then, is gambling a sin in your religion?.

As gambling has become permitted in various places around the world over the last century, people have given more attention to what the world’s great religions have to say about gambling.

In the United States, there was a time when Christian churches together with a few Temples in more enlightened towns, held moral authority.

In today’s global culture, however, scarcely any country on the earth has only one religion dictating its common principles. To understand how people manage the issue of whether gambling is a sin and why, it’s necessary to look at the world’s five great faiths.

Millions of Hindus around the world, some of them believe in a single strongest divine entity and many of them believe in hundreds of gods, which God would be the gambling authority?. Kind of hard to answer.

As a result, it’s a good idea to dig into the beliefs of each major religion to see how its believers see gambling as a human issue. 

This is especially crucial for countries in North America, which saw a surge in Buddhists, Hindus, and Muslims in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries.

The following research places various faith groups in chronological order, based on when they first appeared in humanity.

Is Gambling A Sin in Hinduism?

Is Gambling A Sin in Hinduism?

According to the website, Die Hard Indian, Hinduism is the world’s only major religion without a specific founder or a single authoritative scripture. 

As the major religion of India, Hinduism is practiced by approximately 80 percent of the country’s 1-billion-plus citizens. Its roots extend back to practices dating to 1000 BC.

As mentioned earlier, some Hindus believe in a single supreme deity, while others believe in many gods. The concept of “sin” in Hinduism is bound up in the idea known as “karma.”

What goes around, comes around” is how most Westerners perceive karma. 

In other words, Hindus believe that living a good life allows one to break free from the cycle of reincarnation, in which one’s actions in one life affect one’s status in the next, until one reaches nirvana, or spiritual oblivion. Those who suffer in this life are doing it to atone for their past wrongdoings.

One paradoxical result of karma is that there was little philanthropy to the less fortunate until recently, because assisting someone in need was considered as interfering with that person’s karma, putting one’s own karma at risk.

However, throughout the last century, Mahatma Gandhi’s compassion for the poorest sections of Indian society, both Hindu and Muslim, has elevated the moral stature of philanthropy for others.

Hinduism’s perspective on gambling is thus shaped by the concepts of karma and reincarnation. 

The most austere Hindu practises officially outlaw gambling, whereas less strict sects look at the causes and effects of gambling to judge its morality. Gambling for the sake of enjoyment is generally frowned upon.

Gambling and Buddhism

Gambling and Buddhism

Is gambling a sin in Buddhism?

Then, Buddhism is a Hindu part named for its founder, Siddhartha Gautama, also known as “The Enlightened One.” Between the 6th and 4th century BCE, the Buddha lived and taught on the northeastern Indian subcontinent. 

Moreover, his teachings spread over Asia, dividing into two main sects with numerous subcategories followed by today’s 500 million followers.

Because Buddhism does not believe in the existence of a high divine person, there is no “God” to question regarding gambling’s wickedness. 

However, Buddhism embraces some Hindu notions such as reincarnation and karma, with the sacred goal of being free of the reincarnation cycle once more.

In general, Buddhism’s ideas revolve on the Four Noble Truths concerning human suffering and how to alleviate it through the Eightfold Path, a collection of spiritual and ethical practises.

There is a reasonable prohibition against gambling in Buddha’s teachings due to the misery it produces in human society. This teaching comes from the “Sigalovada Sutta: The Layman’s Code of Discipline,” a canonical Buddhist scripture. 

In the Digha Nikaya (“Long Discourses of Buddha”), the Sigalovada Sutta is the 31st Sutta, or chapter.

The Six Evil Consequences:

  • Hatred is created by the winner.
  • The loser regrets the loss of his or her wealth.
  • Wealth is being lost.
  • In a court of law, his statement is not taken seriously.
  • His friends and associates despise him.
  • People would say he is a gambler and unable to look after a woman, therefore he is not sought after for marriage.

Judaism and Gambling

Judaism and Gambling

The Jewish religion can be traced back to a covenant formed with God by Abraham, the biblical patriarch who is also regarded as the founder of Islam. 

Judaism is thought to be the world’s first monotheistic religion, in which divine authority is placed in a single supernatural being who cares deeply about humanity’s fate. The number of Jews in the world now is believed to be around 18 million.

Through a series of religious leaders known as rabbis, the Jews developed a community system of establishing morality and ethics over the centuries. 

These successive academies of religious experts argued moral and ethical concerns and published their conclusions in a book known as the Talmud.

In regards to gambling, the Talmud reports that the rabbis are against it. They criticize gambling as a risky financial activity as well as a potentially addicting habit that causes men to neglect their responsibilities in life. 

From a moral standpoint, the Talmud considers gambling to be a sin because the gambler who loses did not expect to lose. In other words, the loser’s money is taken from him reluctantly, almost as if it were stolen, and he receives nothing in return.

Moreover, according to the Talmud, any form of gaming creates merely the illusion of adding value to a local economy. Gambling, in the end, provides nothing of lasting benefit for the community.

Is Gambling a Sin in Christianity?

Is Gambling a Sin in Christianity?

For guidance in modern life, the world’s 2.2 billion Christians look to the teachings of their Lord, Jesus Christ. Jesus, on the other hand, talked little about gambling. 

However, as an itinerant Jewish rabbi who lived and taught sometime in the first century CE, Jesus had a lot to say about money and its applications. To grasp the context of Jesus’ teachings on money, it’s necessary to first understand the historical setting of his time.

During Jesus’ era, Palestine was an occupied territory of the Roman Empire. Except for a few members of society’s upper crust, the majority of Jews and their non-Jewish neighbours in the region lived in poverty and were forced to labour their fields and herds primarily for the benefit of their Roman oppressors. 

Their taxes were expensive, and their lives were filled with hardship. 

Jesus of Nazareth entered this reality. Rather than assuming social or political power based on wealth, as most Jews expected of their Messiah, Jesus taught his disciples that wealth was not the ultimate purpose of life. 

Instead, he taught that the pinnacles of human existence were loving God and loving one’s neighbour as oneself.

Matthew 6:24

“No one can serve two masters,” Jesus proclaims in Matthew 6:24 of the New Testament. He will either dislike one and adore the other, or he will be dedicated to one and hate the other. 

You can’t serve God and Money at the same time.” Later, when he attacked the money changers’ tables in the Temple’s outer courts in Jerusalem, he brought this concept to reality. 

Because they exchanged foreign money for temple coinage and sold the sacrificed animals used in Jewish religious rites, the gain value was vital to the Temple’s economy. 

Christians believe Jesus’ actions were just one of many that led to his death on the cross and God’s Resurrection.

Timothy 6:10 and Hebrews 13:5

Second- and third-generation servants of Jesus preserved his lessons on the consequences of money. “The desire of money is the source of all evil,” warned two of the faith’s earliest writings, 1 Timothy 6:10 and Hebrews 13:5. 

Gambling has been denounced by Christians for ages because it is clearly founded on a love of money and the promise of instant, easy riches. 

However, there are differing opinions among Christians today about what defines gambling and if God may “redeem” money acquired through gambling if given to a church.

In Recent Time

The United Methodist Church is one of the most active American faiths fighting legalised gaming today. 

Gambling in Christianity is classified as “other addictions” by the United Methodist Board of Church and Society, the church’s social action arm, while the General Conference, the church’s highest legislative authority, gives what may be the best contemporary definition of the New Testament teaching that the love of money is the root of all evil.

Gambling in Islam

Gambling in Islam

Although it can be linked back to Ishmael, Abraham’s slave Hagar’s son, Islam is the world’s newest religion, believed to have begun in CE 610 when the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) received the divine revelations recorded in The Holy Qu’ran. 

Today, around 1.6 billion people call themselves Muslims, which means “obedient to God.”

In Islam, there are two categories of deeds: “halal,” which means lawful according to the Prophet’s beliefs, and “haram,” which means wrong to the point of being punishable under Islamic law. Gambling is one of the haram (forbidden) acts in Islam.

According to Muslim accounts, the founder of Islam, Muhammad  and his companions were against all forms of gambling, including card games, horse racing, gambling machines, and lotteries.

QS: Al-Ma’idah 5:90,91

“O ye who believe!” exclaims the Holy Qur’an, Islam’s sacred text. Intoxicants and gambling, stone (dedication), and arrow (divination) are all abominations created by Satan, therefore avoid them if you want to be good. 

Satan’s purpose is to incite animosity and hatred among you by intoxicants and gambling, and to keep you from remembering God and praying: will you not abstain?”.

Gambling is prohibited in Islam because it forces people of their money without them having earned it. In order to win the money, the gambler makes no effort at all. 

Because the money was amassed by the wagering of other gamblers, keeping the winnings without returning any payments to the contributors (other gamblers) would be comparable to stealing, a viewpoint shared by Judaism.

In the end, is gambling a sin in religion? It is clearly, all of the world’s major religious faiths consider gambling to be wasteful at best and a behaviour that affects human society and offends God at worst.

It’s unclear to what extent these religious beliefs have any influence on non-believers who gamble on a regular basis or make a living off of gaming. 

However, most of the world’s religions’ traditions and teachings surely have some effect over their companions, the billions of people who avoid from gambling as a sign of their faith’s dedication.

Also Read : How to Stop Gambling