Consider the following facts:
* Nearly all states allow some form of legalized “gaming.” Many allow legal casinos and even more have a lottery. In addition, much gambling is still illegal.
* Americans gamble more money each year than they spend on groceries!
* In Mississippi more money is spent on betting than on all retail sales combined.
* 85% of young people have already become gamblers.
* Usually the people who gamble the most are the people who can afford it the least: the poor and the elderly.
[All statistics cited are from Dr. James Dobson, who served on the National Gambling Impact Study Commission, whose report was issued in 1999.]
This form of gambling is often justified by Christians. The arguments you hear are many. They say:
• “Everything in life involves a gamble.”
• “When I win the lottery I am going to give a large percentage of it to God’s work and other charitable organizations.”
• “I just do it for fun. It is my entertainment. It’s kind of like going to a movie.”
• “Everybody takes risks. Look at the farmer. His business is a continual risk.”
• “How does buy and selling stock on the stock exchange any different than buying a lottery ticket and expecting a great return on the investment?”
• “If the lottery is gambling, then so is buying insurance. Insurance is a gamble of whether or not you will have an accident or a tragedy in your life.”
• “The Bible doesn’t say that gambling is a sin.”
• “Didn’t God sanction the casting of lots in both the Old and New Testament times? How is that different from buying a lottery ticket?”
So the 648 Million Dollar Question which could have become the 1 Billion Dollar Question if the lottery had not been won before Christmas is whether it is okay for Christians to gamble. With the stakes so high, it may be difficult for some to make a good sound judgment in this matter.