What does the Bible say about gambling?
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Question: What does the Bible say about the lottery, lottery tickets, casinos and gambling in general? Is buying lotto tickets or visiting places where people gamble a SIN?
Answer: The words "gambling" or "lottery" cannot be found in the Bible. However, there are numerous verses that denounce the attitudes and goals that are behind them. They include idol worship and greed, which are the foundations that encourage this kind of behavior.
People often indulge in gambling - be it playing the lottery or going to a casino - because they hope to "get lucky." Scripture states that such things as fortune, or fate, or luck and destiny are as foreign "gods" that people place their hope on. Isaiah 65 says that those who give up on or forsake God "set a table for FORTUNE" and they drink from full cups that contain "mixed wine for destiny" (Isaiah 65, NASB).
The TEV translation of Isaiah 65:11 states that those who reject God worship gods of "luck and fate." Those who worship (meaning they respect or honor) fortune (gambling) will be punished.
There is an interesting passage in Proverbs that references some of the same kinds of stereotypical signs often associated with a gambler.
The CEV translation of Proverbs 6:13 states that liars go around "winking and giving signals" in order that they may deceive other people. The TMSG translation of the verse says that those who indulge in evil "wink at each other," shuffle their feet around, and signal others by crossing their fingers behind their backs.
13 They wink and make gestures to deceive you, 14 all the while planning evil . . . (Proverbs 6:13-14, TEV)