Gambling is completely out of control in our nation. It is estimated that as much as four hundred billion dollars is wagered on sports gambling every year. With gambling now legalized in most states it is causing huge problems.
At the running of the 2016 Kentucky Derby I was stunned at the high number of my Facebook friends who proudly stated how much they had lost or won on the race. Most of these friends are professing Christians and some of them are in ministry.
Gambling wrecks lives and greatly increases crime. Nearly every time we discover embezzlement in one of our churches it can be traced to a person addicted to gambling. I have learned that in most cases of embezzlement in the public arena, it is also a person addicted to gambling.
Eighty-five percent of the American people gamble at least once a year. The result is a rapid increase in gambling addictions. The increase in compulsive gambling is seen today primarily among our senior adults and our teenagers. The casinos have their biggest days when social security and welfare checks are distributed. Our teenagers play gambling games on the internet. They do most of their betting on line. Teenage gambling addiction is literally exploding.
Gambling wrecks lives and increases crime. In Nevada, the gambling capitol of the world, the crime rate is double the national average. The suicide rate is triple the national average. How can we say we love our neighbor as ourselves and say there is nothing wrong with gambling? Gambling violates clear biblical principles and destroys lives and devastates families. See my EA article of January-February 2010 for additional biblical principles that gambling violates.
One of our greatest and most loved Buckeye athletes has literally destroyed his life because of his addiction to gambling. One of my all time favorite baseball players, Pete Rose, should be in the Hall of Fame; instead he is in the hall of shame because he was a compulsive gambler.
I want to challenge all of our ministers and Sunday school teachers to study this subject and address it from your pulpits and your class rooms. Our people need to be warned that playing the lottery and participating in what seems to be harmless gambling games in the work place can lead to serious consequences. Anyone who ever placed a small bet at the office or bought a lottery ticket never intended to become a compulsive gambler. However, that is exactly how it begins.
Gambling is wrong even if it’s sponsored by the church in a friendly game of bingo. From what I have seen, I believe gambling was hatched in hell. This must stop now before it destroys more lives and even our nation.