Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
April 3, 1958

Why Gambling Is Wrong

Life magazine says the United States is the "gamblingest nation that ever existed." Fifty million adults and many more minors are betting thirty billion dollars a year. The annual profit to the bookmakers and others on the receiving end is six billion, more than the combined profits of U. S. Steel, General Motors and 97 other of the largest manufacturing firms.

Many say they see no harm in gambling as it is only taking a chance. They say the farmer takes his chance in planting a crop and the motorist takes his chance driving down the highway. Gambling is not just taking a chance; it is the taking of a chance at the expense of another.

There are three legitimate means of transferring money. These are:

(1) The law of labor (physical or mental) where a person actually earns the money he receives by time and energy expended.

(2) The law of exchange, in which a commodity is exchanged for its value in money.

(3) The law of love, in which something is given without any desire of expectation of any return.

Gambling comes under none of these laws. It is the very opposite of the law of love, being based on the idea of getting something for nothing. It is common knowledge that the slot machines are set so that you cannot win. Gambling is wrong because it denies the integrity of work (Eph. 4:28). It takes food from the mouths of gamblers' children and denies them clothes and shelter. Gambling is stealing in the same sense that dueling is murder! The dueler takes another's life by his consent.

A recent Fortune poll showed 55.3% of the people declared themselves in favor of lotteries for churches and other charities. A Gallup poll found that 54% of the people favor legal lottery to defray the expense of our national defense effort.

There are members of the church who may be found matching pennies or nickels, placing small bets, buying chances, punching boards or entering the office football pot. Shame on us! We condemn gambling on a large scale but plant and water it in our own backyards!

— Via Wendell Ave. Bulletin, Louisville, Ky.