QUESTION: IS GAMBLING A SIN?
Study References: 1 Timothy 6:10, 1 John 2:15, Hebrews 13:5
Mark 8:36 says; "For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?"(NKJV).
Hebrews 13:5 says; "Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you."(ESV).
The absence of a commandment or proof-text against gambling ultimately proves nothing.
There are lots of things that are not explicitly mentioned in the Bible that we would probably agree are clearly sinful. Bible says in James 4:17 says; "So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.(ESV)
For example, There isn't anything in Scripture that forbids sniffing of cocaine or heroin, but we all know it leads to destruction.
Today, gambling takes a variety of forms, as a matter of fact, gambling is not basically casino but a habit of chasing or quick money scheme: E.g, lotteries, casinos, sports betting, quick-stop gaming stands (video poker, etc.), and perhaps the most prevalent type today, online or internet gambling.
More also, gambling start as a result of, materialism, greed, discontent, reliance on chance rather than reliance on God's provision, exploitation, laziness, Seeking to gain from the loss of others.
Exodus 20:17 talks about coveting which is the root of many of our problems. What is one of the reasons that people gamble and play the lottery? They covet money, which they hope to make in a quick and easy way. 1 Timothy 6:10 declares that "the love of money is the root of all evil." Therefore, the enticement of gambling and playing the lottery comes under these texts.
But there is more, God has given to each person certain talents, which includes time, money, and influence. God is going to have each person give an account of how their talents were used. If talents are wasted and dissipated, often the ones involved are not the only ones who pay the price. Families often go without basic necessities because of one member's addiction.
Can lotto/lottery proceeds please God?
Many people claim to be playing the lottery or gambling so that they can give the money to the church or to some other good cause. While this may be a good motive, the reality is that few use gambling winnings for godly purposes. Studies show that the vast majority of lottery winners are in an even worse financial situation a few years after winning a jackpot than they were before. Few, if any, truly give the money to a good cause.
Furthermore, God does not need our money to fund His mission in the world.
Proverbs 13:11 says, “Dishonest money dwindles away, but he who gathers money little by little makes it grow.”
God is sovereign and will provide for the needs of the church through honest means. Would God be honored by receiving donated drug money or money stolen in a bank robbery? Of course not. Neither does God need or want money that was “stolen” from the poor in the temptation for riches.
Finally, gambling has been known to lead or end in addiction, poverty, crime, dishonesty, family strife and divorce, escape into alcoholism and exploitation of the poor.