August 1994, Abbeville, Louisiana, USA --- Close-up of a gambler holding his betting money at Cajun Downs Race Track. --- Image by © Owen Franken/Corbis

A gambler holding his betting money

I was awed the first time I heard the wonder of gambling (soccer prediction to be precise); how a friend won over 120,000 Naira from betting with just 200 Naira. I must confess, I sincerely considered the possibility of making wealth following this path.

Then, of recent, while talking with a friend of mine, a guy with great ideas and sound work ethics met another friend of his who won more than 4 million Naira from playing with just 2,000 Naira. He asked me if gambling/betting is a sin according to the bible because he is sincerely considering going into it, at least 2,000 Naira here and there, what really does he have to lose? Although I’ve met someone else who spends 75% of his monthly allowance gambling, till date, he is still wishing for luck. I met him 3 years ago, by the way.

So, the fact remains that there are people who make good money from gambling and/or betting, which ever type, Naira bet, Baba Ijebu, Poker, Lottery, etc.

Addressing the topic of Gambling and Betting as a whole can be a little bit tricky, because how do you categorize the casino kind of gambling; slot machine, Wheel of Fortune, Keno, Bingo, Roulette, internet gambling systems, and Betting, which in modern times is seen more as an organized commercial activity where betting companies invite people to place bets and payout according to the bets that are waged by players.

Gambling is based solely on luck or chance without any intellectual input from you, i.e. has nothing to do with the skills of the player; games designed to take your money rather than giveback, though offering the player the possibility of a large short-term payout which is a mere scheme of encouraging you to keep gambling despite your previous or numerous loss(es). Whereas, betting is just an agreement between two people, where one pays the other in the case the prediction being bet on comes to to pass. And betting isn’t frowned upon by the government as the case of betting.

We can also say that elite gamblers do thorough study and analysis, which can qualify for hard and intellectual work as compared to gambling which just a wish on luck and chance.

My idea of gambling.

My idea of gambling.

I’ve never understood what gambling exactly is, not like I’ve tried it anyway. I love fun, I love spontaneity, I love risks, I love the unexpected. All these makes life fun. But gambling!! It’s just seems too risky.

No financial system is designed to dash out money, but that is not the impression most gambling system paints while in reality they are in it for the big buck, the entire buck if possible.

Another major drawback of gambling is that it is mostly (if not all the time) employed as a short cut to wealth, or for fast-cash delivery. It is used as a substitute to the painstaking process that thinking up an idea and following up to implementation requires.

A proverb goes thus:

No Bee, no honey,

No work, no money.

I believe there is dignity in work. Work is honourable. There is nothing more rewarding than being fed from your own sweat.

And mind you, the worker and the thief both sweats, so because you earn a means by your sweat does not justify the means. Now I wonder, could that be such for the sweat from gambling?

Dreaming of building a worth in the class of Bill Gates, Warren Buffet or Aliko Dangote by the means of luck and chances; guessing your way up. It is like hoping to climb into the clouds with a one-legged ladder. If that is impossible, then you have to wake up to the reality of wealth creation.

Work is the other leg of the wish-ladder. Wishing and working are like the two blades of a pair of scissors. One is useless without the other. Take this write-up as a wake-up call. Before you throw another pearl to the pig expecting the pig to worth the same as a horse, you might want to ask for my account number.


What does the bible say about Gambling?

Of course, the bible does not expressly condemn gambling, but it encourages hard and diligent work as against idleness and scheme to get rich quickly.

The great King Solomon said “Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread, but he who follows worthless pursuits lacks sense“Prov 12:11.

Is gambling fitting to be described as a worthless pursuit, or foolish risk as the title suggests?

Carefully consider these scriptures;

Heb 13:15 “Keep your life free from the love of money, and be content with what you have…”Ecc 5:10 “He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity”….1 Tim 6:10 “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs”.

I’m sure all gamblers can agree to the fact that no matter what, much can never be enough. So what do I advise? Exactly what the bible adviced;

Yet we hear that some of you are living idle lives, refusing to work and meddling in other people’s business. 12 We command such people and urge them in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to settle down and work to earn their own living. 2 Thess 3:11-12

Let the thief no longer steal, but rather let him labour, doing honest work with his own hand…” Ephesians 4:28″.

Never forget this; Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it. Prov 13:11

What about gambling addiction?

Not all gamblers are addicted to it, but do you know when you have crossed that line? Here is how described Gambling addiction otherwise known as compulsive gambling, “Compulsive gamblers can’t control the impulse to gamble, even when they know their gambling is hurting themselves or their loved ones. Gambling is all they can think about and all they want to do, no matter the consequences. Compulsive gamblers keep gambling, whether they’re up or down, broke or flush, happy or depressed. Even when they know the odds are against them, even when they can’t afford to lose, people with a gambling addiction can’t “stay off the bet.

Some will say, do you still call Gambling addiction a problem if you can afford it? But even if it does not hurt your purse, but hurts your relationship, your loved ones or hinders your focus on other productive cause, then it is as much a problem as someone who is in a financial debt due to gambling.

Enough said.

What is your opinion? Is gambling a foolish risk or smart business? At what point do you cross the line? Kindly contribute.

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