The Church's role in countering the expansion of gambling has been likened to David fighting Goliath. The overwhelming influence of gambling monies allows this industry access to all levels of government and extends even to elected public officials who benefit from contributions to their campaigns.
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and in their eagerness to be rich some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains.
1 Timothy 6, NRSV
The church is often left a "voice crying in the wilderness" as states, counties, and cities look to gambling revenue as an answer to filling budget gaps. U.S. society does not want to pay for the services we expect from government, raising taxes is anathema while balancing state and local budgets through gambling is embraced.
Gambling is a terrible example of stewardship of the resources God gives us; it creates social costs that are hidden and often do not become apparent until long after lotteries, casinos, betting parlors and game rooms have become entrenched in communities.
The National Research Council found that "many families of pathological gamblers suffer from a variety of financial hardships" and "children of compulsive gamblers are more likely to engage in delinquent behaviors such as smoking, drinking, and using drugs" as well as an increased risk of becoming pathological gamblers. The report estimates the cost of job loss, unemployment benefits, welfare benefits, poor physical and mental health, and treatment for pathological gamblers comes to $1,200 per year and $715 per year for problem gamblers.
Experience, Equip, Engage
- Opposing expansion of gambling in your community.
- Make a commitment to value and model good stewardship of the money God has entrusted to your care.
- Learn about the latest information on gambling prevention from Stop Predatory Gambling.