Is Gambling a Sin?

Although gambling can be as old as the civilizations and the first religions, it is not always easy to determine if gambling is considered a sin according to a creed. That is why we researched, collected, and summarized all that you need to know about the religious limits when it comes to all forms of gambling.

What Do Religions Have to Say About Gambling?

There is not one universal truth when it comes to whether gambling is a sin. We need to consider each of the religions in the Philippines separately.

ReligionIs Gambling a Sin?
Roman CatholicismAs long as the act of gambling does not interfere with the duty and benevolence of a person, it is not considered a sin for Catholics.
IslamGambling is considered to be haram in Islam, which means that it is completely forbidden.
ProtestantismDespite the different branches of Protestantism, they all agree, with varying intensity, that gambling is wrong and sinful behavior.
Indigenous Philippine Folk ReligionsAs these religions are more related to everyday needs and rituals for blessings, there isn’t a similar concept of sins before God. Therefore, there is nothing against gambling.
BuddhismWhile recreational gambling would not be a problem, gambling addiction and corruption of one’s path through greed and mourning loss of money are.

Can Christians Gamble?

Among the religions that have something to say about gambling being a sin, Catholicism is perhaps the most intriguing one. While Protestantism considers it a sin in any case involving money, Catholics have a convention more befitting to that of Buddhism in the sense that all forms of gambling can be explored to some extent.

In short terms, we can summarize that, for Christians who only follow the way of Christ or are Catholics, gambling would be allowed under the right circumstances. Depending on which authority of the Church you would ask, the answer could vary from the allowance of gambling for fun to being avoided at all costs.

Therefore, we can have a better comprehension and appeal less to the guesswork of individuals by taking a look at what The Bible says about gambling and sin.

Is Gambling a Sin in the Bible?

The Bible does not condemn betting or involve the concept of gambling as a sin, but it is not permissive either. One could interpret that the Bible says that one should not gamble.

It is not because gambling is a sin but due to the possible consequences of it. Here are some passages that are often used to refer to gambling:

“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.’”

(Hebrews 13:5)

Whoever loves money never has enough…This, too, is meaningless.”

(Ecclesiastes 5:10)

Also, gambling is a form to earn money by counting with luck on games that pay real money, which is the opposite of working hard as preached by the Bible:

“Wealth gained hastily or by fraud will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it.”

(Proverbs 13:11)

“I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive.”

(Corinthians 10:23)

That goes for all the passages in the Bible that can be used to make a connection with what gambling is. In summary, as long as one has complete control and good judgment, gambling can be used for fun.

Next, let’s conclude the stream of thought identifying when gambling is not a sin, at least according to the religions that do not ban it in its entirety – such as Islam.

When Gambling Isn't a Sin?

In the sphere of religions that could be considered more permissive towards gambling, it can be a perfectly acceptable behavior if used with parsimony. Gathering with friends to have some fun, playing on online casinos just to enjoy the games, and simply taking it lightly as a hobby to entertain yourself sometimes is possible.

As long as it does not start to interfere in your life or that of others in any way, be it financially, socially, or in terms of health, it is not a sin. Gambling has to take a small part in your days. To remain an innocent activity, follow the gambling laws, fight any love for money, and do not make gambling an attempt to prosper because that should come from work and following your duty as a good person.


No, but it can be closely related to the deadly sin of greed. Other consequences and behaviors of the loss of control of gambling can easily result in episodes of wrath, pride, lust, and sloth – the majority of the seven sins.

In Christianity, the Bible has nothing specific about gambling per se, only bad behaviors that can result from it. In Islam, gambling is haram and finds no relief.

One can easily interpret winnings as a result of gambling as a blessing. That is personal and should not be judged by anyone else.
If gambling is not a sin in all its forms and ways in your religion, you need to see it as a way to have fun and entertain yourself without leading to sinful thoughts or greed.

Donation and helping others are always in accordance with the principles of religion. Therefore, when it is done by heart, that is a welcome action. However, the donation should not be seen as a way to relieve any possible sins.

Your religion will either allow gambling to a certain extent or forbid it. Regardless of your intentions, that cannot be changed. Follow your principles, and if you feel like doing good causes, that is certainly an act of righteousness.
If your religion condemns gambling, the results of the possible winnings are not changing it. Otherwise, you can be supportive and make it more than a hobby by helping others. Remember not to make gambling a way to try to help your family.