The Bible doesn’t address gambling but does encourage being wise with money, being a hard worker, and inheritance as ways of being prosperous.
Playing the state lottery, and frequenting casinos, have become prominent pastimes for millions of Americans. More and more people are participating, in the hope of becoming millionaires. While there have been a few exceptions and isolated cases in American history, it is really only recently that gambling has come to be considered socially acceptable. Though times have arisen when gambling became more widespread, overall public sentiment has frowned upon the practice. Gambling generally has been illegal in our society, and the word “gamble” was a slang term of reproach. People in polite society, who held virtuous and moral convictions, viewed gambling as an unacceptable, inappropriate, even sinful vice. Those who engaged in such practices were seen as the degraded elements in society who served only to weaken social sensibilities.
The first modern state lottery was established in New Hampshire in 1964, while Nevada legalized the nation’s first casino in 1931 (“Indiana…,” 1998). The extensive opportunity of gambling activities did not capture the American public’s attention until the 1970s and 1980s. Now, however, horse and dog racetracks and casinos have sprung up all over the country. Several state governments now sponsor lotteries, complete with massive advertising campaigns. In 1988, the Federal Indian Regulatory Act opened the door to widespread casino development throughout the country. By 1993, riverboat gambling had been established in six states, and land-based casinos were legalized in several additional states. Gambling has become normalized across the nation, and various gambling activities are legal in all states except Hawaii and Utah. In 1995, more than $500 billion was legally wagered in the United States—a dramatic increase from the estimated $17 billion wagered in 1979, less than two decades earlier (“Indiana…”).
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