Though most religions do not specifically condemn gambling, betting, or lottery, they warn against dealing in indolence for money and they do teach to stay away from the love of money. In fact, a portion of the Bible says, “Wealth gotten by vanity shall be diminished, but he that gathers by labour shall increase.” In other words, what one does not work for does not enhance one’s worth.

Gambling is the act involving two or more people staking a sum of money on the outcome of an uncertain event with each one being given fair chances of getting more money than was staked by any one of the betters. One of the gamblers, who must have made a correct prediction, wins the money. There is another gambler who keeps this sum in trust for the betters, often designated as bookmaker.

In reality, all the bookmakers cannot be as well-meaning (at least not to all betters) as they sound, if they must break even in the bookmaking business. Truly, some fellows must have to fail in gambling for others to succeed. This is a rather indolent manner of making money and the government of the day cannot be absolved from the thriving of this form of business.

In case the Nigerian government believes that revenue from gamblers is viable source of income for government, we should also note that much more importantly, we are throwing away values that money cannot buy – that is a culture that extols the dignity of labour as the authentic means of making money. In many countries of the world, betting is never as freely allowed as it is here. Gamblers in those countries covertly solicit betting stakes, outside of the media.

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Apart from being a symptom of indolence, gambling breeds greed among gamblers and it is at the root of most match fixing activities. Referees, smaller teams or players can be bought over to influence the outcome of the games at the “right price”– the price that could be footed by the winnings. In the event that results don’t go the way of gamblers, they get miserable and desperate and would stop at nothing to hit the jackpot.

Needless to say, gambling is highly addictive and comes with a perpetual, greedy hint of a better next chance till the “better” turns the waterloo, more often than not. Moreover, the next time the temptation of gambling seems irresistible. Reference must be made to some sportsmen like the American ex-boxer, Mike Tyson, who have lost their fortune to such vain merchandise like gambling. Sustainable wealth could be more predictable with proven principles rather than gambling. After all, God intends a win-win life for everyone, rather than having some folks lose so that others can win – which, more often than not, is the essence of gambling.


Photo credit: John Lynch/Demotix/CorbiJ