Las Vegas may have been built by winners, but it was paid for by losers.
Covid lockdowns have reduced casino patronage to zero in many places. Online gambling has become the go-to place for regular gamblers, and many more who have been enticed by ads or word-of-mouth. I have a friend who was given a ‘free $200 starter pack of gambling chips’ to draw him into an online game. Fortunately, he didn’t have enough money for the ‘sign-up’ fee. These enticements are nothing new. For decades some hotels have included ‘free’ gambling chips in their holiday deals.I have seen first-hand the damage that ‘problem’ gambling does to individuals and families. Millions of ordinary folks have reduced themselves to the status of liars and thieves to fuel their habits. They blame everyone but themselves and make enablers out of their nearest and dearest—Those who bear the brunt of the inevitable privation.Silly, dismissive lines are thrown out as if the subject is a waste of time. Have you heard this one: “I bet your church wouldn’t say ‘No’ if someone gave them some of the money they won from gambling.”I haven’t heard this one for a very long time: “If people couldn’t buy Lotto tickets or go to the casino, they would just gamble illegally.”Such statements draw our attention away from the victims and the vice associated with gambling. Christians are called to a Christlike lifestyle. With thankful hearts before the Father, we stamp the name of Jesus on every word and every action: “Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father” (Col.3:17).What you do with your money is between you and God. But what are the odds of a ‘bet’ advancing Jesus’ church?Invest instead it in the things at build the Kingdom of Christ. That is why God has put money in your hand. Only there will it have a sure return.
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