Gamblers Anonymous: Weekend Poll

August 10, 2013

But what if you pay tithing on your ill gotten gains?

“You’ve got to know when to hold them, know when to fold them, know when to walk away, and know when to run.  You never count your money when you’re sitting at the table.  There’ll be time enough for counting when the dealing’s done.” Kenneth Rogers 15: 3.

Is gambling a sin? (choose up to three)

  • Yes, if you spend more than you can afford. (41%, 19 Votes)
  • Yes, if you become addicted to it. (33%, 15 Votes)
  • Yes. It's a sin. (30%, 14 Votes)
  • Not if you only gamble in small amounts for entertainment and can walk away. (26%, 12 Votes)
  • It's the same as the stock market. No guarantees in this life. (20%, 9 Votes)
  • No, please quit trying to bring me down with your restrictions! (13%, 6 Votes)
  • No, many casinos are run by stake presidents. It must be OK. (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 46

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Discuss.

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17 Responses to Gamblers Anonymous: Weekend Poll

  1. Karen on August 10, 2013 at 11:51 AM

    You need to add an option for a “Yes” reply without a caveat — being able to afford it, or it not becoming an addiction. Just an unqualified “Yes.”

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  2. hawkgrrrl on August 10, 2013 at 12:30 PM

    Done!

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  3. nate on August 10, 2013 at 2:10 PM

    Everything in life has some level of risk so it is all gambling. When you step behind the wheel of a car, you spin the barrel of Russian roulette gun with a ten thousand chambers.

    But when you put a nickel in a slot machine, your risk level is suicidal. It feels exciting to have so much risk, and that excitement is the addictive reward of gambling.

    But I don’t think God intended us to take on this level of risk. It is unwise, like the one-talent guy who buries his talent.

    Plus you are giving your money to a deceptive organization, which charms the poor and the gullible and robs from them.

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  4. MH on August 10, 2013 at 3:27 PM

    There is nothing inherently sinful about gambling, just as there is nothing inherently sinful about alcohol. Jesus drank wine, so it can’t be sinful to drink wine if we consider Jesus as sinless. The problem comes when it is used in excess or becomes an addiction. Then yes, the excess is sinful.

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  5. Angela C on August 11, 2013 at 9:31 AM

    I suspect sinfulness relates to state of mind. So it’s sinful to try to get something for nothing (bluffing your neighbor to win his needed earnings – but maybe not his excess), but it’s wise to invest money for usury (a la the stock market). And I’m pretty sure sin or not, it’s unwise to do much gambling (increasingly high stakes) and stokes an addiction to ill-advised risk-taking behavior in some people.

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  6. Utahhiker801 on August 11, 2013 at 10:48 AM

    As someone who has a somewhat tenuous grasp of probability, I don’t think gambling is a sin, I think it is stupid.

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  7. Stand on 17 on August 11, 2013 at 10:49 AM

    “The most exciting feeling in the world is betting and winning. The second most exciting feeling in the world is betting and losing.”

    -Legendary gambler Nick The Greek Dandalos

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  8. Mormon Doctrine: Face Cards | Mormon Heretic on August 11, 2013 at 11:31 AM

    [...] a sin.  We played Uno, Crazy-Eights, and many card games with or without face cards.  With the Wheatmeister poll this weekend, it reminded me that a few months ago, my wife was concerned that my dad taught my son how to play [...]

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  9. Douglas on August 11, 2013 at 11:43 AM

    Comes under the category of “don’t ask what’s wrong with it, but rather what is right.” Someone explain what good is accomplished by gambling. It’s not hard to identify the downside, hence why the Saints have been COUNSELLED to refrain from it. And that’s how a lot of these issues have been addressed. There are probably quite a few things we’ve been counselled to avoid but we don’t necessarily get asked (or at least shouldn’t unless tne bishop is being nosy). I seriously doubt that I’m going to hell for the occasional lottery ticket but no doubt it would please the Master if I simply discontinued same.

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  10. Will on August 11, 2013 at 11:52 AM

    Here is the main issue I have with gambling;

    About 10 years ago just before my Mom passed away we would take turns taking care of her in the evenings to give the cleaning lady and nurses a much needed break.

    She had cancer, diabetes and late stage Alzheimer’s — needless to say she was a mess. I say this as she had the same routine every night, we would take her to the same crapy restaurant and order the same crapy meal and the come home and watch tv and try and carry on a conversation. At least we would sit there and watch her flip channels with a sence of OCD — she could not stay on a channel for more than a few minutes.

    I think by Devine providence it landed on a channel about gambling addiction. Before watching this, I had the same rationalizations mentioned above. It a victimless crime, as long as your not addicted, it’s no different than the stock market, etc.. It is noted, my mother did not change the channel. If you knew her at this time you would realize the significance of this event. I tried to do it justice, but did not. In her last days she was extremely difficult to be around and could never sit still for more than a few minutes. She listened intently to this program.

    Two things caught my attention in this program. 1) the first was a profile about a guy that won the1 Million poker tournement prize one year eariler. He was broke. Living in a homeless shelter. He didn’t lose it gambling, at least not all of it. He spent it on frivolous items. He said (his words not mine) “when you gamble even a little bit you lose the value of money, spending $250 on a limo or room is nothing, or a few hundred on a glass of wine. I would put this down as a blind bet on most hands, so spending it on real things was nothing. Before long you are out of money” (this is verbatim as I recorded it in my journal). 2) as they profiles all of the other addicts the verse about the word of wisdom came to mind “it is for the weakest of the saints” yes there are those that can gamble or drink socially without problems, but it is the example they are setting for others who may try it once because you do it and they may be addicted for life.

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  11. YvonneS on August 11, 2013 at 7:14 PM

    Professional “gamblers” do not gamble they play cards. My grandfather was a professional gambler. He played for the local pool hall. He let some of the players win, He never let is son’s-in-laws win because he felt guilty about taking their money and he wanted them to keep it for the household expenses. Because they knew he would always beat them the didn’t play.

    It is a sin if God says it is a sin. It is just stupid and foolish when you play at a casino or anyplace else that earns money off of your efforts.

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  12. Mormon Doctrine: Face Cards | Wheat and Tares on August 12, 2013 at 1:01 AM

    [...] a sin.  We played Uno, Crazy-Eights, and many card games with or without face cards.  With the Wheatmeister poll this weekend, it reminded me that a few months ago, my wife was concerned that my dad taught my son how to play [...]

    Like this comment? Thumb up 0

  13. Jack Hughes on August 12, 2013 at 10:52 AM

    For one thing, gambling encourages “magical thinking”, such as the idea that certain arbitrary things (objects, numbers, days of the week, etc.) are “lucky” or “unlucky”, or even false senses of forthcoming good fortune (“today is my lucky day”). Some gamblers invest a great amount of faith into the idea of luck, equivalent to the amount of conviction and fervor a deeply religious person might invest in his/her own beliefs. A supposedly religious person who gambles is really serving two masters.

    I imagine similar thought processes can be found in the “prosperity gospel” mentality (faith resulting in wealth/success), which unfortunately exists in LDS culture. When church leaders–such as Elder McConkie in Mormon Doctrine–decry gambling and card-playing, they tend to emphasize the worldly disadvantages (financial ruin, connections to drinking, fighting, vice, debauchery, waste of time, etc.). I wish they would also address the spiritual downfalls connected to such dangerous pastimes.

    The few times I have been to Las Vegas, I have always been disturbed at the ubiquitous sight of senior citizens working the slot machines like robots, squandering away their social security in search of some big payoff that will probably never come. The glitz and glamour of Las Vegas was built on the backs of these poor people.

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  14. Hedgehog on August 12, 2013 at 1:28 PM

    Attitudes to gambling amongst members where I grew up were so rigid, that even now, I can’t bring myself to participate in a raffle, however good the cause. It’s become ingrained. But guessing the name of a bear, or the weight of something is apparently acceptable.

    My non-member grandparents enjoyed horse-racing however, they would go to the races, and bet on the outcome, though I think their bets were fairly low.

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  15. Hedgehog on August 12, 2013 at 1:29 PM

    Oh, and I think the sin involved is greed.

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  16. DB on August 12, 2013 at 1:55 PM

    No, but it’s really stupid to lose money in a game when you know the odds are always against you. The sin lies with the casino and lottery operators, the ones running the game.

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  17. Douglas on August 18, 2013 at 10:50 AM

    LB – the “sin” lies against one’s own financial interests and time utilization by “gaming”. Yes, we know that the odds are heavily in the “house’s” favor. Some fifteen years ago, playing blackjack in Reno, the dealer pointed out the side bet available. If your first two cards were of the same suit, you were paid even money. Then she quietly muttered, “Sir, it’s a ‘house’ bet”. I playfully chided her, “my dear, it’s ALL a house bet, else, you wouldn’t be here.” Interesting to note that state lotteries typically pay out far less than most numbers games offered by the Mob, and that the State and its lotter

    I suppose that if one “games” to a minimal extent, that is, the time and monies involved are insignificant, then it’s nothing that one’s bishop should get his knickers in a twist over. But as I’ve posted previously, what GOOD is done? Would it not be best to simply refrain altogether? After all, how we spend our time and temporal resources is how we shall all give account to the Master. Or as Ben Franklin is supposed to have said: “Dost thou love thy life? Then do not waste time, for that’s the stuff that life’s made of.” The Lord has dispensed His counsel through His servants on this sublect; we may choose for ourselves how we heed it.

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