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Gambling Garvin wrote:

Hi, guys —

Online betting for sports has become rampant on the internet.

  • Is it regarded as a wrong way of acquiring wealth?
  • If so, please give some insight.

Thanks in anticipation!


  { Is online betting for sports regarded as an inappropriate way of acquiring wealth, and if so, why? }

Mike replied:

Dear Garvin,

There is only one place in the Catechism of the Catholic Church where the Church addresses the question you have asked. Under the section on the Seventh commandment under the subtitle, Respect for the goods of others, in paragraph 2413, it states:

2413 Games of chance (card games, etc.) or wagers are not in themselves contrary to justice. They become morally unacceptable when they deprive someone of what is necessary to provide for his needs and those of others. The passion for gambling risks becoming an enslavement. Unfair wagers and cheating at games constitute grave matter unless the damage inflicted is so slight that the one who suffers it cannot reasonably consider it significant.

CCC paragraph 2413

So, for example, when online betting for sports, or for that matter online anything, becomes an obsession to the point where one excludes their obligations to:

  • God, like blowing away Sunday Mass or regular Confession
  • their wife and the kids
  • their employer, or
  • any other organization they have made a commitment to

it is a big problem one should deal with. Though the Catechism doesn't mention it, I am referring to the stealing of time, not money.

If this problem includes a misuse of one's finances, whether personal or family finances, the issue compounds the gravity of the situation and should be addressed by talking to a priest, rabbi, or minister — or getting help via a support organization, like Gamblers Anonymous:

As with playing video games, you have to learn how to prioritize your leisure time in such a way that you don't place something as more important when there are other life issues that take precedence.

I hope this helps,


Garvin replied:


So, when it becomes a waste of financial resource of an individual or causes neglect or depravity of one's necessities towards God, family, and others — that's when it becomes unacceptable.

  • Right?


Mike replied:


We can never let any entertainment take over our Christian and family obligations in life.


Garvin replied:


Thanks a lot!

I really appreciate your help.

May the peace of the Lord be with us.


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