Don't  Bet  On  It

What does the Bible say about gambling?

Do lotteries really increase state revenue?

What does placing a bet say about your faith?

How does legalized gambling concern the Christian?

© 1987  Tom Watson, Jr.

Regal Books — Ventura, California


Subjects: 1. Gambling — Religious aspects — Christianity. 2. Gambling — United States.
HV6713.W37 ~ Dewey: 363.4'2'0973 ~ LCCN: 86-31575 ~ OCLC:
15018881 ~ 249p.

Don't Bet On It is presently held by 40 libraries including Multnomah University and Moody Bible Institute.

Table of Contents

Back Cover of the Book

Introduction: What's All the Fuss?       11

"I will show you the debilitating and often irreversible effects of the compromise known as gambling on the society we share and on the faith that binds us to God."

1. A Clear View of a Murky Issue       15

"The Word of God contains no specific 'Thou shalt not gamble,' but it speaks with painful clarity on the subject of thievery, greed and extortion."

2. Taking the Easy Way Out      23

"Christians should find themselves concerned about the potential dangers of a source of government revenue dependent upon human greed and weakness of will."

3. Promises, Promises!       37

"Rather than lower costs, revenue from legalized gambling enterprises serves all too often to escalate extravagance in government spending."

4. Making Instant Millionaires       43

"The odds against winning with any single lottery ticket are 7.25 billion to one."

5. Child of Avarice?       57

"The chief reason for any citizen's participation in gambling probably is nothing more noble or complicated than greed."

6. Deploring and Enjoying Those Vices       69

"The question is whether it is in our own best interest as followers of Jesus Christ to participate in a potentially harmful vice, simply because the state legalizes it and society describes it as 'merely having fun.' "

7. Running for It       77

"The Racing Form occupies the place in the life of the horseplayer that the Bible is intended to occupy in the life of a committed Christian."

8. Atlantic City and the Abrams Report       89

"Would you experience a certain amount of embarrassment if Jesus Christ returned to earth and found you placing your chips on the squares of a roulette table?"

9. An Inside Look at Casinos       119

"Money when it enters the casino no longer signifies confidence, security, promise or well-being, and it certainly has no connection with the work or will of God."

10. Loopholes and High Rollers       139

"Gambling casinos provide enticing tax advantages for those wily enough to claim them and a no-questions-asked laundering facility for 'dirty' money."

11. Managing the Point Spread       153

"Enterprising bookies can net $10,000 in clear profit in a good week with properly managed point spreads, and it is doubtful that they tithe that income to support the work of the Lord."

12. The Elusive Alfie Mart       167

"Alfie lives by an ethical system uniquely his own. 'The gambler's business is the most honorable of all,' he insists."

13. Enforcement of Gambling Laws       181

"We Christians must lead in a new assessment concerning the benign or malignant qualities of gambling operations and the appropriate punishment, if any, for law violations."

14. Gambling as a Sickness       197

"Curiously little has been said or done by evangelical Christians to address the problem of compulsive gambling."

15. The Gamblers Anonymous Solution       221

"The Gamblers Anonymous program addresses a dream world common to all compulsive gamblers a world unfathomable to the nongambler because it lies in territory uncharted by the rational mind."

16. The Case in a Nutshell       235

"There are well-meaning if undiscerning Christians who consider gambling a harmless recreational diversion and see no moral or spiritual reason to deny themselves or others that pleasure."

Back Cover of the Book



Q. How does legalized gambling concern the Christian?

A. According to Tom Watson, three-fourths of Americans see nothing wrong with gambling, and two-thirds participate by placing bets themselves. It seems safe to assume that many of these people are Christians.

Q. But if gambling is legal, why should Christians be concerned?

A. Watson calls gambling a massive confidence game that exploits the weaknesses of many and transfers money from the hands of those who can least afford it into those of the already wealthy. Furthermore, each year more and more Americans embrace the lottery and various other forms of legalized gambling as a cure-all against both boredom and the mounting cost of government.

Q. What does the Bible say about gambling?

A. While it may be difficult point with certainty to clear reference to gambling, the stewardship principle is clear throughout Scripture. While many say they only wager "extra" money, we Christians must ask ourselves if any of our money is surplus as long as the world is not completely evangelized.

Q. What are we doing to the Body of Christ when we participate in gambling?

A. Today, the answer to that question is a matter of urgent relevancy. As a Christian, you dare not duck the responsibility of learning the facts about gambling and making a personal decision as to where you stand.

This informative and well-researched book covers almost every sort of gambling — legal and otherwise. It will let you know the true cost of gambling and how it affects you whether or not you participate.

"I believe with this book you are making a real contribution to a better understanding of some of the problems associated with gambling." — Chuck Hardwick, Minority Leader, New Jersey General Assembly

Tom Watson, Jr. is an ordained minister, author, and business consultant. He is the author of five books including Regal's How to Be Happy No Matter What. He and his wife live in Florida.

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All rights reserved. Used by permission. No portion of this online edition of Don't Bet On It may be reproduced or stored in any form or by any means, except for brief quotation for the purpose of review, comment, scholarship, or ministry presentation without written permission from Rev. Tom Watson, Jr.

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