Summary: Most Christians hate gambling and all the evil it brings upon mankind but what about the serious gambling that many do with their soul?

Wanna’ Bet?

By Pastor Jim May

Gambling is big business in America today. Right now, in the city of Baton Rouge, there is another large casino and resort that is trying to make the people of the area believe that the end justifies the means. A gambling conglomerate by the name of Pinnacle is flooding the TV, radio and newspapers with articles that present a glowing report of their operations and what they will do for the community. As usual, you never hear of the downside of such operations, only what they consider to be the “good things” that they do for our community.

I remember a few years ago when the riverboat casinos were trying to get started. There was a lot of hype about what they would do for our area too. The big promise what that they would give so much back to the community and help to fund our schools and community social programs. Having worked in the education system in Baton Rouge for many years I was in a place where the truth could really be known, at least to some degree. From all that I was told and all that I saw, very little, if any, of the money that came into those gambling casinos has ever made its way to the classrooms. The schools are still going broke. The equipment is still in disrepair and the system doesn’t seem to be one bit better off because of the casinos and their big bucks.

Now this isn’t a tirade against Pinnacle or any other casino specifically, but I believe that anything that creates broken homes, ruined lives and makes gambling addicts out of people who don’t think that they have any other hope than to win at a game of chance is wrong. How much money is it worth to see a child go hungry because mom, or dad has blown the whole paycheck on the throw of the dice or a hand of cards?

What we always fail to remember is that not one of these casinos would be here if they couldn’t make a major profit for themselves at the expense of the little people who go there with a glimmer of hope of winning big.

I listened to a man who manages a large casino in Las Vegas on the History Channel last week as he discussed the “business” of gambling. He made a statement that we all need to remember: “The number one purpose of a casino is to get as much of the money out of the hands of the gambler and into the hands of the casino.” Another man made this statement, “Never forget that virtually all of the “big winners” were “bigger losers” before they won anything substantial, and that all of the glitz and glamour, all of the appealing buildings and the “atmosphere” of the gambling strip is paid for with the money of losers.” The point is that the only ones who seem to win at all are the casinos and it will be no different with Pinnacle or any other gambling business that comes to town. They all promise to do so much for the community but in the end they are here for only one thing in reality; that is to drain as much money off of the community as they possibly can. It’s all about profits for the casino owners and don’t ever forget it.

But this morning I don’t want to just focus on the casinos because they really aren’t the root of the problem. The root of the problem lies within each individual person who enters their doors because if that person wasn’t entering to gamble on winning there would be no casinos.

People gamble all the time. It doesn’t always have to do with the casinos or a deck of cards or a “one armed bandit”. There are many things that are a gamble to us.

For instance, this morning I saw the headlines of the Times Picayune newspaper that read something like this, “SAME HOUSE, SAME REPAIRS, SAME INSURER; WHY DIFFERENT PRICES?” Can you see the gamble in this headline? We all need insurance to help us through the unexpected disasters in our lives, but insurance itself is a gamble. One agent said it this way, “Insurance companies are gambling that they can take your premiums and not have to pay off a claim until they’ve made money by investing your money. The insured person is gambling that they will get more in return than what they are paying in when trouble comes. But in the end, both the insurance company and the insured person could easily lose.”

What about buying a car, a home or even an appliance? In our day, you are taking a chance on whether what you are getting is worth the price you are paying. So much of what is out there is not what it seems to be.

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