Sports undoubtedly have huge power over people. Sports fans love to watch their favorite teams play, they go to sports games, buy an unbelievable amount of merch, but they especially love betting on sports. Sports betting has spread so much across the world that it is now difficult to find a place where it doesn’t exist. As religion still tends to be the moral guide for most people, it is important to see what is the relationship between it and sports betting. Is sports betting seen as a fun game in the eyes of the church, or are there some religions that prohibit these kinds of activities?
Religion and gambling
To know what is the relationship between religion and gambling, we would have to look at all the world’s religions individually, as they often have opposing views on this subject. Generally, Islam and Judaism, as well as Orthodox Christianity all consider gambling to be sinful and spread teachings that condemn any kind of gambling. On the other hand, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Catholicism allow gambling as long it is not turning into gambling addiction.
What makes gambling sinful?
Our 5 biggest religions today have their differences, but they also have some things in common. For example, they all spread teachings about morality and try to install good behaviors in people. Greed and stealing are some of the biggest issues the church is fighting against, and a lot of them view gambling as a part of those bad qualities. Taking money from someone is seen as theft and it has the potential to bring hatred and animosity between people.
What about sports betting?
The issue is more complex when it comes to sports betting. As you are not taking money directly from one person, it is more difficult to describe that as stealing. Therefore, religions all around the world might not completely agree on this subject, just like they don’t when it comes to gambling. Moreover, sports betting is one of the milder forms of gambling, similar to the lottery or bingo, which is why religious leaders won’t condemn it the same way they do, for example, casinos. The lottery and bingo are sometimes used in certain religions to raise money for charity, so it won’t come as a huge surprise if one of these years they include sports betting in their fundraiser events.
What should you do?
If sports betting is something that you want to do, but are afraid it might be against your religion, the best advice would be to talk to a religious leader in your area and see what the exact teachings of your church are. If there are no specific rules about sports betting, you can always follow your own moral guide and ask yourself whether sports betting goes against any values you find important.