Gambling – the act of using chance to gain money at the expense, loss or suffering of others. An investment/entertainment based on luck or chance. Scripture reminds us, however, that “Easy come, easy go, but steady diligence pays off” (Proverbs 13:11 The Message).
It goes against the biblical values of love for others (Luke 17:1-3), stewardship, thrift, hard work, honesty and integrity. It challenges our values, quality of life and public priorities and today carries public health concerns – addictions, impact on family life, etc. The Word of God in conveying true truth portends, “Commitment and persistent work pays off; get-rich-quick schemes are ripoffs” (Proverbs 28:20 The Message).
Casino gambling, which is now legitimized by governments globally, while pursued for perceived economic gains (jobs, taxation, fees) carries significant costs, which if carefully studied far outweigh the gains. It is very well documented that there is a strong link between casino gambling and organized crime, money laundering, corruption, drug trafficking, prostitution and addictions.
And while it may be argued that these negative indicators can be present without casino gambling, it is also clear that the casino environment provides a ready and rich soil for the emergence of these aberrations which work against public welfare and public good.
While, in some instances, legal regulations prohibit local residents from participating in casino gambling, if we are convinced that something is not good for citizens, does it become right for others? Where is our conviction or is it simply political expediency?
Today, an intense competition is on among Caribbean nations as to which can have the best and hottest casino resorts:
“Game on: Caribbean casinos are hot!”
“Head to the Caribbean for high stakes entertainment”
“Full service, large-scale gaming Meccas”
“Glittering constellation of casinos”
“The world’s best luxury casino resort”
“Spice things up by gambling”
A vice is turned into an economic virtue!
What will Grenada’s theme be: “Come on to Pure Grenada for the ‘spicyest’ of Casino Gambling”?
The role of government is to protect and facilitate the welfare of the society. In Scripture, Luke 17:1-3 says, “Look out for the welfare of others”. We call ourselves a Christian nation and it would do us much, much good to heed the warning of Isaiah 65: 11 and 12:
But you who abandon me, your God,
Who forget the holy mountains
Who hold dinners for Lady Luck
And throw cocktail parties for Sir Fate,
Well, you asked for it. Fate it will be: your destiny, Death.
For when I invited you, you ignored me;
When I spoke to you, you brushed me off.
You did the very things I exposed as evil; you chose what I hate.