Author: Tate, Charles D., Jr.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints condemns gambling, games of chance, and lotteries as moral evils and admonishes its members not to participate in them in any form. Gambling is based on the morally wrong philosophy of getting something for nothing, of taking money without giving fair value in exchange. Not only is gambling morally wrong, but it is also bad economics for customers. The lavish gambling centers around the world stand as ample evidence that the chances of winning are weighted heavily in favor of the establishment and against the bettor. This same remoteness of winning is part of state-run lotteries. The chance of purchasing a winning ticket in one 1990 state lottery was noted by the news media as 1 in 14 million. The Church considers lotteries as gambling, and the First Presidency has asked Latter-day Saints not to participate in them and to oppose establishing them in their states: There can be no question about the moral ramifications of gambling, including government-sponsored lotteries. Public lotteries are advocated as a means of relieving the burden of taxation. It has been demonstrated, however, that all too often lotteries only add to the problems of the financially disadvantaged by taking money from them and giving nothing of value in return. The poor and the elderly become victims of the inducements that are held out to purchase lottery tickets on the remote chance of winning a substantial prize. It is sad to see governments now promoting what they once enacted laws to forbid. We urge members of the Church to join with others with similar concerns in opposing the legalization of gambling and government-sponsorship of lotteries [Church News, Oct. 5, 1986, p. 4].
Oaks, Dallin H. "Gambling-Morally Wrong and Politically Unwise." Ensign 17 (June 1987):69-75.
CHARLES D. TATE, JR.