Casinos truly care about giving money away.
It’s where you go to give away your money.
There’s a casino billboard along a stretch of highway around here. It promises 95% payback on its slot machines.
What this really means is they promise to take a nickel from you every time you drop a dollar in the slots and hand you back 95 cents. “Thanks for the dollar. Here’s your change.”
“Wait a sec,” you might wonder, “what do I get for my dollar?”
What you get is the privilege of handing the casino a buck and receiving 95 cents back. Isn’t that nifty? You make them a nickel richer and yourself a nickel poorer. You could have just hand them the nickel in the first place, but they like to do it as a dollar exchange instead. It makes them look generous: 95% payback!
Perhaps you think this is all in good fun and, besides, there’s always a chance you’ll be the big winner! Then I have some news for you.
By hoping to win, you are also hoping someone else loses.
The reality is that in order for the casinos to make money – and they do, since they only give back 95 cents for ever dollar given them – then a lot of people have to lose. Some of those people lose big.
Your winning jackpot comes at the expense of those people. Not at the expense of the casinos (remember they always take their 5% off the top), but at the expense of others who walked in hoping they’d win at your expense just like you hoped you’d win at theirs.
Just Let Me Play!
Some people justify gambling by saying that it’s all right in moderation and among adults. If you want to sit at a friendly poker game where everyone relies on their own skill and the luck of the draw and no one wagers more than they can afford to lose, perhaps you’re right.
But these casino billboards advertise something different. They advertise that they are going to take your money from you. That’s what 95% payback means. It’d be a scam if they weren’t so brazen in the fact that they promise to take your money from you.
Does the Bible say anything about this? Plenty, as this article – and the verses it cites – explains in detail (I’ll give you a sample, but the entire post is worth reading):
Finally, gambling provides a sense of false hope. Participants place their hope in winning, often against astronomical odds, instead of placing their hope in God. Throughout the Bible, we are constantly reminded that our hope is in God alone, not money, power, or position:
“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.” (1 Timothy 6:17.)
Putting my hope in God who richly provides sounds better to me. That’s where true riches can be found.
And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:19.)
And unlike the casinos, the odds aren’t stacked against me in God’s house.
It’s a safe bet.