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Catholic Dictionary




The staking of money or other valuables on a future event, chance, or contingency that is unknown or uncertain to the participants. The essential feature of gambling is wagering, or the act of hazarding as such.

The Catholic Church has never condemned gambling outright, in spite of the evident abuses to which it generally gives rise. Yet gambling may become a sin, even a serious sin, when it goes to excess that would destroy personal honesty or expose a person to loss so great as to jeopardize society and, above all, his family dependents.