A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Gambling

Although we have not found any text which forbids the owning of race horses, horse racing as a means of winning the prize money and betting at race courses, we quote the translation of a Tablet of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá on horse racing: ‘Betting on horse racing is a pernicious disease. It hath been seen in Europe what distress this hath caused. Thousands have become afflicted and distraught. The friends of God must engage in work which is lawful and attracted blessings, so that God’s aid and bounty may always surround them.’ (Translated from the Persian) (Universal House of Justice, Lights of Guidance, p. 357)


Although we may have written to you previously commenting on the question as to whether lotteries and betting, such as betting on football games, bingo, etc., are included under the prohibition of gambling, we repeat that this is a matter that is to be considered in detail by the Universal House of Justice. In the meantime, your National Assembly should not make an issue of these matters and should leave it to the consciences of the individual friends who ask to decide for themselves in each case.
(Universal House of Justice, Lights of Guidance, p. 357)


As to participation in Bingo games by a Local Spiritual Assembly with the intention of contributing to the Fund, we do not feel it is appropriate for funds for the Faith to be raised through games of chance or raffles.
(Universal House of Justice, Lights of Guidance, p. 357)


Asked whether the Bahá’í prohibition of gambling applies to game of every description, ‘Abdu’l-Bahá replied: —No, some games are innocent, and if pursued for pastime there is no harm. But there is danger that pastime may degenerate into waste of time. Waste of time is not acceptable in the Cause of God. But recreation which may improve the bodily powers, as exercise, is desirable.
(Dr. J.E. Esslemont, Bahá’u’lláh and the New Era, p. 103)


Gambling and the use of opium have been forbidden unto you.
(Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitáb-i-Aqdas, p. 75)


In reviewing your Minutes for 15 March 1967, we note Item 25-8 in which the Treasurer suggests a lottery as means of disposing of a Persian carpet which has been given to you by one of the believers. We do not feel this is an appropriate way in which to raise funds.... As far as individuals are concerned, we have carefully studied the Writings of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and Shoghi Effendi on this point and it is apparent that such subsidiary matters are not recorded in the Holy Texts. The Universal House of Justice is not prepared to decide at this time whether the purchase of lottery tickets should be permitted or prohibited.
(Universal House of Justice, Lights of Guidance, p. 357)


The activities that are included in this prohibition have not been outlined in the Writings of Bahá’u’lláh. As both ‘Abdu’l-Bahá and Shoghi Effendi have indicated, it is left to the Universal House of Justice to specify the details of this prohibition. In response to questions about whether lotteries, betting on such things as horse races and football games, bingo, and the like, are included under the prohibition of gambling, the Universal House of Justice has indicated that this is a matter that will be considered in detail in the future. In the meantime, the Assemblies and individuals are counselled not to make an issue of these matters and to leave it to the conscience of the individual believers. The House of Justice has ruled that it is not appropriate for funds for the Faith to be raised through lotteries, raffles, and games of chance.
(Universal House of Justice, The Kitáb-i-Aqdas, p. 237)


The trials of man are of two kinds.
(a) The consequences of his own actions. If a man eats too much, he ruins his digestion; if he takes poison he becomes ill or dies. If a person gambles he will lose his money; if he drinks too much he will lose his equilibrium. All these sufferings are caused by the man himself, it is quite clear therefore that certain sorrows are the result of our own deeds.
(‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Paris Talks, p. 49-50)


We do not feel...that it is appropriate for funds for the Faith to be raised through raffles.
(Universal House of Justice, Lights of Guidance, p. 357)