Gambling

Gambling and the use of opium have been forbidden unto you.

Bahá’u’lláh, The Kitab-i-Aqdas, p. 75

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

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

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