There are many good reasons why Christians have traditionally had reservations against gambling.
Gambling is an activity which enriches the few at the expense of the many; it encourages a belief in ‘luck’ rather than God; it has often been associated with ‘swindlers’ and other criminals.
Most Christian denominations recognise that gambling is no ordinary activity – in view of the risk of addiction, serious financial loss and impact on families and communities. But if individuals choose to gamble, they should be aware of the facts and gamble responsibly.
The context of gambling is changing. With the advent of the National Lottery, more people view gambling as a leisure activity or entertainment. Advertising is now legal and the Internet has enabled online gaming.
Consultation on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals
In January 2018 the he Baptist Union, Methodist Church, Church of Scotland and United Reformed Church responded to the Government’s consultation on gambling machines and related issues. We have published the response which called for a significant reduction to the maximum stakes for Fixed Odds Betting Terminals or B2 machines:
Beckly Lecture 2014
In 2014 the annual Beckly Lecture welcomed Philip Graf CBE, Chair of the Gambling Commission to deliver a lecture entitled ‘Gambling: Sin, Vice or Legitimate Leisure Activity? Challenges for thoughtful Christians’. You can read a summary here:
More Consultation Responses
‘Triennial Review of Gaming Machine Stake and Prize Limits’:
In 2013 the Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Methodist Church, and the United Reformed Church responded to the ‘Triennial Review of Gaming Machine Stake and Prize Limits’:
Under 25s on sports betting websites:
The Baptist Union of Great Britain, the Methodist Church and the United Reformed Church responded to the Committee of Advertising Practice’s consultation on betting websites featuring individuals under the age of 25 in 2013.
See why our churches opposed a relaxation of the rules which would have allowed the use of under 25s on sports betting websites:
Alcohol has become stronger, more affordable, more widely available and more heavily marketed in recent years. But problem drinking is not just a ‘personal failing’- it is the result of society’s drinking culture, and the effectiveness or not of its regulation of the drinks industry.
Minimum Unit Pricing
Minimum unit pricing (MUP) is a policy which applies a floor price to each unit of alcohol sold. It is backed by the medical profession, the research community, and has the support of an alliance of churches, including JPIT’s four denominations.
On 1st May 2018 Scotland became the first country to introduce minimum unit pricing This fact-sheet gives an overview of why minimum unit pricing is necessary and encourages individuals and churches to push for England to follow suit: