Is The Final Four Sinful?

I was asked this question at work the other day as we were filling out our Final Four bracket:

Q:  Hey Jon, isn’t putting money into a pot for the Final Four bracket gambling?
A:  Hmm…I think it is.

As I thought about it I couldn’t really see a difference between going to a gambling boat and putting money into a slot machine hoping upon chance for a return on my money and putting my money into a pot at work hoping upon chance that my picked college basketball teams will win and give me a return on my money.

What do you think?  Is paying money to guess who will win the Final Four Tournament gambling, thus a sin?

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  1. I don’t think people think through the issue of gambling and sinfulness.

    What makes gambling sinful? Is it the possibility of losing money on your pay-in? What makes that different than investing? I think many people just lost (and are losing) money on their investments. As part of many companies retirement plans, a portion of an employee’s salary is often placed in some sort of investment. Is that sinful? Would it be better to place our money under the proverbial mattress?

    Thoughts?

    Possible reference: Matt 25:27

    • Chase
    • March 30th, 2009

    I was thinking along the same lines as Joey. What is gambling? Is it always sinful?

    With Final 4 brackets, you’re paying an entry fee to see if your picking ‘skills’ are better than other competitors. Would this be different from paying an entry fee for a church softball tournament? Or any other competition requiring a fee?

    If the risk of losing makes it gambling, then we also must rethink a lot of our consumer behaviors. Is it gambling to try a new product that might not work? Or to see a movie that might require you to leave due to its content?

    I think the better questions for the ‘gambler’ would be: Is your family fed? Have you rendered due contributions to your church leadership? Are you already in unmanageable debt?

  2. Great thoughts guys. I am working on a reply that will manifest itself in another post. I will get that reply up as soon as possible.

    • Chase
    • April 1st, 2009

    To be clear, I wasn’t trying to justify any of my own personal habits. I don’t gamble, in the most colloquial sense of the word. It’s just not fun for me and there’s plenty of other things that are more satisfying for my dollar.

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