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?

  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?


    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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