On May 14th, 2018 the United States Supreme Court struck down a 1992 federal law on commercialized sports betting. Prior to this ruling, Las Vegas was one of the few places in this country to legally place a bet on March Madness or the Super Bowl. This decision has opened the door for other states to grab a piece of the pie. Based upon initial reports, one hundred and fifty billion dollars in illegal wages are made every year. Thus, for states like Delaware and New Jersey who have recently passed legislation to allow gambling on sports, local government officials are betting on the future.
Wealth gained hastily will dwindle, but whoever gathers little by little will increase it, Proverbs 13:11.
If gambling on sports was illegal until now, one has to wonder why would past legislators initially outlaw this practice? King Solomon referred to the love of money as vanity, Ecclesiastes 5:10. A first century doctor warns believers against falling prey to covetousness, Luke 12:15. An associate of the apostle Paul urges Christians to avoid earthly practices that begins with compromise and ends by forfeiting your soul, Mark 8:36. While playing the lottery, fantasy sports and making bets with friends seems innocent, if victorious these practices can accumulate ill-gotten gain.
Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you,” Hebrews 13:5.
The phrase follow the money first appeared in William Goldman’s screenplay All the President’s Men. Since this film, other movie’s has illustrated the corruption and demise that comes along with a hunger and thirst for money. While the optimism for sports betting is currently high, the spiritual consequences for those who indulge in gambling can have lasting affects. After a visit to Atlantic City several years ago, I came face to face with individuals who came to town with money but left broke or homeless in a worst case scenario. Only time will tell if betting on the future was worth the risk. Yet, for now keep your life free the love of money, content with the life that God has given you.
by Jay Mankus