Gambling

Gambling, for the most part, is permitted in Judaism.

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The codifiers follow the first opinion and permit a "mild flutter" and even a not so mild one. Thus, according to the strict letter of the law, it is permitted to play cards for money, to bet on horses, and to organize and participate in a raffle. It is certainly the practice of many Jewish charitable organizations to raise money by raffles and the like but for bingo to take place on synagogue premises is frowned upon by many rabbis even if the proceeds will go to charity, on the grounds that such games of chance are unsuitable for premises attached to a house of worship.

The Galician Rabbi Meir Arik (1855-1926) allows a Jew to breed racehorses and docs not consider such an occupation to be akin to that of the professional gambler whom the Mishnah disqualifies as a disreputable person (Responsa, ii, no, 65). Whenever gambling got out of hand, the Jewish moralists condemned it as a frivolous pursuit (almost everything was a frivolous pursuit for some of the moralists) and, especially, because it could easily lead to impoverishment and destroy family life.

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Rabbi Louis Jacobs

Rabbi Dr. Louis Jacobs (1920-2006) was a Masorti rabbi, the first leader of Masorti Judaism (also known as Conservative Judaism) in the United Kingdom, and a leading writer and thinker on Judaism.