Gambling is a serious evil. The profits of professional gambling, whether legal or illegal, are so great that professional gamblers have become, through investment of profits, increasingly involved and influential in legitimate business. Even when permitted by law, gambling tends to be related to crime; when it is illegal, it provides much of the incentive and resources for organized crime.

As a personal practice, gambling tends to become a habit whose grip grows stronger. It can lead to tragic consequences: individual characters demoralized; families made destitute by persistent gambling in hope of an elusive fortune; economic life for whole communities made poorer. Habitual gambling, with its undue demands on one's time and attention, is not in accord with Friends' testimony and simplicity.

Friends are advised to refrain scrupulously from every practice which may be a first step toward habitual gambling. They should decline to participate in raffles for charitable purposes, making, if they wish, outright contributions while rejecting the chance of a gain disproportionate to the contribution. They are urged to abstain from conventional forms of gambling, as at horse and dog tracks, in lotteries, and in games of chance. Even friendly games of cards for money stakes may have serious consequences and in any case may tend to encourage the gambling habit.

For help see Gamblers Anonymous and GAweb.

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