Is Playing Lottery Different From Gambling?

Gambling is a game of luck and uncertainty, which involves placing a bet, with all the other players agreeing to put their possessions at stake, in exchange for a chance to win the booty. The players can put up anything valuable as stake, such as cash, agricultural lands, or any precious gems that they may have at the moment. Ultimately, the winner in gambling sweeps the booty that was put at stake by the rest of the players, without compensating them for what they lost.

Casinos, card games, slot machines, horse racing, poker, and bingo are some of the most popular forms of gambling. In fact, lottery is one of the most popular forms of gambling, preferred by a middle-class person, which requires the participant to buy a lottery ticket of his choice and wait until the lot is made and the winner is declared. Lotteries offer varying amounts of prize money or gift item that is pre-decided and mentioned on the lottery ticket.

However, gambling and lottery are not patronized in any Islamic nation because in Islam, gambling is a taboo and no Islamic national is supposed to indulge in gaining easy money, which involves the game of chance or which robs the other people of their hard earned money or possessions. Gambling is therefore considered haram by Islam. However, gambling continues to grow popular in the other parts of the world and people love to play lottery and gambling games.

In fact, many top nations in the world have legalized lottery and have even opened Government-run state-lotteries to amass the public money and utilize it for the common benefit of the public. For instance, in countries like Spain, France, Canada, Belgium, U.K, several states in U.S (including Virginia, Maryland, Georgia, etc), there are several licensed casinos operating, because in these countries, lotteries are a popular form of entertainment and the social stigma associated with it is minimal. Therefore, gambling is considered not like a vice, but as a fun-filled game in these countries. And the proceedings form the lotteries and gambling is used for building public amenities.

The craze for lotteries and gambling is very high across the globe and people from all income groups are found to be indulging in gambling. In fact, lotteries have earned the name – “tax on stupidity” because there are very remote chances of winning in a lottery, when compared to the other popular forms of gambling, and yet we stupidly keep buying lottery tickets in the hope of winning some day. Since the revenue generated from gambling is used for social service such as for the construction of roads, schools and hospitals, it is used more or less like the taxes paid by us. Hence it has earned the name – “tax on stupidity”.

It has been reported from many parts of the world that people are taking up gambling not as a means of entertainment, but as a serious way of generating income for themselves. This obsession to gamble has taken a far more ugly shape and many individuals are reported to be suffering from compulsive gambling, which is a psychological disorder, wherein the patient cannot overcome the desire to continue gambling, although he may have incurred huge loss because of it.

Lottery or gambling as such is not a bad means of entertainment. It is just that gambling using stakes is objectionable because by doing so, your hard earned money is at stake. Unless you are rich enough and loss of a few thousand dollars is not a very big affair for you, you must not go ahead with gambling any longer. Instead of stakes, you can use gifts to make your gambling experience even more enjoyable.


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