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How Should Christian Sport Industry Professionals Approach Sports Betting?

US dollars falling onto a football field.

Sports betting has grown exponentially since its widespread legalization across the United States. According to research by Statista, the online sports betting market is expected to achieve $9.65 billion in revenue this year and the number of users in the market is projected to reach 52 million people by 2028.

As sports betting increases in popularity, Christians who are working in sports or simply fans of sports are faced with the question, “Should I be involved in sports betting as a follower of Jesus?” In this blog, we will look to God’s eternally perfect Word to provide an answer to this question and help guide professionals to make a God-honoring decision regarding this difficult topic.


The Scriptures do not specifically mention gambling in the way that we know it in the 21st century. However, there are a plethora of verses that help guide us in spending money, which can be applied to gambling.

In 1 Timothy 6:6-8, Paul teaches on contentment. “But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.”

Contentment is a theme throughout Paul's teachings. His most famous teaching on contentment is found in Philippians 4:12-13, in which he states that he has learned to be content in every situation, being strengthened by Christ to endure all things. Paul’s teaching in 1 Timothy 6:6-8 applies a similar principle: the Christian must learn and practice contentment.

It is obvious that the goal of sports betting, or any form of gambling, is to increase wealth. You place a bet in hopes that your return will be higher than your investment. The question that the Christian must ask is, why am I engaging in sports betting?

If we apply Paul’s teaching to our lives, we can conclude that our goal should be to live in a constant state of contentment for what the Lord has provided us with. Verse 6 says, “But godliness with contentment is great gain.” 

While the goal for those who engage in sports betting is to receive financial gains, the goal of the Christian should be contentment for all that the Lord has provided us with. Paul states in verse 8, “But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.” 

Our contentment honors the Lord because it displays faith in His provision with no extracurricular efforts of our own. Furthermore, contentment displays to non-Christians the great joy and satisfaction of a relationship with Christ.

The Root of All Evil

In 1 Timothy 6:9-10, Paul teaches, “Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”

Paul provides a clear warning for those who desire to become wealthy. A love for money is a trap and temptation that leads to ruin. Furthermore, Paul warns that an eagerness for money has caused people to wander from faith in Christ and become pierced with many griefs.

In light of this warning, the Christian should be cautious in their approach to sports betting. Does the euphoria of sports betting cause me to fall into the trap that Paul speaks of? Does my love for sports betting cause me to wander from my allegiance to Christ? Does my love for sports betting lead me into sinful behaviors that will not only hurt myself but others?

Followers of Christ should heed Paul’s warning in 1 Timothy 6. Desires for monetary wealth conflict with our allegiance to Christ and lead us into an idolatry that will never satisfy but rather lead us into harmful desires and many griefs. When considering sports betting, Christians should consider Paul’s warning, as well as recognize that the love of money is the root of all evil.


Psalm 24:1 reminds us that everything on the earth belongs to the Lord, including our finances. Therefore, it is a responsibility for the Christian to be a good steward of the finances that God provides.

In Matthew 6:24, Jesus says, “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

As followers of Christ, we acknowledge that He is the Lord over our lives. He is our Master in everything, including being the Master of our wallets. If that is the case, then the manner in which we use our finances should reflect devotion to the Lord and His purposes in the world.

The simple question we should be asking ourselves as Christians in relation to sports betting and financial stewardship is, “How does placing bets on sporting events benefit the kingdom of God?” If we are honest, sports betting does not advance or serve God’s kingdom and purposes in the world.

Considering our responsibility to be good stewards of our finances, Christians must submit their spending to the Lord and allow Him to be the Master over their finances. In doing this, our spending will become eternally focused and responsible, honoring the Lord and the gift of finances that He has provided us with.


Sports betting has gained immense popularity as of late, and its impact is sweeping the sport industry for better or worse. As Christians, our foremost mission should be to honor the Lord Jesus in our actions.

Considering sports betting, our desire should be to have contentment in the finances that God has provided us with, to avoid the temptation and danger of desiring money, and to be faithful stewards of the earthly riches that God has provided us with. Be encouraged that God has called us to live righteously before Him for His glory and to do so in every area of our lives, including sports betting.

If you struggle in this area, do not be discouraged! The Scriptures are clear that there is grace for every believer who falls short of God’s glorious standard (Hebrews 4:14-16). Approach His throne of grace with confidence and a desire to live righteous lives before Him.


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