Gambling and lotteries are the seeking of personal gain through another’s loss, giving that other no adequate return, and adding nothing to the sum of the common wealth.

The Catholic Answers

There is nothing wrong with seeking personal gain. We are free to use our faculties and possessions in order to secure personal gain, unless justice or charity is violated. We are not free to do so by dishonest means; but gambling is not in itself dishonest. There is nothing wrong with gaining through another’s loss when that other is quite willing to endure the loss and is in a position to meet the loss without violating his obligations to himself or others. Every gift you receive is a loss to the giver of the value spent on the gift. Meantime an adequate return is made to the investor in a gamble or a bet who happens to lose. The actual winner offered his partner or partners in the transaction an equal chance of gaining the contribution he himself invested. The losers had their proportionate opportunity, and were satisfied with the pleasurable risk afforded them. They were perfectly willing to take the risk, and nothing was taken from them against their reasonable will. That the transaction added nothing to the common wealth is not a factor affecting morality. Otherwise it would be immoral for you to give ten dollars to a beggar, for nothing would be added to the common wealth by that action.

Radio Replies Volume 1 by Rev. Dr. Leslie Rumble MSC and Rev. Charles Mortimer Carty