Church-sponsored "casino nights" imply a stamp of approval for gambling from the highest of all authority. Then with the lottery being sponsored by our own state governments with ads and TV spots suggesting it is patriotic to play the lottery, gambling has become legitimized and accepted.

There was a time when gambling was considered outside the rules of law and decency. It was taboo. Not any more. It is legally here – it is everywhere, and its presence is growing. Poker tables are sold now in various family stores. Leading bookstores stock dozens of books, prominently displayed, that purportedly tells the reader how to win at gambling. It is all glamorized to bait a new mark.

Those who profit from gambling do not care that people are driven to bankruptcy, that families are devastated, that crime rates soar as gamblers begin to embezzle money to pay off gambling debts, and that the suicide rate for gamblers is staggering.

Readers will be astonished to learn how much money these game operators take in; and they will learn the real inside story of the Indian casinos, where the money goes and – most startling of all – how the public is being manipulated. This book should challenge everyone to re-think participating in so-called "charity gambling."

And let no one mislead you into thinking that a casino improves an area. This book provides solid documentation of what actually happens to cities like Atlantic City (and others) when casinos are brought in. It shows clearly how crime skyrockets in the wake of casino gambling, identifies the kinds of crime that casinos attract, and explains how much money actually goes to the community.

"Gambling: Don't Bet on It" shows that the so-called community and state "windfall" that results from legalized casino gambling is a delusion. It reveals that for every dollar gambling contributes in taxes, taxpayers spend at least three dollars fixing streets, increasing police patrols, and treating compulsive gamblers (page 82). The only financial "windfall" goes to the casino owners and certain politicians.

What is worse, the "powers that be" – those politicians and casino owners – have no conscience or even concern that they are aiding and abetting an addiction that is every bit as damaging as drugs, alcohol, and sex addition. Their only interest is bringing in the money.

Dr. Rogers' book cites scriptural authority of what our role as Christians should be. Is gambling a sin? (See Chapter 4.) Is it a disease? (See page 124.) What is the Catholic view? (Page 62.) And what does Pete Rose, whose gambling habit cost him a spot in the National Baseball Hall of Fame, say about the Church and gambling? (The answer is on page 145.)

Finally, suggestions on how to begin to defeat gambling and stop further growth of this sordid industry can be found in the last chapter. And this is not signing a petition or blast-faxing officials; this is solid, workable information.

And frankly, I think another way to slow down the spread of gambling is to get this book in the hands of as many people as possible – including those who have a gambling problem. Seeing the shocking truth about the gambling industry should cause even the most dedicated gambler to pause and think. Resources for gambling addiction recovery are listed.

Dr. Rex M. Rogers has done an outstanding job with this book.  Every pastor, chaplain, and counselor should have this book in their library for reference.

The history of gambling is a consistent record of broken promises, broken dreams, and broken lives. Indeed, gambling seems to thrive on destroyed lives. Without fail, gambling produces detrimental personal and social consequences.

© 2005 AgapePress.  All rights reserved.  Used with permission.