What is gambling?
Gambling means betting. That is gambling. People are betting. You put one dollar, and if you gain, you get ten dollars. Otherwise, you lose this one dollar. This is gambling.
Lecture on SB 5.5.2 — London, September 17, 1969:
Are stock market investments gambling !?
”Devotee: The brick-layers get a hundred dollars a day.
Prabhupāda: Just see. So why don’t you become a brick layer instead of scientist? (laughter) You get more money. Dr. Bose, he called me… I told you. He asked me, “What you are doing?” “Now, I am going to the share market.” So he immediately said, “Then what is the value of your education if you are going to the share market like the Marwaris who are illiterate?” Share market means to have some tricks how to sell and purchase shares. That by practicing anyone can do. It is not very difficult.“
Morning Walk – May 4, 1973, Los Angeles
“Just like vaiśya. Vaiśya, it is said that kṛṣi-go-rakṣya-vāṇijyaṁ vaiśya-karma svabhāva-jam [Bg. 18.44]. Now the vaiśyas, they are in the share market speculating.
Reporter: Hm. There are no more vaiśyas. (laughs) Exactly.
Prabhupāda: Industrialists. Industrialists means śūdras. So if they’re śūdras, why they should claim as…
Prabhupāda: This is government’s duty. To see, “Why you are claiming „vaiśya? If your industry is to produce food grains, agriculture, give protection to the cows…” So in India ten thousand cows are being killed, and the vaiśyas are big, big (indistinct), big, big zamindars. You see.
Reporter: Sitting quiet. (laughs) Yes.”
Room Conversation with Reporter from Researchers Magazine – July 24, 1973, London
Can gambling destroys the integrity of a state?
“Gambling of all description, even speculative business enterprise, is considered to be degrading, and when gambling is encouraged in the state, there is a complete disappearance of truthfulness.“
Srimad Bhagavatam Canto 1, Chapter 17, Text 38 (Purport)
“If one accepts a poverty-stricken position because of losing money in business, gambling, prostitution or intoxication, no one will praise him, but if one becomes poverty-stricken by giving all of his possessions in charity, he becomes adored all over the world. Aside from this, if a benevolent and merciful person exhibits his pride in becoming poverty-stricken by giving his possessions in charity for good causes, his poverty is a welcome and auspicious sign of a great personality.”
Srimad-Bhagavatam 8:20:10 Purport
What kind of gambling is allowed?
“Every educational or progressive method has got do’s and do not’s. So the asuras, they do not know what they should do and what they should not do. That is asura. And a devotee, he knows what to do and what not to do. There is no illicit sex. That is “do not.” But there is “do” also, that “If you want sex life, then get yourself married according to religious principle and get a wife and beget nice children.” That is “do.” And “No illicit sex,” that is “do not.” Side by side. “You do not take intoxicants”–that is “do not.” But “You take Krsna prasadam and be intoxicated with Krsna’s love”–that is “do.” Similarly, “You do not indulge in gambling, but you indulge in gambling.” What is that gambling? That gambling is “Dedicate your life to Krsna and see the result.” That is also gambling. That is also gambling, because everyone is engaged in his own business, but if he’s advised, “You give up this business. You take to this Krsna business,” that is also gambling because he does not know what will happen.”
Srila Prabhupada Lecture on Bhagavad-Gita, 09-12-73, London