Do you have to give maaser on money that was won through gambling?

  • 1
    Alex, welcome to the site and thanks for the interesting question! I hope you stick around and enjoy the site. Registering your username will afford you a better site experience.
    – msh210
    Dec 29, 2011 at 1:19
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    Alex, welcome to J.SE. Could you edit your question to explain why you think you wouldn't need to? Dec 29, 2011 at 1:50

2 Answers 2


Read this other question to explore whether gambling is permitted at all.

Various rabbis and teachers of mine, over the years, have agreed that gambling is permitted in certain situations (state lotteries, large corporate owned casinos, etc.)

These same rabbis and teachers advised me to take maaser out of winnings after every "session" of gambling.

The definition of "session" is subjective, but this is typically what I call a "session"

  • one lottery ticket (even if several "draws" are purchased on one ticket)

  • one "visit" to a city which has casinos (even if that visit is several days long)

If you have a casino in/near your hometown, then perhaps it would be prudent to take maaser every time you walk out of a casino with more money than you walked in with.

  • If someone goes weekly to a casino (lo alenu) and walks out sometimes with more money than he'd walked in with and sometimes with less, I wonder whether your teachers would tell him he may keep an accounting and take maaser from the net proceeds (which, presumably, will not be positive).
    – msh210
    Feb 9, 2012 at 15:32
  • @msh210 I don't think so, because it's similar to someone in sales. He gives maaser in February based on his commissions in January - even though he has no way to know what his commissions will be in the coming month. Also remember the drasha - aser t'aser (you shall surely give a tenth) can also be read aser t'ashir (give a tenth, so that you will become wealthy).
    – user1095
    Feb 9, 2012 at 15:36
  • @msh210 re: (presumably, will not be positive) - I once met an Orthodox Jew who makes his living betting on sporting events. I said "So then you're pasul for eidus [disqualified for giving testimony in Jewish court] and he replied "sure, and so are my wife and two daughters, but no one would ever say that they aren't good Jews". Snarky, but he sort of has a point.
    – user1095
    Feb 9, 2012 at 17:09
  • You make good points (though I'm not so sure your acquaintance does).
    – msh210
    Feb 9, 2012 at 17:52
  • @msh210 That might be a good question - "Is it assur to be pasul for eidus". Everyone assumes it's this terrible thing - but we don't think women are bad Jews, and they're pasul for eidus...
    – user1095
    Feb 9, 2012 at 19:10

That's like asking if you give maaser on stolen money, therefore the answer would be, No. You must return the money. Mishna Berura writes that gambling is avak gezel (M"B 322).

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    Do you have a source for (a) that you must return avak gezel or (b) that if you don't return it then you needn't pay maaser from it?
    – msh210
    Dec 29, 2011 at 1:20
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    Nothing is necessary. Your posting here is strictly voluntary. But a sourced answer is certainly better than an unsourced one!
    – msh210
    Dec 29, 2011 at 1:56
  • Sorry, no source Dec 29, 2011 at 1:59
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    -1 a Jew gambling against another Jew, making a wager orally, and THEN demanding payment on a lost wager from a fellow Jew - THAT is avak gezel. Gambling in a state-run lottery, or a casino owned by a large corporation, where the bettor parts with his/her money before the outcome is known, is permitted.
    – user1095
    Feb 9, 2012 at 14:46

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