For the purpose of my question, assume that the modern casinos have games which, on average, favor the house. They don't win every spin of the roulette wheel, nor every throw of the dice, but the games are designed such that at the end of the day, the casino always comes out ahead.

This is several questions, really:

  1. Consider my hypothetical friend Ploni. Ploni agrees with those opinions that a Jew is never allowed to gamble. Learning that modern casino games are designed so that the odds favor the house, and the casino is always ahead at the end of the day, he thinks this is a great business in which to invest, and he buys a casino. Does this make him a gambler?
  2. If the answer to #1 is no, assuming that his customers are all gentiles, is there any violation of halacha in facilitating the gambling of his customers?
  3. If the answer to #2 is no, then imagine a Jewish customers goes into that casino and gambles. By allowing this, has the Jewish casino owner committed an aveira?
  4. On a tangentially related note: So far as I know, a Jew is permitted to drive benefit from non kosher food like pork (thought not bassar v' chalav). So could Ploni buy a pig abattoir, and start selling pork products? If a Jew sinned by eating pork he bought from Ploni, has Ploni committed an aveira?
  • If gambling is forbidden because it is considered stealing then stealing from non-Jews is also forbidden.
    – CashCow
    Commented May 15, 2015 at 14:29
  • 3
    Welcome to Mi Yodeya, Steven, and thanks for your question(s)! Here on MY, we like to keep questions on a single subject. While your first three are very related and can probably stay all together, i would recommend splitting your fourth question into a new post. Hope to see you around. :)
    – Scimonster
    Commented May 15, 2015 at 14:31
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    Related: judaism.stackexchange.com/q/1350/21
    – Shalom
    Commented May 15, 2015 at 15:12
  • There is no assuming...casino's most certainly do have a house advantage! Sheldon Edelson and Dan Gilbert are very wealthy Jews who own casinos. Both have contributed large sums of money to Jewish charities. Should Jewish organizations reject their contributions knowing the source of the money? If the answer is 'yes', I would then imagine owning casinos is not appropriate for Jews. If the answer is 'no', then the answer is less obvious. It seems that many Jewish charities have, indeed, accepted Edelson's and Gilbert's contributions.
    – JJLL
    Commented May 15, 2015 at 22:14
  • Another question: Is it permitted for ANYONE to run a casino?
    – Ephraim
    Commented May 17, 2015 at 18:09

1 Answer 1


There are discussions of whether it's permitted to walk into a casino and gamble, but the Gemara makes it clear (Sanhedrin 24b) that a person whose only job is getting people's money via gambling is "not among those who help civilize this world", and is disqualified from being a witness!

So 1--3 would all be clearly prohibited.

Regarding the pork abattoir, the Gemara (Pesachim 23a) says that because non-kosher animals are referred to as "you shall treat them with disgust", you should not go into the business of selling their meat. (A deer trapper who catches the occasional rabbit by mistake, however, is allowed to sell it.) As far as my responsibility enabling/facilitating a Jew's sin, that depends a great deal on the details of the case, often relating to how easily he can sin without me, and whether he knows it's a sin.

Perhaps your question is something like: "may I sell non-Chalav Yisrael to Jews if they believe it's kosher and I don't"? Then please ask that as a separate question.

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    If it is not his only job is it allowed. Is a Jew allowed to play the lottery. Many tsdokes have them. There are many people who dont help the civilized world like those who live off others and dont work, are they all posul leidim or is it only gambling which is called non-civilized.
    – cham
    Commented May 15, 2015 at 14:47
  • @Cham lovely bunch of questions; you're welcome to ask each one independently.
    – Shalom
    Commented May 17, 2015 at 10:02
  • @Shalom has this been posted and answered? If not, I will: "May I sell non-Chalav Yisrael to Jews if they believe it's kosher and I don't?"
    – ninamag
    Commented Jun 18, 2018 at 8:57
  • @Shalom can you explain how you derive your answer from that gemara? All we see is that a professional gambler is disqualified from testimony because it's a bad thing. That means to go to a casino professionally is a problem. But who says that applies to owing a casino? Casinos are a place of entertainment and fun (albeit of a questionable nature) where many people go to enjoy themselves, including by gambling. Why is owing the casino clearly the same as just gambling?
    – Binyomin
    Commented Jun 28, 2020 at 10:49
  • @Binyomin as I understand it, all the food, entertainment, etc. at the casino is there to get you to spend (and lose) money on gambling.
    – Shalom
    Commented Jun 28, 2020 at 11:04

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