Using money earned in casino business to Dana

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matthuang
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Using money earned in casino business to Dana

Post by matthuang »

Hi Guys, Namo Buddhaya, I'm having a debate with my friend in class about this statement.
Basically he said that there is no bad karma in owning a casino or working as a card dealer, etc.
and the people that lost their money was their own fault, their greed. And when you use those money to do dana/donation, you actually getting good karma.

Is this right?
To be honest, I honestly cant believe if someone that sold knife in the market has a worse karma than a casino owner. ( My teacher told me story that selling knife is like automatically selling weapon to murder animal ), would appreciate some answers thanks :shrug:
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Re: Using money earned in casino business to Dana

Post by Toenail »

You will get good karma by using that money for charity but you will also get bad karma for having a casino and consciously ruining peoples lifes. It is definetly wrong livelihood. By his logic one could also sell guns, poison etc.
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Re: Using money earned in casino business to Dana

Post by Archie2009 »

Toenail wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 8:34 am You will get good karma by using that money for charity but you will also get bad karma for having a casino and consciously ruining peoples lifes. It is definetly wrong livelihood. By his logic one could also sell guns, poison etc.
There is this former Dutch football (soccer) player, now an analyst on television, who was a cocaine addict for 18 years. He is currently advertising for a football betting service on Dutch television and in other media along with other former players. With his history of addiction his participation in this campaign seems especially immoral. He should really know better.
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Re: Using money earned in casino business to Dana

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matthuang wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 5:59 am Hi Guys, Namo Buddhaya, I'm having a debate with my friend in class about this statement.
Basically he said that there is no bad karma in owning a casino or working as a card dealer, etc.
and the people that lost their money was their own fault, their greed. And when you use those money to do dana/donation, you actually getting good karma.

Is this right?
To be honest, I honestly cant believe if someone that sold knife in the market has a worse karma than a casino owner. ( My teacher told me story that selling knife is like automatically selling weapon to murder animal ), would appreciate some answers thanks :shrug:
Absolutes are problematic. Everything in samsara is stained with impurity, so I think the rule of thumb for most lay people is to vigorously strive for better.

Right livelihood means that we ought not engage in activities that cause harm to ourselves and others. There are specific prohibitions against livelihoods drawn from games of chance, and prohibitions against engaging in games of chance. Essentially, the entire activity, both for the proprietors and for the gamblers, emanates from greed, and engaging in the activity serves to inflame this impulse for all involved, leading to all manner negative repercussions.

I suspect there was more to the story your teacher told than merely "selling knife = killing". Vegetarians use knives to cut vegetables. Wood carvers use knives to fashion Buddha images. I can't believe a teacher would assert something so simplistic.

The Vimalakirti Sutra suggests a nuanced view of engaging in conventionally impure activities. Vimalakirti is a wealthy merchant. Here is how he is described:
At that time, there lived in the great city of Vaisali a certain Licchavi, Vimalakirti by name. Having served the ancient Buddhas, he had generated the roots of virtue by honoring them and making offerings to them. He had attained tolerance as well as eloquence. He played with the great superknowledges. He had attained the power of incantations and the fearlessnesses. He had conquered all demons and opponents. He had penetrated the profound way of the Dharma. He was liberated through the transcendence of wisdom. Having integrated his realization with skill in liberative technique, he was expert in knowing the thoughts and actions of living beings. Knowing the strength or weakness of their faculties, and being gifted with unrivaled eloquence, he taught the Dharma appropriately to each. Having applied himself energetically to the Mahayana, he understood it and accomplished his tasks with great finesse. He lived with the deportment of a Buddha, and his superior intelligence was as wide as an ocean. He was praised, honored, and commended by all the Buddhas and was respected by Indra, Brahma, and all the Lokapalas. In order to develop living beings with his skill in liberative technique, he lived in the great city of Vaisali.

His wealth was inexhaustible for the purpose of sustaining the poor and the helpless. He observed a pure morality in order to protect the immoral. He maintained tolerance and self-control in order to reconcile beings who were angry, cruel, violent, and brutal. He blazed with energy in order to inspire people who were lazy. He maintained concentration, mindfulness, and meditation in order to sustain the mentally troubled. He attained decisive wisdom in order to sustain the foolish.

He wore the white clothes of the layman, yet lived impeccably like a religious devotee. He lived at home, but remained aloof from the realm of desire, the realm of pure matter, and the immaterial realm. He had a son, a wife, and female attendants, yet always maintained continence. He appeared to be surrounded by servants, yet lived in solitude. He appeared to be adorned with ornaments, yet always was endowed with the auspicious signs and marks. He seemed to eat and drink, yet always took nourishment from the taste of meditation. He made his appearance at the fields of sports and in the casinos, but his aim was always to mature those people who were attached to games and gambling. He visited the fashionable heterodox teachers, yet always kept unswerving loyalty to the Buddha. He understood the mundane and transcendental sciences and esoteric practices, yet always took pleasure in the delights of the Dharma. He mixed in all crowds, yet was respected as foremost of all.

In order to be in harmony with people, he associated with elders, with those of middle age, and with the young, yet always spoke in harmony with the Dharma. He engaged in all sorts of businesses, yet had no interest in profit or possessions. To train living beings, he would appear at crossroads and on street corners, and to protect them he participated in government. To turn people away from the Hinayana and to engage them in the Mahayana, he appeared among listeners and teachers of the Dharma. To develop children, he visited all the schools. To demonstrate the evils of desire, he even entered the brothels. To establish drunkards in correct mindfulness, he entered all the cabarets.

He was honored as the businessman among businessmen because he demonstrated the priority of the Dharma. He was honored as the landlord among landlords because he renounced the aggressiveness of ownership. He was honored as the warrior among warriors because he cultivated endurance, determination, and fortitude. He was honored as the aristocrat among aristocrats because he suppressed pride, vanity, and arrogance. He was honored as the official among officials because he regulated the functions of government according to the Dharma. He was honored as the prince of princes because he reversed their attachment to royal pleasures and sovereign power. He was honored as a eunuch in the royal harem because he taught the young ladies according to the Dharma.

He was compatible with ordinary people because he appreciated the excellence of ordinary merits. He was honored as the Indra among Indras because he showed them the temporality of their lordship. He was honored as the Brahma among Brahmas because he showed them the special excellence of gnosis. He was honored as the Lokapala among Lokapalas because he fostered the development of all living beings.

Thus lived the Licchavi Vimalakirti in the great city of Vaisali, endowed with an infinite knowledge of skill in liberative techniques.
And then the activities of bodhisattvas is discussed including:
They intentionally become courtesans
In order to win men over,
And, having caught them with the hook of desire,
They establish them in the buddha-gnosis.
Bodhisattvas are extraordinary beings, though. Most of us can't roll in shit and walk away without the shit being smeared all over us. We can't become courtesans and convert beings to the Dharma path. That said, I am sure there are many wealthy proprietors of casinos in Macau who donate lavishly to sanghas. Its probably like the logic behind carbon off-sets.

Casinos aren't the worst thing, necessarily. It can just be entertainment, and so long as one can keep it at the level of entertainment, the harm is limited. Its when the gambling becomes compulsive and harmful that its a problem. There's limited impact in budgeting an amount to play with at the casino, and win or lose, enjoy the experience. Maybe you would have spent that money on an expensive dinner. That's not exactly a dharmicly pure activity either. Its an indulgence in the gustatory senses. The problem with casino owners is that they are fundamentally encouraging and profiting from scratching those impulsive three poison itches. To be avoided, preferably, even when its basically benign because it can easily grow into a bonfire of suffering.
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Re: Using money earned in casino business to Dana

Post by master of puppets »

Is gambling forbidden in precepts?
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Re: Using money earned in casino business to Dana

Post by Toenail »

master of puppets wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 9:39 pm Is gambling forbidden in precepts?
It depends on what precepts you have.
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Re: Using money earned in casino business to Dana

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master of puppets wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 9:39 pm Is gambling forbidden in precepts?
No, it's not killing anyone, not stealing, not lying, not sexual misconduct, not taking drugs, alcohol.
https://www.dhammawiki.com/index.php?title=5_precepts

But as Q noted (see his last paragraph), it can get out of hand, so not 100% wholesome, but okay if kept at a small entertainment level, not compulsive level toward addiction.
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Re: Using money earned in casino business to Dana

Post by DNS »

"The only way to make money in a casino . . . is to own the casino."
Steve Wynn
Casino mogul
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Re: Using money earned in casino business to Dana

Post by master of puppets »

Toenail wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 9:51 pm
master of puppets wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 9:39 pm Is gambling forbidden in precepts?
It depends on what precepts you have.
😃
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Queequeg
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Re: Using money earned in casino business to Dana

Post by Queequeg »

I looked and I guess there really isn't a prohibition on gambling... though I did find this in the Sigalovada Sutta (a good teaching on being a lay person in general)
7. "And what six ways of squandering wealth are to be avoided? Young man, heedlessness caused by intoxication, roaming the streets at inappropriate times, habitual partying, compulsive gambling, bad companionship, and laziness are the six ways of squandering wealth...

11. "These are the six dangers inherent in compulsive gambling: winning breeds resentment; the loser mourns lost property; savings are lost; one's word carries no weight in a public forum; friends and colleagues display their contempt; and one is not sought after for marriage, since a gambler cannot adequately support a family.
Those six ways of squandering wealth pretty much describe my 20s - except for the compulsive gambling. I think I was too cheap. My cheapness also stopped me from getting into hard drugs, so there's that.

I suppose things never change.
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Re: Using money earned in casino business to Dana

Post by PadmaVonSamba »

Take it to the bank and trade it for new money which had never been spent on anything, and be generous with that money.
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Re: Using money earned in casino business to Dana

Post by matthuang »

Queequeg wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 4:18 pm
I suspect there was more to the story your teacher told than merely "selling knife = killing". Vegetarians use knives to cut vegetables. Wood carvers use knives to fashion Buddha images. I can't believe a teacher would assert something so simplistic.
Sorry I forgot to add, what my teacher said by knife at the time is the cleaver type butcher usually use. But yeah you right vegetarians use those too, so i dont know.
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Re: Using money earned in casino business to Dana

Post by matthuang »

Queequeg wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 4:18 pm Casinos aren't the worst thing, necessarily. It can just be entertainment, and so long as one can keep it at the level of entertainment, the harm is limited. Its when the gambling becomes compulsive and harmful that its a problem. There's limited impact in budgeting an amount to play with at the casino, and win or lose, enjoy the experience. Maybe you would have spent that money on an expensive dinner. That's not exactly a dharmicly pure activity either. Its an indulgence in the gustatory senses. The problem with casino owners is that they are fundamentally encouraging and profiting from scratching those impulsive three poison itches. To be avoided, preferably, even when its basically benign because it can easily grow into a bonfire of suffering.
my friend told me they not wrong they just put hole in the ground and those greedy people come all by themselves.
But casino owner didnt just put the hole, they promoted it with marketing and advertisement.
They want and people to lose their money, and to lose that at their casino not others.
If you win too much, you'll get free room free dinner so you want to come back until you luck runs out.
When you have normal business , You look at your business profits and that's your service/business items paid by customer
When you have casino , You look at your business profits and that's people money.
It's baffling to me honestly
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Re: Using money earned in casino business to Dana

Post by DNS »

matthuang wrote: Thu Jun 23, 2022 4:53 am If you win too much, you'll get free room free dinner so you want to come back until you luck runs out.
When you have normal business , You look at your business profits and that's your service/business items paid by customer
When you have casino , You look at your business profits and that's people money.
It's baffling to me honestly
It's not a violation of the precepts, but I agree, it's not the most wholesome business to run. An argument can be made that the casino owner is providing a service -- that of entertainment. It's not entertaining for most of us, but for some people they enjoy that and as long as they don't take it to an addictive level, won't lose all of their money.

In a similar way, one could say that professional sports are not really providing any service to society other than entertainment. The cost of a ticket to see a game or match in a stadium has skyrocketed in recent years, especially certain events (Super Bowl, World Cup, etc) where a ticket can cost over $10,000 usd just to watch a 3 or 4 hour event. There is no real service or good to society other than entertainment, but we wouldn't say that the athletes and owners are performing wrong livelihood.
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Re: Using money earned in casino business to Dana

Post by matthuang »

to be honest I can't comprehend it.
I considering changing my religion to be honest, because I cant accept the thought that
there aren't any strict rules and too lenient, the bad things are only "recommended" not to do.
I honestly cant figure the thought rising my kid as a buddhist and he use those grey areas loophole to debate with me.
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Re: Using money earned in casino business to Dana

Post by Zhen Li »

The
DNS wrote: Thu Jun 23, 2022 5:20 am When you have normal business , You look at your business profits and that's your service/business items paid by customer
When you have casino , You look at your business profits and that's people money.
As DNS said, that money is not "stolen," it is still money exchanged for a service. It's just a service that can sometimes pay the customer back, and this can fuel destructive greed in some.

The original question you asked is:
matthuang wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 5:59 am Basically he said that there is no bad karma in owning a casino or working as a card dealer, etc.
and the people that lost their money was their own fault, their greed. And when you use those money to do dana/donation, you actually getting good karma.
Firstly, when people lose money, it's not a "fault." But people who get addicted to gambling think of it as "losing" or as a "fault." In fact, they are paying and giving up their money in exchange for entertainment, just as you would pay and give it up in exchange for a movie ticket. As I said above, it's just that sometimes a casino rewards a customer by giving them back some money. I think it's better to think of it like that.

As DNS suggested as well, I don't know of a precept, even in the bodhisattva precepts, that prohibits gambling or working as a card dealer, croupier, etc. But monastics, of course, are usually prohibited from working or participating in or viewing entertainment.

The question as to the karma. Yes, if you have money that you made by such a business and you give it to the saṅgha or a teacher, that is dāna. Even if you made the money through wrong livelihood, it is still dāna. They money itself isn't the problem with wrong livelihood, it is that one is directly harming humans or animals. As regards selling knives, this is not selling a weapon, the intention is something to cut food. Monastics use knives in the kitchen... so obviously they don't go out and buy weapons for that purpose.

As for butchery or slaughtering animals, there are tools specifically for those purposes that are not sold in regular knife shops. Many animals are killed using gas now, so selling that gas would probably be a wrong livelihood. Halal meat is slaughtered using knives and involves pain for the animal, so if you eat meat, I think it is best to avoid halal.

Anyway, so many things to consider... But your friend is mostly right, I'd say.
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Re: Using money earned in casino business to Dana

Post by Queequeg »

matthuang wrote: Thu Jun 23, 2022 10:48 am to be honest I can't comprehend it.
I considering changing my religion to be honest, because I cant accept the thought that
there aren't any strict rules and too lenient, the bad things are only "recommended" not to do.
I honestly cant figure the thought rising my kid as a buddhist and he use those grey areas loophole to debate with me.
Do you want your child to just be a martinet following rules and not thinking for themselves, or do you want to raise a human being who is capable of having a full range of experiences with an inner compass for good and kindness? Part of raising a person to be a broad and deep thinker is to allow them the freedom to question rules and debate them. As a parent, that role of authority figure usually falls to you and so you will have to have those debtates.

Actually, Buddhadharma is excellent training for the mind. There are plenty of rules if one wants to follow them. See the Sigalovada Sutta, for one. But Buddhadharma is fundamentally about seeing reality, not just an artificial world of rules and conventions.

Your problem is not with Buddhadharma, your problem is with not having rules. Life is pretty much all gray areas. Frankly, if you can't stomach having a child who thinks differently than you, you're probably not cut out to be a parent. I suspect you haven't thought this through yet.

I realize, there's probably also a cultural aspect to the relationship with rules...
Last edited by Queequeg on Thu Jun 23, 2022 12:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Using money earned in casino business to Dana

Post by seeker242 »

If simply being an actor, who causes or encourages more arising of greed, delusion, Ill will in people is making bad karma which the Buddha says does make bad karma, then being an owner of a casino certainly does.
One should not kill any living being, nor cause it to be killed, nor should one incite any other to kill. Do never injure any being, whether strong or weak, in this entire universe!
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Re: Using money earned in casino business to Dana

Post by matthuang »

Queequeg wrote: Thu Jun 23, 2022 12:36 pm
Actually, Buddhadharma is excellent training for the mind. There are plenty of rules if one wants to follow them. See the Sigalovada Sutta, for one. But Buddhadharma is fundamentally about seeing reality, not just an artificial world of rules
Your problem is not with Buddhadharma, your problem is with not having rules. Life is pretty much all gray areas. Frankly, if you can't stomach having a child who thinks differently than you, you're probably not cut out to be a parent. I suspect you haven't thought this through yet.
I’m a working class man on IT, salary average. My friend run an online betting site and it pays well. 10x my salary
So he ask me to join him. I handle the servers and he handle the marketing. My conscience told him no thats bound to have some bad karma, He said no, look it up yourself.

So you mean to tell me i should call him , agree to join and taking greedy people money and giving some it to donation acting like we robin hoods while we bought new home and new cars? Lying to myself thats we are eradicating greediness and evil from this world?

Lmao I literally live by the rule don’t do things that hurt other people, and you said let your child have different view? You mean do things that hurt other people?

I come here because I want clarity but I got “you should not feel guilty when opening a casino.”

No my conscience still says no, I rather change my religion
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Re: Using money earned in casino business to Dana

Post by oryoki »

When Julius Caesar in ancient Rome introduced tax on the use of public toilets and was criticised for it, he replied: “Money does not smell”. :)
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