and later this:Why is Las Vegas so open to Buddha-Dharma? One reason could be that there is no "sin" in Buddhism. Gambling, per se, and other Las Vegas activities are not forbidden in Buddhism.
Participating in entertainment activities is not forbidden and can be done in moderation, especially without extreme attachment and greed. Studies show that the vast majority of all tourists and locals who do gamble, do so with a strict budget. It is specifically mentioned in the discourses of Buddha, Digha Nikaya, Sigalaka Sutta, number 31, that lay people should not waste their money and one way of wasting money is described as addiction to gambling. The discourse does not prohibit gambling or entertainment, just the addiction to it.
Here's the Sigalaka Sutta, which includes this:
Which to me sounds like a pretty good summary of a whirlwind weekend in Las Vegas.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.
8. "These are the six dangers inherent in heedlessness caused by intoxication: loss of immediate wealth, increased quarreling, susceptibility to illness, disrepute, indecent exposure, and weakened insight.
9. "These are the six dangers inherent in roaming the streets at inappropriate times: oneself, one's family, and one's property are all left unguarded and unprotected; one is suspected of crimes; then rumors spread; and one is subjected to many miseries.
10. "These are the six dangers inherent in habitual partying: You constantly seek, 'Where's the dancing? Where's the singing? Where's the music? Where are the stories? Where's the applause? Where's the drumming?'
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.
12. "These are the six dangers inherent in bad companionship: any rogue, drunkard, addict, cheat, swindler, or thug becomes a friend and colleague."
Any way, I have some friends who play no-limit Texas hold 'em every so often, and I have to admit it's kind of fun to sit down with them. (Turns out I'm not a bad player, and I don't mind losing either.) I notice at least one member here (Tex ) who plays the game sometimes too. Anyone else? Opinions?