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Super Bowl is tomorrow, so it got me thinking, what is the Halacha behind online sports betting?

I know in general gambling is forbidden as is explained in the Gemara and in the Mishnah, but this is related to a dice player although some say that “one who plays with dice” is a general term for all forms of gambling.

The Rambam’s commentary in the Mishneh Torah interprets playing with dice to be considered robbery because at least one party thinks they are better/smarter than the other, so the Rambam’s assumption is that you are taking someone’s money because you think you will outsmart them, despite both parties consenting to possibly being a loser. Rashi’s commentary explains that by gambling you are doing an action under the assumption you don’t have to pay (because you think you’ll win) so whoever loses is really unwillingly giving up their money.

When it comes to sports betting, you are against a computer’s statistical models and simulations so you are at a disadvantage. Let’s say you don’t think you’re going to win the bet, but you want to make a bet on the Super Bowl with an online sports betting website. You do not expect to win and you just want to make the game more interesting to watch. Moreover, you are betting with a non-Jewish company, so the prohibition of “robbery”, which the Rambam ascribes to gambling, is not as severe. One could argue that gambling is prohibited because you are occupying yourself with empty matters, but regardless of gambling or not, you would be watching the Super Bowl. On top of all that, you decide that whatever profit you make, if any, you will give as tzedakah, so although you might be occupying yourself with empty matters, a mitzvah might come out of it. What would the Halacha be?

submitted by /u/pwnering
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Source: Reditt