Putting the ‘bet’ in Aleph-Bet: What does the Talmud say about sports gambling?

The sports betting area of a casino in Las Vegas. (Photo courtesy of Marit & Toomas Hinnosaar/Flickr Creative Commons)

Even if Canadian sports fans didn’t know that their government recently lifted its ban on single-game sports betting, they would have noticed the ads: everywhere, on every game, following you across the internet. No doubt Jewish sports fans have taken part in the new craze, inundated at every opportunity with incentives to guess the outcomes of games and how players will perform.

But what does Jewish law say about this? What does the Talmud say on the ethics of parlaying Zach Hyman points over 1.5 with Alex Bregman total bases over 2.5?

The hosts of our Jewish sports podcast, Menschwarmers, wanted to ask a rabbi—so they did. Rabbi Avi Finegold, host of The CJN’s weekly current affairs podcast Bonjour Chai, joins to chat about the halakhic implications of sports gambling—and, while they’re at it, combat sports and gambling in general.


Menschwarmers is hosted by James Hirsh and Gabe Pulver, and produced and edited by Michael Fraiman. Our intro music is by Coby Lipovitch, and our outro music is “Organ Grinder Swing” by chēēZ π. This show is a member of The CJN Podcast Network. Follow the Menschwarmers on Twitter @menschwarmers or TikTok @menschwarmers. To learn how to support the show by subscribing to this podcast, please watch this video.