Problem Gambling

Why did he quit gambling only to start the addiction all over again?

Why did he become a totally different person after he started gambling?

How to help a family member eliminate his gambling addiction at its roots?


The reasons behind one’s gambling habit are deep-rooted bad habits and past karmic obstacles; there is a gambler demon in one’s body.  Their blood courses with the notion “I must earn it back, I must win”, a display of their greed.  Their ignorance created more greed and hatred in them.  The three poisons — namely greed, hatred and ignorance — are constantly recurring in their minds, just like the saying goes, “evil thoughts are perpetuated in a vicious cycle”, making it difficult for one to quit their gambling addiction.

— Shuohua20171027 31:12 (Master Jun Hong Lu’s call-in radio program)


In Buddhism, Facial Reading, I-Ching and the like, gambling relates to sudden wealth and not wealth from direct earnings.  Such sudden wealth are temporal.

— “Transformation of illusory body and consciousness”

Question on a Family Member Obsessed with Gambling

Caller:  If a family member is obsessed with gambling, besides the Heart Sutra, can we recite Little Houses for him as well?

Master Jun Hong Lu:  Yes.  Recite the Mantra to Untie Karmic Knots.

Caller:  Is it alright for the Little Houses to be addressed to“Karmic Creditor of <full name of family member concerned>”?

Master Jun Hong Lu: His obsession with gambling is due to his past karmic debts, which requires him to make a payback this lifetime.  There are various means of repayments; gambling is one of them.  In his previous life, he could have scammed public monies; therefore, he is destined to lose his monies to the public this lifetime.

— Shuohua 20121026 11:41 (Master Jun Hong Lu’s call-in radio program)


Reasons for Gambling Addiction

Caller:  After winning on lottery draws, some people became addicted to gambling and could not control themselves thereon. Is this due to their deep-rooted origins in this aspect that stem from their past life?

Master Jun Hong Lu:  The reasons could be karma they created this lifetime or their monetary greed in their past life.  In reality, being out of control and unable to extricate themselves, are all signs that they have been possessed by the evil of the mind.  Such evil thoughts must be eliminated. Otherwise, that person will be drowned within the gambling addiction and unable to abandon it.

—   Wenda20120610A 10:30


How do we perceive the Gambling Phenomenon?

Caller:  A Buddhist friend watched a program on law and crime, and discovered a pattern that reported the source of about seventy percent of crimes committed are triggered by gambling. How do we perceive such a phenomenon?  Can it be said that people who enjoy gambling have been possessed by a gambling demon?

Master Jun Hong Lu:  In reality, it is the gambling demon in a person that spurs one into gambling. When a person is born into this human realm, they would have possessed many bad habits and desires including gambling, lust, food and greed.  These desires will be aroused once the person is exposed to the subject of interest.  As for us, we do not indulge in gambling because we were taught from young that gambling will destroy us.  Given that our parents did not discipline us as such, we would have been leading an unruly life. In that case, how are we to teach our children? Any type of stimuli that evokes a reaction is a sign that there are demonic obstructions in us.  Since the human realm is filled with such subjects of desire; it is important that we manage our desires well.

— Wenda20160129 27:37 

Why did my brother indulge in gambling? Master Lu accurately explained through the law of causality!


Helping compulsive gamblers return to the right path

Q: Master Lu, I would like to ask a question. My older brother is addicted to gambling. He gambles all day and does not work at all. When he is broke, he comes home and forces our parents to give him money. What should we do to direct him onto the right path? Master Lu, please show us the way out of this situation, and tell us specifically what we should do. Thank you.


  • For an individual who is addicted to gambling, it is best to start with reciting the Heart Sutra at least 7 times per day and give him some time to think things through. In fact, this is a transformation process. Even if he cannot figure himself out and continues to gamble, the Dharma Protectors would treat him in a gentle manner and hand out less severe punishment.It is best if he can recite the sutra for himself. If he does not believe in Buddhism, then his family members should recite for him. They can say the following prayer: “May the Greatly Merciful and Greatly Compassionate Guan Yin Bodhisattva protect and bless <his full name>, grant him wisdom and help him completely give up the unwholesome habit of gambling.”
  • If he does not listen to you, recite the Qi Fo Mie Zui Zhen Yan 21 to 49 times per day and say the following prayer: “May the Greatly Merciful and Greatly Compassionate Guan Yin Bodhisattva forgive <his full name>.” He is just like a child who has committed a wrongdoing and is now asking for forgiveness.
  • If he has completely fallen into addiction, recite the Eighty-Eight Buddhas Great Repentance 5 times per day. As he has already committed these wrongdoings, you need to say the following prayer: “May the Greatly Merciful and Greatly Compassionate Guan Yin Bodhisattva protect and bless <his full name>, and help <his full name> to repent and eliminate the karmic obstacles caused by gambling.
  • At the same time, you can recite the Mantra to Untie Karmic Knots and say the following prayer: “May the Greatly Merciful and Greatly Compassionate Guan Yin Bodhisattva protect and bless <his full name>, help <his full name> to untie his karmic knots with gambling.
  • If you feel that foreign spirits have occupied him, you need to recite Little Houses and address them to the “KarmicCreditor of <his full name>”. Otherwise, there is no need to recite Little Houses.
  • People with a gambling addiction tend to attract foreign spirits easily. The money in gambling areas often has foreign spirits, regardless of whether it is money won or lost.                                                                                       

— “Master Jun Hong Lu’s Buddhism: Your Questions Answered” (Question 50)


He had won the first, second and third prizes in lotteries. What caused him to quit gambling?

I used to gamble on lotteries and had ever made winnings of first, second and third prizes; despite this, I couldn’t recall a single day that I was happy. My winnings did not make me any happier because they were too minute to satisfy me; however, if I fail to make any winnings, I feel even worse. Whenever my son asked if we could go for an outing the next day, I would tell him that it will depend on whether I manage to make any winnings that night.  My life was totally controlled by my gambling habit. If I did not strike the lottery, all my plans for the next day will be cancelled.  People who bet on the lottery will not have a day of peace as their emotional state is totally manipulated by their addiction.  I have tried to quit betting on lotteries many times, but each time I could not resist the temptation and I would feel remorseful when I started betting again.  However, this time, I have finally managed to quit my gambling habit!

— Yap Chee Meng, Malaysia

After immigrating to Spain, her husband’s addiction to gambling had left her in a state of hopelessness

My family immigrated to Spain in 2008. Not long after, it was like doomsday fell upon us when my husband started his obsession with gambling. He was not interested in managing our candy store and business was going from bad to worse.  I tried to talk him out of gambling; but whenever I try to reprimand him, he would turn away and when I try to talk to him gently, he would always say that he knows what to do. Then, in 2010, my husband found a job and one day while working, three of his fingers were smashed by the elevators.  Unfortunately, during the period of recuperation, he went back to gambling.  I was really heart broken.

I tolerated all these days till 2012 until I encountered Buddhism.  That was when I realised I have very heavy negative karma and started to perform recitations of Buddhist scriptures to eliminate them.  In 2014, my husband got addicted to roulette; a game that could possibly cause a person to become a bankrupt overnight. Every day, I recited the Heart Sutra for my husband, helped him made repentance to Bodhisattva and recitedLittle Houses for him.  Bodhisattva is ever so merciful; when he was unable to get along with his business partner, he gave up on roulette.  However, he was still unable to give up on the slot machine.

I once dreamed of the foreign spirit on his body telling me that if I stopped him from gambling, he would kill me.  When I woke up, I vowed to recite another batch of Little House for him.  I was persistent in my recitations on the Heart Sutra and the Little House for my husband.  My conscientious prayers to Guan Yin Bodhisattva have helped my husband to finally quit gambling; and he has also managed to find a new job.  After seven long years, the long-awaited day has finally arrived as my husband has finally picked up the mantra booklet and started performing recitations!  I cannot imagine how long I would have to wait for my husband to forsake his evil ways if Guan Yin Bodhisattva did not bless us.

— Liu Li Li, Spain



What is the path to emancipation from a cyclical existence?   It is when you decide “I will not repeat my wrong doings – I had quit gambling, but I have fallen back to the habit again; I had quit smoking but now I have picked up the habit all over again; I had used to be lustful, curbed it, but now I have lost control of myself again; I had used to berate others and I have refrained from doing so for some time, but now I have reverted back to my old ways again”.  This is the nature of a cyclical existence.

— “One’s wisdom is the foundation of enlightenment” 


All thoughts that arise can be eliminated in an instant– do not allow any remnants of such thoughts within your mind as this would only bring calamities to your life. However, most of you freely allow your thoughts to orbit your minds. For example, when you hear about a good friend who had made some winnings from gambling, a thought would arise: ‘I actually have such luck too’. Once this thought arises, you must immediately eliminate it by thinking, ‘No, I must not think this way or even worse, actualise my thoughts. This is not right. I must not do this.’ You must quickly eliminate your thoughts in this manner. If you allow yourself to be led by a terrible thought that arises in your mind, that would mean trouble.

 — “Letting Go of the Vicissitudes of Life and Rediscovering its Beauty”