Is this gambling?

Hare Krishna. Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.

Devotees in my country are organizing a raffle of a painting of Radha and Krishna. If I deposit 8 dollars in their bank account, then maybe I will get the aforementioned painting, but only if I win the raffle.

All the collected money will be used to help in the construction of a new ISKCON temple.

When they asked me if I could help them, I immediately thought, "This is gambling", but I didn't want to directly confront them. Then I asked "Did your gurudeva authorize this?" and they answered "Yes, since the beginning". Then I silently stepped away.

Now I'm very confused. My question is, is this gambling or not? Are they breaking the regulative principles? What should be done, what should I do?

I'll be very grateful for your answer. Hare Krishna.

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  • This reply was deleted.
    • "Prabhupada: Yes, gambling means betting. That is gambling. People are betting. You put one dollar, and if you gain, you get ten dollars. Otherwise, you lose this one dollar. This is gambling. They're gambling in Christian churches also, in the Western countries. So gambling is considered sinful activity. I do not know... One Mr. Bhattacarya, a barrister, he was educated in England. So he told there is some island, Monte Christo? There is gambling?
      Devotee: Monte Carlo.
      Prabhupada: Monte Carlo, yes. He said that there are gamblers, and one gambler loses everything, he commits suicide, immediately, and he'll go on. That's all. Nobody cares for him. He told me. It is a fact? So just see the gambling. They bring all their fortunes to stake and they lose everything. And then, out of frustration, takes revolver and shots himself, dies, and it is thrown on the street or in somewhere. Nobody cares. Just like cats and dogs. So there is free gambling in Monte Carlo?
      Devotee: Very, very wealthy people, they (indistinct) there.

      What Prabhupada is talking about when he says "They're gambling in Christian churches also, in the Western countries"?

  • If you give the money for possible wining the paintings on raffle, that's gambling, because you can lose your money.

     But if you give it as donation, without expecting anything in return, then its not gambling.  

    If you give the money as donation, but expecting something in return, then you are no better then the merchant.

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