Islam, the all-embracing religion, not only displayed its just and moderate systems in beliefs and devotion, but also in economics and social orders. This just religion could not tolerate the unjust seizure of another person's wealth (through games of chance) which resulted in crippling the poor even more and strengthening the rich by accumulation of wealth without any effort nor could it tolerate the collection of a large amount from the poor and making it one person's property without any lawful religious reason. Consequently, gambling was declared unlawful.
The consideration by this vast and all-embracing religion of Islam of the human instinct and feelings is admirable and worthy of a hundred thanks. Gambling and alcohol which had become a second nature of man, were not prohibited at once. First its evils were made known and after a period when the evil of gambling and alcohol were recognised in the heart, the order of prohibition was revealed.
In the beginning of Islam when the Holy Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam was asked about alcohol and gambling, this verse was revealed,
They ask thee
concerning wine and gambling.
Say: In them is a great sin and some benefit for men. The sin is greater than the benefit. (2:219)
This verse is indistinct regarding the lawfulness and unlawfulness of wine and gambling. Some high-ranking Sahaabah radhiyallahu anhum understood from this verse that these things are undesirable and detestable. They began abstaining from these things immediately. Generally, the people participated in gambling and wine drinking, since a clear ruling declaring the unlawful and Haraam was not revealed and since there had been no definite decision from the Holy Prophet sallallahu alayhi wasallam. Then this verse of Soorah Maa'idah was revealed,
O you who believe! Intoxicants and gambling, (dedication of) stones and arrows are abomination of Shaytaan’s handiwork: Abstain from it so that you may prosper. Shaytaan's plan is (but) to excite enmity and hatred between you, with intoxicants and gambling, and binder you from the remembrance of Allah, and from prayer: Will you not then abstain? (5: 90,91)
The prohibition of alcohol (intoxicants) and gambling is clearly and openly mentioned in this verse. It is declared unlawful with great emphasis according to Imaam Raazi rahmatullahi alayh . Firstly, the verse commences with the word 'Innamaa' which in the Arabic language stands for special emphasis. Secondly, the things mentioned in this verse are regarded as 'rijsun', meaning filth or dirt, which every sensible person will refrain from. Thirdly, they are referred to as Shaytaan's handiwork. Fourthly, it's evil is expressed even more when it is associated with idol-worshipping, meaning that all these acts are rings of the same chain.
After mentioning all this, the order of abstinence is given. Further, the adverse and spiritually evil effects are mentioned. Shaytaan wishes to destroy you religiously and as far as your worldly matters are concerned, he will create enmity between you, the effect of which will be long-lasting and this habit will stop you from the remembrance of Allah and Salaat.
From the definition of gambling and from the explanation of Sahaabah radhiyallahu anhum and Taabi'een, it becomes evident that the under-mentioned games of today are also forms of gambling and falls under the severe warnings mentioned in the Qur'aan regarding gambling.
This includes Casinos, Internet Gambling Outfits, betting, such as Horse and Dog racing, ...etc. The present-day horse racing where one stakes a certain amount on a particular horse is in fact gambling. It is exactly that form, where loss and gain is based on something indistinct, where one person loses his initial amount and the other wins a substantial amount.
All lotteries schemes can also be considered as a form of gambling, regardless if it is run by governments or not. Gambling has taken hundreds of forms, which are present in businesses and market places.
May Almighty Allah save all Mankind from its evil. Aameen.