Economic Social Criteria Investment Screens
Gambling Social Criteria Screen
Approved by the ELCA Church Council – April 21-23, 1990
Updated by the Advisory Committee on Corporate Social Responsibility – May 6, 2008
Approved by the ELCA Church Council – November 2008
Authority: The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) has laid out its concern for health in a social statement “Caring for Health: Our Shared Endeavor” , acknowledging that health is central to our well being, and caring for it is a matter of shared stewardship. Further in a predecessor church body statement on gambling, (Gambling and the Public Good [ALC, 1984]) a concern for the possible harmful impact of legalized gambling is laid out in three components:
a) it tends to extract revenues from those least able to afford it
b) it diverts family and personal income
c) it contributes to brokenness of individuals and families
Wording of the Screen: The ELCA recommends no investment in firms involved in the production or marketing of offerings of gambling opportunities.
Definition of Problem: The ALC statement describes gambling as involving three elements:
a) a valuable consideration, mutually risked in the hope of
b) winning a significant prize, which is awarded
c) not primarily for skill or ability but largely by the caprice of chance.
Recognizing that various investors will implement this along a continuum, for the purpose of this screen, investment might include companies having any revenue from owning, managing or operating gambling establishments. Companies to be reviewed are those involved in supplying key component elements and services to the gambling industry (casinos, betting operations at horse racing tracks, bingos, state run lotteries and gambling devices such as roulette wheels).
Social policy and studies:
Caring for Health: Our Shared Endeavor [ELCA, 2003]
Gambling: A Study for Congregations [ELCA, 1998]
Gambling and the Public Good [ALC, 1984]
ELCA Social Policy Resolution on Sponsorship of Legal Gaming by American Indian Tribes [CC approved, November 2007]