It has traditionally been considered a bad habit, even leading to addiction in some cases.
One folk song says this about gambling:
(Gambling Man, W. Guthrie). Traditionally there was a difference between a gambler and an entrepreneur:
Ah gambled down in Washington
Ah gambled down in Maine
Goin' down to Georgia
To knock down my last game
Ahm a gamiblin' Man man man,
Ahm a gambling' Man,
Ahm a gamblin'
The term [entrepreneur] is originally a loanword from French and was first defined by the Irish economist Richard Cantillon. Entrepreneur in English is a term applied to the type of personality who is willing to take upon herself or himself a new venture or enterprise and accepts full responsibility for the outcome.(Wikipedia, italics added) Taking the fall for one's own behavior or the rewards for doing it right was the spirit of the entrepreneur.
A gambler will take big risks, usually with his or her own money.
But, there are various degrees of gambling, the worst degree is gambling with somebody else's money while having no thought of paying it back.
That type of gambling is at or beyond the edge line seperating non-criminal behavior from criminal behavior. For example, Bernie Madoff was not an entrepreneur.
A criminal enterprise is what the American banking system evolved into when it evolved away from responsible entrepreneurial practices that are not traditionally acceptable, and went into the darkness of gambling with the lives of fellow Americans.
As long as someone was risking their own money for the benefit of creating a new venture, which would be good for everyone concerned, that was entrepreneurial and looked on with favor.
The Bush II administration went into gambling of the "nation building" sort, by invading other countries and destroying parts of them, under the guise of spreading democracy.
Democracy is a valid entrepreneurial practice, but it is not for gambling arenas, nor can it be produced with war.
Now, with millions of Americans without homes, jobs, health care, and hope, we see that the traditional values are not quaint at all.