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Video Poker Royal Flush Results In Unearthing Of Rabbi's Gambling Addiction

Chicago Religious Leader Told To Resign Last Month


Prominent Chicago Rabbi Michael Sternfield recently had his house of cards come crashing down.

According to a long feature from the Chicago Tribune on Monday, the rabbi reportedly hit a royal flush on a gambling machine for $10,000, but was busted by the Indiana casino’s staff after it was determined that he had previously self-excluded himself from gambling. He was charged with trespassing and identity deception, but those charges were later dismissed.

However, he was still in big trouble career wise.

He tried to keep the situation quiet, but he said that eventually someone in the congregation spotted his mugshot on He reportedly went to the site and paid the $199.99 to have the mugshot removed, but it was too little too late.

Other leaders of the congregation last month demanded that he resign.

“If I’ve learned anything from these years of struggling, I’ve learned how terribly painful addictions of all kinds are and how incredibly difficult many are to get rid of,” Sternfield said in a recent interview with the Tribune. “This is a chapter of my life that I regret so very deeply and which is painful for those close to me.”

Rabbi Sternfield reportedly had been battling this casino gambling addiction for years after picking up the habit in a South African casino at a low point in his life.

His case isn’t the only in recent memory of a religious figure falling into hot water thanks to a gambling problem. In November of last year, a New York nun was accused of stealing $128,000 from two churches to fund her betting. In July, she was sentenced to 90 days in jail.