There are times when life imitates art – sort of. The 1992 blockbuster Sister Act saw Whoopi Goldberg flee from a casino to don a Franciscan nun’s habit. An ongoing court case in the state of New York features a Franciscan nun going to the casinos to feed her gambling habit.
Yes. Just when you think you have seen it all, the picture of an elderly Franciscan nun is splashed across Canada gambling news sites.
Well, it turns out that she spent a lot of money at casinos. Unfortunately most of it was not hers to spend in the first place.
In fact, the 68-year-old nun in question, Sister Mary Anne Rapp pleaded guilty on Monday to charges of stealing something close to a USD 130,000 in donation money between 2006 and 2011. She spent it all at the slots.
She certainly had many choices available to her, since the state has 18 brick-and-mortar establishments. Half of those are tribal casinos, while the other half are racinos (i.e. racetrack casinos). Although there is nothing in Greek gambling laws excluding esteemed nuns from visiting such establishments, but misappropriating other people’s money to finance such escapades is not taken lightly.
The repentant Sister who has been a Roman Catholic nun for 50 years, agreed to a plea bargain including treatment for her gambling addiction and a possible 6 month jail sentence.
She would also have to pay “reasonable restitution,” the exact amount of which would be set later on.
If mobile casino gambling ever comes to New York, it would have the distinct advantage of making such crimes unnecessary: unless parishioners happen to make donations with their credit cards.
Meanwhile Sister Rapp should just play some social games on Facebook.