Virtues Guru Bennett: 'Gambling Days over'. (News)

Article excerpt

While most conservative Christians in the United States see gambling as a vice, Bill Bennett doesn't think so. Or at least he didn't until many of his fellow conservatives began criticizing him for recently publicized revelations about his massive gambling habit.

Bennett is a conservative hero for his many books, speeches and columns calling for a return of the virtues to public life. He served as education secretary under President Ronald Reagan and as drug czar under the elder President George Bush.

On May 5, he announced he was giving up gambling after an investigation by two magazines revealed he had a gambling habit that, according to casino records, cost him $8 million in losses over the past ten years. Bennett disputed the numbers, saying that casino officials' numbers did not accurately reflect his winnings.

But he did not dispute reports by Newsweek and the Washington Monthly that he was a regular VIP customer at several casinos in Atlantic City and Las Vegas. He has been known to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars in a single night on slot machines or poker games, the publications said. …