Greg Hogan, 20, the son of a preacher and former president of Lehigh University's class of 2008, was accused of holding up a Wachovia bank Dec. 9 by handing a teller a note demanding money and saying he had a gun.
He got away with $2,871, then drove off with two of his fraternity brothers, according to police. Both said they knew nothing of Hogan's plans, and neither was charged.
Hogan was arrested that night and charged with robbery, theft by unlawful taking and receiving stolen property. He owed $5,000 in debts from playing online poker and later entered a treatment program for gambling addiction, according to his attorney, John Waldron.
Throughout the hearing on Wednesday, Hogan politely answered questions from the judge.
Under sentencing guidelines, he faces 22 months to three years in prison at his sentencing Aug. 17.
The Rev. Gregory Hogan Sr. said his son completed a 36-day treatment program for gambling addiction and has received a "good bill of health from that."
"Greg is very sorry," said the elder Hogan, who sat next to his son in court with his arm wrapped around him. "He's apologized. We're here to support our son. We love him."
Greg Hogan is no longer a student at Lehigh, said school spokeswoman Sarah Cooke. She said she could not comment on any possible school-related discipline because academic records are private.
Hogan's plea comes as Congress is debating whether to pass tougher laws to restrict online gambling. On Tuesday, the House passed legislation that would prevent gamblers from using credit cards to bet online and could block access to gambling Web sites.