Charles Barkley enjoyed an incredibly successful NBA career, and he made millions of dollars while doing so. However, a gambling addiction cost him a lot of that money.
Gambling isn’t just a problem Charles Barkley has struggled with. In fact, it’s not too uncommon for an athlete to gamble. Many experts believe that an athlete’s competitive nature nurtures their gambling problem.
— Bossip (@Bossip) March 24, 2017
Michael Jordan had trouble with gambling as well, going to show that Barkley’s problem isn’t isolated. However, it is crazy to think about the amount of money he lost due to this problem.
Charles Barkley admits to losing big money while gambling
In an interview with ESPN in 2006, Barkley detailed how he had once lost $2.5 million in a two hour window, and that there were several occassions of him losing millions, summing up to more than $10 million in losses.
Barkley was self-aware of his issues, realizing that it was a dangerous path. However, he also admitted that he couldn’t stop gambling because it wasn’t affecting his personal life. He could afford this dangerous passion, and so he chose to.
“It’s a stupid, bad habit. I have a problem … But the problem is when you can’t afford it. I can afford to gamble. I didn’t kill myself when I lost two and half million dollars. I like to gamble and I’m not going to quit.”
Over the years, Barkley’s losses continued to grow and grow, reaching somewhere between $10 and $30 million. He was once sued by a casino for failing to pay $400,000 in loans. He did repay the full amount including a $40,000 in attorney fees.
Losing that much money did have Barkley thinking a little, and so he took a break from gambling to joing Michael Jordan in a golfing ‘rehab’ along with Tiger Woods.
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) April 9, 2021