TORONTO, CANADA - MAY 30: Charles Barkley provides commentary after Game One of the NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and the Toronto Raptors on May 30, 2019 at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2019 NBAE (Photo by Joe Murphy/NBAE via Getty Images)

Charles Wade Barkley was born on February 20th, 1963 in Leeds, Alabama. He attended school there and started playing basketball at an early age. In junior high he was only 1.78m high and weighed about 100 kg, so he didn’t quite manage to make the team and was made a reserve. But over the following summer, his height hit 1.93m and he entered the starting team as a senior. He managed to catch the eye of college scouts after scoring 26 points against Bobby Lee Hurt at the high school semi-finals. Later on, he attended Auburn University. There he played basketball for 3 seasons before entering the NBA draft. He was drafted by the Philadelphia 76ers in 1984 as the fifth pick, two picks after Michael Jordan.

Over his career, Charles Barkley struggled with his weight. It was no secret that he was a chubby player, but he managed to use his weight in his advantage. He played aggressively fighting for rebounds and scoring points whenever he could. He was a genuine crowd-pleaser getting in brawls with other players and even with hecklers from the stands. Over his career, Barkley managed to score over 20,000 points, assist 4,000 times and get 10,000 rebounds. When he retired he was the fourth ever player in history who managed to do that. He also played on the US Dream Team and managed to get into the hall of fame twice.

On Facing His Gambling Financial Challenges

After his retirement, Barkley developed a passion for gambling. Like many other celebrities, he could often be seen at the Las Vegas casinos. It seems that he became hooked on gambling and like he says “I love the action, I love the juice”. But having a passion for gambling isn’t enough to be a successful gambler.

At one point he was reported to have lost over $10 million at the tables, but this number grew to a staggering $30 million afterwards. His gambling addiction got so bad and was made public when a lawsuit was filed for $400,000 in gambling debts from a Vegas casino. It seems that Barkley was given 4 markers of $100,000 each, which he never repaid to the casino. From then on the superstar decided to put his gambling under control. As he says “I went to Vegas a bunch of times and won a million dollars. Probably 10 times. But I’ve also gone to Vegas and lost a million, probably three times as much”.

Today Barkley still enjoys gambling but in moderation. For him nowadays the most important thing is to still have fun gambling but do it in moderation. He tends to quit while he’s ahead and also when he’s down $200,000. It seems that Barkley has finally learned to limit himself when it comes to gambling. This will surely help him in the long run and make him a more successful gambler. But he has no intention to stop gambling altogether for now.

His views on gambling reforms in the US

Charles Barkley has often stated his opinion about the current dicey legal situation of gambling in the US. After all, it’s very well known that not all online casinos are legal in the USA, making them risky unless you use a reputable source such as for trusted operators.

He is known to be pro-gambling regularisation and isn’t afraid to speak up. In a recent interview about the latest gambling reforms, Barkley said that the notion that people don’t gamble on sports is silly and that it should have been legal a long time ago. His actual quote is as follows:

“I feel the same way about gambling I feel about pot. I don’t smoke pot. I smoked pot probably five times in my life, and all it did was make me want to eat potato chips. So now they’ve got legal pot everywhere, it’s not going to make me go out and start smoking it. So I feel the same way about gambling. Just because they got gambling legal, people who don’t gamble aren’t going to rush out to the casino or places like that. That’s my opinion. This notion that gambling’s legal now, everybody’s going to go out and start gambling.’ I don’t believe that.”

His views are shared by many Americans across the country and he will continue to lobby for the legalization of gambling across the US. The gambling reforms are predicted to have a positive impact on the entire economy. Gamblers will be able to place bets at licensed bookmakers, who in return will pay taxes to the state. This is guaranteed to suppress illegal gambling and protect compulsive gamblers in the long run. For now, it remains to be seen whether changes will come in this industry. If more celebrities like Charles Barkley decide to back up the latest proposed reforms there’s a good chance that the public will have a significant impact.