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Charles Barkley Reveals He Lost $25M to Gambling Addiction

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Former NBA star Charles Barkley recently opened up about the staggering amount he lost due to an out-of-control gambling addiction over the years on ‘Club Shay Shay’ podcast. In a shockingly candid interview, Barkley revealed that his love for high stakes wagering led him to blow an incredible $25 million, despite also having some big wins totaling $7 million.

“I love to gamble. I would go to Vegas and I’d win a million dollars. I don’t want no cheque, I don’t want you to wire I want cash and there’s probably been seven times so I want a million dollars, okay?” Says Barkley on Club Shay Shay.

Charles Barkley’s Uncontrollable Chase for the Next Big Score

However, Barkley‘s penchant for gambling also took him to the darkest depths, with a whopping 25 instances of losing $1 million or more at a time. He confessed that even when ahead hundreds of thousands, he found himself unable to walk away, chasing an elusive $1 million win.”There’s probably been 25 times I’ve lost a million,” he said. 

“You’ll be up three, four hundred thousand dollars. We’re like, Chuck, let’s go. You’re good for the night. And in my head, I’m saying, no, we’re not leaving this until I won a million dollars.” Barkley’s gambling buddies tried to instill some perspective, warning him that the house always has the edge. “You can never break the casino. They can break your ass,” one friend cautioned him. They urged him to set reasonable win/loss limits rather than placing all-or-nothing million-dollar bets.

“Why can’t you win three hundred thousand dollars and say man we had a great weekend? Why you got to win a million?” they asked. “Why can’t you lose 300 and say we still had a great weekend? …You ain’t got to win a million, or you ain’t got to chase it and lose a million.” And then Barkley’s friend’s sobering reality check seemed to resonate. 

Charles Barkley Finds Balance After Hitting Rock Bottom

After taking a two-year gambling hiatus, Barkley returned with a more levelheaded approach focused on having fun rather than destructive high-rolling.

“We’re gonna play golf every day and get drunk every night…Let’s win some money or lose a little, lose a little bit. But let’s just go have fun for the weekend,” he said of his new gambling mentality.

While the astronomical losses are shocking, Barkley’s willingness to confront his gambling demons head-on is kind of inspiring. His tale starkly illustrates the potential peril of betting obsession, while offering hope that change is possible. 

Basketball fans can be glad that despite his struggles, the outspoken TV analyst seems to have finally found peace on and off the tables.

ALSO READ: Is Charles Barkley Leaving TNT? Latest Statement Worries Fans Amid Speculated NBC Deal With NBA

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