Barkley admits huge losses, big gains while gambling

Updated: February 6, 2007, 4:57 PM ET
Associated Press

PHOENIX -- Basketball Hall of Famer Charles Barkley admits he has a gambling problem, but said Monday that he's several thousand dollars richer after returning from Las Vegas.

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In an interview with Phoenix television station KTVK, Barkley said he won "about $700,000" over the weekend.

"That was all profit [from] blackjack and I bet on the Super Bowl. I had the Colts," Barkley added. "I played a lot of blackjack."

Barkley did not say how much he bet on Sunday's game in which Indianapolis beat the Chicago Bears 29-17 in Miami.

In an ESPN interview in May 2006, Barkley estimated that he'd lost about $10 million gambling over the years.

He said Monday that he lost $2.5 million "in a six-hour period" one night last year.

"It's a stupid, bad habit. I have a problem," Barkley said of his gambling. "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."

Barkley, who lives in the Phoenix area, was elected to the Hall of Fame last year.

He averaged 22.1 points and nearly 12 rebounds in a 16-year career that included stops in Philadelphia, Phoenix and Houston. He was the league's MVP in 1993 with the Suns, and he won gold at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics as part of the original U.S. Dream Team.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press