Charles Barkley said Monday he will stop gambling, at least for now, less than a week after acknowledging he owed a $400,000 debt to a Las Vegas Strip casino.
``I like to go into Vegas, it's a fun place, but you know what, I've got to stop gambling. That's the bottom line,'' Barkley said during TNT's pregame show before Game 7 between San Antonio and New Orleans. ``I am not going to gamble anymore. For right now, the next year or two, I'm not going to gamble.''
The Wynn Las Vegas resort alleged in a civil complaint filed Wednesday in a Nevada state court that Barkley failed to repay four $100,000 casino markers, or loans, received last Oct. 18 and 19. Clark County District Attorney David Roger said prosecutors would file a criminal complaint if Barkley did not pay the debt.
Barkley thanked fans for being supportive and said the debt has been paid. He reiterated he had no financial woes.
``I have no, no money problems whatsoever. Nobody's coming after me for money,'' he said. ``I screwed up and didn't pay them in a significant amount of time. Could they have handled it differently? Yes. But it was my fault.''
Barkley has talked openly about his gambling, estimating during a May 2006 interview with ESPN that he'd gambled away about $10 million over the years. He always defended it by saying he had the money to lose, but said Monday it was time for a break. He added he would try to do it on his own without seeking help.
``Just because I can afford to lose money doesn't mean I should do it,'' he said.
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