Charles Barkley Details His Struggle with Addiction

Charles Barkley has been known for his unhealthy relationship with gambling. In many ways, he has served as an example for others on how to steer clear of what could be a destructive hobby. Yet, gambling addiction is hardly about just resisting temptation.

Charles Barkley Talks “Action” of Gambling and Addiction

In an interview for the Depth with Graham Bensinger Podcast, Barkley opened up about his own struggles with addiction and how it got him tied, and what went through his head as he was gambling. Barkley professed that there was a thrill in winning and spending money on gambling games.

Barkley explained that there was a difference between what people called “the action” and his actual fondness of, well, money. Barkley elaborated on this fine distinction and said:

No, I like the money actually, and it always sucks when you lose, but it’s a great feeling when you win.

Charles Barkley

He then talked about how his wins fueled his “passion” even further. Winning seven-figure sums was the ultimate hook, Barkley said. After a while, though, he was able to decipher the addictiveness of the hobby and stand up to it, curbing his enthusiasm for “the big piece of the pie.” He hailed his success in conquering gambling addiction as an earth-shattering moment for him.

The thing that I conquered about my gambling was I changed my mentality.

Charles Barkley

He though has known his fair share of losses. In the 1980s, Barkley must have lost anything between $10 million and $20 million, the gambler professed. Barkley went on hiatus from gambling and sought help from people and friends who encouragingly assured him that he wasn’t a “gambling addict” but rather “an idiot.”

However, Barkley finally realized a simple rule of gambling – you can never beat the casino. Today, Barkley acknowledges that fully realizing this simple rule makes gambling far more exciting for him and makes it worth his while again.

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