Charles Barkley opens up on deep depression due to gambling, estimates he’s lost around $25M

Jonathan Sherman
3 Min Read
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Basketball analyst and former NBA superstar Charles Barkley has made a fortune in his career, and he recently revealed that he’s lost a fortune gambling as well.

Barkley recently joined Shannon Sharpe on the “Club Shay Shay” podcast and revealed that he lost an estimated $25 million on gambling. He also admitted that he would risk $25,000 on single hands of cards in Las Vegas casinos.

“There’s probably been seven times when I won a million dollars,” he said.

“But there’s probably been 25 times when I’ve lost a million.”

He went on to describe his mindset during those hot steaks and cold streaks, and he admitted that losing the money, and simply losing on its own, would leave him depressed.

“I got such a elation [when I won], but when I lost a million, I was so depressed,” he said. “Because of the money, but because of the losing.

“I’d be depressed for a week [thinking], ‘Damn, I lost a million dollars?'”

The issue got so extreme that he admitted he had to quit gambling for two years. He also acknowledged that he was not in control of his gambling, saying there were times that he couldn’t bring himself to simply stand up from the table and leave the casino.

“We’ll be sitting there, I’ll be up, and my friends would be like, ‘Chuck, let’s go for the night,'” he said.

“And in my head I’m saying, ‘Nah, we’re not leaving this motherf—– until I win a million dollars.'”

Luckily for Barkley, he has many lucrative media partnerships and it is very unlikely that he is short on cash. According to, Barkley earns a salary of $10 million and has a net worth of $60 million.

In 2022, it was reported that Barkley signed a deal with TNT that was reportedly worth upwards of $200 million.

While $25 million would surely be a massive fortune to most people, it looks like even that huge number is little more than a drop in the bucket for Barkley.

Still, many will likely appreciate Barkley’s honesty when it comes to his previous struggles with gambling.

The truth is that Barkley will likely have nothing to worry about from a financial standpoint as long as he wants to continue working as a basketball analyst on television. Over the years, he’s become one of the most beloved entertainers in the sports world.

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Jonathan has worked as a sports writer covering NBA and NFL news since 2017. He's a fan of the Los Angeles Lakers and Minnesota Vikings.