Professional athletes – golden source of income for casinos

nba-gambling-2A certain amount of professional athletes, both current and former have never really been shy from spending their money, sometimes very recklessly. In particular, the NBA players.

Through the years, a lot of well-known NBA stars were exposed to having gambling issues, and this affected their professional careers.

Gambling is just as an addiction as drugs – it just doesn’t affect your health so much. Everyone knows Michael Jordan’s passion for gambling – he simply couldn’t contain his passion for betting and playing for money.

And yet, Jordan never went broke, never filed for bankruptcy and today is the owner of the Charlotte Hornets.

Another famous NBA player, Charles Barkley, once said he gambled away a sum close to $10 million. Barkley had previously said he “can afford” to gamble. Well, in his own words, he once “afforded” to lose $2.5 million in six hours.

In 2008, Barkley almost faced formal criminal charges over a $400,000 casino debt – which he promptly re-paid. A little later that year, Barkley said that had sworn off gambling at least temporarily.

Antoine Walker is another example. He made some $110 million during his NBA career. As good was Walker was on the basketball court, he was just as bad managing his money, as he spent his earnings of expensive cars, support to his friends and family, as well as writing fraudulent checks to casinos.

nba-gambling-3Or take the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks team. When Mark Cuban bought the Mavs, one of his first moves was to upgrade the team plane. So it was that he laid out nearly $50 million for a Boeing 757, flush with a weight room and facility for trainers to provide medical treatment. But the Mavericks’ previous team plane had a unique feature as well: the front tire was painted in the manner of a roulette wheel. When the players boarded the plane for road trips, an employee handed them envelopes containing their per diem meal money in cash, which sometimes reached $1,000 per player. The players then pooled their money, and each selected a number to correspond with the roulette-wheel numbers on the plane’s front tire. When the plane finally landed and stopped at the airstrip, an attendant inserted a peg into the tire. If the peg ended up wedged into your number, you won the pot.

The New York Times reported in 2010 that there were indications the NBA was considering new gambling restrictions for players. The players however disagreed there was a necessity to do that. On one hand, we can understand them, sometimes people need to relax, but it doesn’t mean the “gambling relaxation” can go spiraling out of control.

In today’s ever-changing online world it is very easy to get exposed. Professional athletes, namely the NBA players are in that trap more than anyone else. Twenty years ago you couldn’t find out about an athlete wasting another million on gambling, today, all you have to do is go online and check Twitter.

Thus, today it is even more important, especially for well-known athletes, to keep it quiet, even if they cannot contain their urge for gambling. One of such ways is to gamble online, anonymously, as there are thousands of online gambling websites.

This is not exactly a way out, and it doesn’t give you the same feeling as being in a real casino, but at least it gives some security, in a sense.

Wyattresearch study about 60% of former NBA players going broke after several years after retirement, still may be relevant today. Even a professional athlete sometimes has to say “no” to gambling, since this can lead to many problems, not mentioning that it’s detrimental to their financial future.


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