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Former NBA Star Charles Barkley Pays Huge Gambling Debt

Former NBA star Charles Barkley has retired his debt to a Las Vegas Strip casino that sued him after he failed to pay $400,000 in gambling loans.

But the civil lawsuit remains open, and it's going to cost Sir Charles $40,000 more to get out of the legal doghouse.

Barkley, a basketball analyst for Turner Network Television, said in a statement released Tuesday by TNT that he didn't know about the district attorney's $40,000 processing fee, but intends to pay it.

"True to my word, I sent a $400,000 cashier's check overnight to Wynn Las Vegas, which they confirmed they received," Barkley said. "I was unaware of the additional 10 percent processing fee from the district attorney's office and will make restitution on that promptly."

Jennifer Dunne, a spokeswoman for Wynn Las Vegas, said it received a check Tuesday afternoon from Barkley and sent it to the district attorney. The resort filed a civil complaint May 14 in Nevada state court alleging Barkley failed to repay four $100,000 casino markers, or loans, received last Oct. 18 and 19.

"We've been paid in full," Dunne said. "The rest is the district attorney fee."
Clark County District Attorney David Roger said the case will remain open, with Barkley facing possible criminal prosecution until he pays the fee.

"We've been in contact with his representative," Roger told The Associated Press. "We expect a check for $40,000 within the next few days."

Barkley said during a pre-game show Monday that he was to blame for the outstanding gambling debt.

"I screwed up and didn't pay them in a significant amount of time," Barkley said. "Could they have handled it differently? Yes. But it was my fault."

The 45-year-old Barkley also said he would stop gambling, at least for a while.
"For right now, the next year or two, I'm not going to gamble," he said. "Just because I can afford to lose money doesn't mean I should do it."

Roger had promised to file felony theft or bad check charges if Barkley didn't pay the Wynn debt. A theft conviction could carry a penalty of one to 10 years in state prison. A felony bad check conviction could bring one to four years.

Barkley played 16 NBA seasons for the Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns and Houston Rockets, and played on the USA Olympic "Dream Team" in 1992 and 1996. He was an 11-time NBA All-Star and was league MVP in 1993.

He 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.