In his official biography written by Timothy Bella, famed athlete Charles Barkley claims that his family ran an underground casino and engaged in bootlegging. Born in February 1963 in Leeds, Alabama, Barkley reveals that his family was forced to engage in illegal activities in order to support themselves.
How the Barkley family set up an illegal casino in their home
While Barkley was still a child, his family faced financial difficulties and struggled to make ends meet. Charles mentions that in the 1960s and early 1970s, his parents organized card games right in their home. This allowed them to earn extra money and hope for some stability. However, in order to meet all the family’s needs and pay off the bills, they had to resort to even riskier activities.
Charles relates that his mother, Charcy Barkley, and stepfather, Clee Glenn, worked in the factory, and he himself helped his mother with her janitorial work. However, such earnings were not enough to provide the family with the necessities. Eventually, the family turned to a part-time job, which consisted of turning their home into an illegal place to gamble and sell contraband liquor.
This decision was not only risky but also illegal. However, according to Barkley, the family was left with no other choice. The underground casinos became their saving straw, allowing them to increase their income and provide for their family. At the time, American society was susceptible to the lure of gambling, and many were willing to take risks in illegal establishments for a quick buck.
Now, however, the situation is very similar. Many Americans play in illegal casinos, which you can read about right here, as these sites give players free spins and other bonuses.
While still a child, Charles Barkley witnessed his family’s illegal activities. He helped them set up tables and entertain visitors and also participated in the sale of contraband liquor. In his biography, he notes that this lifestyle pushed him to strive for a better life and success.
Charles Barkley and gambling
Charles Barkley, like many other athletes, was into gambling during his career. In an interview with ESPN in 2007, he admitted that he had lost at least $20 million in casinos. He also noted that his goal when he visited Las Vegas was always to win $1 million dollars.
Barkley admitted that he often failed to moderate his approach to gambling. However, that didn’t stop him from attracting the attention of FanDuel, one of the largest bookmakers in the United States. In 2020, he signed a multi-year contract with this company to help promote their sports betting platform.
As a result of his partnership with FanDuel, Barkley appears in various promotional materials for the company. FanDuel, along with DraftKings, is the market leader in sports betting in the United States. Cooperation with such a large betting company confirms the interest and popularity of gambling among athletes and society in general.
Today, Charles Barkley has become one of the most recognized and influential basketball players in history. His story demonstrates that, even in the most difficult situations in life, a man can find a way to succeed and provide for himself and his family. His perseverance and drive fueled his athletic career.