Basketball legend Charles Barkley has recently opened up about his unconventional childhood, revealing that his family ran an underground casino and bootlegging operation in their Alabama home. His authorized biography, written by Timothy Bella, sheds light on Barkley’s early years and the illicit activities that his family engaged in to make ends meet.
Born in 1963 in Leeds, Alabama, Barkley disclosed that his family ran card games and sold bootlegged liquor out of their house during the 1960s and early 70s. He recalled that their house turned into a weekend casino, with men coming over to drink and gamble from Friday to Sunday. Despite his mother and stepdad working, Barkley’s family struggled to pay the bills, leading them to participate in these illegal activities.
Barkley’s revelations about his family’s underground casino come as no surprise, considering his own affinity for gambling. He admitted to losing at least $20 million in casinos during his career, stating that he enjoys gambling and can afford it. In fact, Barkley even shared his goal of winning $1 million in Las Vegas, a feat he achieved multiple times but not without significant losses. Despite his gambling ventures, Barkley has never been accused of betting on his own team.
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Barkley’s story sheds light on the unconventional upbringing of a basketball icon, showcasing the resilience and resourcefulness of his family in the face of financial hardship. His candidness about his own gambling experiences adds another layer to his complex and intriguing personality, making him an even more compelling figure in the world of sports.