LAS VEGAS (AP) - Retired NBA star Charles Barkley will face criminal charges if he doesn't repay a $400,000 gambling debt to a Las Vegas casino, a prosecutor said Thursday.
"We're in the process of sending Mr. Barkley notice that we're considering filing a criminal complaint," Clark County District Attorney David Roger said. "He'll have an opportunity like anybody else to make restitution to the hotel."
The posh Wynn Las Vegas casino alleges in a civil complaint filed Wednesday in Nevada state court that Barkley failed to repay four $100,000 casino markers, or loans, he received last Oct. 18 and 19.
"To date, and despite repeated demands, Barkley has refused to repay the $400,000," the complaint said.
Barkley is a basketball analyst for Turner Network Television who has made no secret of his gambling over the years.
His agent in New York did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment, and a TNT spokeswoman in Atlanta declined comment.
Wynn Las Vegas spokeswoman Dorothy Land also declined comment,
citing ongoing litigation.
Barkley, 45, played 16 seasons for the Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns and Houston Rockets. He was named MVP in 1993 and was an 11-time NBA All-Star. Barkley also played on the USA Olympic "Dream Team" in 1992 and 1996.
Barkley estimated during a May 2006 interview with television sports network ESPN that he'd gambled away about $10 million over the years.
"Do I have a gambling problem? Yeah, I do have a gambling problem," Barkley said. "But I don't consider it a problem because I can afford to gamble."
He said he never bet on basketball, and only bet in casinos. He called it a bad habit that he intended to continue.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)