There is nothing, and I mean NOTHING that can drain a celebrity's net worth faster than a gambling problem. It is so bad that in terms of vices, you are better off with a drug/alcohol problem. David Gahan, the lead singer of Depeche Mode encapsulated this issue better than anyone I've ever heard.
During the mid 90's when he moved to California and became a Goth freak with the tattoos, long hair and needle marks from heroin abuse, he stated his biggest problem was not the drug addiction itself, terrible as it was with the overdoses and the flat lining in the ambulance.
The people he was partying with had a floor they hit once they ran out of money to feed their addiction. So after a while they had no choice but to seek treatment. Gahan's problem was he had access to an unlimited amount of money so he could afford to stay high as long as he wanted.
This certainly is NOT the case for athletes gambling. With gambling, how easy is it, if you are a high roller, to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars IN ONE NIGHT? This was Antoine Walker's dilemma. He would walk into a casino and be handed a line of credit that would be extended if he fell too far down on his bets. Next thing you know his debts are in the millions of dollars, and for what?
Apparently Allen Iverson has been chased by the same demons. A reporter was quoted as saying that during Allen's time in Denver he was at the casino gambling EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. Now that his career is pretty much over and that fat contract has been paid out, what is he going to gamble with now that his wife has filed for divorce and is reportedly demanding alimony and child support for their five children?
Allen Iverson, on his ass in more ways than one-
Collectively Iverson and Walker have earned in contracts and endorsements over 300 million dollars during their careers. Walker is in serious debt and Iverson supposedly has his own money problems. Like I stated in a previous post, I will not hammer these guys for this. There are plenty of enablers, leeches and hoochies who play their roles behind the scenes. They are hardly ever exposed for what they are, especially in light of the fact that they are the first to run away from these guys when the gravy train gets derailed.
With such a high percentage of pro athletes mismanaging their money and ending up completely broke shortly after they retire, I believe it's high time something is done to stem this pathetic tide. Sure, these athletes are grown men and should know better, but their lifestyle does not speak to good business sense and fiscal responsibility. It is sad how some of these guys end up on Skid Row after giving their fans so many moments of sheer joy. Something should definitely be done about this, but exactly what I do not know.