Monday morning, the Supreme Court struck down legislation that banned sports gambling from most states. Now, lawmakers all across the country have the opportunity to legalize wagering on sporting events—much to the joy of former New Jersey governor Chris Christie, who had long fought for this legislation to be removed.
Everyone in the sports world is weighing in on the big news. Former NBA great and current Inside the NBA commentator Charles Barkley, a noted gambling lover, thinks it’s a great move, per his appearance on the Dan Patrick Show.
“The notion that people don’t gamble on sports is ridiculous and silly,” Barkley said. “I mean, I love to gamble. The notion that you have to go to Vegas to bet on sports is silly.”
Barkley shared a hilarious story from his past in equating the landmark change to the legalization of marijuana.
“It should have been legal a long time ago, but I feel the same way I feel about gambling as I do about pot,” Barkley explained. “I don’t smoke pot. I smoked pot probably five times in my life, and all it did was make me want to eat potato chips. So now they got legal pot everywhere, it’s not going to make me start smoking it.”
Chuck, as usual, provided great material as an interviewee. Check out more of his comments in the video below.
Charles was somewhat cynical about the financial motives of the decision, though. He said the legalization “just means a bunch of rich guys and the government are gonna make a lot of money.”
He emphasized that he doesn’t think the gambling floodgates are going to open, with non-gamblers starting to wager, just because it’s now legal. Barkley added that he has bet on basketball in the past—not at all surprising—but he didn’t feel inspired to bet on this year’s playoffs because it seemed obvious the Warriors, who lead the Western Conference Finals 1-0 over the Rockets, would win it all—and they were heavy favorites.
“You have to bet like five dollars to win a dollar, that’s stupid,” Barkley said, adding that he sees the East as a “pick ’em series” and he hasn’t given up hope in the Cavs.
“From a basketball standpoint, it’d probably be better for the Warriors to play the Celtics… most people think that,” Barkley shared. “They know the Cavs are not going to beat the Warriors. I think the Celtics would be a much better matchup from purely a basketball standpoint.”