Ex-NBA star Oakley arrested for allegedly cheating at Las Vegas casino

Updated July 12, 2018 - 10:51 pm

Former NBA player Charles Oakley faces a felony charge of gambling fraud, accused of changing his bet in a game of blackjack Sunday at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, according to the state Gaming Control Board.

Oakley, who played for six NBA teams, including a 10-year stretch with the New York Knicks, was caught on resort surveillance cameras changing his $100 bet on a table game after it was clear he would lose his bet, according to the state agency.

As first reported by TMZ Sports, Oakley was reportedly shown pulling a chip back off its mark at an unspecified game.

After hotel security reviewed casino video, Oakley was arrested on a charge of “committing or attempting to commit a fraudulent act in a gaming establishment,” according to a report Thursday by Michael Lawton, the board’s senior research analyst. “Mr. Oakley was suspected of adding to or reducing his wager on a gambling game after the outcome was known.”

Oakley was booked Sunday into Clark County Detention Center and later released, according to The Associated Press. He is due to appear in court on Aug. 7.

The felony count carries a prison sentence of between one and six years and a $10,000 fine.

Oakley’s attorney, David Chesnoff, said that he is “presently investigating the facts.”

“The truth always comes out, right?” Oakley, 54, told Newsday, the Long Island newspaper. “The truth always comes out, and that’s all I’ve really got to say.”

A Cosmopolitan spokeswoman said Thursday the company respects the privacy and anonymity of its guests. “In the event that this is compromised, we take the appropriate action. Given the news reports of Charles Oakley, we have no details with regards to any alleged activity and will not comment on our guests’ experience.”

Oakley is coach of the Killer 3s of the Big3 professional basketball league, co-founded by rap star Ice Cube. His visit to Las Vegas coincides with the NBA Summer League at Thomas & Mack Center and Cox Pavilion, but Oakley has no formal NBA affiliation.

He played 19 NBA seasons, averaging 9.7 points and 9.5 rebounds.

Oakley’s arrest comes five months after a Manhattan judge dismissed five misdemeanor charges that the former player faced in relation to his scuffle with Madison Square Garden security guards during a Knicks game in February 2017. In a court agreement reached in August 2017, Oakley agreed to a one-year ban from the Knicks’ arena.

Oakley has since filed a federal defamation lawsuit against Madison Square Garden and MSG executive chairman and chief executive officer James Dolan in response to the incident. Attorneys for the Garden and Dolan recently asked the judge to throw out the case; the judge has yet to rule.

A spokesperson for the Knicks said the organization had no comment. Knicks coach David Fizdale said he did not know of the matter while Mark Jackson, Oakley’s former teammate with the Knicks, had no comment.

Staff reporter Mark Anderson and The Associated Press contributed to this report. Contact John Katsilometes at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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