A few weeks ago I posted my displeasure for the trends that we've been seeing and my loss of pride in our team. I mentioned my distaste for Pacman Jones and everything he represents. However, I'd like to lend some personal experience to refute just how bad this gambling debt issue is.
Some background...I work at a casino and, while I'm no expert, I see some things related to oustanding markers (let's leave it at that). Given that information, let me give my take on the situation.
First, $20,000 in oustanding markers is NOTHING to a place like Caesar's Palace. When they have meetings to discuss outstanding markers, I doubt they even discuss anything less than $50,000. I'll bet there are 100 athletes and celebrities with larger debts in Vegas (well, 99 after Barkely pays his balance). I'll even bet there are 10-15 NFL players with larger outstanding markers.
Second, this balance was from September 2007. Unless Pacman's lawyer/agent was a complete jerk to the collections guys at Caesars, they wouldn't take legal action on a marker that's been oustanding for less than a year. Everyone around can see that Pacman's going to be reinstated to the league sometime this summer and will begin collecting checks during the season. That's when Caesars would be putting the full-court-press on Pacman for the money knowing he could be suspended again at any time. If he hadn't paid it up after a month or two of regular checks, then I can see legal action, but not before.
My guess? The DA sees he's not going to be able to put Pacman in jail for the club shooting. He's pissed (and rightly so). So, he's using Barkley's situation as an excuse to stick it to Pacman. This whole thing is nothing more than a bad P.R. situation.
If Roger Goodell was looking for an excuse not to reinstate Pacman, this could be it. Most people will see this as being a big issue and he won't take any heat for it.. But really, if this was anyone other than Pacman Jones, it would never have come up.
Ok, that's my take. Now, Deke, Terry and Zak...play nice.