Posted on: December 13, 2020, 11:24h.
Last updated on: December 13, 2020, 11:38h.
Craig Carton, whose issues with betting led to a conviction on wire and securities fraud charges in federal court, will start a new weekly radio show beginning next month devoted to problem gaming.
The New York sports radio host who returned to the WFAN airwaves in New York last month, announced last week while on the air that he will partner with 1-800-GAMBLER, a toll-free resource to help individuals with problem gaming.
They’re going to bring their expertise into it,” Carton told his broadcast partner Evan Roberts Thursday. “I’ll tell the stories of gambling and the way my addiction manifested itself in the bad decisions I made, which became criminal.”
The name of the show will be Hello, My Name is Craig, a nod to how people introduce themselves at Gamblers Anonymous meeting and other similar fellowship programs.
Federal authorities arrested Carton in 2017 on charges he lured investors into a ticket-buying business but misspent at least $5.6 million of the funds. In the courtroom, a loan shark testified that he gave him six high-interest loans at up to $500,000 each that he used for gambling.
From Prisoner to Advocate
Carton received a 42-month prison sentence in April of last year, but he served just more than a year of that before his release. He must, however, remain under home incarceration for the time being.
Carton not only resumed his broadcast career since that release, but he’s also become an advocate for problem gaming as well.
In October, HBO aired a documentary entitled Wild Card: The Downfall of a Radio Loudmouth, that delved into Carton’s gambling background.
Among the stories discussed was a time when he took $10,000 from former FAN co-host Boomer Esiason’s money and won $80,000 playing blackjack. That one incident led to others offering hundreds of thousands of dollars. He estimated that he got at least $30 million in loans to help fuel his gambling habit.
Carton Shares Story With Listeners
As part of his sentence, Carton must perform 150 hours of community service toward helping those with addictions and problems with gaming.
“Gambling addiction is real,” Carton said. “I can speak to it, first-person. I am one, I’m an addict when it comes to gambling.”
One story he shared Thursday was a 90-minute drive to a casino in the Poconos to play blackjack. He got there at 2:55 am. He lasted just seven minutes at the table.
“I was betting $30,000 every turn, two hands $15,000 a hand,” he said. “That’s not normal. That’s not right. It’s sick.”
Even though blackjack served as the gateway to his gambling problem, Carton added that his addiction means he can’t even play a scratch-off lottery ticket or make a social $10 bet with a friend. He said he knows he’ll receive ridicule about what happened. However, the brash sports talk host said he’s fine with that because of his thick skin.
Other gambling rehabilitation centers will be involved in the new show as well, and Carton said it wouldn’t surprise him if the show ventured off into other addictions.