Craig Carton Documentary Puts Spotlight on Sports Radio Host’s Gaming Addiction


Craig Carton, the one-time New York sports radio host who was convicted on federal fraud charges, returned to broadcasting this week when a documentary about his story, including his issues with problem gaming, premiered on HBO. And that may not be the last we see or hear from him.

Former New York sports talk host Craig Carton is the subject of a documentary that discusses how his gambling addiction led to him going to federal prison. (Image: HBO/Warner Media)
The New York Post reported last week WFAN radio has talked with him about coming back to his old station.
Carton former NFL quarterback Boomer Esiason anchored the FAN’s popular morning-drive show for years. Three years ago, the station removed Carton from the show after federal agents arrested him for wire and securities fraud.
In 2018, a jury convicted him of taking $5.6 million from investors for a ticket reselling business and spending the money in other ways. That included fueling a gambling habit, which included numerous trips to casinos in Atlantic City and elsewhere.
A judge sentenced Carton to 42 months in prison last year. However, he served only about a year of that sentence before authorities released him in June. He’s currently serving home incarceration.
Blackjack Busts Carton
The documentary, Wild Card: The Downfall of a Radio Loudmouth, goes into detail about gambling’s prevalence in Carton’s life.
It includes a boast he made to Esiason during the show where Carton said he could take $10,000 of his partner’s money gambling and turn it into $25,000.
He ended up being wrong. He turned it into $80,000.
The real problem with the Boomer bet is that I won,” Carton says in the documentary. “As a result of that win, I’m now ‘The Blackjack Whisperer.’”
Carton said he started fielding inquiries from others offering six-figure sums or more. In all, Carton said he borrowed more than $30 million to fuel his habit that went on as he maintained his presence as a top radio and sports personality in America’s top media market.
Besides Carton, the documentary includes interviews with others who worked with, knew, or covered him. That includes his former broadcast partner Esiason and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
“Craig gave us unprecedented access to his world as it was crumbling around him,” said Marie McGovern, who produced Wild Card with Martin Dunn. “We see Craig in real-time as he weathers public scrutiny and endures private pain. The emotion is real and raw.”
Still in Court
While Carton is out of prison, he’s not out of the court system just yet.
Besides the prison time, US District Judge Colleen McMahon also ordered Carton to pay more than $4.8 million in restitution to his victims.
In August, Carton filed for Chapter 7 protection in US Bankruptcy Court in New Jersey.

In his filing, Carton claimed assets valued at more than $981,000 while having liabilities totaling more $9.4 million. The restitution he must pay to his victims from the fraud case makes up more than half of that total.

In addition, his bankruptcy claim also lists the SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia, now known as Rivers Casino Philadelphia, as an unsecured creditor that is owed $385,000.
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