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Charles Oakley Arrested In Vegas Casino Says He Cheated

7/12/2018 12:50 AM PDT

Charles Oakley Arrested In Las Vegas, Casino Says He Cheated

EXCLUSIVE

Charles Oakley is learning the hard way ... if you try to cheat a Vegas casino, you'll end up behind bars. 

TMZ Sports has learned ... the ex-NBA star was arrested at the Cosmopolitan on July 8 after allegedly trying to pull a fast one during a gambling session -- and it was all caught on video. 

Officials from the Nevada Gaming Board tell us Oakley "was suspected of adding to or reducing his wager on a gambling game after the outcome was known."

Unclear what game he was playing at the time -- but one source with knowledge of the incident says Oak tried to pull back a $100 chip after he realized he was going to lose.

FYI, Oakley reportedly made more than $46 mil during his NBA career. 

Oak was confronted about the incident -- and it was kicked over to a security team which reviewed the casino video footage ... confirming the alleged cheating. 

The 54-year-old was taken into custody at 5:30 PM and booked into Clark County Detention Center. 

Oak's gambling charge is serious business -- "to commit or attempt to commit a fraudulent act in a gaming establishment." He faces between 1 to 6 years in prison if convicted. 

A source close to Oakley tells us, "This is an insignificant matter that will be quickly resolved."

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