September 24, 2015 08:00 PM

Wesley Snipes had high standards when it came to choosing his next big project.

“It was just the best constructed thing that was presented to me in terms of plotline and character,” Snipes, 53, tells PEOPLE of his new NBC drama, The Player. “Not to mention the people who are involved. Some of the same team as The Blacklist are working on the show and are developing and creating it. I’m a fan of that show and I’m a fan of factors close to the show, so a lot of things lined up for me for this.”

Philip Winchester and Wesley Snipes in The Player
Gregory Peters/NBC

The action-packed thriller, which is based in Las Vegas, explores the depths of high-stakes gambling and the trouble that can follow.

“It’s a high-concept, conspiratorial action thriller tour de force,” the actor says of The Player, which is one of his first major projects since serving a three-year sentence for tax evasion in 2008. “The premise of the show is that there is a virtual gambling house created by the über wealthy, and they also create a system to predict crime. Based on the probable outcome from those criminal acts, they place wagers on them and they keep bets against outcome.”

Though The Player promises loads of action and drama, Snipes admits the concept itself can be mind-boggling.

“It was an interesting concept,” he says. “It’s interesting to consider that there may be secret organizations in the world that in someway manipulate the day-to-day lives of the average person and that they are using high technology to do so and even worse – gambling on the outcome. That’s an interesting thought. People will gamble on anything.”

The Player premieres Thursday at 10 p.m. ET on NBC.

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