Phil Mickelson The Legend

Phil Mickelson Opens Up About Gambling Addiction

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Phil Mickelson has been in the news for propensity to bet on sports throughout his storied career.  With football season underway, he spoke candidly about his gambling addiction.  I read this story on FoxNews, but it was picked up by many media outlets and I’m here today to give you my take on Phil Mickelson’s gambling addiction.

Phil Mickelson and Gambling

Wagering on football is something that is very common for many people across the world.  Whether it’s as simple as playing fantasy football amongst friends, or wagering in sportsbooks, it happens.  In a recent post on Twitter, (now X) golf legend Phil Mickelson opened up about his own time betting on football and offered some caution to people who may have trouble controlling their addiction.

As a recovering gambling addict, he urged people to use their head when wagering on football.

“Most of you will enjoy this football season with moderation while having lots of fun and entertainment,” Mickelson began. “The fantasy leagues will provide banter amongst friends and money won or lost betting won’t affect you. I [won’t] be betting this year because I crossed the line of moderation and into addiction which isn’t any fun at all. The money wasn’t ever the issue since our financial security has never been threatened, but I was so distracted I wasn’t able to be present with the ones I love and caused a lot of harm.

“This lack of presence has been so hurtful. ‘You’re here but you’re not with us,’ is something I’ve been told often throughout my addiction,” he continued. “It affected those I care about in ways I wasn’t aware or could fully understand. It’s like a hurricane is going on outside and I’m isolated in a shelter oblivious to what was happening. When I came out there was so much damage to clean up that I just wanted to go back inside and not deal with it.”

It’s stated that somewhere between 2 and 4 million every year go through a sort of addiction to gambling.  No matter what the consequences are, they continue to wager on sports.

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While Mickelson has career earnings that ensure he can’t get too hurt no matter what his losses amount to, he alluded to other people not having that luxury.  Losing money can destroy families and cause a lot of damage to people who depend on their financial well-being.

His former associate, Billy Walters, has accused him of wagering more than $1 billion on sports over the last 30 years.  He even detailed how Mickelson asked someone to make a wager of $400,000 on the U.S. Ryder Cup team to win in 2012 because he had a hunch they would not lose.

Phil has come out and denied this claim.

Over the last decade, Mickelson’s propensity to gamble has come to light throughout many media outlets.  In 2015, court documents told the story of how $3 million was sent by Mickelson to someone who was part of an “illegal gambling operation,” ESPN reported.  He was also linked to a mob bookie in the year 2007.  Mickelson has never been charged with any crimes.

In other news, Mickelson was linked to an insider-trading scandal back in 2014.  Walters was also part of this scheme and was convicted on securities fraud and conspiracy in 2017.  Mickelson was not charged in this matter, but he did settle a civil case and gave up any profits he made to the SEC, according to Golf Digest.

If you or anyone you know has a problem with gambling, please contact the National Problem Gambling Helpline Network at 1-800-Gambler.

A big tip of the cap to Phil, who came clean and is urging people to be careful.  Your #1 fan salutes you!

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Christopher Diaz

Christopher is an avid golfer who calls Miami home. As a Phil Mickelson fan, he set up this website as an informational portal for all other fans of "Lefty." He also occasionally reviews equipment and golf training programs, but admits he'd rather be on the course than anywhere.