Phil Mickelson: My gambling crossed the line ‘into addiction’
US golfer says he is working on restoring the ties with loved ones that were affected by his betting habits
Less than a month after the release of a book that detailed his gambling ventures, Phil Mickelson announced on Monday that he will refrain from wagering on football games this season after he struggled with a betting addiction.
The book, written by famous Las Vegas gambler Billy Walters, came out on August 23 and revealed Mickelson lost nearly $100m due to betting. It also made note of a five-year gambling partnership between Walters and Mickelson.
Walters accused Mickelson of trying to bet on the 2012 Ryder Cup, but Mickelson denied those claims, telling Golf Digest that he “would never undermine the integrity of the game”.
But Monday’s statement had nothing to do with golf, as Mickelson offered some words of caution for those who plan to turn to a sportsbook this football season.
“Most of you will enjoy this football season with moderation while having lots of fun and entertainment. The fantasy leagues will provide banter amongst friends and money won or lost betting won’t affect you,” Mickelson said on X, previously known as Twitter. “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.”
The six-time Major winner encouraged others not to follow in his footsteps.
“If you ever cross the line of moderation and enter into addiction, hopefully you won’t confuse your enablers as friends like I did,” Mickelson said. “Hopefully you won’t have to deal with these difficult moments publicly so others can profit off you like I have.
“But hopefully you will have a strong and supportive partner who is willing to help you through being your worst self.”
Mickelson mentioned that he has been receiving professional help for years, has not been gambling and is in recovery from his addiction. He added that he is slowly mending the relationships that were affected by his betting habits.
“This football season and beyond, enjoy yourself with moderation so it doesn’t detract from your ability to be present,” Mickelson said. “In my experience, the moments with the ones you love will be far more remembered than any bet you win or fantasy league triumph.”
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