Phil Mickelson won't be betting on NFL this year: 'Crossed a line' into addiction

05:01 19.09.2023

Professional golfer Phil Mickelson has opened up about his gambling addiction in a lengthy post on social media. Mickelson, who is currently competing in the LIV Golf tournament, urged football fans to enjoy the season responsibly and cautioned against crossing the line into addiction. He shared how his own addiction had affected his personal life, causing him to be distracted and unable to be present with his loved ones. Mickelson emphasized the importance of having a strong and supportive partner, praising his wife Amy for helping him through his darkest moments. He also encouraged fans to prioritize being present with their loved ones over the thrill of winning bets.

Between 2 million and 4 million Americans struggle with gambling addiction each year, and Mickelson acknowledged that while his addiction did not have a significant financial impact on his family due to his professional golf career, others may not be as fortunate. Recent accusations by former associate Billy Walters claim that Mickelson bet over $1 billion on various sports games over the past 30 years, including a $400,000 wager on the U.S. team in the 2012 Ryder Cup. Mickelson denied these claims and emphasized that he would never undermine the integrity of the game.

Mickelson's gambling addiction has been in the public eye for nearly a decade. In 2015, court documents revealed that nearly $3 million was transferred from Mickelson to a third party as part of an alleged illegal gambling operation. Additionally, he was linked to an alleged mob bookie in 2007. However, he was never charged in any of these cases. In 2014, Mickelson was also involved in an insider-trading scandal alongside Billy Walters, although he was not charged criminally and settled a civil case with the SEC.

Mickelson's admission of his gambling addiction comes ahead of the Ryder Cup, which he will be missing for the first time since 1993. Mickelson's absence is notable, especially given the recent allegations made by Walters regarding his involvement in betting on the Ryder Cup. Mickelson's return to competition in the LIV Golf tournament marks a new chapter in his career as he continues to prioritize his recovery and personal growth.

For those struggling with gambling addiction, Mickelson shared the National Problem Gambling Helpline Network number, urging individuals to seek help if needed. Mickelson's honesty and vulnerability in addressing his addiction serve as a reminder of the importance of responsible gambling and prioritizing personal well-being over the thrill of winning.

/ Tuesday, September 19, 2023, 5:01 AM /

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