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Golf Icon Phil Mickelson Allegedly Wagers Over $1 Billion Over Three Decades, Claims Billy Walters
Phil Mickelson's Gambling History According to Billy Walters
Golf superstar Phil Mickelson is alleged to have wagered in excess of $1 billion over a span of three decades, incurring losses nearing $100 million. This claim comes from Billy Walters, a former friend of Mickelson and a convicted insider trader. In his new book, "Gambler: Secrets from a Life at Risk," Walters reveals what he describes as a five-year "gambling partnership" with Mickelson.
Mickelson's Alleged Bet on the U.S. Ryder Cup Team
Walters recounts that in September 2012, Mickelson proposed a $400,000 bet on himself and the rest of the U.S. Ryder Cup team to win the competition at the Medinah Country Club. Walters, taken aback, asked Mickelson if he remembered the fate of Pete Rose, who was permanently banned from baseball for betting on his own team, the Cincinnati Reds, while managing them. Walters warned Mickelson of the potential risk to his reputation, comparing him to golf legend Arnold Palmer. Mickelson reportedly backed down from the bet, a decision Walters hoped he maintained, given the U.S. team's eventual loss to Europe in a stunning comeback known as the "Miracle at Medinah."
Details of Mickelson's Alleged Betting Habits
Walters claims that from 2010 to 2014, Mickelson made numerous large bets, often wagering $110,000 to win $100,000 or $220,000 to win $200,000. In 2011 alone, Mickelson allegedly placed an average of nearly nine bets per day, totaling 3,154 bets for the year. Walters suggests that Mickelson's gambling losses were closer to $100 million, rather than the previously reported $40 million, and that he wagered over $1 billion over the past three decades.
Mickelson's Response to Gambling Allegations
CNBC reached out to Mickelson for comment on Walters' allegations. In a 2022 interview with Sports Illustrated, Mickelson admitted to having a gambling problem in the past, describing it as reckless and embarrassing. He stated that he had been addressing the issue for several years and had undergone hundreds of hours of therapy. Mickelson assured that he and his family have been financially secure for some time.
Billy Walters' Legal Troubles and Commutation
Walters was found guilty of ten criminal counts related to insider trading with Dean Foods Co. stock by a New York federal court jury in April 2017. He was subsequently sentenced to five years in prison. However, his sentence was commuted by then-President Donald Trump on his last day in office in January 2021, a decision reportedly supported by numerous professional golfers, including Mickelson.
Hot Take: The Potential Impact on New Businesses
The revelations about Phil Mickelson's alleged gambling habits, as shared by Billy Walters, could have significant implications for new businesses, particularly those operating in the sports and gambling sectors.
Reputation Management and Risk Assessment
Firstly, the story underscores the importance of reputation management. Even the hint of scandal, such as a high-profile figure like Mickelson being associated with excessive gambling, can have far-reaching effects. New businesses must be aware of the reputational risks associated with their partners and stakeholders.
Lessons in Risk Management
Secondly, Mickelson's alleged betting habits highlight the need for effective risk management. New businesses, like seasoned gamblers, must balance the potential rewards of high-risk moves with the potential for significant losses. Mickelson's story serves as a cautionary tale about the dangers of reckless risk-taking.
Opportunities in the Gambling Sector
On a more positive note, the high volume of bets allegedly placed by Mickelson suggests a thriving market for legal sports betting. New businesses in this sector could leverage this demand, provided they promote responsible gambling practices.
In conclusion, while the allegations against Mickelson are yet to be confirmed, they offer valuable insights for new businesses about the importance of reputation and risk management, and the potential opportunities in the gambling sector.
Article First Published at: https://www.cnbc.com/2023/08/10/golf-legend-phil-mickelson-wagered-more-than-1-billion-over-decades.html
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