My gambling crossed the line into ‘addiction’, says Phil Mickelson

9 months ago 89

NEW YORK – 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 National Football League (NFL) games this season after he struggled with a betting addiction.

The book, written by famous Las Vegas gambler Billy Walters, came out on Aug 23 and revealed that the American six-time Major winner lost nearly US$100 million (S$136.4 million) 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 the latter has denied those claims, telling Golf Digest that he “would never undermine the integrity of the game”.

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,” he said.

“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.”

Mickelson also 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,” the 53-year-old said.

“Hopefully you won’t have to deal with these difficult moments publicly so others can profit off you like I have. Hopefully you will have a strong and supportive partner who is willing to help you through being your worst self.”

Mickelson thanked his wife, Amy Mickelson, for supporting him through his struggles.

He also mentioned that he has been receiving professional help for years, has not been gambling and is in recovery from his addiction. He ...

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