Pro golfer Phil Mickelson shared details of his gambling addiction in a social media post on Monday, warning that gambling took him away from being with his loved ones.
Billy Walters, a well-known sports gambler who said that he knows about Mickelson’s bets over the years, estimated that Mickelson has placed more than $1 billion in bets over a 30-year period and that he lost approximately $100 million.
Mickelson posted on X, the site formerly known as Twitter, that while many people will enjoy fantasy football with their friends and family this year, he will not 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,” Mickelson wrote. “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. It affected those I care about in ways I wasn’t aware or could fully understand.”
Mickelson likened the situation to having a hurricane going on outside and not being aware of it and then going outside and realizing the scale of damage and then wanting to go back inside and not deal with it.
“If you ever cross the line of moderation and enter into addiction, hopefully you won’t confuse your enablers as friends like I did,” he 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, and through your worst moments like I have in Amy.”
Mickelson said that his wife has loved and supported him through his “darkest and most difficult times” and that he could not have gotten through it without her.
“I’m so grateful for her strength in helping us get through the many challenges I’ve created for us,” he said. “Because of her love,support,and commitment, I’m back on track to being the person I want to be.”
“After many years of receiving professional help, not gambling, and being in recovery from my addictions, I’m now able to sit still, be present in the moment and live each day with an inner calm and peace,” he continued. “I still have a lot of cleaning up to do with those I love the most but I’m doing it slowly and as best I can.”
He encouraged everyone to enjoy this football season with moderation and to remember that moments with family “will be far more remembered than any bet you win or fantasy league triumph.”