Phil Mickelson, golf legend and winner of six major tournaments, has once again spoken openly about his addiction to gambling and betting. "The gambling in my life got to a point where it was reckless and embarrassing. I had to address it.
And I have been addressing it for several years. And through hundreds of hours of therapy. I feel good where I am. My family and I are and we've been financially secure for some time now... Gambling has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.
But that was about 20 years ago when I would say it was reckless. It's a shame," Phil Mickelson told Bob Harig on 'Sports Illustrated' in 2022. The 53-year-old American golfer has shared on X (Twitter) his struggle to kick his gambling addiction and some of the lowest points he has suffered in that process.
Phil Mickelson, according to the famous gambler Billy Walters in his book, has bet $1 billion on games of chance over the last three decades and even wanted to bet on the 2012 Ryder Cup in which he was competing. 'Lefty' has issued a warning to sports bettors, especially now that he has begun the NFL season, acknowledging his own inability to draw the line.
Phil Mickelson, statements
"Most of you will enjoy this football season in moderation while having a lot of fun and entertainment. Fantasy Leagues will provide banter between friends and money won or lost on bets will not affect you.
I won't be betting this year (in NFL fantasy leagues) because I crossed the line of moderation and fell into addiction, which is not fun at all. Money was never the issue as our financial security was never threatened, but I was so distracted that I couldn't be present with my loved ones and caused a lot of damage.
This lack of presence has been very painful. “You are here but you are not with us,” is something I have been told often during my addiction. It affected my loved ones in ways I wasn't aware of or couldn't fully understand.
It's as if there was a hurricane outside and I was isolated in a shelter oblivious to what was happening. When I came out there was so much damage to clean up that I just wanted to go back inside and not deal with it. If you ever cross the line of moderation and fall into addiction, hopefully you won't mistake your betting partners for friends like I did.
Hopefully, you won't have to deal with these difficult times publicly so others can take advantage of you like I did. But hopefully you will have a strong, understanding partner who is willing to help you when you are your worst self and during your worst moments, like I have done with Amy.
She has loved and supported me in my darkest and most difficult times. I couldn't have gotten through this without her. I am so grateful for her strength in helping us overcome the many challenges I have created for us. Thanks to her love, support and commitment, I am back on track to being the person I want to be".