Phil Mickelson may have a serious gambling problem. It was revealed in federal court on Tuesday that the 48-year-old once paid off gambling debts of close to $2 million to Billy Walters. Walters is an infamous professional gambler who is currently on trial for insider trading.
Walters is charged with illegally trading stocks based on tips he got from a friend at Dean Foods. He has pleaded not guilty. The feds claim Walters passed tips on to Mickelson as well, and documents show the golfer earned close to $1 million on the trades. Mickelson later gave Walters $1.95 million, which prosecutors claim is almost identical to the debt the golfer owed him.
In a deal with financial regulators, Mickelson returned $1.1 million and admitted no wrongdoing. He also says he will not testify at Walters’ trial.
Walters is rumored to have made hundreds of millions of dollars as a gambler over the years, mostly related to sports. Mickelson is a well-known gambler on and off the golf course, but owing nearly $2 million to one guy is crazy. Phil might need to get some help for his habit.