Six-time major golf champion Phil Mickelson described his gambling as a “hurricane”, which he said swept over his life. He warned bettors not to “cross the line between moderation and addiction” during this football season.
The NFL launch is one of the most anticipated events in US sports – and therefore, sports betting. Sportsbooks prepare marketing campaigns, new product and bonus offers to attract as many players as possible before the big kickoff.
While many NFL players use this time for entertainment and recreation, it can also be a period when the temptation is highest. Gambling addiction sufferers may struggle during the NFL season start.
Mickelson has won three Masters, two PGA Championships, and one Open Championship. He took to X – formerly Twitter – to talk about his gambling addiction, and to warn others.
“Most of us will have a great time and enjoy the football season in moderation.” Fantasy leagues are a great way to banter with friends, and the money you win or lose won’t matter. This year I will not be betting because I have crossed the line between moderation and addiction, which is not fun.
“Our financial security was never threatened. I was just so distracted that I couldn’t be with those I loved and I caused harm.” This absence of presence was so painful. “You’re with us but you’re not here,” is a phrase I heard often during my addiction. It affected people I cared about in ways that I didn’t fully understand or was not aware of.
It’s as if a hurricane was going on outside, and I was in a shelter oblivious of what was happening. There was so much to clean when I went outside that I wanted to just go back in and avoid it.
Billy Walter‘s memoirs, which were published recently, extensively described Mickelson gambling addiction. Walters, Mickleson’s gambling partner, claimed that the LIV star lost $100m and bet more than $1bn during his addiction.
Mickelson, meanwhile, reportedly bet around nine times per day during 2011, with a maximum of 43 on a single occasion.
The golfing legend claims that this situation has changed after receiving professional and family help.
He concluded his remarks by saying: “After receiving professional help for many years, not gambling and being in recovery, I am now able sit still, to be present in the present and live every day with inner calmness and peace. It’s still a big job to clean up with the people I love, but I do it as slowly and efficiently as I can.
Enjoy yourself in moderation this football season and beyond so that it doesn’t interfere with your ability to be there. I’ve found that the memories you make with those you love are more important than winning a bet or winning a fantasy league.