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Phil Mickelson talks about the ills of laying bets online and warns of the dangers after losing close to $100 million. Image Credit: AP file

Las Vegas: 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 football games this season after he struggled with a betting addiction.

The book, written by famous Las Vegas gambler Billy Walters, came out on August 23 and revealed that Mickelson lost nearly $100 million due to betting. It also made note of a five-year gambling partnership between Walters and Mickelson.

Words of caution

Walters accused Mickelson of trying to bet on the 2012 Ryder Cup, but Mickelson denied those claims, telling Golf Digest that he “would never undermine the integrity of the game.” But 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. The fantasy leagues will provide banter amongst friends and money won or lost betting won’t affect you,” Mickelson said on Twitter, now known as X. “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.”

Not to follow in his footsteps

The six-time major winner 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,” Mickelson 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.”

Recovery mode

Mickelson mentioned that he has been receiving professional help for years, hasn’t been gambling and is in recovery from his addiction. He added that he is slowly mending the relationships that were affected by his betting habits.

“This football season and beyond, enjoy yourself with moderation so it doesn’t detract from your ability to be present,” Mickelson said. “In my experience, the moments with the ones you love will be far more remembered than any bet you win or fantasy league triumph.”