Phil Mickelson tells bettors to avoid ‘crossing line of moderation’ this NFL season

Phil Mickelson
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Six-time golf major champion Phil Mickelson has described his gambling addiction as a “hurricane” that waves over his life, and warned bettors to not “cross the line of moderation and enter into addiction” this football campaign.

The NFL season launch is undoubtedly one of the most popular periods in the US sporting – and by natural extension sports betting – calendars. Sportsbooks spend months preparing marketing campaigns, new products and bonus offers for players to ensure they grab as many new players as possible ahead of the big kick off. 

But while many players use this period for recreational and entertainment purposes, for some the NFL season kick off can be a time when temptation is at its highest and those who suffer with gambling addictions can struggle. 

Mickelson, who has won the Masters three times as well as two PGA Championships and one Open Championship, took to X – formerly known as Twitter – to open up on his gambling addiction and warn others. 

He wrote: “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. 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. “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. 

“It’s like a hurricane is going on outside and I’m 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.”

Mickelson’s gambling addiction has been in the headlines recently as it was extensively written about in Billy Walter’s recent memoirs. Walters – Mickleson’s gambling partner – claimed the LIV star bet over $1bn and lost $100m throughout his addiction. 

Meanwhile, Mickelson reportedly placed around nine bets per day in 2011 with a high of 43 in a single day. 

But this has all changed now, the golfing legend has asserted, after receiving help from both family and friends, as well as professional help. 

Concluding his remarks, he added: “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. 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. 

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