- Famous sports bettor Billy Walters will be released from prison after serving three years of his five-year prison sentence.
- Walters was convicted on ten counts of conspiracy and securities and wire fraud for insider trading in 2017.
PENSACOLA, Fla. – Billy Walters, a legendary name in the sports betting world, is set to be free from prison this week after serving more than half of his sentence.
The famous sports bettor was sentenced to five years in prison on the charges of insider trading on April 7, 2017, and has since been at the Federal Prison Camp in Pensacola, Florida. His original release date was to be February 14, 2022.
But it has been said that he will have an early release and it is unknown as to whether or not it’s due to the 73-year-old’s good behavior or the current Coronavirus pandemic as the reasoning behind it.
Billy Walters’ Life And Prison Sentence
Growing up in the lower class of Kentucky, Walters had a less than luxurious upbringing because his father was an avid poker player but not a very good one.
Despite seeing his dad lose, he always held a passion for gambling, beginning in childhood with money he earned from his newspaper route. The start of his professional gambling career was not a very good one as he lost numerous homes and a few marriages to losing streaks from the game.
However, things turned around when he started his own legal sports betting business in Las Vegas and made millions as one of the first people to use computerized statistics for sports betting strategies. He ended up having 39 years of winning under his belt and accumulating a net worth of $500 million which does not include various businesses and properties he owns.
What became the end of him was when he took to insider trading. It wasn’t the stocks that got him into legal trouble as he profited greatly from them.
He maintains that it was pro golfer Phil Mickelson that would be the end of him, leading to his prison sentence. Mickelson was a gambler that borrowed money from Walters to place his bets but ended up getting himself a million dollars in the hole to Walters.
Walters then told Mickelson to purchase stock in Dean Foods where Mickelson would make the money he owed Walters in doing so.
Thomas Davis, a former chairman on the board of the company testified that he gave Walters information about all the developments that would occur within the company allowing Walters inside knowledge of when to purchase stock.
From 2008-2015 Walters made over $40 million in buying and selling stock with the company.
Walters blames Mickelson for his incarceration because of the fact that he never owned up to his gambling issues. He instead chose to protect his image as a professional athlete rather than tell the public he did what he did to pay off his gambling debts.
Walters would later be sentenced to five years in prison and a $10 million fine.
“I just lost the biggest bet of my life,” said Walters minutes after the jury had returned its verdict. “To say I was surprised would be the biggest understatement of my life. Frankly, I’m in total shock.”
After doing three years in prison, Walters will now be released. Although he did have to do time, it was done in a white-collar crime prison.
They get things like hot dogs and chips for lunches and have a 9:30 p.m. curfew. It wasn’t hard time but it was time. And his biggest hurdle was having to turn off the gambling part of his brain while there which will surely be turned back on upon his release.
Christina has been writing for as long as she can remember and does dedicated research on the newly regulated sports betting market. She comes from a family of sports lovers that engage in friendly bets from time to time. During the winter months, you can find Christina baking cookies and beating the entire staff at Mario Kart…the N64 version of course.