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HOME > > Gambling legend Billy Walters to release his autobiography

Gambling legend Billy Walters to release his autobiography

10 February 2023

(PRESS RELEASE) Billy Walters, the gambling legend who has been described as "the Michael Jordan of sports betting," will publish his book Gambler: Secrets from a Life at Risk on 15 August 2023, it was announced earlier this week by Avid Reader Press, an imprint of Simon & Schuster.

Written in collaboration with award-winning journalist Armen Keteyian, Gambler is more than a traditional autobiography. In addition to an against-all-odds American dream story, it reveals in granular detail the secrets of Walters's proprietary sports betting system, which will serve as a master class for tens of millions of recreational gamblers in America and around the world. Walters also breaks his silence about his long and complicated relationship with Hall of Fame professional golfer Phil Mickelson.

William T. Walters is a living legend in Las Vegas and among sports bettors worldwide. With an unmatched winning streak of 36 consecutive years betting on sports, Walters has placed hundreds of millions a year in gross wagers, including a $3.5-million bet on one Super Bowl alone. After decades of avoiding the spotlight and fiercely protecting the keys to his success, Walters, 76, has reached the age where he wants to pass along his wisdom to future generations of sports bettors.

Casual betting on professional and college athletics has exploded. In the first 11 months of 2022, Americans wagered $83 billion legally on sports—an increase of 65 percent from 2021, according to the American Gaming Association. Wagering is now legal in sportsbooks and on betting apps in 36 states. Sitting atop this massive industry is Walters, the undisputed GOAT of sports wagering. ESPN described Walters as "the greatest and most controversial sports gambler ever." The Vegas Stats & Information Network (VSiN) called Walters "the Michael Jordan of sports betting." Jack Binion, longtime owner of Binion's Horseshoe Casino, says, "If there's a Mount Rushmore of sports gambling, there's only one face on the mountain and that's Billy Walters. No one else is close."

Walters's personal story is nothing less than a modern-day Horatio Alger tale come true. Raised by his grandmother amid extreme poverty in rural Kentucky, Walters became an accomplished pool hustler by the age of nine. As an adult, he set records as a used-car salesman, hustled golf, and dabbled in bookmaking. Walters eventually moved to Las Vegas, where he revolutionized sports betting as a member of the famed Computer Group, the first syndicate to apply sophisticated algorithms and data analysis to sports gambling. He became extraordinarily wealthy while overcoming addictions and outmaneuvering organized crime figures made infamous by Martin Scorsese's film Casino. Walters later applied his data expertise to stock trading and built a business empire that included seven golf courses, 22 automobile dealerships, and a string of other investments.

Walters was convicted of insider trading in the Southern District of New York in 2017 and served 31 months in federal prison. Although Mickelson was also implicated in the probe, he was never charged—despite agreeing to pay back more than $1 million in trading profits and interest—and he refused to testify at Walters's trial. In Gambler, Walters shares the inside story of his own prosecution and reveals explosive details about his six-year gambling relationship with Mickelson.

Armen Keteyian, a longtime CBS News correspondent and contributing correspondent for 60 Minutes and 60 Minutes Sports, is the recipient of 11 Emmy Awards. He is also the New York Times bestselling author or coauthor of eleven books, most recently the #1 bestseller Tiger Woods.

Walters is one of the top philanthropists in Las Vegas and a major supporter of Opportunity Village, the most successful home for intellectually challenged people in the state of Nevada. Walters plans to donate all of his net proceeds from Gambler to three charities: Opportunity Village; Cedar Lake Foundation to benefit people with intellectual and development disabilities in the Greater Louisville area; and the Hope for Prisoners Billy Walters Center for Second Chances, which provides long-term support and services to formerly incarcerated prisoners.

Jofie Ferrari-Adler, vice president and publisher of Avid Reader Press, a division of Simon & Schuster, acquired world rights to Gambler from literary agent David Vigliano of Vigliano Associates. The book will be simultaneously published in hardcover, ebook, and audio editions.


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