Who Is Billy Walters? Why Is He a Controversial Figure?

Billy Walters goes down in infamy as one of the best, or according to some, notorious sports betting legends of all time. With more than fifty years of sports betting under his belt, Billy Walters has amassed a quite fortune and is a hero, mentor, and icon in the multi-billion dollar sports betting enterprise. From his incredible rise to his incredible fall from grace and imprisonment for insider trading, get to know the man behind the controversy, Billy Walters.

Who is Billy Walters?

William T. Walters is a living icon and a celebrated figure in Las Vegas and among sports enthusiasts globally. Boasting an unparalleled record of thirty-six consecutive years of successful sports betting, Walters consistently generates millions annually in gross wagers, exemplified by a staggering $3.5 million bet on a single Super Bowl. After many years of averting the spotlight and being fiercely defensive, Walters, seventy-six, has reached the age at which he desires to bypass his understanding of destiny generations of sports activities bettors.

Casual betting on prominent professional sports leagues and college athletics has exploded. In the first 11 months of 2022, people wagered $83 eighty billion on sports—a boom of 65 percent from 2021. Walters, the unquestioned legend of sports betting, reigns supreme in this vast industry. ESPN has labeled Walters as “the greatest and most controversial sports gambler of all time.”

Billy Walters – The Backstory

Growing up in rural Kentucky amidst severe poverty under his grandmother’s care, Walters honed his skills as a proficient pool hustler by the age of nine. In his daytime pursuits, Walters excelled as a used-car salesman, engaged in golf hustling, and explored the realm of bookmaking. Walters moved to Las Vegas. And it didn’t take him long to transform sports betting. having a bet as a member of the famed laptop organization, the first syndicate to use sophisticated algorithms and records analysis for sports gambling.

Walters became distinctly wealthy through conquering personal struggles and outsmarting individuals involved in organized crime. notorious by Martin Scorsese’s film Casino. Walters puts his mastery of odds and data structures to build a multi-million empire. This commercial enterprise empire covered seven golf publications, twenty-two automobile dealerships, and various investments.

Billy Walters Infamous Rise to the Top

In his youth, Walters obtained a loan from his grandmother to start a paper route. When Walters was 13, his grandmother died, causing him to relocate to Louisville, Kentucky, to be together with his mother. He worked two jobs there, one in the morning at a bakery and one in the evenings at a gas station. He rented a basement room from his mother for $10 a week. Before completing high college, he married and had a child.

At nine, Walters made his first sports bet on the Yankees to win the 1955 World Series against the Brooklyn Dodgers. The Dodgers ultimately won, and Walters lost his bet, but this did not prevent him from his gambling destiny.

By 1982, Walters had become a full-time sports gambler; by age 22, he had lost $50,000. Walters was so hooked that he lost his residence, with Walters still making the mortgage payments. However, Billy Walters’s sports betting stride took off in the mid-1980s. In June 1986, Walters won a cool $2 million playing roulette at Caesars in Atlantic City. It is also rumored that Walters lost a cool million bucks playing blackjack at Caesars in Las Vegas.

Billy Walters Gambling Becomes Organized

Billy Walters joined the Computer Group in the early eighties, which hired him to examine sports results. Walters has only one down year in 39 years of sports wagers, which includes a 12-month winning streak. Walters frequently bet on basketball, soccer, and baseball. Billy made $3.5 million betting on the New Orleans Saints against Peyton Manning’s Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV. Due to his reputation, Walters made bets via “runners” now and then so that bookmakers wouldn’t know that it was Billy making a bet.

Walters also racked up a cool $2.2 million on successfully betting on USC to beat Michigan in January 2007. 2011 would mark the peak of Billy’s powers by winning $50 and $60 million through sports wagers.

Billy Walters Downfall

Through underground tips, Billy Walters was once convicted of insider trading in New York State’s Southern District in 2017. Federal prosecutors said he conspired with a member of the board of Dean Foods to obtain information about the organization that would have allowed him to make over $32 million in legitimate income from sports betting. At 70 years, Billy was sentenced to five years.

Billy served thirty-one (31) months in federal jail. Even though golfing legend Phil Mickelson was implicated in the probe, he wasn’t charged. Instead, he agreed to pay over $1 million for his involvement in exchange for not testifying against Billy Walters. In his book Gambler, Walters reveals the personal narrative of his legal troubles and discloses intriguing details about his extensive six-year gambling partnership with Mickelson.

Billy Walters the Author

Walters went to jail during the peak of legal sports betting at legal real-money casinos. Billy ultimately agreed to home confinement amid the COVID pandemic in 2020. Former President Donald Trump commuted his sentence the following year.

By the time Billy was released, a new legion of sports betting fans began to idolize him. Sports betting no longer works behind the shadows. Today, mainstream news heavily promotes, especially sports talk shows.

The meteoric rise of sports betting and his imprisonment inspired Billy Walters to write Gambler. Publishing giant Simon & Schuster took up Billy’s invitation to market and publish his semi-autobiography. Gambler has 28 chapters that many consider a masterclass on the art of the sports wager.

Billy Walters Post Sports Betting

Today, Billy Walters is happy doing philanthropy in Las Vegas. Billy is also a big supporter of Opportunity Village, a nonprofit organization for the mentally disabled. Walters plans to donate all his internet proceeds from Gambler to a few charities, Opportunity Village and Cedar Lake Foundation, to help those with disabilities. In 2023, Billy Walters was inducted into the Sports Betting Hall of Fame.


  • Billy Walters is a sports betting legend
  • He made his first sports bet at age nine
  • Billy went to jail for insider trading
  • Donald Trump commuted his sentence in 2020
  • Billy is in the Sports Betting Hall of Fame and a best-selling author


From taking out his first loan from his grandmother at nine to placing his first sports bet at nine, Billy’s life has been about beating the odds. Learning to game the system in Las Vegas and Atlantic City, Billy took his mastery of numbers and made tens of millions of dollars. Not even his imprisonment in 2017 could stop his legend – it only increased it. Today, a successful author and philanthropist, Billy Walters, enjoys his life with his wife and children.


Q: Who is Billy Walters?

A: Billy Walters is one of the most successful sports betting legends of all time.

Q: What was Billy Walters Crime?

A: Insider Trading and imprisonment in 2017.

Q: Is Billy Walters Pardoned?

A: Yes. In 2020, former President Donald Trump commuted his sentence.

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