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Billy Walters: Amazing Life Story of the Famous American Gambler

Author: Ivanna Shostak
27 January 2020, 12:31
Votes: 1

For near four decades, William Billy Walters has made more money at sports betting than anyone else in the history of bookmaking – hundreds of millions of dollars. A great number of players and the bookmakers themselves tried to imitate him but nobody succeeded. Walters managed to win everywhere – in the stock market, in the real estate market and his true calling – in betting. The Login Casino team prepared the article about the man who managed to work his way from living in poverty in rural Kentucky to the incredible success.

Billy Walters: Amazing Life Story of the Famous American Gambler

Who is Billy Walters? Detailed biography of the well-known gambler

Billy was born in 1946 in a small town Munfordville (Kentucky). It should be noted that in the family in which he was born gambling was a way of life – both his father and uncle were avid poker players. His father died when Billy was 1.5 years old, and after that, his mother ran away from home. The boy was raised by his grandmother and uncle. Billy’s uncle had his own billiard room, and already at 4, Billy learned to play billiards. At the age of 9, he made his first bet, wagering all his money – $75 – on the victory of his beloved New York Yankees team in the match against Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1955 World Series. Billy enjoyed the process of betting although he lost. 

By his 25th birthday, he lost all his savings from selling used cars. Moreover, he was forced to sell his own house. In total, at this point, Billy lost about $50 thousand. In order to somehow fix his financial situation, Walters opened a bookmaker, of course illegal. After some time, law enforcement agencies found out this and made Billy pay a fine of one thousand dollars

Until the early 80s, the life of Billy Walters was unsuccessful. Constant losses affected family life and led to two divorces. In addition, Billy drank alcohol almost every night.

Read more: Job in a Betting Shop – the Pros and Cons

Everything changed in 1983. Walters found the strength to pull him together, gave up drinking alcohol, decided once again to try his luck and went to the gambling capital of the whole world. In Las Vegas, he managed to win big at the casino several times, which attracted the attention of Ivan Mindlin. Mindlin was one of the founders of Computer Group, a betting syndicate that earned hundreds of thousands of dollars a day through the use of computer algorithms in betting, and he hired Walters.

Who is Billy Walters? Detailed biography of the well-known gambler

Billy was responsible for finding errors in the betting lines and for this work, he received a certain percentage of the winnings. Due to his thoroughness and ability to notice the non-obvious errors in a few years, he became a millionaire. He invested the money he earned in golf courses and industrial parks, which eventually yielded results. For instance, in 2011, Walters owned:

- 9 golf clubs;

- 8 car dealerships;

- shares in various types of commercial real estate.

At the same time, Walters owned a private plane worth $20 million, as well as several mansions in different parts of the globe.

The attention from the mafia and the cops

The rapid rise of the once unsuccessful player’s career could not remain without attention. In 1985, Billy and other members of Computer Group were charged with illegal bookmaking. The investigation lasted several years, but the FBI agents were not able to gather enough evidence to convince the judge of the hearing, and all charges were dropped. However, the investigative actions brought discord in the relations of the participants of the betting syndicate, and it broke up.

In 1986, Billy Walters, professional gambler, again had to resort to the help of lawyers. He was charged with money laundering. After 6 years of litigation and bribe to police in the amount of half a million dollars, Walters ceased to be a suspect.

In addition to the increased attention of FBI agents, members of criminal gangs also observed the success of betting bosses. In one of his interviews, Billy said that in 1985, people who worked for Anthony Spilotro approached him. Spilotro was one of the leaders of the Chicago mafia, which controlled the affairs of a criminal organization in Nevada. Walters was not particularly eager to meet such people and the next morning, he left Las Vegas. He decided to return to the gambling capital of the world only after the murder of Anthony Spilotro in the summer of 1986.

What bets did Walters make?

What bets did Walters make?

In this part of the article, you will find more information on Billy Walters’ sports betting picks.

Most often, Billy placed bets on team sports, primarily on basketball and American football. He paid special attention to student leagues, which were not so well studied by the analytical departments of bookmakers as the NBA and NFL. According to John Mastronardo, who worked with Walters, the latter could easily predict the victory of an outsider in the NCAA with a difference of (-7.5) points. However, one of the best skills of Walters was the ability to bet large amounts and not to shift the line from good odds.

Read more: The Popularity of Sports Betting is Growing

One of the biggest winnings – $3.5 million – was received by Billy after he had predicted the championship of the New Orleans Saints team in 2010. According to various sources, in that year, the total income of Billy Walters from the bets was not less than $15 million. And this was only for one year. Considering that out of approximately forty years of active betting, Walters only once turned out to be at a disadvantage at the end of the year, it is very easy to guess why Las Vegas bookmakers did not like him.

What is Billy Walters’ net worth?

According to different sources, Walter’s net worth is approximately three hundred million dollars. Do not be surprised at this figure – it is quite logical since Billy is considered one of the most successful gamblers in the history.

What legal issues did the well-known gambler face?

The attention of the federal authorities was drawn to Walters since the first fine issued for illegal bookmaking in the late 70s.

In 2017, one of the world's best betting players was sent to jail. Between 2008 and 2014, Billy Walters worked closely with Thomas S. Davis, Director of Dean Foods. Davis repeatedly reported to Walters about the current affairs of the company and upcoming events. Thanks to this, Billy Walters sold the company's shares on time, avoiding losses of $11 million, and was also able to make illegal profits of $32 million.

What legal issues did the well-known gambler face?

During the trial, Walters was convicted of insider trading and fraud. As a punishment, one of the best players in the world had to spend five years in a prison and also pay a $10 million fine. After the Billy Walters sentencing, the gambler said that despite the fact that the case had nothing to do with betting, he lost the highest bet in his life.

Read more: Loyalty Programs in Betting Companies

This is one of the most impressive success stories in the gambling history. A poor Kentucky boy managed to become a wealthy man with an estimated capital of more than $300 million. His assets include a number of golf courses and car dealerships, as well as a four-bedroom Billy Walters’ house in Henderson, Nevada. At the same time, Walters did not forget about other people. He became a philanthropist and founder of a charitable organization in Las Vegas that helped people with disabilities. And all this he achieved thanks to sports betting and hard work.

As mentioned earlier, the UK Government has made the English Football Association review betting rights deals.

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