Most Feared Sports Bettor in World Billy Walters Reflects on Life While Behind Bars

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In an intimate look at how sports betting pro extraordinaire Billy Walters is faring behind bars, ESPN.com's Mike Fish reveals that the legendary Billy Walters is up at dawn and goes about his day in a Christmas green, prison-issued uniform.

THE MINIMUM-SECURITY camp Walters lives in is deemed one of the easiest places to serve a federal sentence. Most inmates are white-collar criminals in for less than 10 years. It is confinement, though: visitors only on weekends; lights out by 9:30 p.m.; lunch as simple as two hot dogs, coleslaw and a bag of chips.

Over the years, the feds had tried and failed to lock the Las Vegas golf course magnate up for his sports betting activities.  Ultimately, it was an insider trading scheme that did him in.

He awaits on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit in Manhattan to hear an appeal this spring of his conviction.

"My whole passion, my whole life is about nothing but gambling," Walters said in an October interview at his Las Vegas golf club, just ahead of his reporting to prison. "That is what I wanted to do. ... I probably came in as a gambler, and I am going to go out as a gambler."

Throughout the existence of the Gambling911.com website and even prior to its birth in the year 2000 there has been one constant within the framework of offshore bookmaker: A dreaded fear - and utmost respect - for Billy Walters. 

"When Billy Walters or someone believed to be betting on his behalf wagered on a game, the lines moved, no question about it," reveals Gambling911.com Senior Editor Payton O'Brien.

Walters is supremely confident, and he rarely operates without a plan. He had one going into prison.

"I know exactly how I exist in that environment," he said in a final pre-prison interview. "I am going to stay busy. Sports betting, that is over. That is another part of my life. Running these businesses, it is over. It is history. I am in there, and I have to have a different purpose, whether it is improving somebody else's life or I do a lot of reading. ...

"The biggest challenge I will have in there -- I have a very active mind. Sometimes I wish I could turn it off. I can't. The challenge I'll have in there is me making sure I am involved in something that is going to keep me mentally active and something I am going to be interested in."

You can read more at ESPN.com here

- Don Shapiro, Gambling911.com

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