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Walters: ‘Lost Biggest Bet of My Life’, Will Appeal Guilty Verdict

Written by:
Guest
Published on:
Apr/08/2017

  • Walters found guilty of insider trading Friday
  • Fourth time the charm as authorities had failed in three previous attempts to imprison the professional gambler
  • Walters: “I just did lose the biggest bet of my life. Frankly I'm in total shock."
  • Walters was known to have put a number of offshore sportsbooks out of business during the late 1990’s

Professional sports bettor and golf course developer Billy Walters, via his attorney, said he would appeal a guilty verdict alleging he engaged in insider trading.

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Prosecutors said Walters made over $40 million illegally from 2008 to 2015 trading on the stock of Dean Foods Co. Thomas Davis, a former Dean Foods board chairman, testified that he fed Walters tips about major developments involving the company before they became known publicly. The Dallas-based Dean Foods is one of the nation's largest processors of milk for retailers.

As the verdict was returned on 10 counts of conspiracy, securities fraud and wire fraud, Walters shook his head repeatedly.

On three previous attempts, authorities had gone after Walters with little success.

"To say that I was surprised would be the understatement of my life," Walters, 70, told reporters as he left the courtroom.

"If I would have made a bet I would have lost. I just did lose the biggest bet of my life. Frankly I'm in total shock."

His lawyer, Barry Berke, said he would appeal the verdict.

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Walters was among the most feared sports bettors in the world and was well known for putting offshore sportsbooks out of business during the late 1990’s and early 2000’s. 

He would often use middlemen to place his bets.

In the early 2000’s Walters was embroiled in a highly publicized dispute with what was then the largest offshore sportsbook catering to North American sports bettors, BetOnSports. 

In a rare interview with Gambling911.com founder Chris Costigan, Walters voiced outrage over BetOnSports decision not to pay the gambler while never admitting to having the individual work on his behalf. Walters would often use a voice muffling device via the phone when discussing his betting habits but did not do so during that interview.

“One thing that got some of the early offshore sportsbook operators in trouble with the Walters plays is that the heads of these shops would often bet on what they believed were Walters ‘real” plays,” Costigan tells us.  “But Walters was shrewd and known to give his guys the opposite side if he suspected they were supplying books with his plays.  Walters also had a keen sense of knowing which operators were betting degenerates and could detect when his plays were in use by monitoring line movements.
Costigan added: “Walters was an incredibly talented sports bettor and you will not find anyone in the (offshore betting) industry disputing this assertion.”

- Alejandro Botticelli, Gambling911.com

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