Who is Billy Walters?

Billy Walters began his legendary gambling career during the 1970s, ultimately going full-time in 1981 after a successful career in automobile sales. From then on, he would carve out a path as one of the most successful bettors who ever lived.

For many, sports betting starts out as a dream. It is very similar to playing online slots or blackjack, we all hope to start with a paltry bankroll and build it into a life-changing windfall. While it rarely turns out to be like that, Billy Walters is an exception to that rule. He was a master of casino games.

Starting with a lawnmower business at age seven, Walters developed an entrepreneurial spirit that would help propel him to the top of the gambling world. He has since become a legend with few peers.

Entrepreneurial Beginnings

It wasn’t always about taking in huge wins for Billy Walters. He began by making money mowing lawns as a kid and eventually became an automobile salesman in Louisville, Kentucky. Aggressive about advertising and cold calling, he would go on to make nearly $56,000 a year, which is roughly $400,000 today.

While working 80-hour weeks, Walter was also betting and bookmaking on the side. In 1981, he made the full-time switch. Legal trouble resulting in a misdemeanor charge of possession of gambling records put him on an important path. He would move his wife to Las Vegas, the land of legal sports betting, to embark on a full-time betting career.

The Start of a Dynasty

Like gamblers of today who begin through online blackjack or poker, Walters had his rough beginnings. Though Walters estimated that he had lost as much as $50,000 by the time he was 22 – even losing his house during a game of pitching pennies – it was a learning experience. He soon began going to Las Vegas casinos, winning $3.8 million in one 38-hour stretch in 1986.

Showing his prowess in all forms of gambling, he won the 1986 Super Bowl of Poker, netting $175,000. He and his syndicate would win well into the six-figures at several Vegas casinos. But the big move came in the 1980s when he joined the Computer Group, which analyzed sports outcomes.

Unmatched Winnings

In 39 years, Walters has had just one losing year. He continued to score big wins, netting $3.5 million when the New Orleans Saints won Super Bowl XLIV. Because of his reputation, he would have to use runners to make his bets.

Walters would have several wins of more than $1 million throughout his career. He has since released a book called “Gambler: Secrets from a Life at Risk.” It talks about his life, strategies, and secrets when it comes to sports betting. Few have had the kind of run that Walters has had in the gambling world and his reputation as a legend in the betting arena is matched by no one.


Walters has a long and unmatched history as a sports bettor. He once claimed that he could make between $50 and $60 million in his best years. His induction into the Sports Betting Hall of Fame in Las Vegas only further cements his status as one of the greatest to ever do it.

Noah has worked in the iGaming space for more than five years, first as a freelancer and now as part of Duluth Media. He’s experienced in all facets of the industry and has covered plenty of sports.

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