Info
Category:
Richest Business
Net Worth:
$200 Million
Date of Birth:
Apr 17, 1943 - Mar 5, 2013 (69 years old)
Place of Birth:
Paris
Gender:
Male
Profession:
Lawyer, Businessperson, Politician
Nationality:
United States of America
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What Is Billy Walters' Net Worth?

Billy Walters is an American sports bettor, entrepreneur, and developer who has a net worth of $200 million. Billy Walters is known as one of the most successful sports bettors in history. Billy has made hundreds of millions of dollars betting on a variety of sports then parlaying the money into more traditional investments. Walters now owns golf courses, real estate, car dealerships, and multiple homes, and he claims that he profited 37 straight years betting on football and basketball. Billy was a member of a betting system based on statistical analysis called the Computer Group, which was formed in Las Vegas in 1980 and made millions a year. He was found guilty of insider trading in April 2017 after a three-week trial in New York Federal court. Prosecution charged Billy with using insider information to make $40 million in illicit profits between 2008 and 2015. He was sentenced to five years in prison, but he was released early due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Walters' sentence was commuted by Donald Trump in January 2021.

Early Life

Billy Walters was born William T. Walters on July 15, 1946, in Munfordville, Kentucky. When Billy was 18 months old, his auto mechanic father died, and his alcoholic mother soon walked out on Walters and his two sisters. The children grew up poor and were raised by their grandmother in a home that did not have indoor plumbing. Billy's grandmother was a devout Baptist, and she worked two jobs, washing dishes and cleaning houses, while she raised seven children. When Walters was 7 years old, he bought a power lawnmower with a $40 bank loan and launched a grass-cutting business. Two years later, he got a $90 bank loan and started a paper route. He secured both bank loans with the help of his grandmother. After Billy's grandmother died, he moved to Louisville, Kentucky, to live with his mother at the age of 13. Walters spent mornings working at a bakery and evenings working at a gas station, and his mother charged him $10 per week to live in a room in her basement. Before graduating from high school, Billy got married and had a child, but the marriage didn't last long. Walters started gambling at the age of 6 when he would visit his uncle's pool hall with his grandmother. At age 10, he placed a $125 bet on the Yankees during a World Series game, and the team lost.

Career

In the mid-1960s, Walters took a job as a salesman at a Louisville used car lot called McMackin Auto Sales, and whenever he sold a car, he sent a self-promotion letter to the customer's neighbors. During his time at McMackin Auto Sales, he sold more than 30 cars per month and made $56,000 in 1966. The following year, Billy began working at Steven's Brothers Auto Sales as a sales manager, and he stayed there until 1972 when he launched the wholesaler Taylor Boulevard Auto Sales. In 1981, he decided to become a full-time bookmaker and sports bettor, but he stopped booking after pleading guilty to a 1982 misdemeanor charge of possession of gambling records. Walters and his wife, Susan, subsequently moved to Las Vegas. By the time he was 22, Billy had lost $50,000 gambling, and after moving to Las Vegas, he twice lost $1 million at the blackjack tables. In 1986, he requested a $2 million freeze-out at the Caesars Atlantic City roulette tables, and after the casino rejected his request, the Golden Nugget accepted the proposition. At one point, Walters and his gambling partner won $3.8 million at the Golden Nugget, beating Richard W. Jarecki's 1971 record of $1.28 million at Monte Carlo's San Remo Casino. Billy won the 1986 Super Bowl of Poker, taking home $175,000. After joining the Computer Group, which analyzed sports outcomes using computer analysis, in the '80s, Walters won $3.5 million when he bet on the New Orleans Saints in Super Bowl XLIV (2010). He won $2.2 million when the University of Southern California defeated the University of Michigan in January 2007.

In 1988, Billy retired from poker and non-sports gambling, and he started a company with his wife. The Walters Group started out with just the two of them and grew to 2,000 employees. The company began with investments in residential and commercial real estate and later expanded to the golf industry. In 2000, they opened the Bali Hai Golf Club in Las Vegas. Billy also opened a golf course that was "accessible and affordable to all" in a rundown area of the city. He was instrumental in establishing the Northern Nevada chapter of the non-profit organization First Tee, which "enables kids to build the strength of character that empowers them through a lifetime of new challenges…by seamlessly integrating the game of golf with a life skills curriculum."

Insider Trading

Billy was found guilty of insider trading in April 2017 after he used non-public information from Dean Foods board member Thomas C. Davis. He was fined $10 million and received a sentence of five years in prison. From 2008 to 2014, Davis had been using a prepaid cell phone to pass inside information to Billy that helped him gain more than $30 million in profits and avoid more than $10 million in losses. Walters filed a lawsuit in October 2020 that accused "five senior federal law enforcement officials–including Preet Bharara, the former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York–of covering up and lying to the federal court about illegal leaks of false information to the media." In May 2020, he was transferred from Federal Prison Camp, Pensacola, to home confinement as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In January 2021, his sentence was commuted by Donald Trump.

Personal Life

In 1997, Billy and his wife, Susan, were named the Las Vegas Philanthropists of the Year, and in 2012, they were honored for their work with the charitable organization Opportunity Village. The organization "serves people in Southern Nevada with intellectual and related disabilities, to positively impact their lives and the lives of the families who love them," and when Opportunity Village had to cancel two fundraising events in September 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Billy and Susan pledged to match up to $1 million in donations. Walters said of the decision, "Opportunity Village has been in my family's heart for some time now and it was important to Susan and I that we showed our support for a wonderful organization that has, unfortunately, been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic." Billy has three children, and his son Scott underwent surgery at the age of 7 after it was discovered that he had a brain tumor. According Walters' official website, the operation left Scott "with significant brain damage and limited ability to care for himself." Billy enjoys golfing and has said that he once made more than $400,000 on one hole. In 2014, "The San Diego Union-Tribune" reported that Walters owned "three Vegas golf courses, several car dealerships, a four-bedroom house in Henderson, Nev., a $10 million oceanfront home in Carlsbad and an $8.5 million residence in Rancho Santa Fe."

Real Estate

In early 2016, Billy and Susan put their 8,299 square foot home in Henderson, Nevada, on the market for $4.9 million. The six-bedroom, eight-bathroom home was built in 2004 and is located in in the Terracina gated community. In September 2020, the couple listed their 10,000 square foot home in Carlsbad, California, for $26.95 million. Built in 2007, the five-bedroom, nine-bathroom waterfront estate sits on 1.5 acres of land. In 2014, Billy and Susan put a nearby 21,000 square foot home in Rancho Santa Fe up for auction after it failed to sell for its $20 million asking price the previous year. The home ended up selling for $13 million in the auction.

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