NBA Bans Raptors Forward Jontay Porter For Life Over Gambling Violations

On Wednesday, the NBA banned Toronto Raptors forward Jontay Porter for life after a shocking investigation revealed that he bet on league games, which NBA commissioner Adam Silver branded a “cardinal sin”.

According to the league, Porter, who spent part of his season in the NBA and half in the developmental G League, reportedly communicated private fitness information with a sports bookmaker and pulled himself from a game to influence wagers on his own performance.

“There is nothing more important than protecting the integrity of NBA competition for our fans, our teams and everyone associated with our sport, which is why Jontay Porter’s blatant violations of our gaming rules are being met with the most severe punishment,” Silver said in a statement released shortly after the ban was announced.

The league stated that its investigation is ongoing and that it is cooperating with federal prosecutors on the topic.

The NBA initiated an investigation against Porter, the younger brother of Denver Nuggets player Michael Porter Jr., in March after receiving accusations of strange betting patterns in games in which he participated.

The 24-year-old has not played since March 22, soon before an ESPN investigation revealed specifics about possible violations in games in which he appeared.

The league discovered that Porter gave private information regarding his personal health state “to an individual he knew to be an NBA bettor” prior to the Raptors’ game on March 20.

It went on to say: “Another individual with whom Porter associated and knew to be an NBA bettor subsequently placed a $80,000 parlay proposition bet with an online sports book, to win $1.1 million, wagering that Porter would underperform in the March 20 game.”

Porter only played three minutes in that game before leaving due to illness.

“Due to the unusual betting activity and actions of the player, the $80,000 proposition bet was frozen and was not paid out.”

Furthermore, according to the league, Porter gambled on at least 13 NBA games while traveling with the Raptors or their G League club Raptors 905 from January to March of this year.

He used an associate’s online betting account to place wagers ranging in value from $15 to $22,000 for a total of $54,094, resulting in net earnings of $21,965.

Porter did not engage in any of the bets, but three of them were multi-game parlay bets that included one Raptors game, on which he bet the Raptors to lose.

Porter played 26 games with the Raptors this season, including five starts, and averaged 4.4 points and 3.2 rebounds.


We don’t want this

Raptors president Masai Ujiri, speaking to reporters at an end-of-season press conference on Wednesday, said the investigation took him by surprise.

“You don’t want this for one for the kid, you don’t want this for our team, and we don’t want this for our league,” Ujiri said. “That’s for sure.

“You prepare for all kinds of situations in the NBA, but definitely didn’t see this coming,” he added. “But we act in accordance of what the NBA rules and regulations are of dealing with things like this and we move forward with it.”

Since the US Supreme Court overturned a federal ban on sports gambling in 2018, most states have legalized online betting. Pro sports leagues have partnered with the industry, but still prohibit players from betting on their own leagues.

Days before Porter’s story broke, Dodgers star Shohei Ohtani accused his longtime interpreter and buddy Ippei Mizuhara of taking millions from him to pay off illegal gambling debts.

Mizuhara has been charged with felony bank fraud for allegedly stealing over $16 million from Ohtani, who has not been linked to any illicit gaming.

The NFL suspended Denver Broncos defensive end Eyioma Uwazurike for a season for betting on games and issued a number of shorter penalties for minor offenses such as betting on other sports while at team facilities.

Silver has been an advocate for legalizing and regulating sports betting, but he stated in Wednesday’s announcement that the Porter case suggests that additional regulatory measures may be required.

“While legal sports betting creates transparency that helps identify suspicious or abnormal activity, this matter also raises important issues about the sufficiency of the regulatory framework currently in place, including the types of bets offered on our games and players,” Silver said.

“Working closely with all relevant stakeholders across the industry, we will continue to work diligently to safeguard our league and game.”

Leave a Reply