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NBA bans Jontay Porter for violating gambling rules

| By Jill R. Dorson
On Wednesday (17 April) the NBA announced that it is banning former two-way Toronto Raptors player Jontay Porter. According to a league announcement, Porter "violated league rules by disclosing confidential information to sports bettors, limiting his own participation in one or more games for betting purposes and betting on NBA games".
nba jontay porter

This is the first time the NBA has suspended a player for violating gambling rules since the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was overturned in May 2018. Porter becomes the 12th player to be sanctioned by one of the major North American sports leagues since 2018. Last summer the NFL suspended 10 players and the NHL in 2023 suspended one.

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

The NBA’s gambling policy prohibits players from betting on the NBA or any of its properties, or wagering in a jurisdiction where that is illegal.

Porter shared info, bet on NBA games

Through its investigation, the NBA found that, before a 20 March game, Porter shared “confidential information” about his own health status to a known NBA bettor. Another Porter associate placed an $80,000 parlay with a $1.1m payout. Porter, according to the league, then “limited his own game participation” in order to affect the outcome of the bet. The parlay was flagged at the time and was not paid out.

The NBA also shared the fact that, over the span of the three months between January and March 2024, while traveling with either the Raptors or Raptors G-League team, Porter placed 13 bets on NBA games. Porter placed the bets using another person’s account.

Porter bet a total of $54,094 and won $21,965. The bets were as small as $15 and as big as $22,000. None were placed on games in which Porter played. Three of the bets were parlays – all of which lost – and one included the Raptors.

System working by flagging suspicious bets

The NBA did not reveal with which operator bets were placed, but DraftKings reported suspicious activity on at least two bets in January and March. It’s also been previously reported that Porter was a FanDuel VIP, but that account was closed when Porter signed with the Raptors. According to the league release, “sports betting operators” and an integrity monitoring service alerted the NBA to the suspicious activity around the 20 March game.

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

The league did not indicate where the bets were placed. Porter played in Ontario, where single-event wagering went live on 4 April 2022 and spent time in Colorado, where his brother, Michael Porter Jr, plays for the Denver Nuggets. Wagering went live in Colorado in May 2020 and, last week, Colorado regulators mandated operators to share information about any bets placed by Jontay Porter.

Last week, Silver promised harsh consequences if it was discovered that Porter had bet on basketball or was found to otherwise be violating gambling rules.

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