NBA player cops lifetime ban over gambling on his own team

Jontay Porter first came under suspicion of gambling activity following a game against the Sacramento Kings last month.
nba player lifetime ban gambling

Jontay Porter has been handed a lifetime ban from the NBA, the professional basketball league in the U.S. for men, after an investigation found he shared insider information with sports bettors, and gambled on games himself.

Porter is a 24-year-old who last played for the Toronto Raptors. He has played in the NBA and its second-tier league since 2021.

The NBA investigation found that Porter had violated several league gaming rules. He’s the first active player or coach to be given a lifetime NBA ban for gambling since 1954.

Gambling activity

Porter first came under suspicion of gambling activity following a game against the Sacramento Kings last month.

Porter only played three minutes in this game, claiming he was ill.

The investigation found that Porter disclosed information about his health to someone he knew was a sports gambler before the game, which informed a $US80,000 ($AU124,000) bet with a $US1.1 million ($AU1.7m) return.

Porter was found to have limited his own minutes in that game to influence the bet.

Sports betting operators and organisers raised their suspicion with the NBA, and the bet wasn’t paid out.

He hasn’t played since coming under investigation.

Porter’s bets

Porter was also found to have placed at least 13 bets on NBA games through someone else’s online betting account from January to March 2024.

He won about $US22,000 ($AU34,000). None of these bets involved a game that he played in.

However, Porter included one Raptors game in an unsuccessful multi-legged bet. In this bet, he predicted the Raptors – who only won about 30% of their games this year – would lose.

NBA response

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said the league’s investigation is still open, and that findings would be shared with federal prosecutors.

He called Porter’s actions “blatant”, and deserving of the “most severe punishment”.

“While legal sports betting creates transparency… 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.”

Adam Silver, NBA Commissioner

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