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NBA Bans Toronto Raptors’ Jontay Porter for Life Over Betting Scandal

The NBA delivered a severe blow to Toronto Raptors forward Jontay Porter’s career by imposing a lifetime ban after uncovering his involvement in illicit betting activities related to league matches.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver condemned Porter’s actions, labeling them a “cardinal sin” against the integrity of the sport.
Porter, who split his season between the NBA and the G League, faced allegations of sharing confidential fitness information with a sports bettor and deliberately withdrawing from a game to manipulate wager outcomes.
Silver emphasized the league’s commitment to upholding fair competition and protecting the integrity of NBA matches.
“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 announcing the ban.
The investigation, initiated in March following suspicious betting patterns, revealed damning evidence against Porter.
The 24-year-old disclosed private health details to a known NBA bettor ahead of a crucial game, leading to a subsequent $80,000 proposition bet wagering on his underperformance.
The league continued: “Another individual with whom Porter associated and knew to be an NBA bettor subsequently placed an $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.”
In that same game, Porter played just three minutes before saying that he felt ill.
“Due to the unusual betting activity and actions of the player, the $80,000 proposition bet was frozen and was not paid out.”
In addition, the league said, Porter placed at least 13 bets on NBA games from January through March of this year while traveling with either the Raptors or their G League affiliate Raptors 905.
He used an associate’s online betting account to make wagers ranging in size from $15 to $22,000 for a total of $54,094 and resulted in net winnings of $21,965.
None of the bets involved any game in which Porter played, but three of the bets were multi-game parlay bets that included one Raptors game and he bet on the Raptors to lose.
Porter appeared in 26 games, including five starts, for the Raptors this season, averaging 4.4 points and 3.2 rebounds.
Raptors President Masai Ujiri expressed disappointment and surprise at the unfolding scandal, emphasizing the league’s adherence to rules and regulations in handling such matters.
“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 struck down a federal ban on sports gambling in 2018 a majority of US states have legalized online sports betting and pro sports leagues have enthusiastically partnered with the industry will continuing to bar their players from betting on their own leagues and otherwise restrict how they can wager.
Days before Porter’s scandal surfaced, Major League Baseball was rocked when Dodgers superstar Shohei Ohtani accused his longtime interpreter and friend Ippei Mizuhara of stealing millions from him to pay off illegal gambling debts.
Mizuhara has been charged with felony bank fraud after allegedly stealing more than $16 million from Ohtani, who has not been implicated in any illegal gambling.
The NFL banned Denver Broncos defensive end Eyioma Uwazurike for a season for betting on games and meted out a handful of shorter suspensions for lesser infractions such as placing bets on other sports while at team facilities.
In the wake of Porter’s ban, NBA officials are reassessing existing regulatory frameworks surrounding sports betting.
Commissioner Silver, a proponent of legalized sports wagering, acknowledged the need for more stringent measures to safeguard the league’s integrity and protect players from the influence of gambling.
“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.”
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