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Raptors Player Jontay Porter Banned from League for Life for Betting on NBA Games, Giving Inside Info to Bettors In Gambling Controversy

The NBA has banned Toronto Raptors player Jontay Porter for life after an internal investigation revealed his involvement in basketball betting and sharing insider information with a bettor to improve their odds.

Jontay Porter (Photo: NBA)

According to Action Network, Porter placed millions of dollars in bets from 2021 to 2023, making over 1,000 wagers as a VIP member of FanDuel Sportsbook and was described as “firing all the time.”

How Much Porter Bet

The NBA initiated an investigation into Porter in late March following suspicions of irregular betting activity on the over/under for the reserve center’s performance in two Raptors games. Porter left both games after only a few minutes of play. The league’s investigation unveiled that Porter placed a minimum of 13 bets on NBA games through an associate’s online betting account. These bets varied in amounts from $15 to $22,000, accumulating to $54,094 in total, as confirmed by the NBA. The league reported that the cumulative payout from these bets amounted to $76,059, resulting in net winnings of $21,965.

During the investigation, the NBA found that Porter shared details about his health with a known sports bettor before a March 20 match against the Sacramento Kings. A different bettor, who had access to this information, placed an $80,000 same-game parlay bet on unders for Porter’s statistics, with a potential $1.1 million payout, as reported by the NBA. Porter played for three minutes before exiting the game due to illness. The bet, made through DraftKings, was not honored.

This incident with Porter is the latest in a series involving athletes and sports betting, reflecting the rapid growth of the gambling industry. It also follows a recent scandal involving baseball superstar Shohei Ohtani’s interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, who faces charges of taking $16 million to cover gambling debts.

Porter’s actions, which included altering his gameplay to assist with bets, highlight the ethical challenges posed by the increasing popularity of sports betting among athletes and leagues.

Since 2018, when the Supreme Court overturned a policy restricting commercial sports betting in many states, the industry has expanded significantly. In 2023, it generated a record $10.92 billion in revenue, a 45% increase from the previous year.

The case of Jontay Porter raises important questions about how sports leagues and athletes can uphold game integrity as sports betting becomes more prevalent and profitable.

The NBA Commissioner, Adam Silver, emphasized the importance of protecting the integrity of NBA competition and stated that Porter’s violations of gaming rules warrant the severest punishment.

Porter’s misconduct included betting on NBA games, sharing health status information with a bettor, and altering his actions in a game to fulfill a bet. These actions illustrate concerns about athletes influencing game outcomes and assisting bettors.

The NBA’s decision to ban Porter for life marks the first such ban for gambling-related offenses since 1954, indicating the league’s zero-tolerance stance on such activities and its commitment to collaboration with sports betting businesses.

Sports leagues like the NBA, NFL, and NHL actively partner with licensed betting platforms to promote sports betting, integrating live betting into their apps and stadiums. This collaboration raises concerns about maintaining integrity while profiting from the industry.

As the sports betting market continues to grow, reaching an estimated $45 billion, concerns about addiction, exploitation, and ethical challenges for athletes are likely to increase, posing a delicate balance for sports leagues seeking to capitalize on sports betting revenue while ensuring fair play and player well-being.

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