NBA player Jontay Porter receives lifetime ban over betting violations

credit: Shutterstock
credit: Shutterstock

Toronto Raptors centre Jontay Porter has received a lifetime ban from the NBA after he was found to have broken betting protocols. 

The NBA noted that whilst the investigation is still open, it has handed the lifetime ban to Porter as a means to compound the league’s commitment to the integrity of the game, with Commissioner Adam Silver enforcing “the most severe punishment”. 

Silver stated: “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 game rules are being met with the most severe punishment.”

The investigation into Porter’s irregular betting patterns became known to league officials after it is believed the Raptors player knowingly gave information to a sports bettor regarding his health during a game against the Sacramento Kings on 20 March. 

This game saw Porter leave the court after just three minutes due to illness, with the NBA revealing a same-game parlay of $80,000 was placed on the ‘unders’ for Porter’s statistics. 

There were also other instances of Porter leaving the game early due to injury/illness this season. Sportsbooks in the US found irregularities of betting on the ‘under’ lines of Porter’s statistics in two Raptors games. 

ESPN reported that a sportsbook industry source noticed the surge in betting activity on Porter player props during the two Raptors games in question as bets were placed by the same betting account to place larger than normal bets, making this look suspicious. 

In total, the NBA’s investigation found that Porter placed at minimum 13 bets across NBA games on an associate’s betting account, none of which Porter played, three being parlays and one game where the Raptors lost, with a combined $54,000 being placed. 

Porter, who was signed by the Raptors in December on a two-way contract, has played 26 games for the team this season, whilst also playing for the Raptors’ G-League team, Raptors 905

The significant punishment handed to Porter represents the first major betting violation ban for a player since the repeal of PASPA in 2018, something that Commissioner Silver was a long-time advocate for. 

Silver has called on regulators to bolster regulations when it pertains to suspicious betting, commenting: “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. 

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

The NBA were assisted by partner U.S Integrity who tracked down Porter’s suspicious betting activity to the league, as well as the relevant sportsbooks and gaming regulators. 

The Raptors released a statement following Porter’s lifetime ban stating that they are “fully supportive of the league’s decision to ban Jontay Porter from the NBA and are grateful for the swift resolution to this investigation”. 

Previous articleDAZN nets LaLiga Italy and Portugal renewal and raises UK fees
Next articleThe esports report – EWCF unveils $60m prize pool for Esports World Cup