NBA Gives Jontay Porter Lifetime Ban for Sports Betting and Game-Fixing Violations

The NBA on Wednesday announced its first-ever lifetime ban against a player since legal sports gambling in the United States became widespread.

Jontay Porter has received a lifetime ban from the NBA after a league investigation found he shared confidential information with sports bettors and attempted to fix wagering outcomes. Porter was a prolific sports gambler before turning pro, he conceded. (Image: AP)

The NBA revealed today that Jontay Porter, 24, most recently part of the Toronto Raptors organization, has been banned from the professional basketball league for life after he shared confidential information with sports bettors and tried to fix at least two games for the benefit of gamblers he associated with.

There is nothing more important that 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,” said NBA commissioner Adam Silver.

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

Game-Fixing

Billed as a “two-way player” because this season he switched back-and-forth between the NBA Raptors and the franchise’s G League development affiliate, Raptors 905, Porter played a total of just 37 NBA games during his short-lived two-year professional career.

Between January through March 2024, an NBA investigation determined that Porter made at least 13 bets on NBA games using a friend’s online sportsbook account. His bets ranged from $15 to $22,000, and he won $21,965 on the action.

The probe found that Porter bet on the Raptors losing at least once. NBA players are prohibited from betting on NBA games regardless of whether they’re playing in the game.

A more serious infraction arose after a March 20 game against the Sacramento Kings in which Porter disclosed confidential information about his health to an individual he knew to be an NBA bettor. That bettor subsequently risked $80,000 on Porter underperforming.

The bet won $1.1 million after Porter exited the game after only a few minutes. He reportedly told his coach he felt ill and could not continue playing.

However, because the large wager seemed suspicious, DraftKings refused to pay out the win and instead notified the relevant authorities about possible game-fixing.

The tip came after a similar incident experienced on Jan. 26 in which bets surged on Porter underperforming during a game against the Los Angeles Clippers. During that game, Porter told his coach he needed to be benched because of an eye injury. He finished with no points, three rebounds, and one assist, all of which were below a sportsbook’s over/under pre-game player prop line on Porter’s performance.

Player prop bets on the collegiate level are sternly opposed by the NCAA, as such wagers have been determined to increase the harassment of student-athletes. The NBA might soon take a similar stance after seeing how a player like Porter can singlehandedly jeopardize the integrity of the sport.

Porter is the younger brother of Michael Porter Jr. who plays for the NBA Denver Nuggets. The older Porter brother won the 2023 NBA Finals.

Federal Investigation

The NBA said the investigation into Jontay Porter’s alleged criminal activity is ongoing and the league is sharing its findings with federal authorities, including the Department of Justice and FBI.

The NBA has shared and will continue to share information with federal prosecutors about this matter,” the league statement said.

If it’s determined that Porter was paid off by the rogue sports bettors, he could face an array of federal charges including wire fraud.

Before his NBA career, Porter said he bet “millions” on sports via a VIP account with FanDuel. Porter joins just 19 others on the NBA’s lifetime ban list.

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