Porter’s lifetime ban from NBA effective immediately

Toronto Raptors forward Jontay Porter was under investigation by the NBA for some suspicious sports betting irregularities in March and the league’s findings have come out. After less than a month’s worth of digging, the NBA found that Porter not only bet on NBA games, but also influenced the outcomes of bets for an associate through his own performance.

In an official press release from the NBA, Porter was said to have placed at least 13 bets on NBA games during the 2023-24 season using somebody else’s account, ranging in size from $15 to $22,000 for a total of $54,094. Porter had net winnings of almost $22,000 on those wagers.

 

He did not bet on any games in which he played, however he did include one Raptors game in a series of parlays. He bet against his team in that parlay.

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However, the league’s statement first highlights the player prop bets involving Porter that were said to get an inordinate amount of betting action at major U.S. sportsbooks. Porter disclosed confidential information about his health to a known NBA bettor, which resulted in an $80,000 parlay bet to win $1.1 million featuring bets surrounding Porter’s performance.

Porter left that March 20 game after just three minutes claiming illness. Due to the unusual nature of the wager, the bet was frozen and not paid out.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver on Jontay Porter

The statement from the NBA included the following quote from Silver:

There is nothing more important than protecting the integrity of NBA competition for our fans, our teams and everyone else associated with our sport, which is why Jontay Porter’s blatant violations of our gaming rules are being met with the most severe punishment. 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. Working closely with all relevant stakeholders across the industry, we will continue to work diligently to safeguard our league and game.

Some states have already banned wagering on college basketball player props and others will likely look to do so at the start of the upcoming season. Silver’s statement seems to point directly towards player props in the NBA, something that can be influenced by one individual, as opposed to an entire game, which would be much more difficult to compromise.

It will be interesting to follow this situation going forward, but Porter’s lifetime ban is the harshest and strictest of punishments, which sets quite a precedent going forward for the NBA and other professional leagues.