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Raptors forward Jontay Porter receives lifetime ban from NBA for violating gambling rules

NBA. National Basketball Association logo on dark background. 3D render
NBA. National Basketball Association logo on dark background. 3D render

The NBA released a statement Wednesday announcing that Toronto Raptors forward Jontay Porter has been given a lifetime ban for “by disclosing confidential information to sports bettors, limiting his own participation in one or more games for betting purposes, and betting on NBA games.” The NBA said the suspicious bets were brought to its attention by “by licensed sports betting operators and an organization that monitors legal betting markets.” The investigation remains open, and the league said it will share information with federal prosecutors. (per USA Today)

The league’s news release read: “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.”

Porter, 24, hadn’t played in the league since the NBA began investigating him for betting irregularities on March 25, after which the Raptors removed him from the lineup prior to that night’s game against the Brooklyn Nets. Per Yahoo Sports, the NBA’s investigation found that Porter purposely limited his participation in the Raptors’ March 20 game against the Sacramento Kings specifically to influence the outcome of one or more bets on his performance. Against the Nets, Porter claimed he felt ill after playing just three minutes. The NBA also found that prior to the game, Porter disclosed confidential information about his health status to “an individual he knew to be an NBA bettor.” A different individual associated with Porter also bet that Porter would underperform March 20 as part of an $80,000 parlay the bettor placed with an online sports book.

NBA players are not allowed to wager on NBA games. According to the collective bargaining agreement between the NBA and National Basketball Players Association, if a player is found culpable, punishment is at the discretion of the NBA commissioner and “may include a fine, suspension, expulsion, and/or perpetual disqualification from further association with the Association or any of its Members.”

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in a statement: “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.”  

Editorial credit: CryptoFX / Shutterstock.com

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