Jontay Porter receives lifetime ban from NBA for violating gambling rules


Toronto Raptors center Jontay Porter (right) pulls in a rebound as Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic defends in an NBA game on March 11 in Denver. On Wednesday, the NBA banned Porter after a league probe found he disclosed confidential information to sports bettors and bet on games.

David Zalubowski/AP

Jontay Porter, a member of the Toronto Raptors, has received a lifetime ban from the NBA due to violating the league's gambling policy. The NBA disclosed this decision in a statement released on Wednesday, detailing Porter's infractions. 

The investigation found Porter guilty of disclosing confidential information to sports bettors, deliberately limiting his own involvement in games for betting purposes, and placing bets on NBA games. 

Specifically, Porter's actions included intentionally reducing his participation in the Raptors' March 20 game against the Sacramento Kings to influence the outcome of bets on his performance. 

Additionally, Porter shared confidential health information with an individual known to be an NBA bettor before the game. Furthermore, from January to March 2024, while traveling with both the Raptors and the Raptors' G League team, Porter placed multiple bets on NBA games using another person's betting account. 

These bets ranged from $15 to $22,000, totaling $54,094, with winnings amounting to $21,965. Although none of these bets involved games in which Porter played, he did bet on the Raptors to lose as part of three different parlay bets, all of which were unsuccessful. 

Porter, aged 24 and brother to Denver Nuggets' star Michael Porter Jr., has not played since the NBA initiated its investigation on March 25. The Raptors removed him from the lineup prior to the game against the Brooklyn Nets on that night, and he has not returned to play since. 

Porter, in his first season with the Raptors under a two-way deal, averaged 4.4 points and 3.2 rebounds in 26 games this season.

On April 10, one week before the NBA announced Porter's ban, commissioner Adam Silver said that banning Porter was on the table.

"I have an enormous range of discipline available to me," Silver said at a midtown Manhattan hotel, after the league's annual board of governors meetings. "But it's a cardinal sin, what he's accused of in the NBA, and the ultimate, extreme option I have is to ban him from the game. "That's the level of authority I have here. Because there's nothing more serious, I think, around this league when it comes to gambling: betting on our games. And that is a direct player involvement. And so, the investigation is ongoing, but the consequences could be very severe."

The surge in legal sports gambling in the U.S. has led to a rise in incidents involving professional athletes betting on sports, with the NFL recently suspending several players over the past two years for such actions. While these cases are becoming more frequent, outright bans, like the one imposed on Jontay Porter, remain uncommon. 

Porter's lifetime ban places him in a rare category alongside former MLB player Pete Rose, who was banned for gambling on baseball, cementing their names in sports history for similar infractions.

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