Raptors’ Porter gets lifetime ban from NBA

TORONTO – Jontay Porter has been banned from the NBA for life.
The former Toronto Raptors backup centre’s punishment was announced on Wednesday after the NBA completed its investigation into gambling allegations against Porter.The league found that Porter violated its rules by disclosing confidential information to sports bettors, limiting his own participation in one or more games for betting purposes, and betting on NBA games.All three are prohibited under the NBA’s collective bargaining agreement.The Raptors said in a statement they supported the league’s decision and will co-operate with any ongoing inquiries.“We did all due diligence and I think from all the reports and everything we had, I think this was nothing we could know about,” Raptors team president Masai Ujiri said an hour before Porter’s ban was announced. “I think all of that is under the NBA’s investigation. Story continues below advertisement

“We go out there and try to do the best due diligence we can with everybody individually and we did that with Jontay too.”Porter averaged 4.4 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.3 assists, in 13.8 minutes over 26 games with Toronto this season. He also played for the G-League’s Raptors 905, but was playing more minutes with Toronto in March after starting centre Jakob Poeltl sustained a season-ending hand injury.The NBA’s investigation found that Porter disclosed confidential information about his own health to an individual he knew to be a bettor before the Raptors’ game against the Sacramento Kings on March 20.

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Another person that Porter associated with and knew to be an NBA bettor then placed an US$80,000 parlay proposition bet with an online sports book, to win $1.1 million, wagering that Porter would underperform in the 123-89 loss to Sacramento. Story continues below advertisement

A prop bet, short for proposition bet, is a wager not tied to the final score or outcome of a game that is often tied to an aspect of a player’s performance.

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For the Kings game, the line on Porter’s performance was set at 7.5 points and 5.5 rebounds. Porter finished with no points and two rebounds in less than three minutes of play against Sacramento after he pulled himself out of the game, claiming that he felt ill.Due to the unusual betting activity and actions of the player, the $80,000 proposition bet was frozen and was not paid out.

In addition, from January through March, while travelling with the Raptors or Raptors 905 Porter placed at least 13 bets on NBA games using an associate’s online betting account. These bets ranged in size from $15 to $22,000, for a total of $54,094. The total payout from these bets was $76,059, resulting in net winnings of $21,965.None of the bets involved any game in which Porter played. Three of the bets were multi-game parlay bets that included one Raptors game, in which Porter bet that the Raptors would lose. All three bets lost.Ujiri said before the investigation’s findings were announced that he didn’t want this for Porter, the Raptors, or the league as a whole.“My first reaction (to the allegations) is obviously surprise because I don’t think anybody saw anything like this coming,” said Ujiri at this season-ending news conference. “You prepare as much as you can for all kinds of situations in the NBA but definitely didn’t see this coming.

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“But we act in accordance with what the NBA’s rules and regulations are for dealing with things like this and we move forward with it.”The suspicious bets were brought to the NBA’s attention by licensed sports betting operators and an organization that monitors legal betting markets.The Raptors loss to Sacramento was at Toronto’s Scotiabank Arena. A spokesman for the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario, the government agency that regulates sports gambling in the province, said the organization was pleased that the NBA addressed the matter promptly and decisively. The AGCO did not say if it would prohibit bets on the NBA or player prop bets.“The AGCO requires all Ontario-registered gaming operators to ensure the sport betting products they offer are on events that are effectively supervised by a sport governing body,” said the spokesman in a written statement to The Canadian Press. “At a minimum, the sport governing body must have — and enforce — codes of conduct that prohibit betting by insiders.“The NBA’s action on this matter speaks well of the integrity safeguards and oversight they have in place related to insider betting and match-fixing.”The AGCO spokesman said that the Ontario Provincial Police would continue to review the case.Porter is the second person to be banned by commissioner Adam Silver for violating league rules. The other was now-former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling in 2014. Story continues below advertisement

The investigation into Porter’s conduct was revealed around the same time that news broke of an alleged gambling scandal involving the interpreter of Los Angeles Dodgers superstar Shohei Ohtani.This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 17, 2024.

&copy 2024 The Canadian Press

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