Downfall of Jontay Porter, a bet too far

Lea Hogg 2 months ago
Downfall of Jontay Porter, a bet too far

The National Basketball Association (NBA) announced a lifetime ban on Toronto Raptors forward Jontay Porter. This decision came after an investigation revealed that Porter had not only bet on NBA games but also provided confidential information about his health to other gamblers. This incident has brought the issue of sports betting into sharp focus, particularly as it continues to surge in popularity.

Porter’s actions were a clear violation of NBA rules. He provided confidential information to bettors, limited his participation in one or more games for gambling purposes, and placed bets on NBA games. The NBA alleges that ahead of Toronto’s March 20 game, Porter (pictured above), gave information about his health status to one bettor. Another person, who Porter knew, bet $80,000 that he wouldn’t hit a statistic set by an online sportsbook. Porter subsequently took himself out of that game, claiming he was ill.

The NBA’s investigation revealed that Porter placed at least 13 bets on NBA games using an associate’s account. These bets totaled $54,094, with Porter receiving net winnings of $21,695. Importantly, none of the bets Porter placed included games in which he played. The NBA’s investigation into Porter remains open, and more findings could potentially emerge.

Inside look at NBA scandal

This incident is part of a broader trend in professional and collegiate sports. Several athletes have been implicated in betting probes in recent years. The rapid legalization of sports betting in many states has led to concerns about its impact on professional sports. The NBA, which doesn’t allow players to bet on league games, began investigating Porter after identifying several irregular bets involving him.

There was increased betting interest on props involving Porter, the brother of Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr., in January. On that day, he played just four minutes before leaving due to an aggravated eye injury. The under hit for all of Porter’s props, according to ESPN, while DraftKings Sportsbook said the under for Porter’s made 3-pointers was the biggest money winner for bettors of any NBA player props that day. Following Toronto’s game against the Sacramento Kings on March 20, Porter’s props were again the biggest money winner for NBA player props on DraftKings.

This scandal has also brought attention to the issue of prop bets in college sports. NCAA President Charlie Baker called for a nationwide ban on college prop bets last month, following a series of collegiate coaches and athletes linked to illegal betting probes. More than a dozen charges were filed last August against Iowa State University and University of Iowa student-athletes who allegedly bet on games in which they played. However, the charges were later dropped amid concerns that authorities tracked betting activity without a warrant.

The gambling watchdog U.S. Integrity flagged unusual betting involving University of Alabama baseball games last year, later resulting in head coach Brad Bohannon’s ouster. The NFL suspended 10 players last year, after an investigation determined they violated the league’s gambling policy by either betting on NFL games or non-NFL games while at league facilities. Calvin Ridley, then the wide receiver for the Atlanta Falcons, was suspended for a year in 2022 after he placed bets on games that included the Falcons.

The last NBA player to receive a lifetime ban was Jalen Harris, who was banned from the league in 2021 after he violated its anti-drug policies. His ban was reversed in 2022. Tyreke Evans also received a lifetime ban for violating the NBA’s anti-drug policies. The Porter case serves as a stark reminder of the potential pitfalls of sports betting, and the need for stringent regulations to maintain the integrity of the game.

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