This NBA player passed on information that would have won a bettor more than $US1 million — the player has now been banned for life

Toronto Raptors player Jontay Porter has been banned for life from the NBA after a league probe found he disclosed confidential information to sports bettors and wagered on games, even betting on the Raptors to lose.

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, shortly after Silver took office.

In making the announcement, Silver called Porter’s actions “blatant”.

“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,” Silver said.

The investigation started once the league learned from “licensed sports betting operators and an organisation that monitors legal betting markets” about unusual gambling patterns surrounding Porter’s performance in a game on March 20 against Sacramento.

The league determined that Porter gave a bettor information about his own health status prior that game and said that another individual — known to be an NBA bettor — placed an $US80,000 ($136,000) bet that Porter would not hit the numbers set for him in parlays through an online sports book.

That bet would have won $US1.1 million.

Adam Silver hit out at Jontay Porter, who became the second individual banned for betting on games.(Reuters: Kyodo Kyodo/File)

Porter took himself out of that game after less than three minutes, claiming illness, with none of his stats meeting the totals set in the parlay. The $US80,000 bet was frozen and not paid out, the league said, and the NBA started an investigation not long afterward.

“You don’t want this for the kid, you don’t want this for our team and we don’t want this for our league, that’s for sure,” Raptors president Masai Ujiri said shortly before the NBA announced Porter’s ban.

“My first reaction is obviously surprise, because none of us, I don’t think anybody, saw this coming.”

Later, after the NBA revealed the ban, the Raptors said they are “fully supportive of the league’s decision to ban Jontay Porter from the NBA and are grateful for the swift resolution to this investigation. We will continue to cooperate with all ongoing inquiries”.

The league has partnerships and other relationships with more than two dozen gaming companies, many of whom advertise during NBA games in a variety of ways. Silver himself has been a longtime proponent of legal sports wagering, but the league has very strict rules for players and employees regarding betting.

The league also determined that Porter — the brother of Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr — placed at least 13 bets on NBA games using someone else’s betting account.

The bets ranged from $US15 to $US22,000; the total wagered was $US54,094 and generated a payout of $US76,059, or net winnings of $US21,965.

Those wagers did not involve any game in which Porter played, the NBA said. But three of the wagers were multi-game parlays, including a bet where Porter — who was not playing in the games involved — wagered on the Raptors to lose. All three of those bets lost.

“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,” Silver said.

“Working closely with all relevant stakeholders across the industry, we will continue to work diligently to safeguard our league and game.”


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