Jontay Porter receives lifetime ban from NBA for violating gambling rules

Jontay Porter of the Toronto Raptors has been given a lifetime ban by the NBA for violating the league's gambling policy.

The NBA released a statement Wednesday announcing and explaining its ruling.

"A league investigation found that Porter violated league 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," the statement read.

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.

There's more. From January through March 2024, while traveling with the Raptors and the Raptors' G League team, Porter placed at least 13 bets on NBA games using someone else's betting account. These bets ranged from $15 to $22,000 for a total of $54,094. The total payout from these bets was $76,059, resulting in winnings of $21,965. None of the bets involved any game in which Porter played, but he did bet on the Raptors to lose as part of three different parlay bets. All three bets lost.

Porter, 24, hasn't played since the NBA began investigating him for betting irregularities on March 25. The Raptors removed him from the lineup prior to that night's game against the Brooklyn Nets and he hasn't reappeared since. Porter, who is the brother of Denver Nuggets star Michael Porter Jr., was in his first season with the Raptors. He was on a two-way deal with the team, and he averaged 4.4 points and 3.2 rebounds in 26 games this season.

Adam Silver hinted Porter could be banned

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."

Legal sports gambling has been on the rise in the U.S., and incidents of professional athletes gambling on sports have been increasing. The NFL has suspended a number of players over the past two years for gambling. But outright bans are rare. Porter will now be remembered alongside former MLB player Pete Rose, who was banned for gambling on his sport.