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NBA bans Raptors’ Jontay Porter for betting violations

ASSOCIATED PRESS
                                Toronto Raptors center Jontay Porter, right, pulls in a rebound as Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic, left, defends in the first half of a game, March 11, in Denver. The NBA banned Toronto two-way player Jontay Porter, today, after a league probe found he disclosed confidential information to sports bettors and bet on games.
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ASSOCIATED PRESS

Toronto Raptors center Jontay Porter, right, pulls in a rebound as Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic, left, defends in the first half of a game, March 11, in Denver. The NBA banned Toronto two-way player Jontay Porter, today, after a league probe found he disclosed confidential information to sports bettors and bet on games.

Jontay Porter has been banned for life from the NBA after a league probe found he disclosed confidential information to sports bettors and bet on games.

Porter, who was a two-way player for the Toronto Raptors, is the second person to be banned from the league by Commissioner Adam Silver for violating league rules. The other was now-former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling in 2014.

The investigation started once the league learned about unusual betting patterns surrounding Porter’s performance in a game on March 20. The league determined that Porter gave a bettor information about his own health status prior that game, and another individual — known to be an NBA bettor — placed an $80,000 bet that Porter would not hit the numbers set for him in parlays through an online sports book. That bet would have won $1.1 million.

Porter took himself out of that game after only a few minutes, claiming illness, none of his stats meeting the totals set in the parlay. The bet was frozen and not paid out, and the NBA started an investigation.

“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.

Silver cautioned last week that this move was possible, saying what Porter was accused of represented “cardinal sin” in the NBA. Porter has not commented since the investigation began, and never played for the Raptors again — he was listed as out for all of Toronto’s games for the remainder of the season citing personal reasons.

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 $15 to $22,000; the total wagered was $54,094 and generated a payout of $76,059, or net winnings of $21,965.

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 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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