NBA Bans Former Mizzou Star Jontay Porter Over Betting Violations

Written By Cheryl Coward on April 17, 2024
Toronto Raptors Center Jontay Porter

The NBA has banned former University of Missouri star Jontay Porter for life after an investigation revealed he bet on NBA games.

Porter, under contract with the Toronto Raptors, actually committed several violations of the NBA’s betting policy, the league said.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver issued a strong statement about Porter’s actions.

“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.”

Porter was deep into sports betting, NBA says

Missouri sports betting remains illegal. Lawmakers have failed to pass legislation legalizing it over the last few years. An effort is underway from a coalition of professional sports teams in the state to get the question on November’s ballot so that residents can decide on the issue.

Porter’s betting behavior dates back several years, even before he joined the Raptors. However, investigators have determined that his actions continued after signing with the team.

They say he disclosed private information about his health to a person he knew to bet on NBA games ahead of a Raptors game in March. According to the NBA, He is accused of limiting his participation in a game to influence its outcome.

“In the March 20 game, Porter played only three minutes, 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.”

For three months at the beginning of the year, the NBA says Porter placed at least 13 wagers on games he didn’t participate in using someone else’s account. At the time, he was traveling with the Raptors but was playing for its G-League affiliate, Raptors 905.

The bets “ranged in size from $15 to $22,000, for a total of $54,094,” according to the NBA. “The total payout from these bets was $76,059, resulting in net winnings of $21,965.”

Three of those wagers were multi-game parlays and supposedly included a Raptors game. Porter bet Toronto would lose.

Operators blew the whistle on Porter

The NBA says it became aware of Porter’s behavior after receiving alerts from “licensed sports betting operators and an organization that monitors legal betting markets.”

According to multiple reports, Porter had a FanDuel VIP account that was used to place over a thousand bets ahead of his signing with the Raptors.

He also posted gambling tips on X for several years and interacted with other betting-related accounts.

Will there be more to come?

Even though the league has banned Porter, it is still probing his gambling behavior and indicated that more information could be forthcoming. Furthermore, federal investigators are also involved, according to the NBA.

“These findings are based on the information available to league investigators at this time. The league’s investigation remains open and may result in further findings. The NBA has shared and will continue to share information with federal prosecutors about this matter.”

Porter played two seasons at the University of Missouri. He went undrafted in the 2019 NBA Draft but was signed by the Memphis Grizzlies in March 2020. He also played in the NBA Summer League and two other G-League franchises. Porter’s older brother, Michael Porter Jr., is the starting forward for the Denver Nuggets.

Silver seemed to question how long it took to uncover the younger Porter’s betting activity.

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

Photo by AP Photo / Phelan M. Ebenhack
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Cheryl Coward

Cheryl Coward is a contributor for PlayMissouri with a background in sports journalism. She started her career as a news reporter in Washington, DC. She’s a die-hard women’s basketball fanatic and founded the website as a result of that passion. She has extensive experience covering gambling and sports betting in California, including coverage of the Prop 26 vs. Prop 27 election battle.

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