Raptors’ Jontay Porter Banned from NBA for Sports Betting Violations

Grant Mitchell
Grant Mitchell
Basketball news


  • Porter bet on NBA games, limited his participation, and shared privileged information
  • Bettors wagered suspiciously large amounts of money on two games Porter left suspiciously early 
  • Porter’s bet on his team, the Raptors, to lose

Toronto Raptors center Jontay Porter was issued a lifetime ban from the NBA on Wednesday for violating the league’s sports betting rules.

According to a statement released by the league office, Porter bet on NBA games, shared privileged information with sports bettors, and limited his availability in at least one game for betting purposes. An investigation into Porter is still ongoing and could result in further charges. 

The NBA is communicating all of its findings with federal prosecutors.

Why was Jontay Porter banned? 

Porter, 24, was under a two-way contract allowing him to appear for the Raptors and their G League affiliate, Raptors 905. His brother, Michael Porter Jr., is a forward for the Denver Nuggets and was a key piece during their championship run a year ago. 

Porter last appeared in an NBA game on Friday, March 22 before he was held out of the lineup for “personal reasons.” News broke that he was under investigation for potentially breaching the league’s sports betting guidelines on Monday, March 25.

"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 game rules are being met with the most severe punishment," NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said during an announcement of Porter’s ban.

The league opened its investigation after sportsbooks reported strange betting activity related to two games in which Porter left suspiciously early. 

Porter exited within four minutes of game time during a January 26 matchup with the Los Angeles Clippers and a March 20 clash with the Sacramento Kings, citing an undisclosed illness and a reaggravated eye injury.

One bettor at an online sports betting site wagered $80,000 on a parlay with the under on several of Porter’s proposition bets prior to the Kings game. The parlay had a potential payout of $1.1 million.

Porter left after three minutes with a total of zero points, zero assists, and two rebounds. The sportsbook ultimately froze the bet and sounded the alarm as to potentially illicit activity.

The league did not confirm any illegal activity during Porter’s game with the Clippers, in which he also hit the under on all of his prop lines. Sportsbooks reported the same accounts that attempted to cash in during the Kings matchup also tried to place larger-than-usual bets on this game.

The line in the sand  

Porter was not just involved on the outside of the betting infractions—he also placed bets himself.

According to the league’s investigation, Porter placed 13 bets on NBA games by using an associate’s account while traveling with either the Raptors or Raptors 905. Bets ranged from $15-22,000 and totaled $54,094.

None of the bets included games Porter participated in, though he did pick the Raptors to lose. Three of the bets were parlays, all of which lost.

Porter’s NBA bets won $76,059, netting $21,965 him in profit.

The NBA was alerted to the potential interference by watchdog U.S. Integrity, which is partnered with a variety of sportsbooks, state regulators, and sports leagues. The firm said it is “proud to continue to support the NBA in initiatives relating to regulated sports betting.”

Silver is now hoping that the incident with Porter will cause legal sportsbooks and gaming regulators to reexamine the boundaries in which they operate. 

“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.”

The Colorado Division of Gaming ordered all sportsbooks to report any betting information related to Porter last week. Action Network reported that FanDuel found he had placed more than 1,000 bets on a VIP account, though none of them were on NBA games.

Silver issued a lifetime ban to former Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling in 2014 after a tape surfaced of him making a series of racist remarks. He was also the first commissioner of a major American sports league to advocate for legal, regulated sports betting.