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The NBA issued a lifetime ban to Toronto Raptors forward Jontay Porter on Wednesday for violating league gambling rules. After an investigation, the league found Porter guilty of "disclosing confidential information to sports bettors, limiting his own participation in one or more games for betting purposes, and betting on NBA games."

The 24-year-old Porter, who is the younger brother of Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr., went undrafted in 2019 and made his NBA debut with the Memphis Grizzlies in 2021. After spending time with multiple G League teams, he inked a two-way deal with the Raptors in December 2023 and made 26 appearances with the team this season. He last played on March 22, and was inactive for the remainder of the season after ESPN reported on March 25 that the league was looking into gambling irregularities. 

"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," NBA commissioner Adam Silver stated in a press release. 

"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."

The league's report concluded that prior to the Raptors' game against the Sacramento Kings on March 20, Porter "disclosed confidential information about his own health status" to someone he knew was a bettor. Another bettor then wagered $80,000 on a parlay bet that would have won $1.1 million if Porter hit the under on his player props. Porter subsequently removed himself from that game after less than three minutes due to illness. 

Due to the unusual activity, the bet was frozen and never paid out. Licensed sports betting operators brought the suspicious bets to the NBA's attention, which sparked the league's investigation. 

Over the last few weeks, the league also found that Porter "placed at least 13 bets on NBA games using an associate's online betting account" from January through March of 2024. All told, Porter wagered $54,094 and received a payout of $76,059, resulting in a net winnings of $21,965. 

None of those bets involved games in which Porter was playing. However, three of them involved the Raptors in multi-game parlay bets, including one in which Porter picked the Raptors to lose. Of the latter three wagers, none were successful. 

The NBA's investigation remains open and may result in future findings. Furthermore, the league has shared its findings with federal prosecutors, and will continue to do so. 

To that point, it's worth noting that ESPN's original report indicated that there were irregularities surrounding the Raptors' Jan. 26 game versus the Los Angeles Clippers. Porter checked out of that game after four minutes due to what the team said was an aggravation of a previous eye injury. The league did not note any specifics regarding that game in its press release. 

Like other sports, the NBA has an ironclad gambling policy. No one affiliated with the NBA is allowed to wager on any NBA property, including the WNBA, G League, Basketball Africa League, NBA2K League or Summer League. Punishments for violating said rules can range from fines to termination of contracts. In Porter's case, the league found the violations to be bad enough that he was banned from the league. 

Porter is the first player to be disciplined for gambling since Roger Brown in 1966. 

Jack Molinas of the Fort Wayne Pistons was permanently banned from the league in 1954 for betting on his own team while in college, while Tony Jackson and Doug Moe were both banned due to their involvement in the 1961 NCAA men's basketball gambling scandal and Brown was banned in 1966 simply for his association with Molinas. While Moe and Brown would both later be reinstated, neither ever played in the NBA. They did, however, star in the ABA, and Moe eventually coached in the NBA. 

The only major gambling scandal for the league since then involved disgraced referee Tim Donaghy, who was sentenced to 15 months in prison in 2008 after admitting to gambling on games that he officiated.