Report: NBA was angry sportsbooks allowed such large amounts to be bet on player like Jontay Porter

Peter Dewey
4 Min Read
Alexis Reau/Presse Sports via USA TODAY Sports

The NBA reportedly was “angry” with sportsbooks for allowing major amounts of money to be bet on a player like Jontay Porter, who was banned for life from the NBA after he violated the league’s rules involving gambling.

“In the wake of the Porter controversy, league and industry sources told ESPN the NBA was angry that sportsbooks allowed such large amounts of money to be wagered on an obscure player,” ESPN’s David Purdum wrote. “Among the most suspicious bets was an $80,000 six-leg, same-game parlay placed with DraftKings consisting of under bets on Porter’s statistics against the Kings that would have won $1.1 million.

“The NBA and its partner sportsbooks — which include FanDuel, DraftKings and BetMGM — are discussing changes to betting menus to combat future corruption, ESPN previously reported. Those changes could include prohibiting betting on players signed to two-way contracts between the G League and the NBA, like Porter. More extreme measures, such as not allowing bets on the ‘under’ on a player prop, have also been considered.”

Porter, who was on a two-way contract, appeared in 26 games for the Toronto Raptors in the 2023-24 season, averaging 4.4 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game while shooting 38.5 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from 3-point range.

Clearly a role player at best – especially since he was on a two-way – Porter was investigated regarding games on Jan. 26 and March 20 where there were obscure amounts wagered on the under for his player props.

In both of those instances – once against the Los Angeles Clippers and once against the Sacramento Kings – Porter exited a game early with an injury or illness. DraftKings reported that there were major winnings on the under for Porter’s prop bets in both games.

According to the NBA’s investigation into Porter, the former Raptors big man disclosed confidential information about his health status to someone he knew to be an NBA bettor prior to a matchup on March 20.

He then played less than three minutes in that game due to an illness. The bettor had placed a parlay that would have won $1.1 million – as Purdum mentioned – on that game. Instead, the bet was frozen and not paid out.

It’ll be interesting to see how the NBA and its partners look to avoid this type of incident from happening in the future. Porter, who was making $415,000, certainly cost himself a massive opportunity as an NBA player by deciding to violate the league’s rules on gambling.

If the NBA is able to limit the number of players that have prop bets available, it would take full buy-in from the sportsbooks as well. Ultimately, the league is worried about the integrity of the game, something that Porter brought into question with his actions this season.

That’s likely why Adam Silver made an example of him by not allowing him to play in the NBA again.

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Peter is a graduate of Quinnipiac University where he covered the MAAC and college basketball for three years. He has worked for NBC Sports, the Connecticut Sun and the Meriden Record-Journal covering basketball, football and other major sports. Follow him on Twitter @peterdewey2.