NBA Talking To Sportsbooks About Limiting Betting Markets After Jontay Porter Scandal

The NBA is discussing prohibiting certain prop bet markets on the league’s lowest-paid players. [Image:]

Remove the temptation Though the excitement of the NBA playoffs have largely overshadowed most talk about Jontay Porter’s ban from the league for violating its gambling policy, the NBA is not putting the situation in the rearview mirror. Reports on Friday are that the league is in discussions with sportsbooks about making changes to what types of bets are available on NBA games.

Another suggestion was to prohibit betting on player prop “unders.”

According to both Legal Sports Report and ESPN, one idea that has been floated is the elimination of prop bet markets on two-way players, players on ten-day contracts, players on rookie scale contracts, and players who make the league minimum. Another suggestion was to prohibit betting on player prop “unders.”

The reasoning behind the ideas – further discussions will be had after the season is over – is to remove the temptation of rigging bets or games from players who make the least amount of money. The thought is that those who make gobs of cash wouldn’t risk it, but a player at the low end of the pay scale (though much higher than most people’s pay) like Jontay Porter could have incentive to get involved in shady gambling.

DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetMGM are all official sports betting partners of the NBA.

Porter rigged his own participation Jontay Porter, who played for both the Toronto Raptors and the Raptor’s G-League team, was banned from the NBA on April 17, 2024 for “limiting his own participation in one or more games for betting purposes” and disclosing confidential health information to bettors.

tipped off a known NBA bettor as to his health status

The league specifically addressed a March 20 game between the Raptors and the Sacramento Kings. Porter was not a heavily-used player, but he did get regular playing time since joining the big league squad. According to the NBA’s investigation, he tipped off a known NBA bettor as to his health status. That person then wagered $80,000 to win $1.1m on Porter not reaching the player props posted by sportsbooks.

After three minutes of action, Porter left the game with an alleged illness and therefore did not hit the prop bet numbers. The sportsbooks detected something fishy, froze the $80,000 bet, and never paid out the winnings.

In a January 26 game against the L.A. Clippers, the scenario was similar (though the NBA did not mention this contest in the press release). Porter left the game after four minutes because he supposedly aggravated a previous injury. Again, his numbers came in under the prop bet totals. After both games, DraftKings announced that Jontay Porter unders were the biggest winners of the day.

Bet against his own team Those incidents were known before Porter’s lifetime ban. What wasn’t was that he also bet on NBA games, which is against league rules. According to the NBA, Porter placed “at least” 13 wagers from January 2024 through March 2024 using an accomplice’s sports betting account. His bets ranged from $15 to $22,000, totaling $54,094. He profited $21,965.

bet on the Raptors to lose in each of them

Three of the bets included the Raptors – his own team – as part of multi-leg parlays. And not only that, he bet on the Raptors to lose in each of them. Porter lost all three bets.

The Toronto Raptors were one of the worst teams in the league this season, losing 15 games in a row in March and April, so Porter betting against his team didn’t necessarily mean he had inside info or was going to contribute to throwing the game. He just knew his team was bad. But betting on your own team’s games, especially to lose, is one of the cardinal sins of sports and is expressly against league rules.