Colorado Regulators Seek State Betting History On Banned NBA Player

Written By T.J. McBride on 04/17/2024
Toronto Raptors center Jontay Porter

Jontay Porter, the former Toronto Raptors center and brother of Denver Nuggets forward Michael Porter Jr., had a long-standing relationship with sports wagering in Colorado, according to reports. The NBA banned him for life this week.

An investigation by the league found that Porter disclosed confidential information to profit from sports wagers on games he played. Furthermore, he bet on games involving his team. These violations led to the ban.

However, gaming regulators in Colorado want to know more. Lawmakers legalized retail and online sports betting in Colorado in 2019 before the market launched in 2020. Now, reports have surfaced revealing Porter had a VIP account in his own name at FanDuel.

The state’s gaming commission asked for Porter’s betting history. FanDuel Colorado gave officials those documents on Monday. Thus far, regulators haven’t announced any additional wrongdoing.

The league’s investigation said the wagers that led to Porter’s lifetime NBA ban did not go through his personal account.

FanDuel Colorado did not accept any basketball bets from Porter

Colorado online sports betting is open to anyone over 21 as long as they’re physically in the state when placing bets. Most sports leagues, however, prohibit anyone affiliated with teams from betting on games and players in that league.

Prior to signing his contract with the Raptors, Porter placed wagers through his FanDuel account, according to reports. Between 2021 and 2023, he placed over 1,000 wagers involving millions of dollars. None of those wagers were on basketball games.

According to reports, FanDuel Colorado did not accept any basketball wagers from Porter. Porter operated the account while playing in the G-League, but he closed it before rejoining the NBA.

NBA gaming rules allow players to place sports wagers on other sports so long as the bet is placed outside of team or league facilities. Reportedly, Porter did place bets while in team facilities.

Porter reportedly shared inside information to profit off a bet

The realization that Porter operated a high-profile VIP account came after an investigation into his gambling practices began. According to ESPN, Porter shared inside information about a game he was set to play and placed wagers through a proxy to profit. That sparked an investigation by the league.

Sports betting operators were able to identify these illicit wagers based on irregularities. People rarely place large amounts of money on a player who has not played in even 50 games in their career. Once those wagers started popping up, they were flagged, according to a source who spoke to ESPN.

“People were trying to do whatever they could to bet Jontay Porter props [against the Clippers]. And then, just a few days ago, the same thing. We had a bunch of people trying to bet under for more.”

Commissioner warned that ‘severe’ punishment was coming

During an owners’ meeting in New York earlier this week, NBA Commissioner Adam Silver alluded to banning Porter for life.

“It’s cardinal sin what he’s accused of in the NBA and the ultimate extreme option I have is to ban him from the game. That’s the level of authority I have here because there’s nothing more serious around this league when it comes to gambling and betting on our games. And that is a direct player involvement. And so, the investigation is ongoing, but the consequences could be very severe.”

The NBA’s investigation found that Porter placed 13 NBA bets for a total of $76,059, which generated $21,965 in profit.

Three of Porter’s NBA wagers were multi-game parlays, but there was one bet worse than others, said Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN.

“Most damning for Porter and the NBA itself: He bet the Raptors to lose, according to the league’s investigation.”

Michael Porter Jr. has not been implicated whatsoever in his brother’s actions. The defending champion Nuggets begin playoff play on Saturday against the Los Angeles Lakers.

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

“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 Ebenhack
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T.J. McBride

T.J. McBride is a Denver-based writer and reporter with an extensive background in covering the NBA and Denver Nuggets. T.J. is Southern California native who provides news and analysis on the legal gambling industry across a number of Catena Media's regional US sites.

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