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Banned NBA player Jontay Porter pleads guilty in betting scandal

Banned NBA player Jontay Porter pleads guilty in betting scandal

Former NBA player Jontay Porter, who was banned from the league for life after betting on the outcome of games he attended as a member of the Toronto Raptors, has pleaded guilty to a charge of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with the scandal.

Porter, who was indicted along with four other accomplices by Brooklyn prosecutors earlier this month, pleaded guilty at a court hearing on Wednesday.

The disgraced player, brother of Denver Nuggets star Michael Porter Jr., faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted at trial. However, the Associated Press reports that a sentence of three-and-a-half years to just over four years is expected when he is sentenced on Dec. 18, 2024. As part of the plea agreement, Porter will not appeal any sentence of less than five years, ABC News reports.

“I knew what I did was wrong and illegal, and I deeply regret my actions,” Porter told the judge. His lawyer added that Porter had become addicted to gambling and had accumulated large debts before the scheme to ruin his gaming performances to benefit his co-conspirators.

In April, following an investigation by the league through a legal sports betting operator, the NBA charged Porter with violating the league’s rules against gambling, alleging that he provided information to sports bettors and withdrew from games to help his associates obtain “underperforming” side bets based on his results.

In the March 20 game between the Raptors and Sacramento Kings, Porter played just three minutes of play before “stating that he felt ill,” the statement said. Porter also placed his own bets on NBA games, according to the league, including betting that his own team, the Raptors, would lose. “Three of the bets were parlay bets involving multiple games, including one Raptors game in which Porter bet that the Raptors would lose. All three bets were losing bets,” the league determined.

In total, Porter allegedly wagered $54,094 and received winnings of $76,059, for a net winnings of $21,965. Porter’s NBA salary was approximately $410,000.

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“There is nothing more important than protecting the integrity of the NBA game for our fans, our teams and everyone associated with our sport, which is why Jontay Porter’s egregious violations of our gaming policies are met with the harshest punishment,” NBA Commissioner Adam Silver said in April when the league banned Porter for life.

“While legal sports betting provides transparency that helps identify suspicious or unusual activity, this case also raises important questions about the sufficiency of the current regulatory framework, including the types of wagers offered on our games and players,” Silver continued. “Working closely with all relevant industry stakeholders, we will continue to work diligently to protect our league and the game.”