Ex-Raptor Jontay Porter Grapples with Federal Charges in NBA Betting Scandal


Jontay Porter, the ex-forward of the Toronto Raptors, is now facing the music over an insider betting fiasco that shocked the NBA world, leading to his discharge from the league for life in April. The former hooper is now staring down the barrel of federal criminal charges, a testament to how swiftly the wheel of fortune turns.

Tuesday witnessed the federal prosecutors in Brooklyn reveal a criminal information sheet, indicating that Porter will be up against unnamed felony charges. These charges are tied to his alleged contribution in a conspiracy that led him to manipulate his own game performance for the financial advantage of a gambling syndicate based in the Big Apple.

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A statement made by the DA’s Office spokesperson to The Athletic pinned down July 10 as the day when Porter is supposed to enter a guilty plea in response to the charges. However, the storm isn’t quite over for Porter, who’s also involved in a criminal investigation in his homeland, Canada.

In the opinion of the prosecutors, the domino’s effect of Porter’s unlawful actions also stretched into feeding intelligence to the betting gang about his physical condition. If the gang had remained undetected, it would have raked in winnings to the tune of US$1,272,875 on their low-balling bets on Porter through DraftKings and FanDuel. Yet, sportsbooks managed to catch wind of suspicious betting patterns, leading them to put a freeze on majority of those earnings.

The betting syndicate is said to have placed wagers on Porter under performing in the January 26 game against the Los Angeles Clippers and in the March 20 match against the Sacramento Kings. Both resulted in Raptors’ losses. A wave of large winning bets centering on a precise part of the Kings game raised red flags, signifying possible match fixing. As a result, at least one betting account was instantaneously suspended and the sportsbooks relayed their apprehensions to the NBA.

Law enforcement has since nabbed four members of the betting syndicate including one who was seemingly attempting to escape the country. The charges stacked against them, wire fraud, carry a weighty maximum sentence of 20 years.

It’s expected that the prosecutors’ case against Porter will argue that the ex-Raptor succumbed to the ploy owing to his large gambling debt to the group. Messaging exchanges revealed in the indictments displayed that the athlete was in regular contact with the other conspirators through a Telegram group, discussing the illicit plot. Porter was coded ‘Player 1’ in these communications.

On April 4 – the day of his NBA banishment – Porter was documented warning his collaborators that they could be struck with a “rico”, a nod to anti-racketeering charges. His instructions to delete their cell phone records were also included in the indictments.

Porter’s attorney, Jeff Jensen, presented a depiction of his client being out of his depth due to his gambling addiction. Porter finds himself in an unenviable position of being the first player since Jack Molinas in 1954 to receive a lifetime ban from the league for gambling-related infractions. It’s worth noting that Molinas was a key player in one of the most infamous points-shaving scandals in basketball history.