Ex-Raptor Jontay Porter Under Investigation for NBA Games ‘Spot Fixing’ Scandal

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The dark underbelly of professional sports and the corrupt allure of gambling syndicates has once again made headlines. Former Toronto Raptors forward Jontay Porter is currently under criminal investigation by Canadian authorities for allegedly manipulating National Basketball Association (NBA) games.

Porter’s impressive career came to an abrupt ending as his association with the unsavory side of sports betting was laid bare. He was issued a lifetime ban by the NBA in April, following allegations of ‘spot fixing’ and revealing inside information to a New York-based betting syndicate.

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This isn’t a story about changing the outcomes of entire games, as one might assume. It instead revolves around ‘spot fixing’, a subtler form of manipulation that targets isolated aspects of a match, requiring the participation of just one player to sway the odds.

This can run the gamut from influencing the number of throw-ins during a soccer match to, in this case, impacting individual performance in a basketball game. The syndicate’s chosen method involved wagering heavy stakes on Porter’s underperformance. Porter was allegedly to exit early from select games under the pretense of injury.

The syndicate’s manipulative scheme allegedly came to fruition during two games in particular. The first, on January 26, saw the Raptors pitted against the Los Angeles Clippers. The next, on March 20, featured a matchup with the Sacramento Kings. Both outings ended in defeat for the Raptors.

It seemed that fortune had favored the syndicate as these orchestrated underperformances led to winnings of over a million dollars by betting ‘the under’ on Porter through popular platforms – DraftKings and FanDuel. However, their ill-gotten gains were soon frozen by the operators as they discovered unusual betting patterns pointing towards foul play.

The net soon closed in on the perpetrators. Four members of the New York gambling syndicate found themselves in federal custody, one of them allegedly attempting to escape the country. All of them now face wire fraud charges, potentially leading to a maximum 20-year prison sentence if found guilty.

The question now remains whether Porter will face charges. The revelation came when a spokesperson for the Ontario Provincial Police confirmed on Tuesday that due cause existed for a criminal investigation. Porter’s potential involvement seems hazier with US federal prosecutors suggesting that the basketball player succumbed to the scheme due to substantial gambling debts to the group.

The damning evidence lies within court documents that highlight Porter’s communication with the co-conspirators. Using Telegram, a popular messaging app, detailed discussions of the scheme were carried out. The day Porter received the NBA ban, he ominously warned the group that they could be charged under federal anti-racketeering laws, advising them to delete their cell phone records.

The narrative surrounding Porter’s downfall is one of a promising athlete caught in a spiral of gambling addiction. His legal representative, Jeff Jensen, described his client as a “good kid” who got in over his head.