Sports

OPP launch investigation into Jontay Porter betting scandal

The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) has launched an investigation probing former Toronto Raptor Jontay Porter’s betting scandal, a spokesperson for the force confirmed Wednesday.

Porter, who once played centre for the Raptors, was banned for life from the NBA in April after a league probe found he disclosed confidential information to sports bettors and wagered on games, even betting on his own team to lose.

In an emailed statement, the OPP said the force launched a criminal investigation into Porter’s conduct on June 4.

“The OPP’s investigation will focus on any criminal activity related to online betting irregularities arising from the January 26, 2024, and March 20, 2024, Raptors games in Toronto,” the statement reads. 

“This is an active and ongoing investigation. It would be inappropriate for the OPP to comment on specific details to protect the integrity of the investigation and any ensuing court processes.”

The NBA’s internal investigation started earlier this year when the league learned from “licensed sports betting operators and an organization that monitors legal betting markets” about unusual gambling patterns surrounding Porter’s performance in a game on March 20 against Sacramento. 

The league determined that Porter gave a bettor information about his own health status prior to that game and said that another individual — known to be an NBA bettor — placed an $80,000 US bet that Porter would not hit the numbers set for him in parlays through an online sportsbook. That bet would have won $1.1 million.

Porter took himself out of that game after less than three minutes, claiming illness, none of his stats meeting the totals set in the parlay. The $80,000 bet was frozen and not paid out, the league said, and the NBA started an investigation not long afterward.

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Four others have previously been charged in the U.S. in connection with the incident. A court complaint in one of those cases accuses a man of pressing an NBA athlete, identified only as “Player 1,” to resolve gambling debts by leaving games early. 

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