NBA Looks to Prohibit Props for Two-Way Contract Players

The NBA is in talks with BetMGM, DraftKings, and FanDuel to potentially prohibit certain types of wagers on its games in light of the Jontay Porter gambling incident.

According to reporting by ESPN, the NBA may appeal to its sports betting partners to ban bets on two-way players who are signed to play between the G League and the league. Porter was on such a contract and was banned permanently last month for influencing his own prop bets and wagering on his games and performance.

ESPN reports that NBA commissioner Adam Silver may ask the league’s three sports betting partners to remove player props for two-way contract players, who earn less money and may be more tempted to cash in via wagering schemes. The NBA prohibits players, coaches, officials, and other league employees from betting on games they are directly involved in, as Porter did, which results in permanent ineligibility.

NBA Could Seek to Remove Under Player Props Bets

A source reportedly revealed to ESPN that the NBA could ask its sportsbook partners to remove any Under bets for player props, though such an action might be too extreme.

Over/Under is a wager type that permits customers to bet on whether Player A will go Over or Under a specific number of points, assists, rebounds, turnovers, and so on. Porter reportedly wagered on his own Over/Under for points and made three-pointers and colluded with others who bet on him. Twice, the NBA says, Porter removed himself from a game claiming injury, so he could ensure he finished Under for stat categories.

However, a blanket restriction on Over/Under bets could lead some bettors to seek illegal sportsbooks that are not beholden to an arrangement with the NBA.

“Since states began legalizing sports betting in 2018,” the NBA said in a statement to ESPN, “we have worked closely with betting operators as well as integrity monitoring organizations to put in place essential monitoring and reporting systems so that we are best positioned to identify potential betting anomalies and to act to protect the integrity of our game.”

The Porter situation came to light when DraftKings reported suspicious betting activity on the former Toronto center’s player props. Sportsbooks have an incentive to police their industry, guard against betting schemes, and protect their products’ legitimacy.

Regulatory bodies in each state could also take action to protect against a Porter-like problem in the future. In Ohio for example, the Ohio Casino Control Commission banned prop bets on college athletes in February. That came in response to a request from the NCAA. Any such action by a state regulatory commission would impact all licensed sportsbooks, not just those partnered with the NBA.

The NBA has shown its acumen in handling gambling issues. As Gaming Today reported in April, the commissioner responded swiftly and with skill to handle the possible public relations problem the Porter scandal could have caused.

About the Author
Dan Holmes

Dan Holmes

Writer and Contributor
Dan Holmes is a veteran writer and contributor for Gaming Today. He has written three books, including The Ballplayers: Baseball’s Greatest Players Remembered, Ranked, and Revealed, which will be released in 2024. Holmes has previously worked for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Major League Baseball.

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