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Jontay Porter’s lawyer says banned NBA player was ‘in over his head’ with a gambling addiction

June 8th, 2024

Jontay Porter’s lawyer said his client is currently receiving treatment for gambling addiction and is cooperating with authorities. (Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

The lawyer representing Jontay Porter, the Toronto Raptors forward who was given a lifetime ban by the NBA for sports betting, said his client was “in over his head” dealing with a gambling addiction.

In a statement sent to The Associated Press, Porter’s lawyer, Jeff Jensen, said the Raptors forward is undergoing treatment and cooperating with authorities.

“Jontay is a good young man with strong faith that will get him through this. He was in over his head due to a gambling addiction,” the statement read. “He is undergoing treatment and has been fully cooperative with law enforcement.”

The scandal involving Porter has now seen a fourth person arrested as 32-year-old Ammar Awawdeh turned himself in on Friday. Three co-defendants were taken in earlier this week, including Long Phi Pham, who was apprehended while attempting to board a flight to Australia with a one-way ticket at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. He reportedly had $12,000 in cash, two cashier’s checks totaling $80,000, betting slips and three cell phones on his person.

A court complaint accuses Awawdeh of pressing an NBA player, identified as “Player 1” to take care of gambling debts by leaving games early, which would guarantee payouts for those who bet on Porter to underperform in those games.

Awawdeh used an encrypted messaging app to say he was “forcing” the to player to do it and told “Player 1” to “Screenshot this,” according to the complaint.

Awawdeh was arraigned and released on $100,000 bond to home detention with an ankle monitor.

Porter is not named in the complaint nor is he currently charged.

The defendants are charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud have yet to enter pleas.

The NBA’s investigation found that Porter purposely limited his participation in the Raptors’ March 20 game against the Sacramento Kings specifically to influence the outcome of one or more bets on his performance. Against the Brooklyn Nets, Porter claimed he felt ill after playing just three minutes.

The NBA also found that prior to the game, Porter disclosed confidential information about his health status to “an individual he knew to be an NBA bettor.” A different individual associated with Porter also bet that Porter would underperform March 20 as part of an $80,000 parlay the bettor placed with an online sports book.

From January through March 2024, while traveling with the Raptors and the Raptors’ G League team, Porter placed at least 13 bets on NBA games using someone else’s betting account. These bets ranged from $15 to $22,000 for a total of $54,094. The total payout from these bets was $76,059, resulting in winnings of $21,965. None of the bets involved any game in which Porter played, but he did bet on the Raptors to lose as part of three different parlay bets. All three bets lost.

This content was originally sourced and posted at Yahoo! Sports – News, Scores, Standings, Rumors, Fantasy Games »
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