NBA Commish Wants Changes to Prop Bets on Two Way Players

Written by:
Nagesh Rath
Published on:
May/09/2024

NBA commissioner Adam Silver spoke at the Associated Press Sports Editors Commissioners Conference in New York City on Monday where he discussed the recent gambling scandal involving former Toronto Raptors player Jontay Porter.

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The NBA claims to have found evidence to suggest that, from January to March 2024, Porter placed 13 bets on NBA games using another person's account. Some of the wagers included parlay bets involving the Raptors losing. His wagers totaled $54,000 over that period, netting over $22,000 in winnings.

The NBA accused him of "disclosing confidential information to sports bettors, limiting his own participation in one or more games for betting purposes, and betting on NBA games."

On April 17, Porter was banned for life from further play and involvement in the NBA and its associated leagues.

Silver specifically wants changes to NBA player prop bets involving two-way players. A two-way basketball player is a player that is generally above average on offense and defense.

"We only have so much control," Silver said. "For example, the NCAA has made the point about the risk to college players. There's a large pool of players in college whose careers will end after they participate in college athletics, so there's not as much at stake. There's clearly a lot more at stake for a superstar player than there is for a two-way player.

"So it goes to the kinds of players those bets can be placed on, and then the types of bets as well. Certainly, prop bets, depending on how precise they are, lend themselves to more shenanigans than other kind of bets. Now, some of that can be captured through various monitoring, but we also recognize that a large amount of the handle -- I'm not sure the precise percentage -- but my hunch is there's still far more illegal [betting] than legal.

"There are limits to our control, but we think there should be a regulated framework, where it's the leagues working together with the state oversight groups and the betting companies, whether or not we have partnerships with them. In some cases we have partnerships with, just take DraftKings and FanDuel, where we don't have absolute control, but when we have a marketing partnership with those companies we have a lot more say than with companies where we have no partnership whatsover. Then we're relying on them doing a broader based concern about integrity in the industry and them not running afoul of the regulators."

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