Thursday, June 13, 2024
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Online gambling casts deepening shadow on pro sports

The legalization of online sports betting in many U.S. states has proved a boon for the gambling industry, as well as generated billions in local tax revenue. But the explosive growth in wagering has also had a less savory effect that experts say threatens the integrity of professional sports: a surge in players breaking league rules and placing bets, sometimes on their own teams and personal performance.
The most recent incident happened this week when the NBA permanently banned former Toronto Raptors player Jontay Porter after an investigation found that he shared information about his health status with other bettors and that he had previously bet $54,000 on basketball games.
Earlier this year, meanwhile, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Shohei Ohtani became the center of a MLB gambling probe centering on the player’s former interpreter. And the NHL last fall suspended Ottawa Senator Shane Pinto for 41 games for violating the league’s gambling rules.
In 2023, 11 different pro athletes were caught engaging in sports gambling, the Athletic has reported, including NFL players from the Detroit Lions who were suspended for an entire season.
Such scandals, including at the collegiate level, have proliferated since the Supreme Court in 2018 cleared the way for states to legalize online sports betting. And while there are steps league officials can take to mitigate the issue, experts see no panaceas.
Should leagues ban



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