Pro Athletes Banned & Suspended for Sports Betting, Gambling

Pro Athletes Banned & Suspended for Sports Betting, Gambling

Pro Athletes Banned & Suspended for Sports Betting, Gambling

Published:

Jun 21, 2024

Published:

Jun 21, 2024

Published:

Jun 21, 2024

Back in March, we highlighted and broke down why 2024 could be the year of sports betting scandals, but the year’s timeline has since been updated. With the non-stop expansion of, easy access to and towering prevalence of online sports betting, scandals may soon just be a normal consequence. 

In this article, we take a step back and explore the history of pro athlete betting scandals, examining several high-profile cases across various sports.

Players banned and suspended for gambling

NBA

Jontay Porter

Toronto Raptors two-way player, Jontay Porter, younger brother of NBA champion Michael Porter Jr., went undrafted in 2019 due to injury concerns, but was a promising young player. Porter was involved in a gambling scandal where, according to the NBA, "Porter violated league rules by disclosing confidential information to sports bettors, limiting his own participation in one or more games for betting purposes, and betting on NBA games." Porter’s scandal led to a lifetime ban, sentenced on April 17, 2024. 

NFL

Alex Karras

Alex Karras, a defensive lineman for the Detroit Lions, was suspended for the entire 1963 season due to gambling activities. Karras, along with Green Bay Packers star Paul Hornung, admitted to betting on NFL games and associating with known gamblers, leading to their suspensions.

Art Schlichter

In 1983, the Baltimore QB was banned for the entire season for betting on at least 10 NFL games during his rookie year. He returned in 1984 and played 10 games for Indianapolis before his career came to an end.

Josh Shaw

In 2019, Arizona Cardinals defensive back Josh Shaw was suspended indefinitely for betting on NFL games. Shaw, who was on injured reserve at the time, violated the league's gambling policy by placing bets on games, including his own team’s games.

Calvin Ridley

In 2022, Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley was suspended for the entire 2022 season for betting on NFL games. Ridley placed bets on several games during a five-day period in November 2021 when he was away from the team to focus on his mental health.

MLB

Shoeless Joe Jackson

Shoeless Joe Jackson and seven other Chicago White Sox players were banned for life following the 1919 World Series scandal, known as the Black Sox Scandal. They were accused of conspiring with gamblers to fix the World Series, a scandal that rocked the baseball world and led to stricter enforcement of gambling rules.

Pete Rose

Pete Rose, MLB's all-time hits leader, was banned for life in 1989 for betting on baseball games while managing the Cincinnati Reds. Rose's gambling activities cast a long shadow over his career, preventing him from being inducted into the Hall of Fame despite his outstanding playing record.

Ippei Mizuhara

While not a professional athlete, Ippei Mizuhara was in the closest proximity to the MLB’s most global star. On May 8, 2024, former translator and close friend of two-time MLB MVP Shohei Ohtani agreed to plead guilty to two federal charges for stealing nearly $17 million from Ohtani to cover illegal gambling debts. Just as Ohtani was making his debut with the Los Angeles Dodgers in late March, questions began to surface during an investigation into an illegal bookmaking operation, revealing $4.5 million in wire transfers had been sent from Ohtani's bank account to said bookmaking operation. After an investigation into the situation, Ohtani was cleared of wrongdoing and determined to be a victim of Mizuhara’s fraud. 

Tucupita Marcano

On June 4, 2024, San Diego Padres infielder Tucupita Marcano received a lifetime ban for violating the league's gambling policy. While his career had shown much promise, Marcano received the ban after it was confirmed he had been betting on Pittsburgh Pirates games in 2023 while he was on the Pirates.

NHL

Don Gallinger

In 1948, Don Gallinger of the Boston Bruins was banned for life for betting on NHL games. Gallinger, along with teammate Billy Taylor, was found to have bet on games, leading to their permanent expulsion from the league.

Shane Pinto

In 2023, Shane Pinto of the Ottawa Senators was suspended for 41 games due to violations of the NHL’s gambling policy. As the first modern NHL player to receive punishment for involvement in gambling, Pinto’s suspension underscored the NHL’s strict stance against gambling-related activities among its players.

Golf / PGA TOUR

Vince India

In 2021, Vince India, a professional golfer on the Korn Ferry Tour, was suspended for violating the PGA TOUR’s gambling policy. India admitted to betting on PGA TOUR and Korn Ferry Tour events, leading to his suspension.

Jake Staiano

Jake Staiano, another professional golfer on the Korn Ferry Tour, faced suspension in 2021 for gambling on golf tournaments. Staiano's suspension highlighted the PGA TOUR's strict stance on maintaining the integrity of the sport and enforcing its gambling policies.

Soccer

Joey Barton

Joey Barton, an English soccer player, received an 18-month suspension in 2017 for placing bets on soccer matches. Barton admitted to placing over 1,200 bets on matches over a span of ten years, violating the Football Association's rules on gambling.

Tennis

Daniel Koellerer

Daniel Koellerer, often known as "Crazy Dani," was involved in the most well-known tennis scandal with match-fixing that came to light in 2011. The allegations included offering bribes to other players to manipulate match outcomes in his favor. Koellerer was banned from professional tennis for life in 2011.

Gambling Addiction treatment & support options

Some of these athletes were dealing with a Gambling Disorder when they placed bets before their suspensions or bans. Gambling Addiction is a serious condition that can have devastating effects on an individual's career and personal life.

If you or someone you know is struggling with a gambling problem, there are numerous resources available for help. Organizations like Gamblers Anonymous provide support and counseling for those affected. Professional treatment options, such as those offered by Birches Health, can provide comprehensive care and support for individuals dealing with Gambling Addiction.

To learn more about the Birches Health offerings, you can call 833-483-3838 or email hello@bircheshealth.com to speak with a care specialist today. Seeking help is the first step toward recovery and reclaiming control over one’s life.

Sources:

ESPN

NBCLA

fdtennis.com

NBA.com

The Guardian

Back in March, we highlighted and broke down why 2024 could be the year of sports betting scandals, but the year’s timeline has since been updated. With the non-stop expansion of, easy access to and towering prevalence of online sports betting, scandals may soon just be a normal consequence. 

In this article, we take a step back and explore the history of pro athlete betting scandals, examining several high-profile cases across various sports.

Players banned and suspended for gambling

NBA

Jontay Porter

Toronto Raptors two-way player, Jontay Porter, younger brother of NBA champion Michael Porter Jr., went undrafted in 2019 due to injury concerns, but was a promising young player. Porter was involved in a gambling scandal where, according to the NBA, "Porter violated league rules by disclosing confidential information to sports bettors, limiting his own participation in one or more games for betting purposes, and betting on NBA games." Porter’s scandal led to a lifetime ban, sentenced on April 17, 2024. 

NFL

Alex Karras

Alex Karras, a defensive lineman for the Detroit Lions, was suspended for the entire 1963 season due to gambling activities. Karras, along with Green Bay Packers star Paul Hornung, admitted to betting on NFL games and associating with known gamblers, leading to their suspensions.

Art Schlichter

In 1983, the Baltimore QB was banned for the entire season for betting on at least 10 NFL games during his rookie year. He returned in 1984 and played 10 games for Indianapolis before his career came to an end.

Josh Shaw

In 2019, Arizona Cardinals defensive back Josh Shaw was suspended indefinitely for betting on NFL games. Shaw, who was on injured reserve at the time, violated the league's gambling policy by placing bets on games, including his own team’s games.

Calvin Ridley

In 2022, Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley was suspended for the entire 2022 season for betting on NFL games. Ridley placed bets on several games during a five-day period in November 2021 when he was away from the team to focus on his mental health.

MLB

Shoeless Joe Jackson

Shoeless Joe Jackson and seven other Chicago White Sox players were banned for life following the 1919 World Series scandal, known as the Black Sox Scandal. They were accused of conspiring with gamblers to fix the World Series, a scandal that rocked the baseball world and led to stricter enforcement of gambling rules.

Pete Rose

Pete Rose, MLB's all-time hits leader, was banned for life in 1989 for betting on baseball games while managing the Cincinnati Reds. Rose's gambling activities cast a long shadow over his career, preventing him from being inducted into the Hall of Fame despite his outstanding playing record.

Ippei Mizuhara

While not a professional athlete, Ippei Mizuhara was in the closest proximity to the MLB’s most global star. On May 8, 2024, former translator and close friend of two-time MLB MVP Shohei Ohtani agreed to plead guilty to two federal charges for stealing nearly $17 million from Ohtani to cover illegal gambling debts. Just as Ohtani was making his debut with the Los Angeles Dodgers in late March, questions began to surface during an investigation into an illegal bookmaking operation, revealing $4.5 million in wire transfers had been sent from Ohtani's bank account to said bookmaking operation. After an investigation into the situation, Ohtani was cleared of wrongdoing and determined to be a victim of Mizuhara’s fraud. 

Tucupita Marcano

On June 4, 2024, San Diego Padres infielder Tucupita Marcano received a lifetime ban for violating the league's gambling policy. While his career had shown much promise, Marcano received the ban after it was confirmed he had been betting on Pittsburgh Pirates games in 2023 while he was on the Pirates.

NHL

Don Gallinger

In 1948, Don Gallinger of the Boston Bruins was banned for life for betting on NHL games. Gallinger, along with teammate Billy Taylor, was found to have bet on games, leading to their permanent expulsion from the league.

Shane Pinto

In 2023, Shane Pinto of the Ottawa Senators was suspended for 41 games due to violations of the NHL’s gambling policy. As the first modern NHL player to receive punishment for involvement in gambling, Pinto’s suspension underscored the NHL’s strict stance against gambling-related activities among its players.

Golf / PGA TOUR

Vince India

In 2021, Vince India, a professional golfer on the Korn Ferry Tour, was suspended for violating the PGA TOUR’s gambling policy. India admitted to betting on PGA TOUR and Korn Ferry Tour events, leading to his suspension.

Jake Staiano

Jake Staiano, another professional golfer on the Korn Ferry Tour, faced suspension in 2021 for gambling on golf tournaments. Staiano's suspension highlighted the PGA TOUR's strict stance on maintaining the integrity of the sport and enforcing its gambling policies.

Soccer

Joey Barton

Joey Barton, an English soccer player, received an 18-month suspension in 2017 for placing bets on soccer matches. Barton admitted to placing over 1,200 bets on matches over a span of ten years, violating the Football Association's rules on gambling.

Tennis

Daniel Koellerer

Daniel Koellerer, often known as "Crazy Dani," was involved in the most well-known tennis scandal with match-fixing that came to light in 2011. The allegations included offering bribes to other players to manipulate match outcomes in his favor. Koellerer was banned from professional tennis for life in 2011.

Gambling Addiction treatment & support options

Some of these athletes were dealing with a Gambling Disorder when they placed bets before their suspensions or bans. Gambling Addiction is a serious condition that can have devastating effects on an individual's career and personal life.

If you or someone you know is struggling with a gambling problem, there are numerous resources available for help. Organizations like Gamblers Anonymous provide support and counseling for those affected. Professional treatment options, such as those offered by Birches Health, can provide comprehensive care and support for individuals dealing with Gambling Addiction.

To learn more about the Birches Health offerings, you can call 833-483-3838 or email hello@bircheshealth.com to speak with a care specialist today. Seeking help is the first step toward recovery and reclaiming control over one’s life.

Sources:

ESPN

NBCLA

fdtennis.com

NBA.com

The Guardian

Back in March, we highlighted and broke down why 2024 could be the year of sports betting scandals, but the year’s timeline has since been updated. With the non-stop expansion of, easy access to and towering prevalence of online sports betting, scandals may soon just be a normal consequence. 

In this article, we take a step back and explore the history of pro athlete betting scandals, examining several high-profile cases across various sports.

Players banned and suspended for gambling

NBA

Jontay Porter

Toronto Raptors two-way player, Jontay Porter, younger brother of NBA champion Michael Porter Jr., went undrafted in 2019 due to injury concerns, but was a promising young player. Porter was involved in a gambling scandal where, according to the NBA, "Porter violated league rules by disclosing confidential information to sports bettors, limiting his own participation in one or more games for betting purposes, and betting on NBA games." Porter’s scandal led to a lifetime ban, sentenced on April 17, 2024. 

NFL

Alex Karras

Alex Karras, a defensive lineman for the Detroit Lions, was suspended for the entire 1963 season due to gambling activities. Karras, along with Green Bay Packers star Paul Hornung, admitted to betting on NFL games and associating with known gamblers, leading to their suspensions.

Art Schlichter

In 1983, the Baltimore QB was banned for the entire season for betting on at least 10 NFL games during his rookie year. He returned in 1984 and played 10 games for Indianapolis before his career came to an end.

Josh Shaw

In 2019, Arizona Cardinals defensive back Josh Shaw was suspended indefinitely for betting on NFL games. Shaw, who was on injured reserve at the time, violated the league's gambling policy by placing bets on games, including his own team’s games.

Calvin Ridley

In 2022, Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Calvin Ridley was suspended for the entire 2022 season for betting on NFL games. Ridley placed bets on several games during a five-day period in November 2021 when he was away from the team to focus on his mental health.

MLB

Shoeless Joe Jackson

Shoeless Joe Jackson and seven other Chicago White Sox players were banned for life following the 1919 World Series scandal, known as the Black Sox Scandal. They were accused of conspiring with gamblers to fix the World Series, a scandal that rocked the baseball world and led to stricter enforcement of gambling rules.

Pete Rose

Pete Rose, MLB's all-time hits leader, was banned for life in 1989 for betting on baseball games while managing the Cincinnati Reds. Rose's gambling activities cast a long shadow over his career, preventing him from being inducted into the Hall of Fame despite his outstanding playing record.

Ippei Mizuhara

While not a professional athlete, Ippei Mizuhara was in the closest proximity to the MLB’s most global star. On May 8, 2024, former translator and close friend of two-time MLB MVP Shohei Ohtani agreed to plead guilty to two federal charges for stealing nearly $17 million from Ohtani to cover illegal gambling debts. Just as Ohtani was making his debut with the Los Angeles Dodgers in late March, questions began to surface during an investigation into an illegal bookmaking operation, revealing $4.5 million in wire transfers had been sent from Ohtani's bank account to said bookmaking operation. After an investigation into the situation, Ohtani was cleared of wrongdoing and determined to be a victim of Mizuhara’s fraud. 

Tucupita Marcano

On June 4, 2024, San Diego Padres infielder Tucupita Marcano received a lifetime ban for violating the league's gambling policy. While his career had shown much promise, Marcano received the ban after it was confirmed he had been betting on Pittsburgh Pirates games in 2023 while he was on the Pirates.

NHL

Don Gallinger

In 1948, Don Gallinger of the Boston Bruins was banned for life for betting on NHL games. Gallinger, along with teammate Billy Taylor, was found to have bet on games, leading to their permanent expulsion from the league.

Shane Pinto

In 2023, Shane Pinto of the Ottawa Senators was suspended for 41 games due to violations of the NHL’s gambling policy. As the first modern NHL player to receive punishment for involvement in gambling, Pinto’s suspension underscored the NHL’s strict stance against gambling-related activities among its players.

Golf / PGA TOUR

Vince India

In 2021, Vince India, a professional golfer on the Korn Ferry Tour, was suspended for violating the PGA TOUR’s gambling policy. India admitted to betting on PGA TOUR and Korn Ferry Tour events, leading to his suspension.

Jake Staiano

Jake Staiano, another professional golfer on the Korn Ferry Tour, faced suspension in 2021 for gambling on golf tournaments. Staiano's suspension highlighted the PGA TOUR's strict stance on maintaining the integrity of the sport and enforcing its gambling policies.

Soccer

Joey Barton

Joey Barton, an English soccer player, received an 18-month suspension in 2017 for placing bets on soccer matches. Barton admitted to placing over 1,200 bets on matches over a span of ten years, violating the Football Association's rules on gambling.

Tennis

Daniel Koellerer

Daniel Koellerer, often known as "Crazy Dani," was involved in the most well-known tennis scandal with match-fixing that came to light in 2011. The allegations included offering bribes to other players to manipulate match outcomes in his favor. Koellerer was banned from professional tennis for life in 2011.

Gambling Addiction treatment & support options

Some of these athletes were dealing with a Gambling Disorder when they placed bets before their suspensions or bans. Gambling Addiction is a serious condition that can have devastating effects on an individual's career and personal life.

If you or someone you know is struggling with a gambling problem, there are numerous resources available for help. Organizations like Gamblers Anonymous provide support and counseling for those affected. Professional treatment options, such as those offered by Birches Health, can provide comprehensive care and support for individuals dealing with Gambling Addiction.

To learn more about the Birches Health offerings, you can call 833-483-3838 or email hello@bircheshealth.com to speak with a care specialist today. Seeking help is the first step toward recovery and reclaiming control over one’s life.

Sources:

ESPN

NBCLA

fdtennis.com

NBA.com

The Guardian