OAN’s James Meyers
9:23 AM – Friday, October 27, 2023
The National Hockey League (NHL) has suspended Ottawa Senators forward Shane Pinto for betting on NHL games.
The league made the announcement on Thursday, stating Pinto violated the NHL’s sports wagering rules and will be suspended for 41 games.
“I want to apologize to the National Hockey League, the Ottawa Senators, my teammates, the fans and city of Ottawa and most importantly my family,” Pinto said in a statement released via the team. “I take full responsibility for my actions and look forward to getting back on the ice with my team.”
However, the league said during their investigation of Pinto they found no evidence that he bet on NHL games. The NHL did not release other details, including what Pinto did or how he was caught.
Meanwhile, Pinto is not appealing the suspension, which is part of an agreement among the league, player and NHL Players’ Association to resolve the situation.
Senators coach D.J. Smith told the media that the Senators would help Pinto and welcome him back with open arms when he’s eligible to return.
Currently Pinto is an unsigned restricted free agent and was the last player in that category without a deal.
“Shane is a valued member of our hockey club; an engaging, intelligent young man who made poor decisions that have resulted in a suspension by the National Hockey League,” the Senators said in a statement. “We know he is remorseful for his mistakes. The Ottawa Senators fully support the NHL’s rules on gambling. While saddened to learn of this issue, the entire organization remains committed to Shane and will work together to do what is necessary to help provide the support to allow him to address his issues and become a strong contributor to our community.”
The NHL/NHLPA collective bargaining agreement states that “gambling on any NHL game is prohibited.”
Pinto becomes the latest professional athlete suspended since the Supreme Court allowed legalized sports wagering in 2018. Over 10 NFL players have been banned for gambling so far and there have been concerns across college sports as well.
According to the sports betting market industry, Americans have bet over $220 billion on sports in the first five years since the Supreme Court decision.
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