Ottowa Senators center Shane Pinto made sports history last week when he became the first NHL player to catch a suspension for gambling since regulated sports betting was legalized in 2018. Pinto’s 41-game suspension was announced after a lengthy investigation, but details of his alleged gambling remain unclear.
The NHL, like all professional sports, holds its players to a high standard of conduct when it comes to gambling and takes a very hard line against players who gamble on their own teams. But NHL officials made it clear that Pinto was not gambling on his own team. The league would only say that Pinto, who plays in Canada, had an account with a US operator and that there was suspicious activity on that account.
Pinto himself was pretty vague about the details of his suspension in his own statements, reported on by ESPN.com, in which he says only, “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. I take full responsibility for my actions and look forward to getting back on the ice with my team.”
Officials from the Ottowa Senators were similarly vague saying only, “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.”
Pinto is an unrestricted free agent and will be eligible to sign a new contract when his suspension is up in January.