NHL Suspends Shane Pinto 41 Games for Violating League’s Gambling Policy

Posted on: October 26, 2023, 04:21h. 

Last updated on: October 26, 2023, 09:43h.

The National Hockey League (NHL) on Thursday handed Ottawa Senators forward Shane Pinto a 41-game suspension for violating its sports betting policy.

NHL Shane Pinto Ottawa Senators
Shane Pinto on the ice last year playing for the Ottawa Senators. Pinto has been suspended 41 games from the NHL for violating the league’s sports betting and gambling policy. (Image: AP)

Pinto is the second professional sports player today to face a significant ban from their respective sport. Earlier Thursday, the Italian Football Federation banned Newcastle United’s Sandro Tonali from betting on professional soccer.

Pinto’s betting infractions aren’t so clear. The NHL is staying mum on what specifically the 22-year-old did to warrant the suspension.

The National Hockey League announced today that it has suspended NHL Player Shane Pinto for 41 games for activities relating to sports wagering. The League’s investigation found no evidence that Pinto made any wagers on NHL games,” a brief statement from the league read.

“The NHL considers this matter closed, absent the emergence of new information, and will have no further comment,” the NHL release added.

Pinto is the first NHL player to be suspended for violating the NHL Gambling Policy since 2018 when the US Supreme Court opened the floodgates to widespread sports betting. In May of that year, the nation’s highest court determined that a federal law limiting sports betting to Nevada was unconstitutional.

Senators Keep Quiet

Along with the NHL, the Ottawa Senators franchise is refraining from detailing Pinto’s sports betting infractions to the public. The team instead said that Pinto “is a valued member of our hockey club” and “is remorseful for his mistakes.”

An NHL investigation into Pinto’s conduct reportedly began during the summer and intensified this fall. Rumors have surfaced that the New York native maintained an online sportsbook account with a legal, regulated operator in the US.

NHL players and league personnel are “absolutely prohibited” from betting on NHL games, regardless of whether they’re participating in the game. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman says the league is authorized to “discipline individuals determined to have engaged in improper gambling activities.”

The NHL Gambling Policy includes a provision stressing that players and others falling under the scope of the guidelines will face discipline if they demonstrate “conduct that is dishonorable, prejudicial to, or against the welfare of the League or the game of hockey.”

Pinto Contract

The Ottawa Senators began their regular season earlier this month, but Pinto hasn’t been on the ice because he remains an unrestricted free agent. His contract negotiations were put on hold amid the betting investigation.

His 41-game suspension is retroactive to October 11, Ottawa’s first game of the regular season. Pinto’s agent can begin working on a new contract with the review closed. It appears Ottawa wants to keep the rising star, who scored 35 points with 20 goals and 15 assists during his first full year as a starter last season.

When the time is right and with the league’s blessing, we will welcome him back to the organization and embrace him as one of our own,” the team statement concluded.

Pinto also commented publicly on his suspension.

“I want to apologize to the National Hockey League, the Ottawa Senators, my teammates, the fans, the 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,” Pinto said.