Ottawa Senators forward Shane Pinto declined to divulge what he did to earn a 41-game suspension for violating NHL betting policy.
“No, I’m not gonna. I’d rather just kinda not get involved in that,” Pinto told reporters on Friday, in his first interview since the ban.
Despite taking sports betting partnership money, the league has been mum on specifics regarding Pinto’s NHL betting ban. Pinto will be eligible to return on Jan. 21.
League mum on NHL betting ban
LSR reached out to deputy commissioner Bill Daly again Friday about the lack of transparency but did not hear back by press time.
Pinto’s settlement negotiation likely included non-disclosure provisions. NHL integrity partner Sportradar declined comment to LSR in late October.
The NHL Players Association did plan to increase player education efforts during its fall tour, per LSR sources.
NHL betting probe surprised Pinto
Pinto did say he was “a little bit” caught off guard when the league first approached him.
“I don’t want to get too much into detail about it,” Pinto said. “Definitely caught off guard a bit. But just kind of came out of nowhere and went from there.”
Pinto added that other players have reached out to him about his ban. He can serve as an example of sorts, given he was the first player in the legal gambling era to go through it.
“Oh yeah. For sure. That’s what I’m there for now,” Pinto said. “I’m the first one in a long time, so I could be (an example to) just kind of learn from my experience. I definitely talked to a lot of people about it, especially a lot of the players, and it’s good that I can help them now.”
Pinto: ‘I gotta be more cautious’
While gambling on sports has been around well before the legal era, advertising on it is much more prevalent.
Pinto was asked how the NHL supports its players to avoid it.
“I mean, it’s just part of it now I think,” Pinto said. “You see it on the commercials now. It’s pretty evident. But that’s no excuse, I think. I gotta be more cautious and more mature in what I’m doing. And I gotta realize what position I’m in and there’s always going to be a microscope on professional athletes and like I said I took that for granted, I gotta be better with it.”
What NHL betting policy says
Pinto’s online gambling account in the US was flagged for unusual activity. That prompted the integrity monitory to contact the league office, the Ottawa Sun reported at the time.
A third party was involved, according to TSN. There was also no evidence that Pinto wagered on any NHL games, the league said.
Players are prohibited from wagering on NHL games, according to the league’s gambling policy. They are, however, allowed to bet on other sports.