Nevada Gaming Board Files Complaint Against Scott Sibella Following Illegal Bookmaking Investigation

Home » Nevada Gaming Board Files Complaint Against Scott Sibella Following Illegal Bookmaking Investigation

Following Scott Sibella’s guilty plea in January 2024 for violating the Bank Secrecy Act in connection with the federal investigation into illegal bookmaking, the Nevada Gaming Board has now filed a complaint against a former president of Resorts World Las Vegas four months later. 

The violations:

Before this three-count complaint, the casino executive was accused of violating the Bank Secrecy Act and being involved in the federal investigation of illegal bookmaking.

Sibella was the president of the renowned Nevada casino and was fired after overseeing the opening of the Strip casino in June 2021. Now, almost three years later, he might be paying large fines and penalties and face up to five years in prison. 

Prior to the opening of the popular Resorts World, Sibella was granted a limited license. According to the agency, the investigation was ongoing when he applied for and obtained the license. A thorough background check was conducted only a year later, and he was given a full gaming license. However, further investigation revealed certain misconceptions during the process.

Sibella has two options: either make a settlement with the Board or face a hearing in front of the Nevada Gaming Commission.

Everything started in 2018 when Sibella was president of the MGM Grand Las Vegas. Back then, he authorized the company’s marketing representatives to approve gambling millions of dollars at the casino to Wayne Nix, who was allegedly accused of illegal bookmaking. Nix, a former minor league baseball player, paid the money he owed in cash, violating MGM Resorts International’s AML policy. Furthermore, Sibella failed to comply with the casino’s internal control regarding mandatory reporting of suspicious activities. Sibella pleaded guilty to these charges at the January U.S. District Court hearing in Los Angeles.

As the Nevada Independent reports, the Board said in a complaint: “Sibella failed to comply with MGM Resorts International’s anti-money laundering policy and failed to comply with MGM Grand’s internal controls that required Sibella to report suspicious activities regarding Nix.” 

Investigation and the outcome:

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The investigation ended in February 2023, when the Control Board informed the public about it. However, it was an unusual move since the complaint hadn’t been filed yet. 

On May 8, the sentence will be declared, and Sibella can get up to five years in prison, while MGM Grand and The Cosmopolitan have to pay a fine of $7.45 million. They were fined because of their employees’ actions at the time and the lack of compliance programs that would prevent and reduce money laundering on their property.

Genting Berhad, a Malaysia-based company, owns Resorts World Las Vegas and many other Resorts World casinos in Asia and New York.

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