Former Las Vegas casino executive to be sentenced in bookmaking money laundering case


In recent news, a former high-ranking executive of prominent Las Vegas casinos found himself in legal trouble for allowing an illegal bookmaker to gamble large sums of money at the MGM Grand and settle debts with cash. Scott Sibella, the executive in question, admitted his wrongdoing and pleaded guilty to violating federal anti-money laundering laws. Now facing potential prison time and fines, Sibella’s case has shed light on the importance of compliance in the casino industry.

Following Sibella’s admission of guilt, both the MGM Grand and the nearby Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas settled with the U.S. Justice Department over related money laundering allegations. As part of the settlement, the resorts agreed to pay hefty fines, undergo external reviews, and enhance their compliance measures.

Sibella’s legal team, comprised of attorneys Jeffrey Rutherford and John Spilotro, sought leniency for their client, aiming for probation rather than imprisonment. They submitted letters of support from various individuals, including Clark County Sheriff Kevin McMahill. However, they have not responded to requests for comment.

The key figure in Sibella’s case is Wayne Nix, a former minor league baseball player who operated an illegal gambling business. Nix, who resides in Newport Coast, California, awaits sentencing after pleading guilty to several charges. According to court documents, Sibella allowed Nix to gamble at MGM Grand properties using funds obtained from his illicit activities without reporting to the casino’s compliance department.

During his testimony, Sibella claimed ignorance of Nix’s illegal activities, stating that he avoided involvement due to his position within the company. Despite suspicions, Sibella chose not to inquire further to maintain plausible deniability.

Sibella’s tenure in the casino industry includes leadership roles at The Mirage and Treasure Island before serving as president and chief operating officer of the MGM Grand for eight years. He later became president of Resorts World Las Vegas until his dismissal in 2023 for violating company policies.

In addition to his legal troubles, Nevada casino regulators are contemplating disciplinary action against Sibella, which could include revoking or suspending his gambling license and imposing substantial fines.

In conclusion, Sibella’s case underscores the importance of transparency and compliance in the casino industry. As investigations continue, the outcome of his legal proceedings will undoubtedly have ramifications for both him and the broader gambling sector.


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