Scott Sibella, Former Resorts World Las Vegas President, Charged over Illegal Sportsbook Case
Scott Sibella (pictured), the former president of Resorts World Las Vegas and MGM Grand, has pleaded guilty to not filing suspicious activity reports while he was working at MGM Grand back in 2018.
This admission was made in front of the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, following 2023’s allegations of breaches related to anti-money laundering regulations. Sibella’s plea puts him at risk of up to five years in prison and a fine of $250,000.
The charges against Sibella, 61, stem from his involvement with Wayne Nix, a former minor league baseball player who ran an illegal California sports betting operation for nearly two decades.
Sibella admitted to comping Nix for hotel stays and golf trips with high rollers at the Nevada casinos he ran, including the MGM Grand and the Cosmopolitan, which Nix used to recruit bettors for his gambling ring.
Following this revelation, MGM Resorts International was fined $7.5 million, reflecting the seriousness of the compliance failures under Sibella’s tenure.
Sibella left his position at the head of the $4.3 billion Resorts World Las Vegas project in September 2023. Although neither side said at the time exactly why Sibella left, it was widely speculated that it was related to the Wayne Nix investigation.
“I am pleased to have this investigation and its findings reaching a conclusion,” said Sibella in a statement on Wednesday 24.
“I take full responsibility for my actions and inactions, but I must make clear I took no action for my personal benefit or inurement. I wish to thank the U.S. Attorney’s Office for its professionalism throughout this process.”
Nix Investigation Fallout
Resorts World Las Vegas announced in September the departure of Sibella from his position.
The official statement from Resorts World cited “violations of company policies and the terms of his employment agreement” as the reason for his termination.
Taking over the reins at Genting’s Resorts World Las Vegas is Peter LaVoie. The new president also previously worked at MGM as chief financial officer of its Nevada casinos, the Excalibur and Luxor resorts.
The investigation into Wayne Nix’s illegal sportsbook operation first came to light in 2022. As well as a Las Vegas casino president, others who have been charged with involvement include former Los Angeles Dodgers MLB player Yasiel Puig Valdes, and Californian accountant William Eric Fulton.
Nix was found guilty in April 2022, and is set be sentenced in March of this year. Sibella’s sentencing is also set for March 6.
Sibella has been a key figure in Nevada sports betting and casino operations since being named president of the Mirage in 2007.
A Las Vegas native, he joined downtown’s Golden Nugget as an intern in the early 2000s, before working his way up to hotel manager and eventually president and chief operating officer of MGM Grand.
He was appointed president of Resorts World before its opening in 2021, serving for two years before his dismissal.
The events that led to his firing, federal charges, and potentially prison time, were not the only controversy for Sibella during his time at Resorts World.
In mid-2022, frequent Las Vegas high-roller Brandon Sattler accused Sibella of knowingly hiring a felon as a manager at a taco stall on the Resorts World property, and then also publicly accused him of debaucherous behavior.
Sattler’s allegations were deemed “unfounded” by the Nevada Gaming Control Board in 2023 after a year-long investigation.
Sattler himself was eventually charged with federal crimes after an FBI investigation into $10 million of fraudulently obtained loans.