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Scott Sibella Admits to Not Reporting Illegal Sports Betting

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Scott Sibella, the Former President and COO of Resorts World Las Vegas of MGM, has pleaded guilty to enabling illegal gambling and Anti Money Laundering (AML) in a hearing at a Los Angeles court. As part of the sentencing process, Sibella now faces a maximum of $250,000 in fines and a custodial sentence of up to five years in prison.

Under the terms of the deal, Sibella admitted to failing to report illegal betting activities to his bosses at MGM throughout 2018. Wayne Nix, a former minor league baseball player, was operating an illegal sports bookmaking business where he catered to high-profile sporting stars.

Scott Sibella provided an environment where the operation Nix was running was allowed to flourish, as the COO provided multiple hospitality nights and free trips for Nix’s clients. In one incident, Nix turned up at the casino with $140,000 to settle a bookmaking debt, and Sibella acknowledges he failed to notify the authorities.

Following the plea, Sibella reiterated that he was not part of Nix’s betting operations and had not profited financially. He added he was looking forward to continuing working in the casino industry.

I am pleased to have this investigation and its findings reaching a conclusion, 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 look forward to continuing to provide my knowledge, skills, and insights to support the continued growth, evolution, and professionalism of the gaming industry.

Scott SibellaFormer President and COO of Resorts World Las Vegas

Sibella Turned a Blind Eye to Illegal Bookmaking

In the details of Sibella’s plea, he appeared not to be part of the betting ring at the venues; rather, he turned a blind eye to the activities of Wayne Nix and his high-profile clients.

Legislators said Sibella's actions, turning a blind eye and failing to report illegal betting when he was president of the casino, had put the credibility of MGM at risk. They added they were prepared to investigate and prosecute all bad actors who fail to report to the authorities any suspicious activity relating to money laundering.

Financial institutions have a duty under the law to report criminal or suspicious activity occurring at the institution through SARs. Our office will aggressively prosecute corporate executives and employees who turn a blind eye to criminal actors depositing illegal funds at casinos and financial institutions.

Joseph McNallyFirst Assistant United States Attorney

MGM has admitted that the compliance procedures in place to prevent illegal betting activities from taking place at its casinos have not worked correctly.

For allowing an illicit sports betting ring to flourish at its venues for a sustained period, MGM Grand and The Cosmopolitan have agreed to pay a reported $7.5M in fines for failing to comply with AML.

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RELATED TOPICS: Regulation

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