Nevada Gaming Control Board Joins Illegal Sportsbook Money Laundering Investigation 

The Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) has finally joined the wide-ranging federal investigation into the illegal sportsbook once operated by Californian minor league baseball player Wayne Nix. 

The investigation already resulted in the firing and arrest of former Resorts World Las Vegas CEO Scott Sibella. The experienced Las Vegas-exec allowed Nix to gamble large sums at the MGM Grand in 2018, despite being aware of his illegal sportsbook business. 

Sibella is due in court later this year for sentencing after pleading guilty to a charge of violating the Bank Secrecy Act. Nix is also awaiting sentencing after filing a guilty plea last year to illegal gambling charges.

This week, the Nevada Gaming Control Board has officially joined the feds in the ongoing investigation. The gambling regulator previously looked into Sibella’s links to Nix’s illegal sportsbook, but found the allegations to be unfounded. That’s an assessment the federal government disagreed with. 

There is also some suggestion the gambling scandal involving Major League Baseball star Shohei Ohtani may have links to the case. Ohtani’s former interpreter, Ippei Mizhuhara, allegedly stole $16 million from his employer and spent the majority of it gambling with illegal bookmaker Matt Bowyer, who had many links to Las Vegas. 

The Investigation

According to reports from the Nevada Current, there are multiple federal authorities working on the case. The NGCB has apparently been keen to have its input, as regulators want to make up for clearing Sibella just months before he was charged by the feds. 

The Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Homeland Security, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents have all been involved. 

People being investigated, according to The Current’s source, include high-stakes gambler Damian LeForbes, Las Vegas realtor and VIP casino host Jennifer Belacastro, and Venetian CEO Patrick Nichols. None have been accused of any crimes. 

The NGCB has also spoken to people at the Aria, the Venetian, Resorts World, and the Cosmopolitan as it tries to piece together the potential ties between various illegal gambling operations and Las Vegas casinos. 

Some of the above named people had connections to Nix, but also to Bowyer, the illegal bookmaker that handled many of the wagers in the case. 

California Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeff Mitchell was the chief prosecutor against Sibella and Nix, as well as Mizuhara.

Bowyer, who often spent long periods staying and gambling at Las Vegas casino resorts, is accused of taking some 19,000 in illegal bets from Mizuhara while he worked as an interpreter for L.A. Dodgers star Ohtani. 

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