Scott Sibella Sentenced to Probation in Las Vegas Money Laundering Probe 

Former Las Vegas casino executive Scott Sibella (pictured) has been sentenced to a year’s probation and a $9,500 fine for allowing former illegal bookmaker Wayne Nix to gamble large amounts of his illicit earnings at MGM Grand Las Vegas. 

Sibella filed a guilty plea in January. This week, he was sentenced for failing to file a suspicious activity report while employed by MGM Grand. 

“I want to apologize to the court, my family, my friends, and the casino industry,” Sibella said, speaking in court on Wednesday. 

“Committing this crime has turned my life upside down, and I look forward to moving forward. And I promise you will never see me in this court for anything like this again.”

The sentencing is part of a wide-ranging federal investigation into various illegal California-based sports betting operations, including Nix’s, and their connections to Las Vegas casinos. 

Sibella can probably consider himself to have gotten off lightly in this instance. However, he still faces a Nevada Gaming Control Board complaint. Those charges could see his Nevada gaming license revoked, as well as a $750,000 fine. 

The Sentencing

Sibella was charged for his role in allowing Nix and associates to bet large sums at the MGM Grand without following proper protocols to question the source of Nix’s income.

According to court documents, that included Nix and his associates betting $5 million on Super Bowl LIII in 2019.

“I didn’t want to know because of my position,” Sibella said in his January plea agreement. 

“I stay out of it. If we know, we can’t allow them to gamble. I didn’t ask. I didn’t want to know, I guess, because he wasn’t doing anything to cheat the casino.”

Before the sentencing decision, Sibella’s lawyers argued mitigating circumstances for a lesser sentence than the maximum 30 years and $750,000 fine. 

They said his confession and guilty plea, his reticence, his 61 years of age, and his previous record of good character should be considered in the sentence. 

He has also been fired from his most recent job at Resorts World as a result of the federal investigation. 

U.S. District Judge Dolly M. Gee agreed, handing down a probationary sentence and a minor fine in court in Los Angeles on Wednesday. 

Gee also noted the several dozen character references sent into the court by respected and high-up individuals in the Las Vegas gambling scene and beyond.

That included Circa Sports manager and sports betting legend Nick Bogdanovich, former San Francisco 49ers General Manager Carmen Policy, former University of Nevada Las Vegas men’s basketball head coach Lon Kruger, and head of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Kevin McMahill.

The Continued Investigation 

Sibella is among the first of what looks likely to be several arrests and sentences relating to high-stakes illegal sports betting rings in California. Nix was arrested and charged in 2022, and is currently awaiting sentencing. 

Reports last month emerged that seemingly linked the investigation into Nix’s sports betting ring and the Ippei Mizuhara case. 

Translator Mizuhara is accused of stealing $16 million from his former employer, L.A. Dodgers baseball star Shohei Ohtani, and spending the majority of it to pay off gambling debts.

The alleged bookmaker in the case, one Matt Bowyer of California, reportedly was a frequent visitor to Las Vegas casinos, where he is said to have spent significant sums of his illegal proceeds without being questioned. 

One of those was Resorts World during the time Sibella was president. However, neither the Genting-owned resort, Sibella, or Bowyer himself have been named in any legal filings as of this writing.

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