Two Gamblers Who Lost $15M at Resorts World Connected to Las Vegas Money Laundering Probe 

Two California millionaires connected to the federal probe into illegal sportsbooks and their links to Las Vegas casinos allegedly lost $15 million gambling at Resorts World between 2022 and 2023, reports revealed this week. 

The fallout from the wide-ranging federal investigation has already seen several people arrested, and the sentencing of former MGM Grand and Resorts World President Scott Sibella. 

Real Housewives of Orange County regular Ryan Boyajian and businessman and poker player Damien LeForbes were both heavy high-stakes gamblers at Resorts World. That’s according to court documents and casino records obtained by The Nevada Current. 

Both are under federal investigation because they are known associates of Matt Bowyer, the alleged illegal California bookmaker. He profited off the $17 million stolen from Los Angeles Dodgers baseball star Shohei Ohtani by his former interpreter, Ippie Mizuhara. 

Bowyer himself also reportedly lost $7.9M gambling at Resorts World around the same time. 

Boyajian, LeForbes, and Resorts World have not been officially accused of any wrongdoing as of yet. But the multi-departmental investigation is ongoing. 

The Gambling

Of the two connected individuals, Damian LeForbes gambled the majority of the money. Casino records obtained by The Nevada Current report that he made losses totaling $12.3 million over roughly 50 trips to Resorts World between 2022 and 2023.

The casino also kept records of a $2.5 million bounced check that it received from LeForbes in 2023. It sent that to Clark County, but no case has been filed. 

LeForbes, who is a regular high-limit poker player, reportedly owes $1 million to the Venetian. That’s a debt which the Clark County District Attorney is also apparently aware.

That suggests the stockpiling of evidence as part of the wider investigation into his links with Bowyer. But one anonymous casino source did cast doubt on any suspicions that the losses might have been direct money laundering.

“I don’t know what kind of money launderers blow it all at the tables,” the source told the news. 

Meanwhile, Boyajian visited Resorts World 21 times, sometimes with Bowyer, and lost $3.7 million in the high-limit rooms over those visits.

The Wider Investigation 

The large federal probe into various illegal California bookmakers includes agents from the Inland Revenue Service, the Department of Homeland Security, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office. With all the links to Las Vegas, it now officially includes the Nevada District Attorney and the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB).

The investigation began in earnest in 2022, when the feds began looking into the activities of illegal bookmaker Wayne Nix. 

Nix gambled at MGM Grand while Sibella was president, despite the experienced exec being suspicious of his incomes. That ended up in his firing from Resorts World and eventual nine-month suspended sentence and fine for failing to report Nix.

The NGCB is also preparing a filing against Sibella, which could see a substantially larger fine and the termination of his Silver State gaming license. Nix is awaiting sentencing on various charges relating to his illegal gambling operation.

Mizuhara was responsible for bringing the investigation into the wider public eye. He was caught stealing nearly $17 million from his famous employer, Ohtani, to pay off gambling debts to Bowyer. 

Bowyer and his alleged bookmaking associates, LeForbes and Boyajain, have yet to be officially charged with any wrongdoing. 

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