Scott Sibella, the former president and chief operating officer of Resorts World Las Vegas, has pleaded guilty to federal charges stemming from his tenure as the president of MGM Grand.
In a recent development in the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, Sibella admitted to failing to report illegal gambling activities at MGM Grand, a violation of anti-money-laundering laws. This plea could lead to a prison sentence of up to five years and a fine of $250,000.
The charges against Sibella are connected to his interactions with Wayne Nix, a former minor league baseball player known to operate an illegal sports-betting business.
According to Sibella’s plea agreement, he allowed Nix to gamble at the MGM Grand, comping him hotel stays and golf trips with high-rollers and senior executives.
Scott Sibella World Resort Former President Pleads Guilty
During these stays, Nix reportedly recruited new sports bettors for his illegal operation. Nix has since pleaded guilty to conspiracy to operate an illegal gambling business and is awaiting sentencing.
In addition to Sibella’s charges, MGM Grand and the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas, acquired by MGM Resorts in 2022, have agreed to pay $7.5 million in fines related to Nix’s illegal activities.
These fines are part of the fallout from the investigation into the gambling ring, which included clients such as active NFL and MLB players and operated for nearly two decades.
Despite the serious nature of his charges, Sibella has expressed a desire to continue working in the gaming industry. In a statement, he acknowledged his actions and inactions but clarified that they were not for personal benefit. He also thanked the U.S. Attorney’s Office for its professionalism throughout the process.
Sibella’s career in the gaming industry spans over three decades, including significant leadership roles at The Mirage, Treasure Island, Tropicana, and the Golden Nugget.
At Resorts World, he was instrumental in steering the $4.3 billion project to completion, bringing in renowned brands like Hilton, Conrad, and Crockfords.
However, his time at Resorts World ended in September 2023 when he was dismissed for violating company policies and the terms of his employment contract, just days after informing Genting officials about the ongoing investigation at MGM Grand.
The Nevada Gaming Control Board closed a nearly year-old investigation into allegations made against Sibella and found them to be unfounded. However, Sibella’s guilty plea and the ensuing legal proceedings have cast a shadow over his long and influential career in the gaming industry.
With a potent blend of lived experience and technical expertise, Stephen Naumov stands as a distinctive voice in Mr. Sweepstakes's content team. Born in the historic city of Sofia, Bulgaria, Stephen studied economics at New Bulgarian University and also enriched his expertise by becoming a software engineer at the renowned Telerik Academy.