Former Las Vegas casino exec Scott Sibella faces fine, revoked gaming license in dealings with illegal bookmaker

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LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A week before former MGM Grand president Scott Sibella is scheduled to be sentenced for failing to report suspicious transactions involving a known illegal bookmaker, Nevada officials have filed a complaint that could bring a fine and the loss of his gaming license.

The April 30 complaint by the Nevada Gaming Control Board, which was submitted by Nevada Attorney General Aaron D. Ford, includes documents laying out Sibella’s plea agreement to federal charges.

He is likely to get probation under that federal plea agreement. The maximum sentence is five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Sibella’s sentencing hearing is scheduled on May 8.

The state’s complaint involves the same violations in the federal case, but is directed more at Sibella’s standing as a licensed gaming operator and his suitability.

Wayne Nix, a gambler from Orange County, California, who received comps at the MGM Grand and gambled at the MGM, The Mirage and Aria, is identified in the documents as an illegal bookmaker. Sibella was president at the MGM Grand at the time.

A $120,000 cash transaction at the MGM Grand on July 27, 2018, was not reported, and Sibella entered a guilty plea in Los Angeles in January. The payment was to pay off a marker he owed to the casino, according to court documents.

“Sibella knew that Nix was gambling at MGM Grand and its affiliates and transacting amounts over $5,000,” the complaint states. “Sibella deliberately avoided learning how Nix paid his marker, namely that Nix made a cash payment of over $5,000 to MGM Grand on or around July 27, 2018, in order to gamble at the casino.”

The MGM Grand and The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas agreed to a combined $7.45 million in fines after Sibella’s guilty plea.

Nix pleaded guilty in April 2022 to one count of conspiracy to operate an illegal gambling business and one count of subscribing to a false tax return, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. His sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 25.

Sibella left MGM in 2019 to join Resorts World. He was replaced as president at Resorts World in September 2023 because he “violated company policies and the terms of his employment.”

The complaint filed Tuesday seeks a fine and asks “That the Commission take action against SIBELLA’s license(s) and/or finding(s) of suitability pursuant to the parameters defined in NRS 463.310(4).”

Nevada gaming officials have used the law to prevent people — including Steve Wynn, following allegations he sexually harassed or assaulted several women — from being involved in licensed gaming operations in the state. Wynn was fined $10 million.

The law Sibella violated is in place to prevent money laundering.