Former Las Vegas casino executive gets probation, fine in illegal bookie case
Former Las Vegas casino executive gets probation, fine in illegal bookie case
Super Slots

FILE – Steve Sibella, center, attends the Resorts World Las Vegas two year anniversary kick off at Resorts World Las Vegas on June 21, 2023, in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Bryan Steffy/Getty Images for Resorts World)

LAS VEGAS (KSNV) — Former casino executive Scott Sibella was sentenced to probation and a fine for violating federal anti-money laundering laws when he allowed an illegal bookmaker to gamble at his casino.

Wednesday's sentencing came after Sibella reached a plea agreement with federal prosecutors back in January on a count of failure to file reports of suspicious transactions required to be made by casinos.

Clark County Sheriff Kevin McMahill was among the people writing to the judge in support of Sibella. The sheriff wrote that Sibella is a friend who has supported the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, according to a letter submitted to the court on Sibella's behalf.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of California alleged that while he was president of MGM Grand, Sibella allowed known bookmaker Wayne Nix to gamble in the casino from 2017 to 2019.

Sibella was aware that Nix was gambling but did not notify the casino's compliance department, federal prosecutors alleged. He also authorized complimentary benefits for Nix, including meals, rooms and golf trips.

Unsealed court records revealed that Sibella admitted that year he knew Nix was involved in illegal bookmaking but "didn't want to know because of my position. 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."

MGM Grand and The Cosmopolitan, both now operated by MGM Resorts, also agreed to a nearly $7.5 million settlement to resolve a federal money laundering probe tied to the case.

Sibella left MGM Grand in 2019 to become president of Resorts World Las Vegas, helping guide the resort through its mid-pandemic construction and opening in 2021. He was ousted from his position last year.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board has also filed a complaint against Sibella for his ties to Nix. Regulators are seeking to revoke Sibella's gaming license and levy a fine.