Former MGM Grand Prez Faces 5 Years in Prison For Illegal Gambling

Posted on: January 25, 2024, 12:02h. 

Last updated on: February 6, 2024, 06:26h.

Scott Sibella, the former president and chief operating officer of Resorts World Las Vegas, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles Wednesday to charges that could send him to prison for five years and cost him $250K in fines.

Former Resorts World Las Vegas president Scott Sibella
Former Resorts World Las Vegas president Scott Sibella speaks at the 2021 opening of the casino resort that fired him two years later. (Image: Getty)

The charges stem from Sibella’s term as president of the MGM Grand from 2010-19. That’s when, according to his plea agreement, he allowed former minor league baseball player Wayne Nix — a person known by Sibella to operate an illegal sports-betting business — to gamble at his casino violating anti-money-laundering laws.

I am pleased to have this investigation and its findings reaching a conclusion,” Sibella said in a statement emailed to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “I take full responsibility for my actions and inactions, but I must make clear I took no action for my personal benefit or inurement.”

The MGM Grand and the Cosmopolitan Las Vegas, a resort purchased by MGM Resorts in 2022, have also agreed to pay $7.5M in fines for Nix’s illegal activities.

Wayne NIx
Wayne Nix, who reportedly hasn’t been photographed since he played minor-league baseball with the Oakland A’s farm team, is shown via his 1999 Modesto A’s baseball card. (Image: Daily Mail)

Nix’s ring operated for almost two decades, employing former pro athletes as bookies and boasting clients including active NFL and MLB players. Sibella’s friendship with Nix allowed him to grow the illegal business, prosecutors said.

According to his plea agreement, Sibella comped Nix hotel stays and golf trips with high rollers and senior MGM Grand executives from August 2017 to February 2019. During these trips, Nix recruited new sports bettors.

In 2022, Nix pleaded guilty to conspiracy to operate an illegal gambling business and filing a false tax return. Facing up to eight years in prison, he is scheduled to be sentenced on March 6.

Gaming Not Over?

Despite the hard time he faces, Sibella concluded his email to the R-J by stating his desire to remain in the casino industry.

As this process comes to a conclusion, I look forward to continuing to provide my knowledge, skills and insights to support the continued growth, evolution, and professionalism of the gaming industry,” he wrote.

Resorts World owner, the Genting Group, hired Sibella as the property’s president in 2019. He steered the unfinished $4.3 billion project to completion two years later, bringing aboard the Hilton, Conrad, and Crockfords brands — and their vast databases — in the process.

According to Sibella, he was fired in September 2023, three days after informing Genting officials about the Justice Department’s investigation. Resorts World said that he “violated company policies and the terms of his employment.” 

Before presiding over the MGM Grand, Sibella also served as president of The Mirage. Before that, he was an executive at Treasure Island, Tropicana, and the Golden Nugget.