Scott Sibella: A Casino Executive on Probation

Scott Sibella: A Casino Executive on Probation

Temptation has always lurked around every corner of Las Vegas casinos. The allure of serving wealthy clients can compromise casino integrity, tempting executives to prioritize profits over ethical standards. Such is the case with Scott Sibella, a distinguished and high-ranking personality in the Las Vegas casino industry.

Scott Sibella once held the esteemed position of President and COO at MGM Grand and Resorts World Las Vegas. He was dismissed from the position after being found guilty of violating federal anti-money laundering laws.

The law, as they say, is no respecter of persons. Sibella faced consequences for succumbing to temptation, expressing remorse in court before receiving a probationary sentence, fine, and special assessment.

This casino news will look into the details of how it all happened.

Scott Sibella: From Chips and Glamour to Courtrooms

Originating from Las Vegas, Nevada, Scott Sibella’s journey began with a Bachelor’s degree from William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. After graduation, he interned at the Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino and, in a few years, was promoted to the position of hotel manager. He rose in rank, working at esteemed casinos such as the Mirage, where double deck games were available. He became the President and COO of the establishment in 2007.

Scott Sibella’s most prominent role was as President and COO of MGM Grand, a position he held for eight years. During his tenure at MGM Grand, he was at the forefront of maintaining the company’s status as one of Las Vegas’s premier destinations. The company continues to draw in millions of players annually, offering visitors classic hospitality, including innovative casino skill based games and entertainment.

In 2021, Scott took on the challenge of opening Resorts World Las Vegas, a $4.3 billion Strip property that offers guests luxurious hotel settings with the best casino games. Sibella served as its president until he was dismissed in 2023 for violating the company’s policies.

However, it was shocking when the casino executive’s undoing at MGM Grand came to the limelight in January 2024.

Scott Sibella and His Illicit Gambling Links

Scott Sibella’s accommodation of an illegal bookmaker, Wayne Nix, sparked his legal controversies. Nix, a Newport Coast, California resident, is a former baseball pro and a famous figure in the underground gambling arena. He has operated illegal bookmaking on sporting events for several years, with pro athletes, coaches, and sports managers as his clientele. Some of them may have been lovers of Tetris-style games like the Neon Shapes Game. Nix made a guilty plea in April 2022 after law officials captured him and has been awaiting sentence since then.

MGM Grand’s president, Scott Sibella, reportedly knew of Nix’s illegal actions. Yet, he allowed him to place millions of dollars in wagers on casino games at the casino from years before August 2017 to February 2019 without reporting these transactions as required by the Bank Secrecy Act.

Federal law has obligated casinos to file suspicious activity reports (SARs) when they suspect a patron is engaging in illegal activities, such as money laundering or unlicensed bookmaking. By failing to report Nix’s activities, Sibella not only violated the law but also promoted the persistence of an illegal gambling operation in the Las Vegas casino industry.

Investigations by the US Justice Department revealed that Sibella had violated Title 31, United States Code, Sections 5318 (g) and 5322 (a) and Code of Federal Regulations, Section 1021.320.


In January 2024, Scott Sibella admitted his guilt and filed a plea for his action. The maximum sentence for non-compliance with the Act is five years imprisonment, probation and supervised release, or a $250,000 fine.

However, Sibella’s attorneys advocated for probation, citing his otherwise crime-free history and the fact that he had already suffered significant consequences due to his actions. Their request was supported by testimonial letters from distinguished individuals in Las Vegas, including Kevin McMahill, a Clark County Sheriff.

Due to several pleas from over 80 letters of support, the U.S. District Court Judge Dolly M Gee sentenced him to 12 months probation, a $9,500 fine in May, and a $100 special assessment. He was also faced with the potential revocation of his gaming license and additional penalties from the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

Lessons Learned and Future Implications of Sibella’s Case

This case serves as a deterrent for other casino executives regarding the need to uphold anti-money laundering regulations and maintain the integrity of casino establishments. Operators must resist the temptation to cater to illegal high-stakes clientele, even if it means offering casino games free of charge to legal customers.

Undoubtedly, this scenario in Scott’s case may lead to increased scrutiny of high-stakes gambling activities in casinos. It could also prompt executives to re-assess their internal procedures to ensure compliance with authority regulations.

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