Robert (RJ) Cipriani, aka Robin Hood 702, has filed a federal lawsuit against Scott Sibella and Resorts World Las Vegas (RWLV)—but who is he? Cipriani is a high-rolling gambler and self-styled philanthropist turned FBI informant. A complicated individual, in other words.
Cipriani is no stranger to attention or controversy. Some may even say he courts it.
In his lawsuit, Cipriani claims RWLV and Sibella—the casino’s former president—retaliated against him for blowing the whistle on the resort for allowing criminals to gamble onsite.
According to the filing, instead of dealing with the criminal element, the defendants retaliated against Cipriani. This culminated in his arrest for alleged larceny, followed by cheating allegations.
Prosecutors later dropped the larceny charges and reduced the cheating charge to disorderly conduct. Cipriani pleaded guilty to the lesser charge, which his lawyer equated to “talking too loud” in the Nevada Current.
In Cipriani’s account, Sibella directed RWLV security to find any reason to ban him from the resort and level a cheating charge.
As a result, Cipriani said casinos across the country barred him, in addition to RWLV. That’s a blow to the professional blackjack player known for sharing his winnings with people in need. His complaint asks the court to award damages to address the tangible and emotional consequences of the charges and subsequent ban.
But what else do we know about the charitable high-roller who seems to moonlight as an FBI informant?
Who is Robin Hood 702?
Cipriani is a study in contradictions. He takes the first part of his nickname from his habit of beating the casinos but giving away part of his winnings to the less fortunate.
Cipriani prefers to move incognito, donning dark glasses and a ballcap in public. Yet, at the same time, the generous gambler embraces publicity and seemingly shameless self-promotion. Cipriani’s even spoken openly about his involvement in several high-profile legal cases. He’s also active on X (formerly Twitter). Sibella frequently features in his tweets.
According to a piece in the San Diego Tribune, Cipriani grew up in a working-class family in Philadephia. As a boy, he sold pretzels in the morning before school.
As a teenager, Cipriani hung with an older crowd who introduced him to gambling. He soon decided he’d prefer to make “a lot” of money gambling and avoid the nine-to-five life his father lived.
After becoming a professional blackjack player, Cipriani said he enjoyed high-roller suites, private jets, and rubbing elbows with the wealthy and famous. Still, he always liked to share his winnings, even by treating casino staff to a nice meal.
Cipriani formalized his “Robin Hood” persona in 2008 after his mother’s death, adding the “702” as a reference to the Las Vegas area code. Cipriani would seek out needs in the community and help those he deemed most worthy.
In 2016, at the time of the Tribune story, he claimed to have donated more than $1 million.
Bonus contacted Cipriani for this story but received no response.
Along with his generosity, Cipriani seems to like working with the FBI and law enforcement to help bring down bad actors in the gambling space.
Long before his suit against Sibella and RWLV, Cipriani played a role in dismantling a betting and drug ring allegedly run by former USC footballer Owen Hanson.
A San Diego grand jury indicted Hanson and his coconspirators in January 2016, partly due to Cipriani’s help. Unfortunately, a news story erroneously tying him to the syndicate surfaced after the bust.
In a 2016 piece in the New York Post, he said “every major casino” in the world barred him due to the inaccurate association. Cipriani reportedly wrote to James Comey, FBI director at the time, for help clearing his name. Cipriani signed the letter to Comey as Jackpot, his code name during the Hanson case.
At the time of the NYP piece, Comey had yet to act on Robin Hood’s request. Nor does it seem he ever did.
However, according to the Tribune, the US Attorney’s Office confirmed with casinos that Cipriani faced no related charges.
In another case, Cipriani played a critical role in events that led Canadian federal investigators to charge their intelligence head, Cameron Ortis, with leaking information.
Cipriani also claimed he contacted law enforcement to report improprieties of other high-rollers, including Brandon Sattler and Robert Alexander. Sattler faces bankruptcy fraud charges and features in Cipirani’s accusations against Sibella.
Alexander, who played a role in Cipriani’s larceny charge, pleaded guilty to securities and wire fraud in New York in 2020.
Limited Series in Works at Sony TV
While legal entanglements have impacted Robin Hood 702’s ability to gamble and give back like he’s accustomed to, they haven’t shut down every opportunity.
In January, Sony Pictures Television announced the early development of Jackpot, a limited series based on Cipriani’s “hardscrabble” life. Specifically, the show will focus on Robin Hood 702’s part in the investigation that led to over 1,000 arrests globally tied to Hanson’s gambling and drug ring.
The series, billed as Donnie Brasco meets Oceans 11, follows a Cipriani-inspired gambler—nicknamed “Jackpot” rather than “Robin Hood”—as he attempts to bring down an insane cast of characters before they kill his family.
Cipriani will act as an executive producer on the show alongside Nicholas Stoller, Conor Welch, and Jamie Canniffe. In a recent tweet, he says he’s eager to return to work with the writers’ strike over.
He’s also teasing the reveal of another illegal bookmaker he claims RWLV permitted to gamble for years, “even after Resorts World execs were subpoenaed by the Feds.”