Scott Sibella Sentencing: One-Year Probation, $9,500 Fine for Bank Secrecy Act Violation

Former Resorts World Las Vegas (RWLV) President Scott Sibella received his sentence today on a single charge of violating the federal Bank Secrecy Act (BSA). Although facing up to five years in prison, Sibella managed to avoid doing any time thanks to his plea deal, receiving only one year of probation. Likewise, the monetary penalty could have been as high as $250,000, but Sibella will pay only $9,500.

Annual compensation for top executives at major Las Vegas resorts is typically in the millions. There are bottles of wine for sale at RWLV restaurants that cost more than Sibella’s fine.

There was little chance that Sibella would receive a harsher sentence, however. His lawyers and federal prosecutors had both made the same recommendations to the judge.

The California prosecutors responsible for bringing the charges declined to comment.

Although Sibella has faced allegations about his time at RWLV, the single charge he pleaded guilty to predates that. He admitted that, while President of the MGM Grand, he deliberately avoided filing a suspicious activity report about a VIP customer, Wayne Nix, despite knowing that Nix was involved in illegal bookmaking.

It has not been proven whether similar events took place at RWLV. However, the bookmaker in the Shohei Ohtani scandal was reportedly active at the casino during Sibella’s time there. Moreover, RWLV suddenly dismissed Sibella last year for unspecified violations of company policy around the same time rumors of the federal investigation got out.

Coincidentally, Ippei Mizuhara, the interpreter at the center of the Ohtani scandal, pleaded guilty to his own charges today.

What’s Next for Scott Sibella?

Although Sibella’s criminal penalties are relatively minor, the damage to his career has been significant.

Aside from losing his position at RWLV, he’s facing a second investigation by Nevada regulators. The first investigation ended in 2023 with the finding that he had done nothing wrong at RWLV. However, based on his guilty plea, the Nevada Gaming Control Board has asked the Nevada Gaming Commission to consider his conduct at the MGM Grand.

The outcome this time could be the suspension or revocation of his gaming license. At the time of his guilty plea, Sibella indicated that he hoped to resume working in the casino industry.

Meanwhile, Sibella and RWLV continue to defend themselves in a lawsuit filed by activist gambler Robert Cipriani. 

Cipriani alleges that Sibella retaliated against him when he repeatedly attempted to call the attention of RWLV security to illegal bookmakers, fraudsters, alleged Triad members, and other unsavory characters frequenting the casino.

About the Author

Alex Weldon

Alex Weldon

Alex Weldon is an online gambling industry analyst with nearly ten years of experience. He currently serves as Casino News Managing Editor for Bonus.com, part of the Catena Media Network. Other gambling news sites he has contributed to include PlayUSA and Online Poker Report, and his writing has been cited in The Atlantic.
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