Scott Sibella: A Timeline of the Unfolding Legal Drama

Scott Sibella allegedly violated company policy at Resorts World Las Vegas (RWLV), the casino told reporters on the day of his Sept. 15 termination. Since then, that casino’s former president and COO has been named in a lawsuit and pleaded guilty to charges emerging from a federal investigation.

Sibella spent his 35-year-long career working at Atlantic City and Las Vegas retail casinos. Beginning as a front desk clerk at what’s now called Golden Nugget Las Vegas Hotel and Casino, he worked his way up to the leadership position at RWLV. It took him 12 years to reach his plateau as a “president and COO,” which he first held at Treasure Island in 2000.

The end of Sibella’s career with Resorts World also coincides with a ramped-up concern about the brand’s reputation.

Not only is Resorts World Bet a sportsbook in the No. 1 sports betting revenue state of New York, but its land-based casino partner may be interested in buying a full retail casino license.

Having pleaded guilty to violations of the Bank Secrecy Act, Sibella is now facing additional disciplinary action by Nevada regulators.

The Scott Sibella Timeline

Pre-RWLV Career

  • 1988: Sibella earns a bachelor’s degree in Hotel Administration from the University of Nevada Las Vegas.
  • 1990s: Sibella’s early career begins in Atlantic City, working at the Trump Taj Mahal and the Tropicana.
  • 2000: Sibella lands his first job as President of a Las Vegas casino, working for Treasure Island.
  • 2007: Sibella becomes President of The Mirage.
  • 2010: Sibella takes over as President and COO at the MGM Grand. He later admits that, during this period, he courted Wayne Nix as a VIP customer despite knowing that he ran an illegal bookmaking operation and deliberately avoided looking into Nix’s source of gambling funds.

2019

  • February: MGM Resorts International buys out Sibella’s contract as President and COO of MGM Grand.
  • April: RWLV hires Sibella as president and COO. He readies the casino to open to the public.

2020

  • Jan. 8: Robert Alexander pleads guilty to fraud.

2021

  • June 24: RWLV opens with Sibella as President.
  • July 9: Cipriani informs Tatonetti about Brandon Sattler gambling at RWLV.
  • July 10: Cipriani informs Tatonetti about Edwin Ting’s presence at RWLV.
  • Sept. 18: RWLV removes Sattler from its premises.
  • Oct. 1: Cipriani begins communicating with Tatonetti about Alexander.
  • Oct. 26: NGCB notifies RWLV of its investigation into Alexander.
  • Nov. 19: Cipriani alleges Alexander’s “weeks of continual harassment” came to a head when Alexander maneuvered his scooter within inches of Cipriani and started recording Cipriani through smartphone video. Cipriani was arrested after grabbing the phone from Alexander.

2022

  • Unspecified date: Sibella admits to federal authorities that he deliberately avoided knowing where the funds for Nix’s 2018 payment to the MGM Grand came from. This didn’t become public knowledge until his guilty plea two years later.
  • January: After an investigation into Cipriani’s reports of seeing Stroj gambling at RWLV, Stroj “admitted” to doing so during H2 2021. Cipriani’s lawsuit said he told “federal probation officer Tina Neiman, the FBI, and the Nevada Gaming Control Board.” Cipriani alleged Stroj continued to gamble at RWLV.
  • Feb. 22: Cipriani informs Sheriffs Joey Herring and Joe Lombardo that RWLV’s criminal charges against him were retaliatory, per his lawsuit.
  • March 31: Wayne Nix pleads guilty to running an illegal sports betting ring. The reported federal investigation into Sibella relates to Nix’s involvement with MGM Grand staff during Sibella’s tenure.
  • April: The NGCB investigates RWLV regarding Tacos El Cabron, a restaurant on the casino’s premises whose owners allegedly included Brandon Sattler and another convicted felon, David Stroj.
  • April 5: Testifying under oath at his own bankruptcy fraud hearing, Sattler makes the accusations against Sibella that would lead to his investigation by the NGCB.
  • April 21: The NGCB opens its investigation into Sibella.
  • May 4: The criminal charges against Cipriani are dropped.

2023

  • June 19: Following a year-long investigation, the NGCB clears Sibella of wrongdoing.
  • June 22: Sibella is front and center of Resorts World’s new national brand marketing campaign, Rule the World. 
  • Aug. 2: News of the federal investigation gets out. Gentry’s article in the Nevada Current quotes “a state employee” who said federal agents collected interviews and statements from former employees of the NGCB. The agents allegedly “inquired specifically” about Sibella.
  • Sep. 15: Sibella leaves his role as president and COO of RWLV, which states only that he violated company policy.
  • Oct. 9: Sibella texts Nevada Current reporter Dana Gentry, saying the truth about his termination by Resorts World would emerge “soon.”
  • Oct. 9: Plaintiff Robert J. Cipriani files his lawsuit against Resorts World and Sibella in the US District Court, District of Nevada. In the 84-page-long complaint against the casino and Sibella, Cipriani seeks monetary compensation for their alleged “concerted negligent failure to prevent foreseeable harm and for the infliction of emotional distress” against Cipriani. He asserts that, as a high-roller gambler, their neglect of his reports about convicted felons at his tables went unaddressed.

2024

  • Jan. 24: Sibella pleads guilty to federal charges of violating the Bank Secrecy Act. It is revealed that he admitted to authorities in 2022 that he allowed Wayne Nix to gamble at the MGM Grand and avoided asking about Nix’s source of funds, despite knowing that he ran an illegal bookmaking ring.
  • Apr. 22: The Nevada Current reports that the NGC has begun participating in the federal money laundering probe related to Sibella.
  • Apr. 30: The NGCB files a complaint with the NGC requesting fines and licensing action against Sibella for violating federal law, associating with unsavory characters, and damaging the reputation of Nevada and its gaming industry.

              About the Author

              Heather Fletcher

              Heather Fletcher

              Heather Fletcher is Lead Writer at Bonus, concentrating on online casino coverage. She specializes in breaking news, legislative coverage, and gambling marketing strategy overviews. To reach Heather with a news tip, email [email protected].
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