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Former Resorts World Exec Pleads Guilty to AML Violations

Former Resorts World CEO Scott Sibella pleaded guilty this week to charges of failing to report suspicious gambling activity at his company’s casinos. The former executive is now facing a sentence of up to five years in a federal prison and a $250,000 fine. Despite his current circumstances, Sibella is optimistic that he’ll return to the gaming industry one day.

Sibella, who previously worked at the MGM Grand, got into hot water for his relationship with a customer named Wayne Nix. According to evidence presented by the Department of Justice, the casino boss gave Nix high roller treatment during a period between August 2017 and February 2019. While there’s nothing illegal about giving big gamblers special treatment at casinos, the dynamics change considerably when the high roller in question is also an illegal bookie like Nix.

In a statement reported on by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Sibella took responsibility for his actions saying, “I am pleased to have this investigation and its findings reaching a conclusion,” said Sibella’s statement, emailed late Wednesday. “I take full responsibility for my actions and inactions, but I must make clear I took no action for my personal benefit or inurement. I wish to thank the U.S. Attorney’s Office for its professionalism throughout this process.

“I am proud of my 35 years of contributions and leadership to the industry that has meant so much to and has supported me. I am appreciative of the many colleagues with whom I have been associated over my career and that I have been entrusted to lead, and who have supported me and my family throughout this process. 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.”

Sibella, 61, says that he hopes to return to the gaming industry once this issue is behind him. While his optimism is commendable, anyone with a conviction for allowing illegal gambling is unlikely to see the inside of the executive suite at any regulated casino.