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Former MGM Grand casino president to be sentenced for failing to report bookie’s bets

The former president of the MGM Grand casino in Las Vegas is set to be sentenced Wednesday afternoon on a federal criminal charge related to his failure to report millions of dollars in wagers by an illegal bookmaker at his casino.

Scott Sibella, the ex-MGM executive, pleaded guilty in January to one count of failure to file reports of suspicious transactions required to be made by casinos under the Bank Secrecy Act.

Sibella’s lawyers have asked that he be sentenced to probation, as have prosecutors.

Sibella admitted knowing that a patron of his casino, Wayne Nix, ran an illegal bookmaking business, according to the Department of Justice.

“Despite this knowledge, Sibella allowed Nix to gamble at MGM Grand and affiliated properties with illicit proceeds generated from the illegal gambling business without notifying the casino’s compliance department,” the DOJ said in a press release in January.

“Not only did Sibella allow Nix to gamble at the casino, he also authorized Nix to receive complimentary benefits at the casino, including meals, room, board and golf trips with senior executives and other high net-worth customers of the casinos to further encourage Nix to patronize the casino and/or other affiliated properties,” the DOJ added in the statement.

At the time of Sibella’s guilty plea, the DOJ also said it had resolved an investigation into alleged violations of money laundering laws and the Bank Secrecy Act at MGM Grand and The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. The casinos agreed to settlements that required them to pay a combined $7.45 million, as well as to enhance their anti-money laundering compliance program.

“In their respective [non-prosecution agreements] MGM Grand and the Cosmopolitan each accepted

responsibility for laundering Nix’s illicit funds and failing to properly file suspicious activity reports (SARs) on Nix, who conducted numerous transactions involving millions of dollars at the casinos between 2017 and 2020,” the DOJ said at that time.

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