Scott Sibella, the former President of MGM Grand, has pleaded guilty for his involvement in an illegal bookmaking operation linked to ex-athletes and centered around two prominent Las Vegas properties.

Sibella, who served as MGM Grand’s President from August 2017 to February 2019, admitted to a criminal charge related to the failure to report suspicious transactions. The charges are part of a broader investigation into money laundering activities at The Cosmopolitan and MGM Grand, with Sibella at the helm during his tenure.

The illicit bookmaking business was orchestrated by Wayne Nix, a former minor league baseball player, who utilized funds from the illegal gambling operation at both MGM Grand and The Cosmopolitan. MGM Grand, in a Non-Prosecution Agreement (NPA), acknowledged that Sibella provided Nix with complimentary benefits to encourage him to spend the illegal proceeds at the casino. The agreement also revealed that Nix used golf trips with high-net-worth MGM Grand customers to attract new clients for his unlawful gambling enterprise.

The investigation brought to light that by 2020, MGM Grand had accepted $4.1 million in cash from Nix’s illegal bookmaking, while The Cosmopolitan had taken in $928,600.

In 2022, Sibella confessed to law enforcement that he chose not to report anti-money laundering (AML) failings, stating, “I didn’t want to know because of my position… If we know, we can’t allow them to gamble… I didn’t ask, I didn’t want to know, I guess because he wasn’t doing anything to cheat the casino.”

In the same year, Wayne Nix pleaded guilty to conspiracy to operate an illegal gambling business and subscribing to a false tax return.

Scott Sibella, who entered his guilty plea this week, awaits sentencing scheduled for May 8. He faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000. Meanwhile, MGM Grand will pay a monetary fine of $6.5 million, and The Cosmopolitan will pay a $928,600 fine, equivalent to the amount it received from Nix’s illegal activities.

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