Scott Sibella, former president and chief operating officer of Resorts World, pleaded guilty Wednesday to failing to report illegal gamblers who gambled at the MGM Grand to federal officials when he worked there in 2018.
Sibella pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles to failing to file suspicious activity reports while employed at MGM with federal officials investigating illegal bookmakers in violation of anti-money laundering laws.
Sibella spent eight years as president of MGM Grand Las Vegas before joining Resorts World.
Sibella’s guilty plea means he faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
Through her lawyers, Sibella released a statement indicating that she intends to continue working in the gaming industry.
“I am pleased that this investigation and its findings will reach a conclusion,” read Sibella’s statement, emailed late Wednesday. “I take full responsibility for my actions and inactions, but I must make it clear that I did not take any action for my own personal gain or addiction. I would like to thank the United States Attorney’s Office for its professionalism throughout this process.
“I am proud of my 35 years of contributions and leadership in the industry that has meant so much and supported me. I appreciate the many colleagues I have collaborated with throughout my career and who I have been entrusted to lead, and who have supported me and my family throughout this process. As this process comes to a close, I look forward to continuing to provide my knowledge, skills and insights to support the continued growth, evolution and professionalism of the gaming industry.”
President of Resorts World Las Vegas since before the Strip resort opened its doors in June 2021, Sibella, 61, was removed from his post in September 2023. Former Resorts World CFO Peter LaVoie named new CEO for the 3,500-room resort operated by Malaysia-based Genting Berhad.
Resorts World officials said Sibella’s removal came after they were made aware that she had violated company policies and the terms of her employment contract.
Sibella said Wednesday that he could not speak specifically about the case. Asked if he had been fired from Resorts World because of the investigation at MGM Grand, Sibella said he was fired three days after he confided in officials that there had been an ongoing investigation at MGM since 2017. The former resort executive added that his firing was not due to job performance issues at Resorts World.
During her time with Resorts World, Sibella helped the resort enter into a franchise agreement with Hilton Hotels Corp., which brought the Hilton Honors program and its extensive database to the Las Vegas property. Hilton brought its Hilton, Conrad and Crockfords brands to Resorts World.
Sibella also touted Resorts World as the Strip’s most sophisticated facility for cashless gaming during his time with the company.
A native of Las Vegas, Sibella earned a bachelor’s degree in hotel administration from UNLV’s William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration.
He began his career in the hospitality industry with an internship at the Golden Nugget in downtown Las Vegas and eventually became a hotel manager. Sibella was named president and chief operating officer of The Mirage in 2007. She subsequently became president and chief operating officer of MGM Grand.
Sibella is the defendant in a pending lawsuit alleging negligence, civil conspiracy and intentional infliction of emotional distress against Robert “RJ” Cipriani, who said he has been gambling at the Strip resort since it opened in June 2021. The Sibella’s lawyers said the lawsuit was a rehash of baseless allegations made against Sibella in 2022.
The Nevada Gaming Control Board in February closed a nearly yearlong investigation into the allegations against Sibella and deemed them unfounded.
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