The firing of Resorts World Las Vegas President Scott Sibella has potential links to an ongoing federal investigation into an illegal gambling ring. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
A lot of smoke
The firing of Resorts World Las Vegas President and Chief Operating Officer Scott Sibella is potentially linked to an ongoing illegal gambling ring probe. A consulting firm representing the Genting-owned casino said on Friday that Sibella violated company policy without providing any specifics. Current Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President Peter LaVoie will be assuming the position of president following Sibella's departure.
An ongoing federal investigation is looking into an illegal gambling ring involving professional athletes. Former minor league baseball player Wayne Nix, the man accused of heading up this operation, is currently awaiting sentencing.
Sibella was previously the Chief Operating Officer and President of MGM Grand
The scope of the probe has reportedly expanded, with the federal authorities subpoenaing employees at the MGM Grand and Resorts World. Sibella was previously the Chief Operating Officer and President of MGM Grand, and an unnamed Nevada Current source has claimed that agents specifically inquired about the 60-year-old.
Employees at casinos in the city allegedly worked as agents for the illegal betting network for nearly two decades. One theory is that workers used casino resources like promo chips and comps to pay off their gambling debts. Employees also allegedly gave confidential customer data to the gambling ring.
Details of the subpoena
US Central District Court of California federal authorities reportedly have subpoenaed communications between certain Resorts World customers and employees as part of the probe. According to a confidential memo from the property's General Counsel Gerald Gardner, they are also seeking player data. He sent the memo to people who might have access to relevant information.
Gardner explained in the memo that the federal grand jury subpoena relates to the casino's “policies, procedures and practices” as well as its marketing, compliance, and finance departments. The subpoena requests a wide range of documents including ones relating to the property's know-your-customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering procedures.
subpoena demands access to player histories, suspicious activity reports, and cash transaction reports
The jury also wants to examine the use of advertising chips and the granting of different types of benefits to players. The subpoena demands access to player histories, suspicious activity reports, and cash transaction reports relating to certain former or current customers.
The date of the memo is August 9, approximately a week after reports surfaced that Homeland Security and the Internal Revenue Service's Criminal Division were looking into hotels in Las Vegas, including Resorts World.
Courting plenty of controversy
Resorts World and Sibella have been in the spotlight for the wrong reasons on numerous occasions since the property's opening. Prominent gambler Robert Cipriani informed law enforcement about undesirable people playing at the property supposedly with the knowledge of Sibella. These individuals include convicted investment fraudster Robert Alexander and Brandon Sattler who was accused of carrying out multimillion-dollar bankruptcy fraud.
Allegations were also doing the rounds that a convicted illegal bookmaker had an ownership stake in a taco stand at the property, which is against Nevada law and led to an investigation. The Nevada Gaming Control Board ultimately cleared Sibella of any wrongdoing in that matter.
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