Sibella Faces Lawsuit for Allegedly Letting Criminals Gamble In Vegas

Written By Dan Holmes on October 26, 2023
Scott Sibella, seen here while he was COO at MGM in Las Vegas, faces a Nevada lawsuit claiming he allowed criminals to gamble with

The former president and chief executive officer of Resorts World Las Vegas is facing a lawsuit for allegedly allowing known criminals to place bets at that gaming facility.

Scott Sibella, who resigned from his role as the head of Resorts World LV in September, is named in a Nevada lawsuit that claims he knowingly ignored criminal activity in the casino resort by felons.

The legal issue could muddy the attempts by Resorts World and MGM Resorts to gain approval for downstate casinos in New York. Both have proposals on the table to convert downstate racinos – Empire City Casino in Yonkers and Resorts World NYC in Queens – into fully fledged casinos, should the state agree to such plans.

Details of lawsuit naming ex-MGM, Resorts World exec

The suit comes with a backstory, however, as it was filed by a person with a complicated history in regards to Resorts World.

The plaintiff in the case filed with United States District Court of Nevada is Robert J. Cipriani, who was charged with larceny and robbery for an incident at the same casino in Nov. 2021.

Those charges were dropped. But now Cipriani is bringing his lawsuit alleging that Resorts World, under the leadership of Sibella, allowed criminals to use “ill-gotten” money in the casino.

Cipriani’s lawsuit claims that Robert Alexander, who was previously convicted of wire fraud and securities fraud, “was gambling the stolen money of his unfortunate investors at RWLV’s tables.” Alexander is the individual with whom Cipriani had an incident at Resorts World LV in 2021.

Lawsuit claims Sibella allowed criminals to bet

Whether this is a case of criminality by Alexander and Sibella remains to be seen, or it may be motivated by Cipriani’s efforts to get back at Alexander for their prior incident.

Cipriani’s case claims he was subjected to a “weeks-long enabled campaign of harassment and intimidation” at the hands of Alexander.

Cipriani provides alleged evidence that other convicted criminals were allowed to bet at Resorts World in Las Vegas, allegedly with the blessing of Sibella. Cipriani is seeking damages in his suit in compensation for the alleged harassment he endured.

“Mr. Cipriani seeks compensation for all damages caused by RWLV and Scott Sibella’s failure to act,” the lawsuit reads.

Exec’s past could affect NY casino future of MGM, Resorts World

Sibella finds himself embroiled in the lawsuit only weeks after he suddenly stepped down from his roles with Resorts World. The company has said Sibella “violated company policies and the terms of his employment.”

Subsequently, Resorts World and MGM Resorts, for whom Sibella also previously was employed, may face tough questions by New York regulators – especially if either company has aspirations of not only opening downstate casinos in NY but also if they have dreams of one day offering NY online casinos.

In 2022, Sibella was investigated by the Nevada Gaming Control Board, but no charges were filed against him. Reportedly, federal authorities may be digging into a possible connection between Sibella and a criminal gambling ring in Nevada that may have occurred when he was employed by the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

The New York State Gaming Commission may find it necessary to bring up the Sibella issue with both MGM Resorts and Genting, which also operates an upstate NY casino in Resorts World Catskills.

“Gaming regulators would have no choice but to ask both companies what they knew (about Sibella), when they knew it, and what they did about it once they found out,” a source told PlayNY in early October.

Photo by Julie Jacobson / AP Photo
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Dan Holmes

Dan Holmes is a freelance writer for PlayNY. An author of three books about sports, he previously worked for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Major League Baseball. Dan enjoys writing, running and lemon bars. He lives near Lake Michigan with his daughters and usually has an orange cream soda nearby.

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