The world of high-stakes gaming underwent a seismic shift when Scott Sibella was ousted as the president and COO of Resorts World following allegations of policy violations. Sibella, a well-known face in the gaming industry, was relieved of his post effective immediately, marking a sudden end to his tenure at the esteemed Las Vegas Strip casino resort, as revealed on Friday, Sept. 15.
Following Sibella’s departure, Peter LaVoie, previously holding the position of senior VP and chief financial officer at Resorts World, has stepped up to assume the duties of the company CEO. The duration of LaVoie’s positioning, whether interim or permanent, remains uncertain according to insiders.
This significant development arrives on the tail of news brought to light by Nevada Current around six weeks ago. The publication revealed that federal agents had launched an investigation into an illegal sports betting operation. It is alleged that present and former employees of Las Vegas resorts have been utilizing sensitive customer information and resort-owned establishments to settle personal gambling liabilities.
An anonymous state employee insinuated that Sibella’s role in the illegal ring was under scrutiny, specifically during his tenure as the president and COO of the MGM Grand between 2010 and 2019. The investigations reportedly involve Wayne Nix, a former minor league baseball player, who is considered to be the ringleader of this underground operation.
Legal proceedings in April 2022 saw Nix admit to operating the ring and not disclosing earnings of $1.4 million from the venture in 2017 and 2018. Nix consented to repay taxes and interest amounting to $1.25 million and forfeit $1.3 million seized from his bank account. Presently, Nix is faced with the possibility of serving up to eight years in prison.
Court documents reveal that Nix’s gambit operated for nearly two decades, leveraging the services of retired professional athletes and attracting clients, including current players from the NFL and MLB leagues.
In light of these revelations, Resorts World Las Vegas confirmed Sibella’s dismissal, stating the company had recently discovered policy violations linked to Sibella, which has resulted in immediate termination. Notably, announcement of dismissals is rare in the hospitality industry, which generally highlights new appointments, promotions, and other positive developments.
Earlier this year, Sibella was investigated but subsequently cleared by the Nevada Gaming Control Board concerning alleged connections with a convicted illegal bookmaker, supposedly an investor in Resorts World’s Tacos El Cabron eatery. Although these allegations were found unfounded, it inevitably caused concerns amongst the Genting Group, the Malaysian-based conglomerate that owns Resorts World.
Sibella had been appointed as Resorts World president in 2019, lauded for his notable contributions to the gaming industry. He successfully completed the ambitious, high cost $4.3 billion project at Resorts World in two years. His previous roles include executive stints at The Mirage, Treasure Island, Tropicana, and the Golden Nugget, apart from his tenure as the president of the MGM Grand.