Nevada Gaming Board Probes Scandalous Money Laundering in Las Vegas Casinos

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In a riveting turn of events, the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) has officially plunged into a vast investigation surrounding possible money laundering from illegal bookmaking, allegedly occurring within the glitzy walls of Las Vegas casinos.

Adding another layer of intrigue to the saga is the indictment of Scott Sibella, a former high-ranking casino executive, who has recently admitted to violating the Bank Secrecy Act in relation to a bookmaker he permitted to place wagers at the MGM Grand Casino.

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The subsequent blowing of lids off this monumental scandal serves as a sober reminder that the gaming regulator may have previously overlooked some pivotal clues. In a surprising verdict last year, the board dismissed allegations against Sibella involving his purported ties to “Fat” Dave Stroj, a notorious bookie previously convicted for illegal activities.

Stroj, who vested considerable interest in a taco eatery nested inside Resorts World and gambled at the casino against his probation conditions, seemingly managed to slip under the radar amid the regulatory body’s assessment. However, the blaring sirens of justice returned six months later when federal authorities demanded Resorts World submit transaction records involving considerable cash and wire exchanges. Sibella, bearing the brunt of the matter, was terminated for violating company protocols.

In a stunning courtroom revelation in January, Sibella admitted to flouting the Bank Secrecy Act, having conveniently overlooked the fact that Wayne Nix, another bookmaker, settled a marker at the MGM Grand with a whopping $120K in 2018, when Sibella was at the helm of the casino. Acknowledging his awareness of Nix’s profession, Sibella confessed his deliberate nonchalance towards the origin of the funds in order to allow Nix to continue his gambling endeavors.

As Sibella prepares for his sentencing on May 8, Wayne Nix, a former minor league baseball pitcher infamous for his illegal bookmaking services catering to notable sports personalities, is also awaiting his own sentencing after pleading guilty to illegal gambling.

In the midst of amplified scrutiny, MGM and the Cosmopolitan negotiated nonprosecution agreements with federal authorities, shelling out a collective sum of $7.45 million in settlement related to Nix’s betting activities. However, Resorts World remains unscathed, with no accusations of misconduct as yet.

The plot has thickened further as the investigation turned its focus onto other suspected bookmakers and potential money laundering activities at a string of Las Vegas casinos. Inside sources within the gaming industry revealed that NGCB contacted them to assist in the ongoing exploration of these allegations, partnering with federal agents in this convoluted probe.

A key focus in this unfolding drama is Matt Bowyer, an alleged bookmaker and regular face on the Las Vegas gambling scene. Bowyer reportedly received a staggering $16 million from the bank account of LA Dodgers superstar Shohei Ohtani. In a startling twist, the funds were purportedly transferred by Ohtani’s interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara, who now finds himself charged with bank fraud largely due to his enormous gambling debts. Prosecutors maintain that Mizuhara gambled with Bowyer since September 2021, placing an estimated 19K bets between December 2021 and January 2024.