Money Laundering Allegations Put Resorts World in Legal Crosshairs

It has been stated that since Resorts World Las Vegas opened, three gamblers—who are presently the subject of a federal investigation for their participation in illicit sports betting rings—have lost close to $24 million. Given that the casino is now under investigation by federal officials from California, this information might have major repercussions for it.

An inquiry into multiple casinos has been initiated by the Nevada Gaming Control Board. Despite the fact that Resorts World is innocent, the extent of the damages is astounding.

Damien LeForbes, one of the gamblers under investigation, lost $12.3 million over almost four dozen visits to Resorts World. The casino handed over a bad check from LeForbes, worth $2.5 million, to the Clark County District Attorney, but no charges have been filed. Additionally, LeForbes owes $1 million to The Venetian, which has also referred the matter to the District Attorney without resulting charges.

Ryan Boyajian, connected to dishonest bookmaker Matt Bowyer, is said to have lost $3.7 million at Resorts World over the course of 21 visits. Between 2022 and 2023, Bowyer, who took sports bets from Ippei Mizuhara, a former baseball player Shohei Ohtani’s translator, lost $7.9 million at Resorts World. Mizuhara has made a plea agreement with federal prosecutors. Mizuhara stole around $17 million from Ohtani’s bank account to finance his gambling and settle debts.

Wider Implications and Legal Actions

So far, Bowyer, Boyajian, and LeForbes have not faced criminal charges. However, Bowyer’s home was raided last October by federal authorities, the same team that investigated former MGM Grand and Resorts World president Scott Sibella. Sibella received one year of probation and a $9,500 fine for failing to ensure MGM filed a suspicious transaction report for a cash payment from gambler Wayne Nix, who admitted to illegal bookmaking.

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MGM Resorts paid $7.5 million to avoid prosecution for violations at MGM Grand and Cosmopolitan. The investigation into Nix and Sibella has now extended to other resorts and suspected illegal bookmakers, including Bowyer and LeForbes. A dozen individuals have been charged or entered plea agreements in connection with the case.

When federal agents raided Bowyer’s home, they also seized the phone of Jennifer Belcastro, an independent representative who hosted Bowyer’s first trip to Resorts World. Following this, Resorts World and state regulators approved Bowyer’s wife to represent him, allowing the couple to recover a portion of Bowyer’s losses.

According to Gaming Control Board spokesman Michael Lawton, outside representatives, compensated based on their customers’ level of play and losses per trip, must be registered with the state and undergo a background check.


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