Key bidder for NYC casino license entangled in Ohtani bet scandal

The Yankees and Mets each whiffed on snagging Shohei Ohtani final 12 months, however “Sho-time” remains to be shaking up issues in New York Metropolis — within the battle for state casino licenses within the Large Apple.

An organization behind one of many prime bidders for the profitable gaming permits is reportedly snarled within the federal probe into the betting scandal involving the Japanese baseball celebrity’s disgraced interpreter, Ippei Mizuhara.

Resorts World On line casino in Las Vegas is on the heart of the feds’ investigation as a result of Mizuhara’s bookie steadily wager and parked cash there, ESPN reported, citing sources.

The Vegas on line casino is owned by Malaysia-based Genting — which additionally operates Resorts World New York Metropolis at Aqueduct Racetrack.

Consultants inform The Put up that these allegations may lead regulators to scrutinize Genting and Resorts World extra carefully in the case of their bid for one of many on line casino licenses.

Famous person hurler Shohei Ohtani (proper) of the Los Angeles Dodgers was the sufferer of huge theft by his playing interpreter Ippei Mizuhara (left), prosecutors say.

Genting is planning to apply for the OK to broaden its playing choices to incorporate dwell card desk video games at its Resorts World slots parlor in Ozone Park, Queens.

Resorts World New York Metropolis has develop into one in every of the state’s greatest money cows, producing greater than $4 billion in income supporting the state’s public schooling funding since opening its doorways in 2011.

Given its monitor file in New York, the on line casino operator is taken into account one of many favorites to be awarded one of many three new licenses, business watchers say.

However Genting’s reported connection to the Mizuhara scandal is “dangerous information” for the corporate, stated Nelson Rose, a longtime gaming skilled and authorized marketing consultant who writes a weblog known as

“One of many requirements for on line casino licensing is status,” he stated.

Malaysia-based Genting’s Resorts World on line casino in Las Vegas is at that heart of the feds’ investigation due to translator Ippei Mizuhara’s alleged dealings with a bookie who gambled there. G.N.Miller/NYPost
Ohtani poses with Mizuhara and agent Nex Balelo (left) after signing with the Dodgers. AFP through Getty Pictures

The Justice Division introduced on Wednesday that Mizuhara agreed to plead guilty to financial institution and tax fraud after prosecutors alleged he stole practically $17 million from Ohtani to repay his playing money owed.

The utmost sentence for the 2 counts mixed is 33 years in jail. He additionally will likely be required to pay full restitution to his victims — Ohtani and the IRS.

The massive supply of Resorts World’s hassle, although, is Mizuhara’s alleged bookie, Matthew Bowyer.

Legislation-enforcement sources told ESPN that Bowyer allegedly used Resorts World Las Vegas and one other on line casino to launder cash.

Mizuhara was informed to pay his playing money owed to a Bowyer affiliate, who then deposited them at Resorts World, sources informed the outlet.

Bowyer used the cash to gamble on the on line casino — racking up massive losses of his personal, ESPN reported.

A Vegas-based long-time on line casino govt claimed to The Put up that Bowyer was well-known in Sin Metropolis for being a bookie.

“He obtained banned from the Venetian round 2016 as a result of he was an unlawful bookie,” the supply alleged.

He was later reinstated in 2019.

The IRS has confirmed that Bowyer is beneath investigation, however he has not been charged with against the law associated to the Ohtani/Mizuhara case.

Neither Bowyer nor his lawyer responded to Put up requests for remark.

In a separate case, former Resorts World Las Vegas President Scott Sibella was sentenced Wednesday to probation for expenses that he turned a blind eye to an unlawful bookmaker who laundered cash by means of the MGM Grand whereas he was operating that on line casino.

Sibella stated in his plea agreement with the DOJ that he knew an MGM Grand patron, Wayne Nix, ran and operated an unlawful bookmaking enterprise — however nonetheless allowed Nix to gamble on the on line casino with the proceeds from his illicit playing.

Nix pleaded responsible to conspiracy to function an unlawful sports activities playing enterprise.

Former Resorts World Las Vegas President Scott Sibella didn’t report back to federal officers about an unlawful gambler, authorities stated. Getty Pictures for Resorts World Las Vegas

The Vegas govt stated casinos are alleged to police their accounts to observe for the form of cash laundering that’s alleged within the Mizuhara case.

“Quite a lot of the issue at Resorts was Sibella, and in his thoughts he was untouchable,” the Vegas-based on line casino govt stated.

Sibella has not been accused of getting any involvement within the Ohtani interpreter playing scandal, although he ran Resorts Las Vegas on the time.

His attorneys issued a press release saying, “Mr. Sibella had no involvement within the bookmaking actions of Mathew Bowyer and nothing in any way to do with Ippei Mizuhara, the previous interpreter of Shohei Ohtani.”

MGM is one other contender for one of many new New York on line casino licenses.

Its Empire Metropolis On line casino at Yonkers Raceway is also making use of for a on line casino license to supply dwell card video games.

As with Resorts World, its facility solely presents digital betting video games.

There’s a danger that MGM’s Sibella expertise additionally could damage MGM in its bid for a New York on line casino license, The Post previously reported.

Resorts World New York Metropolis sought to separate itself from the Vegas scandal when requested by The Put up for touch upon the federal probe.

“Resorts World Las Vegas is totally separate from the general public firm that owns and operates the Resorts World branded properties in New York. We’ve no particulars relating to this matter and all questions will must be directed to Resorts World Las Vegas,” a RW rep stated.

The corporate has not been accused of wrongdoing.

Resorts World Las Vegas stated it’s cooperating with authorities.

“As soon as the corporate turned conscious of knowledge relating to Mathew Bowyer, we took instant motion to dam him from our property. He has not been permitted re-entry and the ban stays in place,” a press release from Resorts World Las Vegas stated.

“RWLV is totally dedicated to its compliance obligations beneath state and federal legal guidelines and laws, together with by means of constant utility of its rigorous Anti-Cash Laundering (AML) procedures,” the corporate stated.

MGM, which operates the Yonkers racino, additionally declined remark.

The New York State Gaming Fee declined to remark.

State Sen. Joseph Addabbo (D-Queens), whose district borders Resorts World, downplayed the Vegas-based federal probe and stated Genting’s robust file and neighborhood work in New York is its trump card.

“Resorts World is without doubt one of the prime playing spots within the nation — as a racino. They’ve been good neighbors — serving to the neighborhood throughout Hurricane Sandy and the COVID-19 pandemic,” he stated. 

Bennett Liebman, who was deputy secretary for gaming and racing beneath former Gov. Andrew Cuomo, stated that whereas the brand new developments may be inflicting a headache for Resorts World’s ambitions in New York, they need to not stand in the way in which of a brand new on line casino license.

“That is completely not good for [Resorts World], however it isn’t disqualifying except it will get worse,” stated Bennett Liebman, who was deputy secretary for gaming and racing beneath Cuomo.

“We’ll need to see whether or not the Nevada gaming companies are investigating this and what the feds are doing. This might change if there’s a actually dangerous discovering by regulatory authorities.”

Different on line casino plans embody Mets owner Steve Cohen’s bid for a $8 billion mission close to Citi Subject, Bally’s at Ferry Level in The Bronx, one with Associated Firms and Wynn Resorts in Hudson Yards, the Silverstein Properties in Hell’s Kitchen, the Thor Fairness consortium gaming facility advanced alongside the Coney Island boardwalk and Sands on line casino on the Nassau Coliseum hub in Uniondale.

State regulators aren’t anticipated to award the licenses till the top of 2025.

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