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Key bidder for NYC casino license entangled in Shohei Ohtani betting 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 City — in the battle for state casino licenses in the Big Apple.

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

Resorts World Casino in Las Vegas is on the heart of the feds’ investigation as a result of Mizuhara’s bookie often guess and parked cash there, ESPN reported, citing sources.

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

Experts inform The Post that these allegations could lead on regulators to scrutinize Genting and Resorts World extra carefully in terms of their bid for one of many casino licenses.

Shohei Ohtani (R) of the Los Angeles Dodgers and his interpreter Ippei Mizuhara
Superstar hurler Shohei Ohtani (proper) of the Los Angeles Dodgers was the sufferer of large theft by his playing interpreter Ippei Mizuhara (left), prosecutors say. ZUMAPRESS.com

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

Resorts World New York City has develop into one in all the state’s largest money cows, producing greater than $4 billion in income supporting the state’s public training funding since opening its doorways in 2011.

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

But Genting’s reported connection to the Mizuhara scandal is “bad news” for the corporate, stated Nelson Rose, a longtime gaming knowledgeable and authorized advisor who writes a weblog referred to as gamingandthelaw.com.

“One of the standards for casino licensing is reputation,” he stated.

The Resort World Casino of New York City on Rockaway Blvd
Malaysia-based Genting’s Resorts World 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
Japanese baseball player Shohei Ohtani
Ohtani poses with Mizuhara and agent Nex Balelo (left) after signing with the Dodgers. AFP by way of Getty Images

The Justice Department introduced on Wednesday that Mizuhara agreed to plead responsible to financial institution and tax fraud after prosecutors alleged he stole practically $17 million from Ohtani to repay his playing money owed. The most sentence for the 2 counts mixed is 33 years in jail. He additionally can be required to pay full restitution to his victims — Ohtani and the IRS.

The massive supply of Resorts World’s bother, although, is Mizuhara’s alleged bookie, Matthew Bowyer. Law-enforcement sources told ESPN that Bowyer allegedly used Resorts World Las Vegas and one other 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 casino — racking up massive losses of his personal, ESPN reported.

A Vegas-based long-time casino govt claimed to The Post that Bowyer was well-known in Sin City for being a bookie.

“He got banned from the Venetian around 2016 because he was an illegal 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 a criminal offense associated to the Ohtani/Mizuhara case.

Neither Bowyer nor his lawyer responded to Post requests for remark.

In a separate case, former Resorts World Las Vegas President Scott Sibella was sentenced Wednesday to probation for costs that he turned a blind eye to an unlawful bookmaker who laundered cash by way of the MGM Grand whereas he was operating that 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 casino with the proceeds from his illicit playing.

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

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

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

“A lot of the problem at Resorts was Sibella, and in his mind he was untouchable,” the Vegas-based casino govt stated.

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

His legal professionals issued a press release saying, “Mr. Sibella had no involvement in the bookmaking activities of Mathew Bowyer and nothing whatsoever to do with Ippei Mizuhara, the former interpreter of Shohei Ohtani.”

MGM is one other contender for one of many new New York casino licenses. Its Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway is also making use of for a casino license to supply live card video games. As with Resorts World, its facility solely gives digital betting video games.

There is a threat that MGM’s Sibella expertise additionally could harm MGM in its bid for a New York casino license, The Post beforehand reported.

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

“Resorts World Las Vegas is completely separate from the public company that owns and operates the Resorts World branded properties in New York. We have no details regarding this matter and all questions will need to be directed to Resorts World Las Vegas,” a RW rep stated.

The firm has not been accused of wrongdoing.

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

“Once the company became aware of information regarding Mathew Bowyer, we took immediate action to block him from our property. He has not been permitted re-entry and the ban remains in place,” a press release from Resorts World Las Vegas stated.

“RWLV is fully committed to its compliance obligations under state and federal laws and regulations, including through consistent application of its rigorous Anti-Money Laundering (AML) procedures,” the corporate stated.

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

The New York State Gaming Commission declined to remark.

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

“Resorts World is one of the top gambling spots in the country — as a racino. They’ve been good neighbors — helping the community during 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 is likely to 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 casino license.

“This is absolutely not good for [Resorts World], but it is not disqualifying unless it gets worse,” stated Bennett Liebman, who was deputy secretary for gaming and racing beneath Cuomo.

“We’ll have to see whether the Nevada gaming agencies are investigating this and what the feds are doing. This could change if there is a truly bad finding by regulatory authorities.”

Other casino plans embrace Mets proprietor Steve Cohen’s bid for a $8 billion challenge close to Citi Field, Bally’s at Ferry Point in The Bronx, one with Related Companies and Wynn Resorts in Hudson Yards, the Silverstein Properties in Hell’s Kitchen, the Thor Equity consortium gaming facility complicated alongside the Coney Island boardwalk and Sands casino on the Nassau Coliseum hub in Uniondale.

State regulators will not be anticipated to award the licenses till the tip of 2025.

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