A former Las Vegas gaming executive, whose background also includes stints at integrated resorts in Macau and Vietnam, is among more than 50 people charged over a US college bribery scheme that saw wealthy Americans cheat and bribe their way into the nation’s most prestigious colleges.
According to multiple Las Vegas media outlets, former MGM Grand and MGM Hospitality boss Gamal Aziz, also known as Gamal Abdelaziz, was arrested and charged with paying a US$300,000 bribe to ensure his daughter’s admission into the University of Southern California, falsely claiming she was a high school basketball star.
The complaint alleges Aziz’s daughter was subsequently accepted on the basis of her athletic potential but didn’t join the basketball team upon arrival.
Aziz has a highly decorated history in the Las Vegas gaming industry, having helped open the Bellagio after joining Steve Wynn’s Mirage Resorts in 1998. After MGM took over The Mirage in 2000, his career trajectory skyrocketed and he was eventually named President of both MGM Grand and MGM Hospitality, the latter of which saw him involved with the pre-opening team for Vietnam’s The Grand Ho Tram Strip before the company walked away from the project in 2014.
He returned to Wynn that same year where he served as President of Wynn Macau Ltd between January 2014 and September 2016, and as President of Wynn Resorts Development LLC.
Aziz is one of 33 parents arrested by federal authorities in conjunction with the college bribery scandal, which also includes at least nine athletic coaches, lawyers and finance industry figures.
The case has made worldwide headlines, with the 33 parents named by prosecutors including prominent actresses Felicity Huffman of Desperate Housewives fame and Lori Loughlin from the hit 80s sitcom Full House.