The GRA said Resorts World Sentosa breached several Singapore laws by not carrying out the required checks. These include the Casino Control Act 2006 and the Casino Control (Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing) Regulations 2009.
According to GRA, the case dates back to 2022 when it directed RWS and Marina Bay Sands, another casino operator, to conduct a review of certain patrons’ activities. RWS discovered non-compliances for some transactions and reported them to GRA.
The regulator then carried out further investigations, which found RWS did not perform prescribed customer due diligence checks between December 2016 and December 2019. These were related to RWS collecting cash of $5,000 or more from third parties to deposit into RWS patron accounts.
GRA said RWS failed to establish the identity of all third-party depositors. The regulator also said RWS did not record requisite identifying information or verify identities using reliable and independent sources as required under the PMLTF Regulations.
Resorts World Sentosa criticised for “systematic” failures
While GRA said RWS had PMLTF framework and controls in place, it identified “systematic” failures in certain controls. This, the regulator added, resulted in a failure to detect the non-compliances.
GRA acknowledged that RWS took prompt action to improve its processes once the non-compliances were detected. It also engaged an independent party to review operating procedures and reviewed its corporate culture, with the aim of strengthening internal controls and corporate governance.
However, GRA still proceeded to issue fines totalling just under S$2.3m. The regulator also cancelled the special employee licence for one of the staff involved in the breaches and is conducting further investigations to assess the culpability of the other special employees involved.
“GRA takes a serious view of such lapses and will not hesitate to take disciplinary action against errant casino operators,” a spokesperson said. “GRA will continue to exercise tight supervision over the operators’ compliance with our regulatory requirements.”
Singapore police seize S$2.4m in illegal gambling assets
The news comes after Singapore police seized assets worth over S$2.40bn in September as part of illegal online gambling investigations.
The Singapore police force said the case relates to a group of foreign nationals. These are suspected of laundering the proceeds of overseas organised criminal activities. Among the activities, it adds, are scams and online gambling.
Seized assets include bank accounts with a total estimated value of more than $1.13bn and over $76.0m in cash. Police also seized gold bars, luxury bags and watches, jewellery and electronic devices. In addition, over $38.0m in cryptocurrency was seized.