Resorts World Sentosa Slapped With $1.7M Fine for Regulatory Shortcomings

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Resorts World Sentosa in Singapore has been fined S$2.25 million (US$1.67 million) for regulatory shortcomings related to the integrated resort casino’s anti-money laundering processes.

Regulators have fined Resorts World Sentosa in Singapore for failing to adhere to anti-money laundering and terrorism financing protocols. The casino and Marina Bay Sands hold a duopoly on casino gaming in the city-state. (Image: Mediacorp)

Singapore’s Gambling Regulatory Authority (GRA) announced the financial penalty last week against Resorts World, one of two casinos in the city-state’s gaming duopoly. The casino regulator said the fine is for the casino’s failure to perform customer due diligence checks on patrons’ gaming activities.

GRA officials explained Resorts World Sentosa self-reported noncompliance after the gaming regulatory body ordered the casino and Marina Bay Sands to conduct reviews of their financial reporting procedures. The Resorts World review revealed compliance breaches of the country’s Casino Control Act 2006 and the Casino Control Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing (PMLTF) Regulations 2009.

A subsequent probe carried out by GRA investigators found several issues. Between December 2016 and December 2019, RWS allegedly failed to perform customer due diligence checks when depositors placed S$5,000 (US$3,722) or more into accounts held by Resorts World Sentosa patrons.

Know Your Customer Breakdown

A statement on the Resorts World Sentosa fine from the GRA explained that there were “systemic failures” in the casino’s financial reporting. Singapore’s Casino Control PMLTF Regulations require its two casinos to keep detailed records on individuals who make S$5,000 or more deposits in a single transaction.

Those records are to include the identity of the person making the deposit, verification of the depositor’s claimed identity, and the type of instrument by which the deposit is made — cash or in gaming chips. The name and particular employee license number of the authorized worker who carried out the transaction are to accompany the bookkeeping.

When accepting these cash deposits, RWS had failed to establish the identity of the third-party depositors. RWS did not record the requisite identifying information, nor did it verify these identities using reliable and independent sources as required under the PMLTF Regulations,” the GRA release read.

The GRA statement added that the anti-money laundering and terrorism financing regulatory breakdowns resulted in the termination of an RWS staffer and their special employee license. The government agency is conducting further investigations to assess the culpability of other special employees.

In a statement, Resorts World said there is “no evidence” that the financial reporting mishaps were linked to criminal activity.

“RWS has since taken remedial actions, which included implementing technology enhancements to processes and intensifying employee training,” a Resorts World explanation provided to Inside Asian Gaming read.

Slap on the Wrist

The GRA’s S$2.25 million fine won’t impact Resorts World Sentosa’s bottom line in the final quarter of 2023. Genting Singapore, the parent company of the integrated resort, reported third-quarter revenue of approximately $S689.9 million (US$513.6 million), with about 67% realized on the casino floor.

Resorts World Sentosa features about 2,400 slot machines and 500 table games. The resort has 1,600 hotel rooms spread across five hotel brands. The property is in the midst of a $5 billion renovation and expansion, resulting in new attractions, such as the Singapore Oceanarium and a new waterfront hotel.

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