Singapore’s Gambling Regulatory Authority revealed Friday it has fined Resorts World Sentosa SG$2.25 million (US$1.67 million) for failure to perform customer due diligence checks as required under the Casino Control Act 2006 (“CCA”) and the Casino Control (Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing) Regulations 2009.
In a statement, the GRA said the fine comes after Singapore’s two casino operators, RWS and Marina Bay Sands, were directed in 2020 to conduct a review of certain patrons’ activities, with RWS subsequently reporting non-compliance for some transactions.
As a result, GRA conducted further investigations which revealed that between December 2016 and December 2019, RWS had failed to perform prescribed customer due diligence checks for certain transactions where RWS’s employees collected cash of SG$5,000 (US$3,730) or more from third parties for purposes of depositing into the accounts of RWS patrons1.
When accepting these cash deposits, RWS had failed to establish the identity of the third-party depositors, did not record the requisite identifying information and did not verify these identities using reliable and independent sources as required under the PMLTF (Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Regulations), GRA said
It added that, while whole RWS had a PMLTF framework and controls in place, there were “systemic failures” in certain controls, resulting in failure to detect the non-compliances.
“When the non-compliances were detected, RWS took prompt action to improve its processes and engaged an independent party to review their standard operating procedures. RWS has also undertaken a review of its corporate culture, with a view to strengthening its internal controls and corporate governance,” GRA said.
An employee involved in the breaches has had their special license – one granted to individuals who work in casino-related functions or make decisions on casino operations – cancelled and further investigations into the potential culpability of other employees is ongoing.
“GRA takes a serious view of such lapses and will not hesitate to take disciplinary action against errant casino operators,” the regulator said. “GRA will continue to exercise tight supervision over the operators’ compliance with our regulatory requirements.”
In response, RWS noted there was “no evidence of criminal offences nor money laundering and, hence, no police reports were made.
“We take our compliance obligations very seriously. Upon discovery of the lapses in 2020, RWS promptly made a report to the GRA and fully cooperated with the GRA investigations which followed,” the operator explained. “RWS has since taken remedial actions which included implementing technology enhancements to processes and intensifying employee training.
“We are committed to upholding high regulatory compliance standards and continue to collaborate closely with the GRA to strengthen the effectiveness of our processes, controls and training and ensure that our businesses and operations are consistently conducted in compliance with relevant laws and regulations.
“The financial penalty imposed by the GRA will not have any material impact on the consolidated net tangible assets and earnings per share of the Group for the financial year ending 31 December 2023.”