Resorts World Sentosa Fined $1.7M for Regulatory Violations

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The Gambling Authority of Singapore (GRA) has taken decisive action by canceling the license of an individual affiliated with casino operations at Resorts World Sentosa (RWS). This step was deemed necessary due to the individual's failure to adhere to due diligence regulations, resulting in a substantial fine of SGD2.25 million (US$1.68 million) for the casino operator.

Multiple AML Failures

Sentosa's Resorts World Pte Ltd, the subsidiary of Genting Singapore Ltd overseeing RWS, neglected its duty to perform a thorough audit of the Casino Management Act 2006 and Casino Control (Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing) Act 2009. Consequently, the GRA disclosed its decision to levy the fine on Friday.

Related: Singapore Casinos Not Harmed by Recent Money-Laundering Scandal

In a filed statement on Friday, Genting Singapore expressed remorse for the errors and emphasized its utmost dedication to providing exceptional services in compliance with regulations. The company ensured no indications of any criminal activities or illicit financial transactions.

RWS came across instances of non-compliance during certain transactions, which prompted it to inform the regulatory authorities. Consequently, the GRA initiated its own investigation. During this process, it was unveiled that between December 2016 and December 2019, RWS had neglected to carry out the necessary customer audits for specific transactions involving their employees receiving SGD5,000 (US$3,722.50) or higher amounts in cash from external sources, regardless of the purpose.

RWS, by accepting these deposits, chose to withhold the information about the individuals depositing funds on behalf of third parties. In a departure from the law, the casino operator neglected to follow the necessary steps of registering and validating identification information through trustworthy channels as mandated by the Anti-Money Laundering Act.

Too Little, Too Late

According to the GRA, RWS had implemented effective counter-terrorism measures during the breach; however, certain control systems had experienced a fundamental breakdown, resulting in a failure to identify inconsistencies. Acknowledging this lapse, the gambling regulator conceded that prompt action was taken by the resort to rectify the issue by enhancing protocols and enlisting an impartial team for a comprehensive evaluation of established protocols and guidelines.

Genting Singapore recently announced its adoption of remedial actions, involving the implementation of enhanced technical systems and the augmentation of employee training. The regulator acknowledged these endeavors, stating that RWS undertook a comprehensive evaluation of its corporate ethos with the objective of fortifying internal regulation and corporate management.

However, the authority's press release highlights its strong commitment to addressing these failures with utmost seriousness. It emphasized that it will actively implement disciplinary actions against individuals involved in running subpar casinos.

Genting Singapore's filing stated that the imposed fine would not significantly affect the group's overall financial position, including consolidated net assets and earnings per share, for the concluded fiscal year ending on December 31.