SINGAPORE: The Gambling Regulatory Authority (GRA) has fined Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) a total of $2.25 million (RM7.83 million) for failing to perform due diligence checks on deposits into patrons’ accounts.
These checks are required under the Casino Control Act and the Casino Control (Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing) Regulations, the GRA said on Dec 8.
The authority has also cancelled the special employee licence of one of the RWS employees involved. The licence is issued by GRA to those who work in casino-related functions or make decisions on casino operations.
In 2020, the GRA told casino operators RWS and Marina Bay Sands to review the activities of certain patrons. RWS then discovered some transactions to be non-compliant and reported them to the GRA.
After investigations, the authority found that RWS had failed to perform due diligence checks for certain transactions between December 2016 and December 2019, where its employees collected S$5,000 or more in cash from third parties to deposit into the accounts of its patrons, said the GRA.
Casino operators are required to perform these checks when they receive a cash deposit of S$5,000 or more into a patron’s deposit account.
“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 regulations,” the GRA added.
Aside from cancelling one special employee licence, the GRA is also investigating other employees with the same licence who were involved.
“GRA takes a serious view of such lapses and will not hesitate to take disciplinary action against errant casino operators. GRA will continue to exercise tight supervision over the operators’ compliance with our regulatory requirements,” it said.
When the lapses were detected, the GRA noted that RWS had engaged an independent party to review its standard operating procedures. RWS has also looked at its corporate culture, with a view to strengthening its internal controls and corporate governance. - The Straits Times/ANN