Following the failure to conduct customer due diligence checks as required by the respective regulation, the gambling operator Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) has been fined US$1.67 million by the Singapore’s Gambling Regulatory Authority (GRA).
US$1.67 Million Fine:
As reported by IAG, the regulator imposed the fine upon completion of the customer review process requested from RWS and Marina Bay Sands in 2020. The completion of the review process saw RSW reporting some transactions non-compliant with the due diligence requirements set forth in the Casino Control Act 2006 and the Casino Control (Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing) Regulations 2009.
The SG$2.25 million (US$1.67 million) fine has come after GRA conducted further investigations to track the root cause of the regulatory failures. The investigation found RWS‘s failures to perform mandatory due diligence checks in transactions between RSW employees and third parties worth US$3,730. As reported by IAG, the operator’s staff allegedly collected the said amount to make the respective deposits on the RSW customer accounts but failed to record the identity of these third-party creditors as required by the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing Regulations, according to GRA.
The regulator reportedly indicated that ‘’system failures’’ in the operator’s control procedures resulted in failure to detect the non-compliant activities. GRA reportedly said: “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.”
According to IAG, the employees involved in the breaches had special licenses granted to those working in casino-related functions or making decisions on casino operations. As reported, these are now cancelled and the regulator continues investigations into other employees. “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,” the regulator reportedly said.
Taking Remedial Actions:
RWS responded that the allegations included “no evidence of criminal offenses or money laundering’’ and therefore required no police involvement. The operator reportedly said: “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. RWS has since taken remedial actions which included implementing technology enhancements to processes and intensifying employee training.’’
RSW added: “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.”