Published: 04 November 2019
Mr Dennis Tan Lip Fong: To ask the Minister for Home Affairs in respect of the big increase in the fines imposed on Resorts World Sentosa and Marina Bay Sands last year (a) what measures have been or will be taken to ensure that the Integrated Resorts do not repeat the same offences in future; and (b) whether current punishments for the offences reported are sufficient to deter future occurrences.
1. The increase was mainly due to lapses by Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) in performing required customer due diligence (CDD) checks; this accounted for $650,000 of the total increase from the year before. There was also an increase of $35,000 in financial penalties imposed for social safeguard breaches by both Marina Bay Sands (MBS) and RWS.
2. On the lapses relating to CDD, RWS had processed some transactions when the required checks on the patrons were incomplete, and had failed to verify the identities of certain patrons. The casinos handle a lot of cash, and are thus susceptible to risks of money laundering and terrorism financing. CDD requirements are important measures to mitigate this risk.
3. On the lapses relating to social safeguards, RWS had allowed five minors, and MBS had allowed one, to enter the casinos. MBS had also allowed a Permanent Resident to enter without payment of entry levy.
4. Both operators have enhanced their processes, which include system enhancements to automate checks and the conduct of refresher training for casino employees.
5. CRA has been giving guidance to the operators on putting in place measures to prevent and detect lapses. CRA also conducts unannounced spot checks and inspections.
6. Mr Tan also asks whether the current punishments are sufficient to deter future occurrences. CRA will continue to monitor the situation. The law provides for stiff penalties. However, the Member will appreciate, that the stiff penalties exist, is no guarantee in itself, that there will be no breaches of the law.