Tougher Anti-Money Laundering Regulations Coming to Singapore Casinos

Law & Politics Business
Alan Campbell

Updated by Alan Campbell

Last Updated 2nd Jul 2024, 10:23 AM

Tougher Anti-Money Laundering Regulations Coming to Singapore Casinos

The two giant casino destinations in Singapore are to soon face the introduction of more severe rules designed to assist in the prevention of money laundering and the financing of terrorist organizations. 

A city-state of almost six million people, Singapore is also home to the 2,975-room Marina Bay Sands facility from Las Vegas Sands Corporation as well as Genting Group’s 99-acre Resorts World Sentosa development. 

Together, this pair offers punters the chance to enjoy a selection of approximately 4,900 slots and nearly 1,000 gaming tables, as well as sports betting and private poker competitions.

Lowered Level

The South China Morning Post reports new rules coming into force before the end of the year are to oblige Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa to conduct enhanced due diligence checks when more than $2,950 is deposited into a customer’s account. This is to be below the current threshold of $3,700 and in line with a joint recommendation from the small nation’s Home Affairs Ministry, Finance Ministry and Monetary Authority. 

Although the country’s Gambling Regulatory Authority (GRA) did not specify a date for the implementation of the new deposit level, it did assert that the coming change will allow casinos in Singapore to ‘better combat money laundering and terrorism financing’. 

The regulator disclosed that the adjustment is to further align its own requirements to those of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog.

Serious Infraction

This news comes some seven months after Resorts World Sentosa was fined a record-setting $1.8 million for failing to carry out such due diligence checks on a number of occasions between December 2016 and December 2019. 

The GRA explained that the 1,600-room property had furthermore not properly determined the identity of third-party depositors, recorded the required information or utilized reliable and independent sources to verify transactions.

“The GRA takes a serious view of such lapses and will not hesitate to take disciplinary action against errant casino operators,” read a statement from the GRA. “The GRA will continue to exercise tight supervision over the operators’ compliance with our regulatory requirements.”

Perilous Potential

In a recent report, the Home Affairs Ministry, Finance Ministry and Monetary Authority jointly warned Singapore’s openness as an international business, transport and financial hub could be exploited by those looking to finance terrorist activities. Nevertheless, the trio stressed that the nation is committed to evolving with the changing times in developing and implementing ‘a systematic and comprehensive whole-of-government approach to identify, monitor, and mitigate terrorism financing risks’.

“Far-right extremism is also a growing security concern in many countries,” the government departments stated. “While it has not gained significant traction in southeast Asia, we cannot rule out that its anti-Islam and anti-immigration rhetoric may resonate with some individuals.”

Meet The Author

Alan Campbell
Alan Campbell

Alan Campbell has been reporting on the global gambling industry ever since graduating from university in the late-1990s with degrees in journalism, English and history. Now headquartered in the northern English city of Sheffield, he has written on a plethora of topics, companies, regulatory developments and technological innovations for a large number of traditional and digital publications from around the planet.

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