Singapore casinos face “moderately high” money laundering risk, report says

Singapore casinos face “moderately high” money laundering risk, report says

The report said foreign customers pose a greater risk for the venues in verifying the legitimacy of funds.

Singapore.- The two casinos in Singapore face a “moderately high” threat of money laundering, according to the latest Money Laundering National Risk Assessment report issued by the Singapore government. The report notes that the funds of foreign customers at Resorts World Sentosa and Marina Bay Sands, typically originate from abroad, increasing the complexity in verifying their legitimacy.

The report noted that Singapore’s casino industry has remained stable, with total gaming revenue reaching approximately SG$5.26bn (US$3.88bn) by the end of 2023. The Financial Intelligence Unit observed that most suspicious transaction reports (STRs) filed by casinos were not related to potential money laundering but to suspected violations of the Casino Control Act or adverse news about casino patrons.

See also: Singapore authorities issue warning against illegal gambling ahead of Euro 2024

According to the report, the Gambling Regulatory Authority has implemented strong anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing measures through statutes and regulations, including the Casino Control Act, Casino Control Regulations and the Internal Controls Code. These include prohibiting casino operators from retaining gaming funds for unverified purposes or ownership for more than seven days.

However, the assessment noted a significant money laundering threat from foreign organised crime, particularly illegal online gambling. The report referred to a case involving over SG$3bn in seized assets in which people were found guilty of laundering proceeds believed to be from illegal online gambling managed by international Chinese criminal syndicates. The report noted that these syndicates often use alternative payment methods, such as cryptocurrencies and illegal payment platforms, complicating detection.

See also: Singapore: 7 arrested for alleged illegal online gambling

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