Singapore casinos hit with heavy fines for failing to deter local gamblers

The two Singaporean resorts were found to have breached laws aimed at deterring locals from gambling

PUBLISHED : Friday, 24 August, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 24 August, 2012, 3:16am


Singapore's two casinos have been fined more than US$1 million since they opened in 2010, mostly for violating laws aimed at deterring locals from gambling, official data showed yesterday.

The mark was passed after the Marina Bay Sands (MBS) and Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) casinos were on Wednesday fined S$357,500 (HK$2.2 million) and S$140,000 respectively by Singapore's Casino Regulatory Authority (CRA).

The casinos were punished for "breaching social safeguard requirements during the period May 1, 2011 to October 31, 2011", CRA said in a press release posted on its website. The violations included allowing Singaporean citizens and permanent residents entry into the casinos without paying compulsory S$100 entry levies and permitting them to remain there beyond the 24-hour time limit.

Foreigners are exempt from paying the entry fee, which was introduced as part of government efforts to address public concern over gaming-related social ills.

The two casinos had previously been punished for similar breaches, with MBS and RWS in February slapped with fines totalling S$385,000.

RWS was additionally fined S$530,000 last year for reimbursing the entry levies of media representatives covering an event, as well as for lapses in its camera surveillance system.

With the latest fines, the two casinos have had to pay a total of US$1.13 million in fines since their opening in 2010.

But the fines are unlikely to trouble the two casinos, with MBS, owned by Las Vegas Sands, racking up US$550.2 million in revenue in the three months ending June 30 this year.

RWS, owned by Malaysia's Genting group, reported gaming revenues of around US$450 million in the same quarter.

Singapore enjoyed a tourism and business visitor boom last year, thanks in part to the two casino resort complexes, which also offer hotel, restaurant and convention facilities.