Sands to investigate potential breaches at Singapore casino
An investigation into potential money laundering breaches at a Singapore casino has drawn the attention of the venue’s operator.
Gambling Insider reports US firm Las Vegas Sands will investigate claims of money laundering at its Singapore casino, Marina Bay sands.
In 2020, a Chinese gambler Wang Xi sued Marina Bay Sands, claiming the operator moved US$6.8 million from his house accounts to others without his permission.
Wang Xi’s case was settled out of court, however the US Department of Justice has decided to investigate further, analysing how the operator was handling customer accounts.
Internal investigation under way into Marina Bay Sands
An internal investigation will now also commence, by a committee consisting of three independent board members.
An internal probe had shown that some employees had presented gamblers with blank forms.
They would get players to sign empty authorisation forms and then fill in the amount being transferred.
Marina Bay Sands said that it has reduced the number of third party transfers and reinforced its security over these actions.
Currently, the company is in a transitional phase as founder Sheldon Adelson passed away last January.
Sands eyes off greater Singapore investment
Major global casino operator Las Vegas Sands is poised to invest more heavily into the Singapore market, following the sale of its Vegas assets.
GGR Asia reported in March that the group’s president and chief operating officer Patrick Dumont made the announcement, following its decision to sell off its Las Vegas gaming and non-gaming assets for US$6.25 billion.
The deal includes the Venetian Resort Las Vegas and the Sands Expo and Convention Centre.
Las Vegas Sands is the parent of Macau casino operator Sands china and of Marina Bay Sands, the operator of Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands casino resort.
Mr Dumont told investors that the company was keen in investing more in Singapore given the return profile of that market.
“Given the Las Vegas transaction, we are looking to invest more in Singapore at this point,” said the executive.
“We are very privileged to have reached an agreement for a new development there, for expanding Marina Bay Sands,” he added.
Las Vegas Sands is to invest an additional US$3.3 billion to expand Marina Bay Sands in return for an extension, until the existing duopoly, of its gaming rights in Singapore.
The company will build a fourth tower adjacent to its existing complex.
The expansion plans also include a 15,000-seat arena and a new luxury all-suite hotel with about 1,000 rooms, topped with a sky roof.
“We are very focused on Marina Bay Sands. We also intend to invest significantly in the existing towers, to ensure that the property remains competitive in the future,” he said.
Robert Goldstein, Las Vegas Sands’ chairman and chief executive, also said on the JP Morgan forum that the company was “eager to deploy capital and reinvest” in Macau and Singapore, “where the return on investment is higher than in Las Vegas.”
“I believe the Macau government, as part of the licence renewal process, will come to us and mandate, or ask us, to spend more dollars, large capital dollars to grow our business, which we would be delighted to spend as much as they want,” Mr Goldstein said.