BUSINESS

Resorts World Sentosa fined, execs charged over casino entry levy reimbursement

TAGs: Casino Regulatory Authority of Singapore, lee poh yee, lim tze chean, Resorts World Sentosa, sim bee ling, Singapore

Singapore fines Resorts World SentosaSingapore’s Casino Regulatory Authority (CRA) has slapped Genting’s Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) with a S$600k (US$488k) fine for partially reimbursing the S$2k annual casino entry levies paid by some 3,400 local residents between Feb. 1 and May 31, 2011. The fine, announced Wednesday, comes just weeks after the CRA imposed fines totaling S$500k on RWS and Singapore’s other integrated resort (IR) Marina Bay Sands for violating similar social safeguards. While Wednesday’s fine is the single highest sanction yet imposed on either of Singapore’s two IRs for breaches of the Casino Control Act (CCA), worse may be to come, as the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) has laid criminal charges against several RWS staff for their role in the reimbursements.

According to Channel News Asia, the CRA first became aware of the RWS shenanigans after members of the public reported being issued complimentary Universal Studios Singapore tickets when renewing their annual casino levies. Subsequent investigation by the CRA revealed the existence of a marketing program under which RWS staff gave concert tickets and hotel accommodations when they signed up for a new levy or renewed an old one. The CRA acknowledged that specific staff had been responsible for the program but maintained that RWS was responsible for its employees’ actions. The CRA also spanked RWS for not submitting details of the program to regulators.

Three RWS staff are facing charges stemming from the program: Senior VP Lee Poh Yee has been charged with providing false info to CRA inspectors; senior VP Lim Tze Chean is facing one charge of providing false information and one forgery charge, while assistant manager Sim Bee Ling has been charged with abetment of forgery. As stiff as the RWS fines may seem, they’re really just shots across the bow, as Singapore is currently weighing changes to the laws regarding CCA breaches, including the possibility of imposing fines of up to 10% of an IR’s annual revenues.

Comments

views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of CalvinAyre.com