Las Vegas Sands Singapore casino targetted by US authorities probe on money laundering breaches

The Las Vegas Sands casino in Singapore, Marina Bay Sands, is being probed by the U.S. Department of Justice over possible anti-money laundering regulation breaches concerning VIP gamblers, news agency Bloomberg reported.

According to the report, the US Justice Department issued a grand jury subpoena in January to a former compliance chief of Marina Bay Sands Pte, seeking an interview or documents on ‘money laundering facilitation’ and any abuse of internal financial controls.

Prosecutors asked the former compliance head, as a person with knowledge of the casino’s operations, to produce records related to any such violations including through gambling junkets and third-party lending using casino credit, the document shows.

The U.S. inquiry is also seeking to establish if there was any retaliation against whistleblowers.

The report adds that a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Las Vegas couldn’t confirm or deny ongoing investigations.

The Sands casino responded that any suggestion of inappropriate activity is taken seriously, and it has investigated every assertion of wrongdoing brought to its attention.

However, Marina Bay Sands and its parent company seem to have not received any request from the Department of Justice Bloomberg added, with the casino also facing faces a probe in Singapore by the Casino Regulatory Authority into its money transfer policies.

In 2013 Las Vegas Sands was also the target of another Justice Department investigation and paid US$47.4 million to end a federal investigation into its acknowledged failure to report suspicious deposits by a high-stakes gambler in Las Vegas.

In 2017, it also paid $6.96 million to resolve a probe into alleged violations of U.S. law in connection with bribes paid to government officials in China and Macau, Bloomberg reported after the gaming group admitted it knowingly and willingly failed to ensure the legitimacy of about $5.8 million in payments to a business consultant.