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Singapore: World Resorts fined $600,000 for reimbursing annual entry levy

12 September 2012

SINGAPORE -- (PRESS RELEASE) -- The Casino Regulatory Authority of Singapore (CRA) has imposed a financial penalty of $600,000 on Resorts World Sentosa Pte. Ltd. (RWS) for partially reimbursing the annual entry levy paid by some local casino patrons. This is the highest single financial penalty imposed to-date by the Authority.

2. CRA commenced investigations into a possible breach of the Casino Control Act (CCA) upon receiving information from members of the public that they had received complimentary Universal Studios Singapore (USS) tickets when they renewed their annual entry levies. Our investigations revealed that between 1 February 2011 and 31 May 2011, RWS staff members carried out a marketing programme which gave incentives such as USS tickets, concert tickets and hotel accommodation to locals when they purchased new annual entry levies or renewed their annual entry levies. About 3,400 local casino patrons were partially reimbursed the cost of the annual entry levy through these means. Although the marketing programme was implemented by a handful of RWS’ staff members, CRA holds RWS responsible for its employees’ actions.

3. RWS had also failed to submit details of this marketing programme to CRA, in contravention of CRA’s reporting requirements. This breach has been taken into consideration by CRA.

4. Separately, during the course of investigations, CRA discovered that certain documents submitted by RWS staff members to CRA could have been forged, and that false or misleading information could have been provided to CRA. CRA had therefore referred these cases to the Commercial Affairs Department (CAD) for investigation into possible criminal offences.

5. In addition to the imposition of a financial penalty on the corporate entity, CRA is in the midst of investigations into the culpability of the employees involved. These investigations seek to ascertain whether the employees have breached the CCA and/or any of the conditions of their Special Employee Licences (SEL).

6. The entry levy is one of many social safeguards put in place to address problem gambling. Local casino patrons, i.e. Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents, are required to either pay an annual entry levy of $2,000 or a daily entry levy of $100 per 24 hour entry to the casinos. Casino operators are prohibited from refunding or reimbursing the entry levy, whether directly or indirectly. This is clearly laid out in the CCA. CRA has also reiterated this message several times to the casino operators.

7. Mr Lau Peet Meng, Chief Executive of CRA said: "This is RWS' second breach with regard to the reimbursement of entry levy. Upon discovery of the breach, CRA asked RWS to review their casino marketing programmes and promotions to ensure that there are no further direct or indirect reimbursements of the entry levy. While we note that RWS has put in place measures to strengthen its compliance processes as a result of this breach, CRA is sending a clear signal to the operator that they should comply fully with the social safeguards put in place to protect locals. Compliance to our laws and regulations must be strictly adhered to at all times."

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