SINGAPORE (Reuters) - Singapore plans to toughen its casino laws and allow the regulator to impose a fine of up to 10 percent of annual revenues generated by operators Las Vegas Sands (LVS.N) and Genting Singapore (GENS.SI), local media reported on Saturday.
The maximum penalty that Casino Regulatory Authority can now impose is S$1 million ($785,000). But after amendments to the law are passed, the fines could potentially exceed $200 million.
The changes were announced by S Iswaran, a minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, who said the proposed revisions will help ensure Singapore’s two multi-billion-dollar casino-resorts “remain full-fledged tourist destinations, (and) not just casinos with frills,” according to the Straits Times.
Today, another Singapore newspaper, said the new rules should be in place by the end of the year.
Singapore’s two casinos must abide by various regulations, like keeping strict records and preventing money laundering.
Both have been fined for admitting minors and for permitting Singaporeans and permanent residents to enter without paying the S$ 100 dollar entry fee intended to keep in check gambling addictions. Foreigners pay no admission fee.
The casinos are among the world’s most profitable and together generate gaming revenues comparable to the combined gaming revenues of casinos along the Las Vegas Strip.
Genting Singapore’s Resorts World at Sentosa reported S$2.69 billion in gross gaming revenue last year, while Las Vegas Sand’s Marina Bay Sands managed $2.36 billion.
Singapore’s casino regulator could not be reached for comment.
($1 = 1.2720 Singapore dollars)
Reporting by Kevin Lim