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Government fines MBS $197,500 and RWS $20,000 (Amended)
MARINA Bay Sands (MBS) and Resorts World Sentosa (RWS) have been fined S$197,500 and S$20,000 respectively by the Casino Regulatory Authority of Singapore (CRA) for breaches such as allowing excluded persons, minors and people without valid entry to enter or stay on their casino premises.
These offences were reported or detected between Jan 1 and June 30 last year, except for one offence which was committed in September 2012, according to a notice on the CRA website on Friday.
Of all the fines levied this time, MBS received the heaviest penalty of S$75,000 for allowing an unauthorised person to exercise the functions of a special employee.
According to todayonline.com, the former casino staff had disguised himself as an elderly man wearing his old MBS staff uniform to enter the casino and steal betting chips.
MBS was also fined S$42,500 for allowing five Singapore citizens and permanent residents (PRs) to enter the casino without valid entry levies. One of them also remained in the casino after the 24-hour entry levy had expired. The government has set the entry levy at S$100 for 24 consecutive hours to promote "responsible gambling".
In addition, MBS was also penalised for failing to prevent three excluded persons and three minors from entering and remaining on its casino premises "without reasonable excuse".
As for RWS, it was fined S$20,000 for allowing two minors to enter and remain on its casino premises. In two instances, RWS was also censured for failing to prevent entry of a minor and a PR who entered without a valid entry levy.
Last November, the two casinos were fined more than S$500,000 for failing to adhere to measures intended to protect the vulnerable from gambling.
Separately, Fitch Ratings also released a report on Friday citing regulatory risks as a challenge for Singapore casinos, on top of regional competition and potential changes to gaming policies, which all weigh on their growth and profitability outlook.
"Since granting its first gaming licences in 2006, Singapore has limited the casinos' ability to expand, by imposing a S$100 entrance fee on Singapore citizens and PRs, and restricting their advertising and promotional scope locally," it said.
"Growth in Singapore gaming revenue has stalled, and is likely to contract slightly in 2014 with mac- roeconomic and political factors in China being the principal cause (referring here to the country's austerity campaign and credit tightening).
"Fitch expects VIP numbers to improve in the latter part of 2015, and maintains that the tightening restrictions within China are temporary . . . Recovery in this segment should provide some respite for Singapore's two integrated resort casinos in 2015," it added.
Correction:An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that one of MBS' offences was committed in September this year. It should be in September 2012. The article also mentioned that the entry levy at S$100 for 24 consecutive hours was set by MBS. This is inaccurate. Rather, it is set by the government.