In Singapore and casino operator Las Vegas Sands Corporation has reportedly established a special in-house committee to look into the efficacy of anti-money laundering procedures at its iconic Marina Bay Sands property.
According to a report from GGRAsia citing information from a Bloomberg news service story, the panel consists of a trio of independent board members and will be calling on assistance from American law firm Vinson and Elkins LLP. The source detailed that the internal examination is due to look into money transfers involving high-value patrons of the 2,561-room property in addition to allegations of whistle-blower retaliation.
Las Vegas Sands Corporation has operated the three-tower Singapore development since 2011 but reportedly ran into trouble last year when American officials launched a formal inquiry into whether it had breached anti-money laundering regulations. This purportedly prefaced an out-of-court settlement the firm agreed in September amid claims that it had negligently transferred some $6.5 million in cash from a VIP player’s account to other people without his expressed permission.
The Las Vegas-headquartered operator has moreover reportedly faced questions from Singapore’s Casino Regulatory Authority regarding money transfer policies at the $7 billion Marina Bay Sands that could well have led to a partial suspension or complete revocation of its gambling license. This possibility purportedly prompted Las Vegas Sands Corporation to hire prominent local law firm Davinder Singh Chambers to conduct an independent probe into how the giant development conducts third-party gambler deposit transfers.
Las Vegas Sands Corporation also holds a majority stake in Asian casino operator Sands China Limited, which is responsible for Macau’s The Venetian Macao, The Plaza Macao, Sands Macao and The Parisian Macao venues, and is in the process of spending in the region of $2 billion so as to transform its giant Sands Cotai Central development into the new-look The Londoner Macao. It moreover inked a $6.25 billion deal earlier this month that is to see it exit the American casino market altogether via the sale of its The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino with its 3,000-room The Palazzo hotel as well as the nearby Sands Expo and Convention Center.
Further south and Las Vegas Sands Corporation was last year granted a ten-year extension to its Singapore casino license to 2030 and subsequently divulged that it had agreed to expend approximately $3.3 billion in order to bring a fourth hotel tower alongside a range of additional non-gaming amenities to its Marina Bay Sands development. This arrangement moreover granted the New York-listed operator permission to expand the venue’s casino by some 21,527 sq ft and add up to 1,000 gaming machines to its existing complement of 2,500 units.