Marina Bay Sands Casino Reportedly Facing DOJ Money Laundering Probe

  • A grand jury subpoena was reportedly issued to an ex-compliance officer of the casino in January
  • The subpoena allegedly requested information about the facilitation of money laundering
  • The casino's parent company, Las Vegas Sands, has said that the DOJ has made no requests
Marina Bay Sands casino in Singapore
The US Department of Justice is reportedly investigating the Marina Bay Sands Casino in Singapore for contravening anti-money laundering regulations. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Money laundering investigation

The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) is reportedly investigating the Marina Bay Sands Casino in Singapore for possible anti-money laundering regulations violations.

interested in records relating to how the casino does business with junket operators and VIP gamblers

Bloomberg reported on Thursday that a grand jury subpoena was issued in January to a former compliance officer at Marina Bay Sands. Authorities are looking for information relating to “money laundering facilitation” and the potential abuse of internal financial controls. Prosecutors are particularly interested in records relating to how the casino does business with junket operators and VIP gamblers. 

Further, the DOJ is investigating any possible retaliation against whistleblowers and wants information on a former Marina Bay Sands employee who processed high roller fund transfers.

Little comment from parties involved

A spokesperson from the US Attorney’s Office in Las Vegas unable to confirm or deny anything to Bloomberg about the ongoing investigation. Bloomberg sources familiar with the inquiry say that it is likely in its early stages.

The casino issued a written response to Bloomberg saying it is taking suggestions of inappropriate activity seriously and that all allegations are being fully investigated. Marina Bay Sands and its parent company, Sheldon Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands Corporation, say that no DOJ requests have been made.

Marina Bay Sands generates over one-fifth of the revenue and approximately one-third of the operating income for its parent company. The Asian operations of Las Vegas Sands accounted for about 85% of its $13.7bn in revenue in 2019.

DOJ has a history with Sands

This isn’t the first time in recent years that Las Vegas Sands has had run-ins with the Department of Justice. In 2013, the company had to pay $47.4m after a federal investigation found that the company failed to report suspicious high roller deposits in Las Vegas. 

willingly failed to validate the legitimacy of about $5.8m in payments to a consultant

In 2017, it paid $6.96m to end an examination into alleged bribes paid to government officials in Macau and China. Las Vegas Sands also admitted that it willingly failed to validate the legitimacy of about $5.8m in payments to a consultant. 

In addition, a probe by Singapore’s Casino Regulatory Authority into Marina Bay Sands’ money transfer policies is still ongoing.