US Department of Justice is launching an investigation against billionaire Sheldon Adelson's Marina Bay Sands casino in Singapore to check whether anti-money laundering regulations were breached while handling the accounts of top gamblers.
The Justice Department in January issued a grand jury subpoena to a former compliance chief of Marina Bay Sands Pte, seeking an interview or documents on "money laundering facilitation" and any abuse of internal financial controls, according to a copy of the subpoena seen by Bloomberg News, reports The Straits Times.
Prosecutors asked the former compliance head, as a person with knowledge of the casino's operations, to produce records related to any such violations including through gambling junkets and third-party lending using casino credit, the document shows.
The US inquiry, which people familiar with the matter said is likely in its early stages, is also seeking to establish if there was any retaliation against whistleblowers, according to the subpoena.
Sands shares fell as much as 5.3 per cent on Bloomberg's report before recovering some ground. Other operators, including MGM Resorts International and Wynn Resorts, gave up some of their gains on a day that the Las Vegas Strip saw its casinos open for the first time since March due to the coronavirus.
Marina Bay Sands is one of the most profitable casinos in the world, accounting for more than a fifth of revenue and about a third of operating income at the US parent. Las Vegas Sands' Asian operations, which also include Macau, contributed about 85 per cent of the company's $13.7 billion in revenue last year, and have helped make Adelson one of the richest men in the US.