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Singapore Lowers Casino Cash Reporting Threshold to Combat Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing

Singapore is set to lower the reporting threshold on casino cash transactions as part of new measures to combat terrorism financing and money laundering, the island nation’s Gambling Regulatory Authority (GRA) announced Monday.

Singapore Lowers Casino Cash Reporting Threshold to Combat Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing

Due diligence checks will now be required on cash deposits of S$4,000 (US$3,000), down from the current S$5,000 threshold (US$3,600). This new threshold is significantly lower than in US casinos, where transactions of US$10,000 or more trigger a currency transaction report (CTR).

Singapore hosts two major casino complexes, Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa. These integrated resorts form Asia’s second-biggest gaming market after Macau.

In December 2023, the GRA fined Genting’s Resorts World Sentosa S$2.25 million (US$1.7 million) for failing to perform due diligence on cash transactions above the S$5,000 threshold. This fine was the largest ever imposed by the regulator on an operator.

The GRA said the new rules align Singapore with FATF (Financial Action Task Force) standards. FATF is an intergovernmental organization focused on combating money laundering globally.

According to the GRA, these changes will be implemented this year, though a precise date has not been revealed. They are part of several new strategies against money laundering outlined in Singapore’s updated National Strategy for Countering the Financing of Terrorism, published Monday.

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The report highlighted Singapore’s status as an open international financial, business, and transport hub, making it a target for money laundering and terrorist financing. It identified key terrorism financing threats as Jihadist groups like ISIS, al-Qaeda, and Jemaah Islamiah, as well as self-radicalized individuals sympathetic to their cause. The report also noted a growing concern over far-right extremism.

Actual terrorist attacks in Singapore are extremely rare. In 2021, a 21-year-old national serviceman in the Singapore Armed Forces, Amirull bin Ali, planned to attack worshipers at a local synagogue after becoming radicalized online, but the plot was foiled by authorities. In the same year, a plot by a far-right extremist to attack a mosque in the city was also disrupted.

Singaporeans were recently shocked by the scale of a money laundering operation involving a network of Chinese nationals moving at least US$2.2 billion through the country’s banking system. This network managed to hold the proceeds of overseas scams and illegal online gambling in Singapore bank accounts before converting the money into high-end real estate, cars, and jewelry. This case has prompted reviews of banking regulations in the financial hub.



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