Regulators to focus on casino crime

Money laundering and transnational crime will be some of the key concerns for casino regulators in Asia, said Lee Tzu Yang, the chairman of the Casino Regulatory Authority of Singapore.

Lee made the remarks in the opening speech during the 4th Singapore Symposium on Casino Regulation and Crime, held on July 28.

The symposium first began in 2009 as an internal training forum, between the Casino Regulatory Authority (CRA) and the Casino Crime Investigation Branch of the Singapore Police Force, however it has since expanded to an international audience.

“Casinos are cash-intensive businesses that operate 24 hours a day, with a high volume of different transactions taking place, including financial activities such as money exchange, money transfers, cashing of cheques and so on. These have associated risks, such as money laundering, terrorism financing, illicit flow of funds and syndicated cheating,” said the CRA head.

“Why do regulators need to continue learning? The industry is dynamic and continues to change. Asia continues to be a source of growth for the industry. Whilst many Asian countries plan for legislation, the entities they seek to regulate are often part of larger regional or international organisations, which are already operating in other jurisdictions… we have to look for opportunities to learn from one another, and to prepare to manage the risks and threats ahead,” he continued.

This year, the symposium attracted more than 170 participants representing 16 regulatory and enforcement agencies from 11 jurisdictions. Among the speakers were representatives from government, academia, the non-profit sector and the industry.