Singapore Gaming Official Receives 25-Month Prison Sentence for Misconduct

An ex-executive at Singapore’s Casino Regulatory Authority is facing a 25-month sentence in prison after admitting to stealing and selling items that belonged to the government agency.

Zulkiflie Yacob, 45, worked at the CRA before it was officially transitioned to the Gambling Regulatory Authority last year. Prosecutors in the city-state revealed in court that Yacob stole more than 750 printer cartridges and sold them online throughout the course of his employment between April 1, 2016 and October 30, 2018.

Yacob pleaded guilty to pilfering 621 cartridges valued at almost S$80,000 (US$60,300). His plea included two counts of criminal breach of trust. The former CRA worker had overordered printer cartridges to resell them on Carousell, a popular online marketplace in Singapore.

When the sentence was handed down, the prosecutors noted that a longer prison sentence was necessary to uphold the public’s trust in the government agency. Yacob had expressed financial difficulties in 2015 and used the money he earned from selling the cartridges to pay his bills and expenses.

In January, Yacob attempted to reduce his prison sentence by making a partial restitution of S$25,000 to the Gambling Regulatory Authority. He argued that this was the amount of money he made from selling the misappropriated toners and cartridges. Despite this, the judge sentenced him to 25 months in prison.

Singapore’s Gambling Regulatory Authority is responsible for supervising the duopoly between Marina Bay Sands and Resorts World Sentosa, owned and operated by Las Vegas Sands and Malaysia-based Genting respectively. The Singaporean government extended the firms’ duopoly until 2030 in exchange for a combined $3.3 billion investment in renovation, expansion and upgrades.

Marina Bay Sands is widely considered to be the “gold standard” of the global integrated resort industry. Prior to the pandemic, the resort was regularly ranked as the world’s most lucrative casino. In 2019, Marina Bay Sands generated gross gaming revenue of more than $2.16 billion, with an additional $404 million in revenue from its hotels.