Las Vegas Sands violated US bribery law

Marina Bay Sands
Image caption Las Vegas Sands owns several casinos, including this one in Marina Bay in Singapore

Casino operator Las Vegas Sands has said that it probably violated a US law that prohibits bribing foreign officials.

In a regulatory filing, it said that the Securities and Exchange Commission had asked for documents in 2011.

Las Vegas Sands, controlled by billionaire Sheldon Adelson, said it had now found there had been "likely violations" of the bribery law.

But it does not expect the revelations to hurt its bottom line.

The US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act makes it a crime for US corporations and their subsidiaries to bribe foreign officials, and some other large US companies have found themselves on the wrong side of the law.

In April, Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer, revealed it was investigating claims that its Mexican subsidiaries used bribes to secure permits to build new stores and said it was carrying out investigations in various other countries as well, including Brazil and China.

Las Vegas Sands said that the SEC requested documents in February 2011 relating to the anti-bribery law.

"The Audit Committee advised the company and its independent accountants that it had reached certain preliminary findings, including that there were likely violations of the books and records and internal controls provisions of the FCPA," it said.

But the casino operator added that these findings "do not have a material impact" and "do not warrant any restatement of the company's past financial statements".

Las Vegas Sands makes the bulk of its earnings in Macau, the world's biggest gambling market and the only Chinese territory where casinos are allowed, and Singapore.

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