Monday, 26 June, 2017

Crown says employees detained in China have been charged

Crown Resorts says its employees detained in China have been charged with promoting gambling offences Crown Resorts employees charged in China
Mae Harvey | 14 June, 2017, 06:48

It added that Chinese authorities had referred the cases to the Baoshan District Court.

JAMES Packer's casino operation Crown Resorts has revealed employees detained in China have been charged with offences related to promotion of gambling.

Crown Resorts, controlled by Australian billionaire James Packer, said that with the matter now before the court it would not be making further comment.

Cases of this sort can take up to two years to progress from police to prosecutors and the court, this has taken nine months.

The case is key not only because it might shed light on why Crown's staff were targeted, said Ben Lee, Macau-based managing partner at Asian gaming consultancy IGamiX.

Gambling and the promotion of gambling is illegal in China.

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That person is not Jason O'Connor, the Melbourne-based Crown executive who was arrested along with the others.

Chinese gamblers were a big business for Crown. "In all of those instances [Crown and the arrests of the South Korean casino employees in 2015], you had casino sales people running around offering credit, talking about collection... it wasn't discreet", he told the Financial Times.

The most senior of those arrested, Australian father-of-two Jason O'Connor, is the company's executive general manager in charge of worldwide VIP relations. The Australian government has said it's providing consular assistance to three detained Australians.

The logo of Australian casino giant Crown Resorts Ltd adorns the hotel and casino complex in Melbourne, Australia, June 13, 2017.

Crown Resorts shared slumped 14 percent in a single day when news of the arrests broke.

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