Aussie casino firm: Workers detained in China now charged

Marcus Newton
June 14, 2017

Australians Jason O'Connor, Jerry Xuan and Pan Dan are among fourteen Crown employees have been held in Shangai since their arrest last October.

The company confirmed on Tuesday that the 15 China-based Crown employees who were also detained at the same time in four Chinese cities have also been charged.

This was interpreted by some as evidence that China had made a decision to go soft on 14 detained and three bailed Crown employees, including three Australians, who were arrested in raids in October.

Crown Resorts says its employees detained in China have been charged with promoting gambling offences.

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

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China is trying to stop the flight of cash overseas and gave plenty of warning that it would not tolerate foreign casinos offering VIP deals, usually involving free flights on private jets, accommodation and lines of credit to wealthy individuals having trouble moving their money out of China.

The detainees include Jason O'Connor, an Australian who helped oversee Crown's global VIP business. Gaming authorities in Australia are also likely to assess the outcome to determine whether Crown is allowed to continue holding casino licenses at home, he said.

O'Connor was responsible for luring high-rolling casino players to Crown Casino in Melbourne.

The illegal promotion of gambling carries with it a maximum sentence of ten years in prison, but a Chinese source told The Australian late last year it was more likely the employees would face a 16 month jail term if found guilty.

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

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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