Published: Wed, June 14, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Crown says employees detained in China have been charged

Crown says employees detained in China have been charged

All 18 detained Crown employees in China have now been charged with offences related to the promotion of gambling, the Australian casino operator announced today.

Fairfax Media James Packer's Crown Resorts is also facing a class action by shareholders after the company's shares plummeted when news of the arrests broke.

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 cases have been referred to Baoshan District Court, it said.

Seventeen Crown staff including three Australians were detained in raids in October previous year across four cities in mainland China on suspicion of what Chinese officials called "gambling crimes".

The Australian newspaper reported that the court has set a hearing date for 26 June.

Crown said it would make no further comment.

Last month Crown sold a remaining stake in its Macau venture to joint-venture partner Melco International, after shelving plans late a year ago for a Las Vegas casino to concentrate on Australian luxury hotel and casino businesses.

Eighteen staff were arrested in Shanghai after police raids across China last October.

David Green at Newpage Consulting, which specializes in gambling regulation, said Crown's Australian business may be hurt by a conviction of its staff in China.

Crown has casinos and hotels in Melbourne and Perth, and a casino and high-end hotel development in Sydney.

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