JAMES Packer’s casino operation Crown Resorts has revealed employees detained in China have been charged with offences related to promotion of gambling.
18 Crown staff including three Australians were detained in raids in October last year across four cities in mainland China on suspicion of what Chinese officials called “gambling crimes”.
The charges are less stern than some had predicted, with gambling offences attracting penalties of three years behind bars.
Fears were mounting they could be charged with something like money laundering which attracts sterner penalties.
Crown’s head of VIP gaming Jason O’Connor was among those detained last year.
Crown said the cases have been referred to the Baoshan District Court.
“As the matter is now before the court, no further comments will be made,” it said in a brief statement.
In November, three Australian employees of billionaire James Packer’s Crown Resorts were formally arrested in China as Beijing cracks down on high-roller gambling promotions. Those arrested were Jason O’Connor, the head of the casino group’s international VIP business and two other China-based employees, Pan Dan and Jerry Xuan.