The 18 Crown employees arrested in Macau in October 2016 have officially been charged in China. Of the 18 employees, three are Australian nationals and include the head of Crown’s VIP division in Macau. According to reports, the Crown employees were formally charged in a Shanghai court after being arrested in 2016 for ‘gambling crimes.’ As a result of the arrests, Crown Resorts Limited sold off their stake in Macau to partner Melco Resorts and Entertainment Limited.
Crown Employees Court Date
The official court date for the Crown employees being detained in Beijing is set for 26 June 2017. The 18 employees have officially been charged with promoting gambling in mainland China. It is illegal to advertise gambling under Chinese law, as Macau is the only province where gambling is legal. Moreover, the casino operator may also have violated the law prohibiting organising a group of more than ten people to visit an overseas casino.
Formerly a Portuguese colony, the island has become the ‘Las Vegas of the East’ for many gamblers. According to news reports, raids were carried out in four cities under an ‘efficiency drive’ by Chinese officials. Additionally, junket operators in Macau are currently under review by lawmakers in connection with advertising on the mainland.
Melco Crown Macau – Crown Employees
At the start of 2017, Crown Resorts made a controversial decision to end dealings in Macau. Their board also stated that the casino operator would focus on domestic operations in Australia. In May of 2017, Crown Resorts announced that they expected to receive US$1 billion after selling the rest of their stake to Melco Resorts. Crown Resorts will also be sued by their investors in Australia for not announcing their intentions sooner.
To avoid further problems for their employees, Crown Resorts has not given any information as to their case. The firm has already decided to focus on Australian operations until the fate of the employees is clarified. However, there is still a long way to go once the legal team for the Crown employees have stated their case. We’ll keep our Aussie players in the loop as soon as more information comes to light.