Crown’s 18 employees arrested October last year are all finally released. Crown’s big fish, Jason O’ Connor was last to be released; and will reunite with his family after serving a ten-month sentence. Crown Resorts, considered one of Australia’s largest entertainment groups, put together a catastrophic marketing plan which led to the arrest of 18 staffers. The arrest happened in Macau, following Crown Resort’s aggressive plan to recruit China’s high rollers by promoting gambling. The official charge was ‘gambling crimes’. The events that unfolded can be compared to an episode of a crime drama, starring Crown’s executive head of VIP gaming – Jason O’ Connor as the lead.
Crown’s Marketing Fail
The casino environment in Australia and China have a significant focus on VIP and is the reason why experts consider China as Australia’s biggest economic partner. More so, Crown’s plan to obtain high rollers for their flag-ship Australian-based casino was in contradiction with Chinese law. According to Chinese law, the promotion and marketing of gambling to its residents is unlawful and prohibited. The planned marketing trip to China, headed by O’ Connor, included many Crown employees. However, Chinese officials would not have suspected illegal soliciting had it not been for the numbers. Additionally, Crown Resorts’ marketing convoy intentionally disrespected China’s sovereign jurisdiction with their bold marketing plan.
Among the last of Crown’s employees to be released is the executive head of VIP Gaming, Jason O’ Connor. He was arrested at the Shanghai airport and served a ten-month sentence in a correctional facility in Shanghai. His sentence included the time he spent detained. According to Australian officials, O’ Connor will be assessed by medical and psychological staff.
Cost to Crown and the decision to focus on Australian markets
The sentence and fine served to Crown Resorts was considered miniature; given the rigid laws and the president’s bid to cut down on corruption. The sentence included a combined fine of AU$1.67 million, an amount that Crown has agreed to pay. Crown’s decision to see off its fleet, of private planes and VIP yachts and cut its investment exposure to the China, was made in the wake of the arrests. The company has decided to focus their attention on domestic projects.