The group of Crown Resorts employees who were arrested in China in October last year has now been charged by a local court, an announcement from the company reveals, according to British daily newspaper The Guardian.
According to the announcement by the Australian casino operator, 18 employees who were detained for illegal gambling activities in Mainland China will be facing charges for gambling promotion before the Baoshan District Court in Shanghai, to which they were referred to this May.
The group was arrested by Chinese authorities during one of the police raids that focused on four major cities in the country. The raids were part of President Xi Jinping’s country-wide anti-corruption crackdown which targeted local illegal gambling operations, especially the Macau industry. Per the Chinese law, advertising gambling activities is illegal and so is organizing any group of more than 10 people for a trip to an overseas casino. The employees were found to be in breach of these provisions.
Among those arrested, there were also three Australian citizens, including the head of Crown’s VIP International team Jason O’Connor, who together with the remainder of the group will be facing the court on June 26 this year. In Crown’s statement on Tuesday that revealed the charge, the company also added they will not be making any further comments on the matter with the case now scheduled to be presented before the court.
The court case is expected to finally start closing the chapter that began last year and brought serious damages to Crown Resorts Limited. After the arrests were reported in the news, the company suffered a sudden drop in half-year VIP revenues, which plummeted by 45%. The incident also lead to a 14% drop in share values which added even more damages to the company and prompted shareholders to file a class-action lawsuit for compensation against the company founded by James Packer on the grounds of them not being informed about the risks of the company’s activities in China, subsequently leading to the sale of Crown Resort’s stake in Macau casino operations.