The government of Macau has announced that it will hold meetings with the six companies licensed to operate casino gambling in the enclave following last weekend’s arrest and detention of 18 employees of Australian firm Crown Resorts Limited.
According to a report from radio and television broadcaster Teledifusao De Macau, Lionel Leong, Economy And Finance Secretary for Macau, revealed that no local casino firm was connected to the case although the government intends to look “cautiously” at the matter.
“There is no direct connection between the incident and local gaming operators,” said Leong. “The gaming watchdog has demanded a meeting with the six gaming concessionaires. Many times have we reminded them that any commercial activity or behavior has to be carried out strictly in line with local laws in Macau or elsewhere.”
The employees of Melbourne-based Crown Resorts Limited were arrested by Shanghai police for alleged gambling-related crimes following several months of investigations as part of an operation dubbed “Duanlian”, which in Chinese translates as “to break the chain”. The Chinese government has long been trying to curtail its nationals from engaging in overseas gambling by terminating the personal and financial links between foreign casino operators and their mainland clients. Led by President Xi Jinping, officials perceive that the activity is linked to corruption, money-laundering and domestic instability particularly as many of the gamblers that have gone broke as a result of gambling have been small business owners.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported that those arrested over the weekend but as yet to be charged include Jason O’Connor, VIP International Executive General Manager for Crown Resorts Limited, while the Bloomberg news service detailed that authorities had warned the Australian firm about its activities over a year ago, which led to the firm to the firm making changes to its marketing activities.