SHANGHAI: A Chinese court handed short jail terms to three Australian employees of Crown Resorts Ltd in a quick-fire trial following a lengthy probe into how the firm lured Chinese high-rollers to its casinos.
The Australian consul general in Shanghai told reporters at the Baoshan District Court that Crown’s head of international VIP gambling Jason O’Connor was given a ten month sentence. Two other were handed nine month sentences.
The sentences would run from the date the employees were first detained on Oct 14 last year, meaning they would only have a couple of months left to serve, the consul said. A lawyer for the defendants said they were ”satisfied with the result”.
The three Australian citizens, along with 16 other defendants, were formally charged earlier this month, having been first detained late last year. Zhai Jian, a lawyer for the defendants, said all had pled guilty.
The case – part of a wider crackdown on gambling in China – has forced Crown to tear up its strategy of luring wealthy Chinese to the casino hub in the Chinese territory of Macau and instead shift its focus back home. — Reuters
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