19 employees of James Packer’s Crown Resorts jailed for promoting casinos in China

  • The charge is punishable by up to ten years in jail
  • Casinos in China are officially illegal under law, except for special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau

Three Australians and sixteen other employees of James Packer’s Crown Resorts have been jailed for charges relating to illegal casino activity.

The Court hearing at Baoshan District People’s Court in Shanghai on Monday, saw the three Australians known as Jason O’Connor, Jerry Xuan and Jenny Pan plead guilty to charges related to outlawed casino games and were sentenced to between nine to ten months in jail.

Jail term back dated from detainment date

The trio were first detained on October 14th last year with the jail term for each back dated to that date.

Jason O’Connor (who was the head of Crown’s International VIP programs) was sentenced to ten months and can expect a mid-August release whilst both Jerry Xuan and Jenny Pan expected to be freed in mid-July after being handed nine-month jail terms.

At least half of the 19 had been on bail awaiting trial, an officer from the court’s propaganda office told the Daily Mail.

China’s Gambling Laws

Land-based casino gambling and the promotion of casinos is illegal in China except for special administrative regions such as Hong Kong and the Mecca of the orient, Macau.

Anyone who makes gambling their profession or runs a ‘house’ can be sentenced to up to three years in prison with the punishment for promoting casinos up to ten years.

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s casino crackdown continues to rumble on and had an impact on Macau’s revenue which hit a year on year decline following up to 300,000 Chinese officials faced punishment for corruption in 2015.

Part of the charges involved, include the organisation of overseas casino trips which involved more than ten people.

As it stands, Chinese law states that overseas gambling trips are illegal if they include ten or more people.

However, those involved in the Chinese Casino industry have been known to get one over China’s ban by touting gambling trips as destination packages.

OUR VERDICT

China’s president Xi Jinping has been hard at work over the last few years cracking down on China’s casino industry.

This is the latest high profile crackdown on the industry and acts as a very severe warning to anyone attempting to flout the strict government gambling laws.

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