Date
19 November 2017
Australian casino operator Crown retreated from global expansion plans after Chinese authorities arrested some company staff last year. Photo: Reuters
Australian casino operator Crown retreated from global expansion plans after Chinese authorities arrested some company staff last year. Photo: Reuters

China frees top Crown casino executive from jail

Chinese authorities have freed one of the last remaining Crown Resorts executives jailed for illegally promoting gambling, Reuters reports.

Jason O’Connor, head of international VIP gambling with the Australian casino operator, was released early on Saturday, an official was quoted as saying in Shanghai.

O’Connor was the most senior of 16 staff detained in October last year and jailed by a Shanghai court in June. 

Crown executive chairman John Alexander said in a statement that he was “very pleased” staff were being reunited with their families.

He expressed gratitude for the help provided by the Australian government over the past few months.

In July, China released 10 Crown employees, including Australian nationals Jerry Xuan and Jane Pan.

Crown, half-owned by billionaire James Packer, had been trying to attract wealthy Chinese to its casinos located outside China, where gambling is illegal, except for Macau.

The China troubles prompted the casino operator to retreat from global expansion plans and sell off its Macau assets, and instead shift its focus back home, Reuters noted.

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RC

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