Crown Resorts employees in China to stand trial
The news that all will be prosecuted is a major blow to James Packer owned Crown Resorts, including those charged is top ranking Crown executive Jason O’Connor who is head of International VIP Services.
According to reports the maximum sentence the courts can impose is 10 years but the announcement that the trial will be held in Shanghai’s Baoshan District Court instead of a main city court points to the possibility the sentences will be lighter than the maximum with one industry insider that works in Asian gaming believing the sentences will be around 18 months to 2 years.
The arrests of the 15 Crown employees occurred in October last year and happened after the Chinese government repeatedly warned casino operators of working to promote their casinos on the mainland.
According to reports in China all 15 employees will be tried together in one case and is only expected to last two or three days maximum.
Since the arrests Crown Resorts which held a major stake in Macau based Melco Crown Entertainment have sold off all their interest in the casino company to former partner Lawrence Ho, with the final part of shares selling for $987 million.