Crown Resorts employees arrested in China

Anti-corruption crackdown has affected business across the casino sector

SkyCity Entertainment Group shares fell after a news report in the Australian Financial Review that 18 staff employed by its Australian rival, Crown Resorts, have been arrested by the Chinese government.

Crown said on Monday that it has not been given any details about why its employees have been detained in China.

A BBC report said it still remains unknown on whether any charges had been laid. China has a history of periodically cracking down on gambling in Macau.

In June a year ago, Chinese officials arrested 14 South Koreans, including employees of casino operators Paradise and Grand Korea Leisure for allegedly marketing to Chinese gamblers, according to Yonhap News agency.

"To date, Crown has not been able to speak with our employees and is working closely with DFAT to urgently make contact and ascertain their welfare".

As the 72-hour deadline under the consular services charter neared, Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said China had notified the Australian government of the detention of three Australian citizens in Shanghai.

The Star, which operates casinos in Sydney, Brisbane and the Gold Coast, has no casinos in Macau but, like Crown, markets extensively in China to draw Chinese VIP gamblers and tourists to its Australian properties.

The arrests come amid a sweeping anti-corruption crackdown in mainland China that has targeted the illicit flow of capital overseas through underground banks and casinos, particularly in the gaming enclave of Macau. Employees were known to work for the company's visa logistics operations, primarily involved in recruiting Chinese gamblers and organizing their travel documents into Australia from China.

Melbourne-based Crown holds a 27 per cent stake in Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd based in the Chinese territory of Macau. "The Korean casino companies have had their China-based marketing teams arrested with some degree of frequency".

"The market appears to be concluding that it will have an impact on all Australian casino operations".

Crown Melbourne and Crown Perth have succeeded in recent times in attracting a large number of Chinese gamblers.

Although it remained unclear what prompted the mass detention, analysts said the move suggested Crown had misread the enforcement climate about marketing its venues on the mainland, where gambling is illegal except for regulated state-sanctioned lotteries. Under Jamie Packer, Crown has switched to exclusively focus on casinos in Australia and Macau, in particular, but also increasingly across Asia.

"A fair number of neighbouring countries have casinos, and they have set up offices in China to attract and drum up interest from Chinese citizens to go overseas and gamble". Three Australian citizens being detained in Shanghai will receive consular visits, the country's foreign minister Julie Bishop said in an emailed statement.

Related news:

Hot News

Netflix adds more subscribers than expected
Oct 18, 2016 - 00:28
After Netflix reported its second-quarter results in mid-July, its stock tumbled 13% the next day to $85.84 a share. Revenue was $2.2 billion, up from $1.6 billion a year ago, topping the $2 billion mark for the first time.

Neymar Agrees Contract Extension, To Sign On Friday
Oct 18, 2016 - 00:27
Barcelona reacted to avoid his departure and in July announced an agreement for Mascherano to renew his contract until 2019. Barcelona have revealed Brazilian superstar Neymar will put pen to paper on a new five-year contract on Friday.

Note 7 Southwest Airlines Incident: Smoke From Replacement Device Prompts FAA Investigation
Oct 17, 2016 - 01:39
The incident prompted fresh investigations by the Consumer Product Safety Commission and the Federal Aviation Administration. Green said he had just tucked the phone into his pocket as flight attendants were doing a safety briefing when he saw smoke.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Srisena in Goa Attending BRICS Summit
Oct 17, 2016 - 01:29
He urged the members of BRICS to adopt the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism (CCIT) as early as possible. He intra-BRICS trade, which stood at $ 250 billion in 2015 must be doubled to $ 500 billion by 2020.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Ravens vs. Giants: Score, Stats & Highlights
Oct 17, 2016 - 01:22
The Giants spotted the Ravens a 10-0 lead in the first quarter on a field goal and a TD run that was set up by Beckham's fumble. The Ravens managed to keep the Giants out of the end zone despite NY having a first-and-goal from the 1-yard line.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Post Paris robbery, Kim Kardashian tiptoes back to Twitter
Oct 16, 2016 - 00:49
After the robbery filming for reality show " Keeping up with the Kardashians " was confirmed by network E! to be on hold. Shuter said several television networks had been clamoring to secure an exclusive interview with Kim .

The Vice Presidential Debate
Oct 16, 2016 - 00:47
She was huddling with campaign chairman John Podesta, top policy aid Jake Sullivan and her debate advisers. For Muslim Americans, I think it is quite clear that Tim Kaine was the candidate that resonated for them.

Turkey's president tells Iraqi leader to 'know his place'
Oct 16, 2016 - 00:44
Kurdish Peshmerga fighters take up their position during a fight against militants from the Islamic State terrorist group near Mosul, Iraq .

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Ryan Moore gets his revenge with Ryder Cup-clinching victory
Oct 16, 2016 - 00:43
Europe earned 3 points in the first five matches but it wouldn't matter as the USA won five of the final six to win 17-11. Moore got his revenge Sunday, rallying from 2-down with three holes to play to pull out the victory over Westwood.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Ohio Republican lawmakers condemn Donald Trump's comments about women
Oct 16, 2016 - 00:41
The final match-up will unfold October 20th in Cleveland, at an event sponsored by the Cleveland City Club and Scripps ABC. That has prompted the Strickland campaign to cut its TV ad buys in Youngstown and three other OH cities.

Arsenal 3-2 Swansea City
Oct 16, 2016 - 00:40
The scale of the task facing the former USA manager became clearer in a woeful defensive showing from his side. All in all, it wasn't a bad showing, considering Arsenal is so good at home and a contender to win the league.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top How Yemen's stalemate war could entangle US
Oct 15, 2016 - 00:54
Iran, which supports the Houthi group, said it had deployed two warships to the Gulf of Aden, to protect ship lanes from piracy. More recently, American and other allied warships have stopped several shipments of weapons from Iran to the Houthis.

Seven Ways Russia Is Telling People to Prepare for War
Oct 15, 2016 - 00:49
Mr Assad branded Turkey's actions an "invasion, against global law, against the morals, against the sovereignty of Syria". He has offered the Aleppo rebels an amnesty if they lay down their arms, though they have dismissed it as a trick.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton sing Dirty Dancing duet in hilarious debate edit
Oct 15, 2016 - 00:49
In another poll carried by The Wall Street Journal and NBC News , Clinton leads by a similar 11-point margin against Trump . These results were rather partisan, as 82% of Democrats chose Clinton, while 68% of Republicans picked Trump .

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top TCS' Q2FY17 beats estimates; reports 4% rise in net profit
Oct 15, 2016 - 00:45
What is very clear from TCS' numbers is that traditional revenue streams that are on a decline, is weighing on growth. Commenting on Q2 performance, N Chandrasekaran, CEO and MD, TCS, said, "It has been an "unusual Q2" for TCS".