CHINA RELEASES ONE DETAINED CROWN CASINO EMPLOYEE

CHINA RELEASES ONE DETAINED CROWN CASINO EMPLOYEE

ONE of the 18 Crown Resorts (ASX: CWN) employees detained in China over suspected gambling related crimes has been released on bail, the company has confirmed.

Crown did not identify the employee, but The Australian newspaper reported that Jenny Jiang, a Chinese national who worked as an executive assistant for the company, was released on Friday last week.  

There is no further information on the status of the remaining 17 Crown staff who are still in detention.  Among them is Jason O'Connor, a high-level executive who oversees the company's efforts to attract wealthy international gamblers.  

The gaming giant's share price increased by 7 cents this morning to $10.57 at 11 am AEST.

The news of the arrests, which first broke in early October, has raised significant question marks over the impact it would have on Crown Resorts and other Australian casinos, which rely on overseas patrons, particularly from China, as a source of revenue.

The share price in Crown Resorts and its Sydney competitor, Star Entertainment Group have both been in decline since the arrests were made.

In China, not only is gambling illegal but it is also illegal to directly promote gambling activities. But casino operators can promote the facilities attached to casinos, such as resorts and entertainment.

The Crown staff detention followed a much publicised crackdown by the Chinese government in February last year to put an end to corruption and gambling in the country.

Australia's foreign minister Julie Bishop has previously stated that China has 37 days from the time the detention occurs to lay charges on the employees. The Crown staff were first detained around 13 October.

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