There is something very strange going on in the gambling industry right now. More than a dozen employees of Australia’s Crown Resorts Ltd. have been arrested by Chinese officials, according to a company statement. This is a very surprising turn of events, as it remains unclear what has happened exactly. Apparently all detainees are suspected of committing “gambling crimes.”
Crown Resorts Ltd. Employees Are In Legal Trouble
Among the 18 arrested employees are three Australians, all of whom work for the casino giant. While it is true that Crowd Resorts Ltd. wants to attract more Chinese gamblers to their casinos, it is unclear what may have warranted these arrests at this stage. It did not take long for the company’s stocks to go down a slippery slope, as investors are very concerned about this development.
What is even more worrisome is how the company has been unable to make contact with their arrested employees to figure out what is going on. Right now consular officials based in Shanghai are looking to visit the employees and offer any assistance they may need. There is no indication, however, where and when those meetings would take place.
According to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, these arrests are all part of unspecified “gambling crimes”. In China, there are thorough laws when it comes to gambling, which should not be messed with in any case. For now, the investigation is still pending, and we can only hope that more information becomes available soon.
It is not the first time that Chinese officials have come down hard on foreign gambling operators. Not too long ago a similar incident occurred involving South Korean casino marketing efforts. It is rather evident that the government wants to keep a tight control over gambling operations in China.
Not all marketing efforts are legitimate, either, where casinos are concerned. The South Korean delegation that got arrested went as far as to offer free hotels, sexual services, and free tours to potential clients. Needless to say, such behavior will not be tolerated in any country, particularly not in China.
At the same time, China is a bit of a conflicted country where gambling is concerned. Mainland gambling activities are illegal under the law. It is possible that these arrests are a result of a misinterpretation of local laws and customs, but for now it is anybody’s guess as to what has happened exactly.
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