Three Crown Casino Employees to Face Formal Charges in China

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BEIJING — (Associated Press) - China has indicated to Australia that it will prosecute three Australian employees of a casino operator over suspected gambling crimes, the Australian foreign ministry said Tuesday.

A ministry statement said Australia received formal arrest notices from China following the detention last month of three employees of Crown Resorts Ltd. The three were jailed in an apparent crackdown on efforts to lure wealthy Chinese gamblers to its Australian casinos.

China has not said what charges the trio will face or detailed the allegations against them. Fifteen Chinese employees of Crown were also detained last month. The status of their cases is not known.

Casino gambling is illegal in mainland China, and Chinese law prohibits agents from organizing groups of more than 10 Chinese citizens to gamble abroad.

The industry has been known to skirt the ban by touting destination packages rather than gambling, particularly as Chinese President Xi Jinping’s ongoing corruption crackdown has deterred some gamblers from Macau, an offshore Chinese gambling enclave.

The three people arrested are being held in Shanghai, according to the Australian foreign ministry.

Crown did not respond to a request for comment late Tuesday.

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