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Crown looks to ease investor fears, with 18 employees arrested in China yet to face charges

By Tom Lewis
Crown Resorts has said that high-stakes gamblers from China generate less than 12% of the casino operator’s total revenue, according to a report published by Bloomberg today.

The company also indicated that it is too early to assess the fallout from the detention of 18 of its employees by Chinese authorities.

Crown is liaising with its legal team in China to understand why the staff have been detained, stating that no formal charges have been laid as yet.

“While I know we all have many questions, we must be very cautious and measured in our commentary at this sensitive time in process”, Crown Chairman Robert Rankin told the company’s annual meeting in Perth.

The 18 staff members, who include the operator’s Head of International VIP Gambling Jason O’Connor, have reportedly been held for promoting gambling.

It is illegal to promote gambling in mainland China, with the special administrative region of Macau the only location in China where casinos are legal.

Crown Resorts CEO Rowen Craigie said: “It’s too speculative to talk about the long term impact of the detentions.”

He also told reporters: “We don’t want to talk about any of the details of what is happening in China.”

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