Australian Casino Shares take a dive amidst Chinese Arrests
One of James Packer’s gambling establishments, Crown Resorts share price came in at 13.9% lower. This was soon after the Crown Resorts confirmed that 18 of its staff members had been detained in China. Among the arrested is a senior executive who is in charge of enticing high rollers in Australia.
The executive vice president arrested works in the firm’s VIP International Business – this is a programme which aims to bring wealthy customers to Australia.
Crown has expressed that it has not been given any explanation for the arrests. Also, Crown was also not given a chance to speak to the arrested staff members. The employees arrested include 15 local staff as well as three Australian citizens.
In mainland China, gambling is illegal, and this also includes encouraging citizens to gamble overseas which is banned. However, some firms have continued to advertise both tourism and resort services which have casinos. Asian casino operators, MGM China, Sands China and Galaxy Entertainment, fell by 3% share price in Hong Kong.
Australia’s Star Entertainment also shed by 4% in Sydney. A spouse whose partner is detained, a local Chinese Crown employee, has expressed to the BBC that he is “completely dumbfounded” with regards to their spouse being detained. According to the husband, his wife was questioned for almost three hours after police arrived at their Shanghai apartment.
She was then taken away, and he was only informed later on of her arrest. According to reports, the arrests are part of a crackdown by the Chinese authorities on foreign casino companies which they suspect are encouraging Chinese nationals of travelling abroad to gamble. Currently, there’s an ongoing campaign to tackle corruption and international money laundering in China.