China has released Jason O’Connor, Australian Crown Resorts’ International executive involved in gambling related offences. Connor headed the VIP programmes of Crown Resorts was sentenced ten months in a Shanghai prison in June.
O’Connor’s release on Saturday has been confirmed by Julie Bishop, Australian foreign minister; she further confirmed his return to Australia to unite with his family.
Gambling in casinos, marketing of casinos and related activities are considered severe offences in mainland China. In an attempt to crackdown gambling in a campaign against corrupt officials, the case of Crown Resorts’ employee came to light. From around 19 arrested, three Australians from the sales and marketing team of casino resort were convicted by the court in Shanghai.
In all 16 arrested were fined and sent to prison, with Crown took care of the combined fine of almost $A1.7m (£1m).
After his detention since October 14 had counted towards his sentencing, O’Connor was the last of the three Australian Crown employees to be released. Crown Resorts has started withdrawing from the Chinese businesses following the arrests to focus on its Australian market.