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Crown Casino Executive Released From Prison

Crown Resorts Jason O’ Connor was released from prison Saturday after serving a 10-month sentence in a Chinese prison. He had pleaded guilty to promoting gambling and was sent to Shanghai’s Number One Detention Center. After release he was taken to the Pudong Airport and deported back to Australia.

O’ Connor was head of VIP Operations for Crown Casino. That means his job was to attract high rollers to the Australian casino. And it’s pretty well established many Asians like to gamble. So what better place to find some big spenders than China? The only problem is that the Chinese government sees things differently. Chinese law says anyone who organized gambling parties, or was engaged in gambling as one’s main business for the purpose of making profits, was breaking the law.

But O’Connor wasn’t the only Crown employee arrested. He was the highest ranking of them all. But there were a total of 19 people arrested and most received 9 or 10 month sentences. Several of them were Chinese citizens. All were arrested during a series of raids in October last year. Because the company did not have an office employees worked from home or hotels.

“We are very pleased that our employees are being reunited with their families,” Crown’s executive chairman John Alexander said.

Alfread Gomez, Crown Casino senior vice president for China, was also released and sent back to Malaysia.

Without O’Connor, Crown’s VIP program revenue dropped almost 50 percent. And the company also sold off several Asian holding. But they said the arrests just played a part in that decision. Not that they were the sole reason.

The company has undergone many chances so far this year. There’s no doubt the arrests also played a part in some of those decisions. But it’s unlikely they were the sole reason. A casino’s main objective is to be profitable.

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