Crown Resorts, the Australian casino company, has confirmed that one its employees arrested last month in China, has been released.
This is the only person among a group of 18 staff detained in China to be freed thus far.
No more details regarding the identity of the employee were released initially, and for a while it wasn't known whether the person was one of the three Australian citizens among the group.
Later, a Chinese media outlet quoted a "source" as saying that the released person is a junior employee and a Chinese national, while the Australian Financial Review said that the employee is Jenny Jiang who worked in administration for Crown's Shanghai office. She was released on bail on Thursday, according to Reuters.
Concern in Australian Casinos
The international casino industry became spooked with the news that China arrested Crown Casino employees. Australian casinos, especially, are now afraid that Chinese billionaires and highrollers will think twice about travelling to casinos Down Under, and are concerned that the arrests could negatively affect profits.
Already, we are able to see big declines in Crown Resorts and Star Entertainment Group share prices following the arrests.
So far, the Australian government has declined to take any action, only issuing a statement that it understands that China is following its law.
37 Days to Press Charges
The Chinese authorities arrested the staff on October 14th for alleged "gambling crimes". They now have 37 days to press charges from the time of detention.
There is serious concern among casino groups regarding the future of these employees. Gambling is essentially illegal in China, and local laws state that international companies are not allowed to directly promote their wares in the country.
It is allowable, however, to promote tourism activities in a certain resort.