June 13, 2017 11:43 am JST

Australia's Crown Resort says employees charged with gambling offences in China

SYDNEY (Reuters) -- Australian casino giant Crown Resorts Ltd said on Tuesday more than a dozen of its employees held in China since October have been charged with offences relating to promotion of gambling.

Chinese authorities have referred the cases to the Baoshan District Court, the biggest listed casino firm outside China said in a statement.

Crown did not specify the charges or the exact number of staff who were charged. It did not respond to requests for comment.

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade were not immediately available for comment.

Crown last month quit its remaining stake in Macau-focused Melco Resorts and Entertainment Ltd for $1.16 billion, ending a fraught offshore expansion and freeing up cash for new projects at home.

The company has been retreating from a decade-long foray into Macau, a southern Chinese territory and the global gaming hub, since 18 staff including its head of international VIP sales were arrested for "gambling crimes" in China.

Crown Resorts shares were flat in early trade on Tuesday, while the broader Australian sharemarket was up 0.6 percent.

Crown Resorts Ltd.

Australia

Market(Ticker): ASX(CWN)
Sector:
Industry:
Consumer Services
Casinos/Gaming
Market cap(USD): 6,899.19M
Shares: 717.75M

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