Crown staff plead guilty, receive short jail terms

Nineteen Crown Resorts staff have pleaded guilty to gambling-related crimes in a trial held at Shanghai’s Baoshan district people’s court on Monday, local media reports.

The arrests of Crown staff came around in October last year, sending shockwaves across the gambling industry.

In a statement to the ASX on Monday, the casino operator noted all 19 defendants had been convicted of Article 303, Clause 1, and Article 25, Clause 1 of the Criminal Law of the People’s Republic of China.

Sixteen of the 19 defendants were fined a total of CNY8.62 million (US$1.3 million) which Crown said it would pay.

Of the 16 defendants fined, 11 were also sentenced to a period of incarceration between 9 and 10 months, with time in detention since October 14, 2016 to be accounted for all.

International VIP head Jason O’Connor was sentenced to 10 months in jail, while colleagues Jerry Xuan and Pan Dan each received nine months jail.

The results of the trial is seen as the better case scenario for the embattled staff, who risked facing longer jail times and much bigger penalties if convicted of corruption or money laundering.