Junket chairman says Crown was too aggressive

The chairman of a major casino junket operator in Macau has slammed the behavior of Crown Resorts in mainland China, saying it has been “too aggressive” in marketing its Australian properties to VIP gamblers, The Australian reports.

U Io Hung, the chairman of Macau VIP clubs branded “CCUE” operating in Altira Macau, told local media that Crown was too gung-ho in its marketing efforts.

“They went over themselves to look for clients… they just wanted revenue. They’ve made a big mistake,” Mr U told Fairfax Media.

“To lure Chinese to gamble abroad is already illegal (on the mainland), and they have a large team there with huge capital involved there,” he said.

Mr U said his junket group only ever deployed one or two staff on the ground in China.

“In our case, we didn’t really deploy a big team like 18 people there (in mainland China), but only one or two … you shouldn’t show your VIP gaming promoting business card, but other types of cards, and say that you can offer accommodation, dining and entertainment,” he said.

“You should never do anything large-scale,” he added.

Earlier this week, the 16 Crown Resort employees who have been placed under detention in China were formally arrested, which could see them spend at least the next six months in custody.

The weekend marked 37 days since the Crown employees were first detained, passing the “golden period” when an early release could be negotiated with Chinese authorities.

On Tuesday, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade yesterday issued a brief statement saying it had been “formally notified of the arrest of three Australian Crown employees on suspicion of gambling offences.”