Authorities said in November they would prosecute three Australian employees of Crown Resorts for violating regulations, and the Melbourne-based firm confirmed yesterday that 15 Chinese employees detained in four cities have also been charged. The cases will be heard in Shanghai.
The Australians, freed on bail, include the head of Crown's VIP international team, Jason O'Connor, who was visiting China. The others are Australian-Chinese dual nationals Jerry Xuan and Jenny Pan.
Casino gambling is illegal in the mainland, and agents cannot organize groups of more than 10 to gamble abroad. Anyone who "runs a gambling house or makes gambling their profession" faces three years in prison.
Some have skirted the ban by touting destination packages rather than gambling after President Xi Jinping's corruption crackdown.