Shares in Asian casino firms dropped on Monday amid fears of a Chinese crackdown on foreign operators. Crown Resorts, managed by James Packer, shut 13.9% below after it confirmed 18 of its staff had been detained in China. Among those arrested was a senior executive in charge of attracting high-rollers to Australia.
Most gambling is illegal in mainland China and soliciting its citizens to gamble overseas is also banned. But some firms continue to market resort and tourism services where their casinos are located.
Crown said it had not been given any explanation for the arrests. Among held employees are 15 local staff as well as 3 Australian citizens including the executive vice-president of the firm’s VIP International business .The matter is under investigation.