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Doing Something China Doesn’t Like? Don’t Go There

Thursday, October 20, 2016 4:19
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China lawyersI am riveted by what has been happening in China to “representatives” of Crown Resorts Limited. And every day my fascination increases. Today I read an article in World Casino Directoy entitled Crown Resorts Limited previously warned to stop enticing Chinese VIP gamblers.

Now before I talk more about that article or more about Crown Resorts China problems, let me make the following perfectly clear:

1. Everything I know about Crown Resorts I am getting from the media. None of my firm’s China lawyers have ever represented that company nor do we have any inside information about it.

2. I have no idea whether what I am reading in the media about Crown Resort or its China problems is true or not and probably not all of it is true. But for purposes of this post, I will assume that it is.

According to what I have been reading, 18 Crown Resort representatives in China have been detained by Shanghai police for alleged gambling-related crimes following several months of investigations as part of an operation dubbed “Duanlian”, which translates as “to break the chain.” For my first post (earlier on in my fascination with this case, check out How To Avoid Getting “Detained” in China and Why Your Odds are Worse than you Think.

Now I learn from a Bloomberg News article, entitled, China Warned Crown, Others About Marketing to Gamblers Last Year. In that article, Bloomberg states that “Chinese authorities warned Crown Resorts Ltd. last year to halt its efforts to attract high rollers from the mainland to gamble overseas, according to a person familiar with the government’s move to detain 18 of the Melbourne-based company’s employees.


Bloomberg notes that Crown Resorts got this warning back in 2015 following the arrests of employees from South Korean casino operators Paradise Group and Grand Korea Leisure Company Limited.


Bloomberg then states that “[a]fter receiving the caution, senior executives from Crown Resorts Limited reportedly began making shorter business trips to China instead of spending long periods in the country. Chinese officials also supposedly observed that the company had shifted its marketing activities to focus more on resorts instead of casinos although local police felt that neither of these moves had amounted to a material change in the operator’s activities.”


If the above is true, one should ask whether Crown really believed that shorter trips by its people to China would solve the problem? And if they did, why on earth did they?

Once again, if you are doing anything that involves China and is viewed as illegal by China, don’t go to China. And again, for more on this check out my prior post on this here.

We will be discussing the practical aspects of Chinese law and how it impacts business there. We will be telling you what works and what does not and what you as a businessperson can do to use the law to your advantage. Our aim is to assist businesses already in China or planning to go into China, not to break new ground in legal theory or policy.


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