James Packer is ‘deeply concerned’ for detained staff in China

Ted Aljibe/AFP/Getty Images

Billionaire James Packer says he will do everything possible for his Crown Resorts staff detained in China.

“As the major shareholder of Crown Resorts, I am deeply concerned for the welfare of those Crown employees detained in China,” he said in a statement.

The 18 Crown Resorts staff detained, including three Australians, were picked up in various cities across China reportedly for gambling-related offences.

One of those is Crown’s executive vice president VIP International, Jason O’Connor.

“I am respectful, that these detentions have occurred in another country and are therefore subject to their sovereign rules and investigative processes,” Packer said.

“Crown will do whatever it can to support our employees and their families at this difficult time. Our number one priority is to be able to make contact and to ensure they are all safe.”

Packer says he has asked Crown to do everything possible to contact the employees and to support their families.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade says Chinese authorities have three days in which to notify of the detention of Australians, according to the terms of a bilateral consular treaty.

Shares in Crown fell more than 13% to $11.15 yesterday. Other listed casino company shares also fell including those with properties in Macau, a Chinese territory.