ixteen of the 19 detained employees were sentenced to jail by the Shanghai Baoshan District Court last month and Crown forced to pay fines totalling AU$1.67 million for the illegal promotion of gambling.
Speaking with the Australian Financial Review, Dr Zeman said that while Crown Resorts was far from the only company to take its chances in China, it was certainly the most visible. "I think what Crown was doing was, whether you like it or not, against the law and not every company from Macau was doing exactly that," he said. "Maybe for some, you work through junket operators who collect their own debts. China is not a place that you go to collect debts.
“There was a big group in there – something like 12 or 14 people – so it wasn't just sending one guy in to collect money or do a sales job. You're in a country that doesn't allow gaming and you're promoting it.
"Many people go into grey area. Sometimes you get away with it and sometimes you don't – unfortunately they got caught.”
Despite the arrests, which also saw Crown Resorts’ VIP revenue plummet by 45% in the final two months of 2016, Dr Zeman believes the company was fortunate to receive relatively light punishments.
“I think China was very lenient and could have been much worse,” he said. “It kind of gave them a slap on the wrist and it's been a warning to everybody to 'Be cautious, keep your gaming in Macau – if you want to be in Macau – and we won't bother you'."
Asked about Wynn Macau’s VIP operations, Dr Zeman told the Australian Financial Review, "We don't send groups of people [into China]. It's not Wynn style."