Jenny Jiang Sues Crown Resorts For Damages
Jenny Jiang probably isn’t a name you’re familiar with but Crown Resorts definitely knows her. The entire gambling industry will know her name if she wins her legal fight for damages.
Jiang is a former Crown employee who is suing the gambling giant in the Supreme Court. She worked as an administrative assistant for Crown in Shanghai for five years. That was until Chinese police arrested and detained Jiang and 18 other employees in October 2016.
The arrests shook the gambling world, especially because Chinese authorities charged the 19 staff with breaking Chinese gambling laws. Sixteen of the 19 arrested people paid a combined fine of 8.62 million yuan ($1.67 million). Crown paid the fine for the employees.
Investors reacted negatively and Crown’s share price plummeted 14%, wiping off $1.3 billion from the company’s value. More than money was lost, however, Jiang and her colleagues lost jobs. They now have a criminal record to deal with, too.
Why Is Jiang Suing Crown Resorts?
Jiang acted as a whistleblower following her arrest and exposed Crown’s conduct in China. It is her evidence that sparked the ongoing inquiry into Crown’s suitability to hold a gaming license in Sydney.
She gave an interview to 7.30 where she revealed the reasons for seeking damages against her former employer.
“Crown operated in China without care to their staff. Their actions hurt me and my family. They have not been held accountable and I want justice.”
Jeremy King of Robinson Gill Lawyers is representing Jiang. Jiang is seeking damages for Crowns breaches of the duty of care it owed her as an employer, according to King.
“Jenny wants to shine a light on the practices of Crown and its alleged scant disregard for its staff and their welfare. Crown’s treatment has really impacted on her psychologically and continues to impact her on a day to day basis.”
Crown Adds Insult to Injury
Crown didn’t do themselves any favours with the comments they made about Jiang in newspapers. In an almost unbelievable move, Crown took out advertisements in newspapers where is accused Jiang of being a “gold-digger”.
The adverts questioned Jiang’s objectivity and claimed Jiang wants over 50-times her salary in compensation. That salary is hardly on the large end of the scale. Jiang earned a basic salary of $27,000 annually. Crown’s directors easily earn more than that every month.
“They’re saying I’m a gold-digger. What’s their judgement for a gold-digger?” asked Jiang. “My salary, compared to people in sales at Crown, is just a tiny bit. We actually get the risk of this job, but your risk is not equal to how much you get paid.”
“We brought so much revenue, so much business and profit for Crown. And we were just dumped like a used napkin. That’s why I feel so angry. I feel so upset with what happened and what they’re saying about me.”
Crown’s chair Helen Coonan conceded the Crown board’s attack on Jiang was “highly inappropriate.”
Why Were Crown Employees Arrested in China?
Chinese authorities arrested Jiang and 18 other employees in October 2016. They charged them with gambling crimes shortly after removing them from their homes. Jiang spent four hard months behind bars, not knowing if they would release her.
Casino gambling and promoting gambling is banned in China. Organising a group of more than 10 Chinese nationals for a gambling trip is also illegal. Those laws are skirted by businesses offering tour packages instead of gambling trips.
Crown had a team in Shanghai to help promote Crown’s Australian casinos and its Melco Crown joint venture in Macau. It knew its staff were operating illegally but offered no protection. Recent reports suggest Crown was aware Chinese police were going to make several arrests. Again, it took no action.
Crown since scaled back its Chinese ambitions