China frees top Australian Crown casino executive from jail

BEIJING (AP) — Australia's foreign minister says Chinese authorities have released from jail a top Australian executive at a casino company following the completion of his sentence on gambling-related offenses.

Jason O'Connor, head of Crown Resorts' international VIP programs, was sentenced to 10 months in prison in Shanghai in June.

Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop, in an emailed statement on Saturday, confirmed O'Connor's release from detention and said he is returning to Australia.

O'Connor is the last of three Australian Crown employees to be released.

Casino gambling, the marketing of casinos and organizing overseas gambling trips involving 10 or more people are illegal in mainland China. The case against Crown Resorts' staff came as authorities crack down on gambling as part of a wide campaign against official corruption.