Crown Casino’s VIP middleman arrested in China raids

Australian media sources claim that Tian Di, an influential figure in Crown’s elite high stakes casino operations, was among those arrested by Chinese authorities in October.

Crown Casino VIP middleman Tian Di
Tian Di (far right) and his daughter Sisly (second right) are well known on the VIP casino scene.
The 58-year-old is thought to be one of several non-Crown employees apprehended alongside 18 Crown Resorts staff as part of China’s ongoing casino corruption crackdown.

“He’s disappeared off the face of the earth the last few weeks,” a source close to Tian told Fairfax Media.

“Five weeks ago he was in Macau and then he went back to [mainland] China but he hasn’t been sighted since.”

Tian, who has a residence in Melbourne but is not an Australian national, runs private junkets that offer Chinese gamblers access to the most exclusive high-roller rooms at Australian casinos.

These include the ‘Super VIP’ parlours at Crown Melbourne, located on the 29th and 30th floors of Crown Towers and only accessible via swipe card.

Tian also has strong ties to the racing industry and owns the Nine Dragons Horse Club – a luxurious 140-acre complex in Bangholme with a 2.2km full grass track, 120 stables and a lakeside clubhouse.

Sources say that a private Crown Casino helicopter is often used to transport Tian’s clientele between Nine Dragons and James Packer’s Southbank gaming complex.

Tian’s daughter Sisly, who runs Nine Dragons and has served as a translator for the junket business, refused to comment when approached by Fairfax Media.

Among the detained Crown workers are four Australians, including Jason O’Connor – the head of the company’s international high stakes gambling operations.

Casino gaming is banned in mainland China, and it is expected the detainees will be officially charged with facilitating illegal betting activity within the next three weeks.

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