Packer Resigns From Crown Resorts

Mia Gardner | 26 Mar 2018

Packer Resigns From Crown ResortsFamed Australian casino billionaire James Packer has officially resigned as the director of his own company, Crown Resorts, after becoming entangled in a corruption saga involving the Prime Minister of Israel.  The large-scale casino operation firm has been a source of most of the entrepreneur's wealth over the years.

In a recent statement revealing the news, Packer explained that his departure was due to ‘personal reasons’. However, Consolidated Press Holdings, an investment company that Packer both owns and controls, noted in another statement that mental health issues could be the reason behind the businessman’s resignation. The company added that at this time, Packer plans to step back from all of his business commitments.

Packer is one of the richest tycoons in Australia, having travelled the world with his billions and even having been engaged to singer Mariah Carey at one point. The colourful individual also established a film production firm in Hollywood alongside Brett Ratner, and most recently became the subject of investigation in a corruption scandal involving Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Israeli Corruption Under Scrutiny

According to Israeli police, the Prime Minister’s official residence in Jerusalem has been flooded with gifts of jewellery, pricey cigars, and even more expensive champagne. Reportedly, Packer was one of the senders of these gifts, and upon being approached; the Aussie tycoon noted that he was simply giving Netanyahu what he had demanded from him. The case is currently being investigated.

Packer has also been recently seen to be dropping his assets. Last year in December, Crown Resorts sold a vacant plot of land in Las Vegas on which it had planned to build a massive new casino. Then, just over a month ago, the Crown Resorts director also sold over AU$100 million’s worth of his own shares in the company.

Long Line Of Troubles For Crown

Packer, aged 50, owns around 47% of Crown, which is the largest listed casino operator outside of China. Crown has recently become the victim of allegations of poker machine fixing as well, not to mention the scandal that accused the firm of encouraging problem gambling at its Melbourne casino floor. The company has denied all of these allegations.

The firm was also hit with a lawsuit late last year that accused it of not disclosing its activities to shareholders, resulting in the arrests of several employees and a 15% drop in its share prices. Chinese authorities even detained some of the firm’s staff in 2016 on suspicion of gambling-related crimes, which was seemingly the start of Crown’s current troubles.

Source links:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/20/world/australia/james-packer-australia-resigns-casino.html