James Packer Resigns Director Seat at Crown Resorts

James Packer Resigns Director Seat at Crown Resorts Australian casino owner James Packer has resigned from the board of directors at Crown Resorts Limited, with the company’s biggest shareholder citing “personal reasons” for his decision. Elaborating further, a spokesman for Packer’s personal investment firm, Consortium Press Holdings, said:
“Mr. Packer is suffering from mental health issues. At this time, he intends to step back from all commitments.”
Global Strategy Failure
The 50 year-old billionaire originally stood down as a Crown board member in December 2015, and only rejoined last August after the company withdrew its investments in the US and Macau markets.
The exits represented a failure in the company’s global strategy, and led to $300 million of its assets being sold in the USA, and the dissolution of its partnership with Hong Kong based firm Melco Crown in the wake of 16 Crown employees being arrested in China for promoting gambling, including the Crown Head of VIP Operations, Jason O’Connor
Around $3 billion was raised from the selling of its 34% stake in Melco Crown, which was to be used to help pay off some of the company’s debts. Nevertheless, the decision soon attracted the ire of Crown Resorts investors as 12 months later the same Melco shares would have been worth around $5 billion, therefore representing a major investment loss to them.
Australian Market Woes

At that time of his reappointment to the board last year, Packer was then tasked with helping the company focus on its Australian assets. However, Crown Resorts has run into trouble in Australia, too, and recently came under scrutiny from the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation (VCGLR) following allegations of gaming fraud involving the tampering of its slot machines.
As a result, the VCGLR is currently conducting an investigation into whether the Gambling Regulation Act had been breached, and if so, has indicated that the disciplinary action that might be taken against the company “could include the cancellation, suspension or variation of its casino license, the imposition of a fine or a letter of censure.”
Mariah Carey Split
In 2016, Packer’s well publicized relationship with American singer Mariah Carey fell apart after 18-month, with his fiancée receiving a multi-million-dollar settlement said to be worth around $50 million, and also keeping the $10 million diamond engagement ring he bought her. Three years earlier, Packer had split with his wife Erica after six years of marriage, and while he described his time with Carey as a mistake, talking about his former wife he stated:
“It is my biggest regret that I let my marriage to Erica fail. It is what it is and she is doing an incredible job with the kids and we are in a great place.”
Netanyahu Gifts
In 2017, Packer subsequently became embroiled in an Israeli political scandal after apparently showering Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife with gifts. Packer was introduced to Netanyahu by Israeli film producer Amon Milchan, who is alleged to also have lavished expensive gifts on the Prime Minister, and despite protesting his innocence, Netanyahu stands accused of “moral turpitude” and corruption, and could find himself forced from office if found guilty of the various charges.
Turbulent Times
Mr Packer is Australia’s 8th richest person with an estimated wealth of around A$4 billion ($3.1bn). He also maintains a 47% share in his gaming and entertainment group Crown Resorts, whose properties include Crown Melbourne and Crown Perth. Nevertheless, last October Packer gave a revealing interview with The Australian newspaper in which he admitted to feeling pressure from the fallout of all the bad news and publicity that had blighted him of late. As he stated at the time; “It has been a tumultuous four or five years.. I’ve got China falling apart, the Australian casino businesses missing budgets by big amounts, I’ve got Mariah breaking up with me… “

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