Last year was a bit of a rough year for casino magnate and Crown Resorts executive chairman James Packer. The Lucky Nugget Casino news team have been keeping an eye on him all year, and we’ve rounded up his very eventful 2016.
February: James Packer faces $362 Million Tax Bill
James Packer attempted to expand his portfolio into US casinos by buying Cannery Casino Resorts. However, the plan failed, and he withdrew operations from America. This all happened in 2007, when the global financial crisis forced many businesses to shut – including the four Cannery Casino Resorts across Nevada and Pennsylvania, which Crown owned.
Unfortunately, nearly a decade later, the Australian government is demanding that he has to pay a huge tax bill. The Australian Taxation Office want $362 million, which the company has paid some of but has promised to fight in court.
March: Barangaroo resort delayed even further
Crown have been trying to get the legal permission to build a casino in Sydney for a number of years now. The 6-star hotel in Barangaroo will be for high rollers only, and cost around $2 billion to build. In March, the company were told that their plans would be even further delayed. Originally, the casino was intended to open in 2019, but this has potentially been pushed all the way back until 2021.
In a rare piece of good news for James Packer, a legal challenge against the casino was overturned in December 2016. So, while it is now a done deal, the casino has seen huge delays and setbacks – meaning it will take even longer for this expensive resort to start making money for Crown Resorts.
October: Crown Resorts staff are arrested, shares plummet
In October, Crown Resorts confirmed that they had 18 staff members arrested in China. China has been cracking down on gambling, which is illegal in the country, although many of Crown Casino’s visitors are rich Chinese businessmen, and a lot of company time is spent trying to attract tourists to the business’s resorts. However, the arrests in China sparked fears that the country could be taking more restrictive steps, and many casinos saw their shares tumble as a result.
Crown Casino suffered greatly, closing 13.9% lower after confirming their staff had been detained. As James Packer controls 53% of the company, it’s likely to have directly impacted his net worth.
Also October: Engagement with Mariah Carey ends
James Packer and Mariah Carey got engaged in January 2016. However, they broke off the engagement in October and since then, details of their pre-nup have been all over celebrity gossip sights. Nobody is quite sure why they split up, but it can’t have made his year any better.
2016 was considered quite a rough year for people all around the world. However, you can rest easy knowing that no matter what happened, you probably had a better year that James Packer – unless you too broke up with your celebrity girlfriend and had to pay millions of dollars of tax. Here’s hoping 2017 is his year… somehow.