Packer blames disorder for “shameful” behaviour

The ILGA inquiry into Crown Resorts continues in Australia.
The ILGA inquiry into Crown Resorts continues in Australia.

The Australian gaming millionaire has admitted having sent threatening emails but blamed it on mental illness

Australia.- James Packer, former CEO and still main shareholder of Crown Resorts admitted to the New South Wales (NSW) gaming authorities that he sent threatening emails to an unnamed person with whom he was working on taking the company private in 2015.

He blamed his behaviour on his “medical state”, having confirmed that he is has been receiving treatment for bipolar disorder for years.

He told the ongoing public hearing in NSW that he agreed that the comments he made were “shameful” and “disgraceful”.

The content of the emails and the recipient’s name were not revealed at the public hearing, which heard from Packer via videoconference from his yacht in an undisclosed location.

According to Reuters, Packer said “I think my medical state is what it reflected most on.” He added that medication was affecting his memory, which could impact on his testimony over his tenure leading the gaming group.

Days ago, Crown director and financial advisor Michael Johnston revealed to the inquiry that Paker had insisted on selling Crown shares to Macau’s Melco without properly checking if the gaming mogul Stanley Ho still had significant ownership.

ILGA is conducting the hearing to decide whether Crown is fit to keep its casino licence for its AU$2.4 billion property currently under construction at Barangaroo.

The inquiry began after officials from Crown Resorts were jailed in China for promoting gambling, which is illegal in the country. Packer, who still has a 37 per cent in Crown worth AU$2.2 billion (US$1.57 billion), has admitted to “compliance failures” in the case.

The hearing has already heard that Crown worked to get travel visas Chinese high rollers who had links to organised crime, and let them use unsupervised bank accounts to gamble and make money transfers.

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