Tuesday, February 19, 2013

James Packer in Colombo for mega gaming venture

Billionaire gaming mogul James Packer, son of the famous Kerry Packer, is in town to explore prospects for a mega gaming venture in Sri Lanka.

Packer Jr. had arrived yesterday and held meetings with Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa and Treasury Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundera.

Opportunities explored include a US$ 350 million gaming venture down D.R. Wijewardena Mawatha, which the Government is keen to develop as an entertainment centre.

Rated as the third richest Australia by Forbes magazine with an estimated wealth of $ 6 billion, Packer Jr. inherited control of the family company, Consolidated Press Holdings Limited, which controls investments in Crown Limited, Consolidated Media Holdings and other companies.

He severed the family’s deep ties to the media sector when he sold pay-TV company Consolidated Media Holdings to Newscorp., pocketing $ 1 billion. That leaves him to focus on casino empire Crown Ltd. In Forbes Australia’s richest list, James reaped the biggest gain in wealth on the list, $ 1.5 billion.

Crown Ltd. has over 13,000 employees and wholly owns and operates two integrated resorts: Crown Entertainment Complex in Melbourne (Crown Melbourne), Australia’s largest casino and Burswood Entertainment Complex in Perth (Burswood).

Crown Melbourne operates 2,500 gaming machines and 350 table games.
 It also commands over 1,600 hotel rooms. Melco Crown also has two properties, City of Dreams and Altira Macau.

Burswood operates 1,750 gaming machines and 170 table games and the InterContinental Perth Burswood hotel comprises 405 guest rooms. Holiday Inn Burswood hotel comprises 291 guest rooms.

In 2011, Packer’s ASX-listed Crown Limited acquired a 100% interest in the prestigious Aspinall’s Club in London, developed through a joint venture between Crown and Packer’s family friend, Damian Aspinall, the son of John Aspinall.

Together with Damian Aspinall, Packer is creating a group of casino complexes in Great Britain called Aspers. He already has a stake in casinos in London’s West End, Swansea, and Newcastle.

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