- Inquiry is investigating probity issues at casino giant Crown Resorts
- Commissioner Patricia Bergin will report on whether Crown is fit to keep the licence for its new casino at Sydney’s Barangaroo
- James Packer, who owns 36 per cent of Crown, has been called to give evidence about his involvement in the business
- Issues raised include Crown going into business with figures linked organised crime, money laundering at its Melbourne and Perth casinos, and the arrest of 19 staff in China in 2016
Hello, and welcome to our live blog of James Packer’s appearance at the NSW Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority’s public inquiry into Crown Resorts.
Over the past couple of months, the inquiry has been examining various probity issues at the casino giant and will make a recommendation to the NSW government on whether Crown should keep the licence for its new casino at Barangaroo.
Packer owns 36 per cent of Crown and was its chairman for many years but has not had an official role with the company since he left its board in 2018. However the inquiry has heard the billionaire has continued to wield significant influence at the ASX-listed group.
There’s a lot on the line for both Packer and Crown. The impending appearance has already been compared to his media baron father Kerry’s (in)famous 1991 Senate tax inquiry appearance.
Witnesses are appearing at the inquiry via video link due to COVID-19. For Packer, that means he’s dialling in from his $200 million superyacht, IJE, which we believe is moored somewhere in the South Pacific.
This inquiry – which has the same powers as a royal commission – was triggered by a series of reports last year by The Age, SMH and 60 Minutes which revealed that Crown went into business with “junket” tour figures linked to Asian organised crime groups, allowed itself to be used to launder drug money, and put its staff at risk of arrest in China (which is what eventually happened).
You can read some of those reports here and here. And this article recaps some of the major revelations that have come out of inquiry’s first 36 days of hearings.
Source: Thanks smh.com