The new VIP gaming venue by Crown Resorts may open earlier than expected. According to leaked reports, the company’s founder and largest shareholder, James Packer, shared the news after touring the site on Wednesday. Earlier on, the project was scheduled to open in 2021.
However, after visiting the site, Packer said he was impressed with the progress so far and it is most likely the establishment will be open for business before the end of this year. He praised the Crown team, the developers Lend Lease and the architects Wilkinson Ayre for a job well done, applauding their commitment to the project and working towards horning the deadline.
Packer purchased a two-story penthouse for AU$60 million right in the vicinity of the project. He plans to spend part of his time supervising the project and will, therefore, be living in the newly acquired property. According to the calvinayre.com is that the tour by Packer was faced with several challenges that they had to persevere.
The ongoing fire crisis in Australia has caused a huge cloud of smoke around the country. Packer mentioned the fire stating it was the worst thing he had ever seen happening in Australia. His family and the Crown Company has collectively donated a total of AU$5 million to the fire department to help in the efforts of recovery. To be precise and as stated on records, it seems like this has been the single largest donation to be made to the department to date.
Similarly, the Crown Resorts had its own fire brewing, something that also made the staff as well as the owners a hard time. The gaming company spent most of last year trying to clear its name from accusations of corruption involving gambling programs of the Asian VIP. It is currently under investigation by both the federal government and the state on suspicion of illegal activities with the Chinese junket operators.
The accusations are expected to be a hindrance to Packer’s plan to sell part of his shares in Crown to Lawrence Ho. Ho is a former partner of Packer and is a director of a firm opposed to having any relations with Crown.
The investigation into the share sale is expected to begin on January 21. It will be headed by the New South Wales Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority. Packer had openly declared that he is willing to appear before any panel if he is called to do. It is rumored that in 2018, Packer suffered a mental breakdown. This forced him to step down from Crown’s board of directors, barely a year after regaining his position at the board.
This week another interesting news emerged. Packer’s mother told the local media that her son had been completely devastated after some of the Crown Staff was detained by the Chinese. The staff was accused of being too aggressive in marketing Crown’s gambling options to the local VIPs, a move that did not seem to settle well with the Chinese.