18 November 2013
James Packer’s business with a dodgy regime
No, not New South Wales, but Sri Lanka and the Philippines, countries where James Packer’s Crown either wants to or is building a casino.
Packer officially launched his $400 million Sri Lankan ambition overnight on the eve of the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting with a pitch similar to the story that had the NSW government in his pocket as soon as Barry O’Farrell heard it – a promise of untold wealth flowing from international tourism. In Sri Lanka, it’s supposed to be millions of rich Indians wanting to fly in to give Crown money, while Sydney has been promised squadrons of Chinese whales. The model is Macau where Chinese gamblers pour across the border, an interesting percentage of them corrupt officials laundering money in some of the city’s many casinos.
Last weekend’s Economist magazine left Packer’s name out of it while detailing Sri Lanka’s problems ahead of CHOGM, but did mention: