Scientific Game

2017 Inside Asian Gaming Power 50: Number 12 - James Packer

Tuesday, 05 December 2017 14:19
Share
Visit us


12 James Packer

DIRECTOR
Crown Resorts

POWER SCORE
1,513

LAST YEAR
9

CLAIMS TO FAME
• Owns controlling stake in Crown Resorts
• Implemented Crown’s revised strategy of focusing on Australian assets

After more than a decade pursuing his dream of world domination, 2017 will go down as the year James Packer finally conceded defeat.

“We didn’t succeed in a global strategy,” Packer told shareholders after returning to the board of Crown Resorts – the Australian casino operator in which he holds a 48.5% stake – in October. “But in terms of the list of Australian companies that have gone offshore and come back to Australia with their tail between their legs, I think we are at the top of the list because we actually made a couple of billion dollars.”

The 50-year-old was referring first and foremost to Crown’s 13- year partnership with Melco Resorts in Macau, which officially came to an end in May with the sale of its remaining 27.5% interest. Only two years ago Crown was majority partner.

Las Vegas, another of Packer’s long-held ambitions, has also been abandoned with Crown announcing it would sell the parcel of land previously slated for a US$2.5 billion resort called Alon.

But the beginning of the end was undoubtedly the October 2016 arrests of 19 Crown Resorts employees in mainland China. The incident was devastating on multiple fronts, not least of which being the damage it caused to Crown’s reputation worldwide. That it took another eight months for the employees to be sentenced didn’t help either, with 16 ultimately jailed before finally being freed in July.

Exactly what impact the incident will have on Crown’s VIP business long-term remains to be seen, but VIP turnover at its Melbourne and Perth properties fell 48.9% for the 12 months to 30 June 2017.

Packer’s annus horribilis even extended to his personal life, including a high-profile split from fiancée Mariah Carey and the sale of his stake in Hollywood film company RatPac Entertainment, which he and director Brett Ratner formed in 2013.

Yet it’s notable that, despite all the drama, Packer has fallen just three places in this year’s Asian Gaming Power 50 list. Our gut feeling expected a greater fall, but Packer’s power score is boosted by Crown’s strength in Australia, where it retains around 65% of local market share and has now paid off much of its debt, ironically due to the AU$3.1 billion in proceeds the Melco sale generated. As for Packer, he too has declared he will move home as all eyes turn to Crown Sydney, due to launch in 2020.

To return to the full list of 2017 Asian Gaming Power 50 winners, click here.

What's new

Strong fourth quarter results drive MGM China growth in 2017

Strong fourth quarter results drive MGM China growth in 2017 MGM China saw its revenue grow 3.0% for Full Year 2017 to HK$15.4 billion, aided by strong fourth quarter results in which net revenue rose 10% year-on-year and 17% sequentially to HK$4.6 billion. Casino revenue at MGM Macau contributed the vast majority of MGM China’s revenue for the 12 months t... Wednesday, 21 February 2018 06:49

Japan casino tax rate could be as high as 50%, floor space and entry restrictions looming

Japan casino tax rate could be as high as 50%, floor space and entry restrictions looming Japan is considering a tax rate of up to 50% on revenue made by local casinos, with the proceeds to be split between national and local governments, according to The Japan Times. The report cites ongoing discussions between the ruling Liberal Democratic Party and Komeito which have outlined plans f... Wednesday, 21 February 2018 06:04

Universal rejects Steve Wynn claims that Stockholders Agreement no longer binding

Universal rejects Steve Wynn claims that Stockholders Agreement no longer binding Japan’s Universal Entertainment Group has rejected an assertion by former Wynn Resorts Chairman and CEO Steve Wynn that a 2010 Stockholders Agreement between Mr Wynn, ex-wife Elaine Wynn and Universal subsidiary Aruze USA “no longer binds either party.” The Wynn Resorts founder made the state... Wednesday, 21 February 2018 05:38

Revenue up but profit down as bad luck hits Star Entertainment Group

Revenue up but profit down as bad luck hits Star Entertainment Group Australia’s Star Entertainment Group saw its profit tumble 76.8% to AU$33 million and EBITDA fall 33.6% to AU$200 million in the six months to 31 December 2018 due to bad luck in its international VIP business. But the results didn’t accurately reflect strong business volumes, with internationa... Wednesday, 21 February 2018 04:53

Current Issue

Design For Profit

Design For Profit Architect Paul Steelman provides his insights into designing the most expensive privately funded buildings on earth and making and breaking trends. By Muhammad Cohen | Editor-at-Large EMINENT casino architect Paul Steelman helped create the Asian gaming boom with the groundbreaking design of Sands... Monday, 29 January 2018 15:11

Climbing the mountain

Climbing the mountain   ASX-listed Silver Heritage Group finally launched hotel and casino operations at its new Tiger Palace Resort Bhairahawa in late 2017, having survived the 2015 earthquake, a fuel blockade on the Nepal-India border and an AU$19 million (US$14.4 million) funding shortage as a result of the delays. ... Monday, 29 January 2018 15:07

Can sportsbooks survive a 1% tax on handle?

Can sportsbooks survive a 1% tax on handle?   The big news coming out of the United States this year is the likely striking down of the federal ban on sports betting. But with many states licking their lips in anticipation of added tax dollars, the sports betting industry may well have another crippling fight on its hands. THE US Supreme C... Monday, 29 January 2018 15:05

Herman Ng:Macau Pioneer

Herman Ng:Macau Pioneer Inside Asian Gaming discovers a bit more about Herman Ng, CEO and Executive Director of Macau-based slot machine services firm Asia Pioneer Entertainment (APE). Ben Blaschke: Can you start by telling us a bit about yourself and your background? Herman Ng: I grew up in Macau and then when I was 16 ... Monday, 29 January 2018 14:52