Crown casino mogul James Packer to celebrate 50th birthday

  • September 8 milestone likely to be ‘low-key’ affair
  • Billionaire Packer known for his quiet birthday celebrations

James Packer, the majority stakeholder in Crown Resorts will turn 50 in just over a week, but despite his billionaire status it is thought that he will opt for a quiet, intimate celebration.

packer 50 birthday
James Packer will likely spend his 50th in typically understated fashion

The casino investor is worth an estimated $3.5 billion, according to Forbes, but he is not known for lavish parties and extravagant gatherings. Previous milestone birthdays have been celebrated with close friends and family, including businessman Lachlan Murdoch, reports the Sydney Morning Herald, and this big occasion is likely to get the same treatment.

Leading casino planning further expansion

Crown Resorts Limited is among Australia’s leading casino operators, and is responsible for two major brands: Crown Perth and Crown Melbourne.

The group is also linked with Hong Kong leisure sector investors Melco International Development Limited, and together the companies own Melco Crown, which operates a number of properties in Macau – though Crown has decreased its stake in recent months to focus on its Australian investments and its plans in the Philippines.

There are reportedly plans to open an integrated resort in Manila, which will be operated through a consortium of casino and hotel brands including Melco Crown.

James Packer was the heir to his father’s Consolidated Press Holdings Limited fortune, and he used this investment capital to move into the casino industry with his Crown Resorts brand.

Crown has seen incredible success in Australia as well as the Asian market. Today the Crown brand has an estimated value of AU$7.5 billion (around US$59.7 billion), and it keeps on expanding its reach. The Crown Sydney will open its doors in 2020.

Billionaire rejoins Crown directors

It was reported earlier this month that Packer had rejoined the board of directors at Crown Resorts. He had held the role of chairman previously but stepped down in 2015, remaining as the majority stakeholder but with no other active interest in company operations.

However, Crown has this year seen the conviction of 19 employees for gambling promotion on the Chinese mainland – prompting the company to reduce its Chinese investment and focus on other markets.

To provide some much needed stability to the board, Packer and his trusted legal advisor Guy Jalland have come back to the fold – and John Alexander will act as executive chairman. This board shake-up has seen confidence in the Crown brand grow, with share prices climbing in the wake of the appointments.

Small and quiet birthday affairs

Packer’s unwillingness to celebrate birthdays does not just stretch to his own, reports the Gippsland Times. Sources close to the businessman suggest he finds large parties uncomfortable, preferring smaller dinner settings with a few friends and loved ones.

He is even reported to have ducked out on relatives’ birthday events, including his older sister’s own 50th celebrations in 2016.

It is also less than a year since Packer’s very public split with fiancee Mariah Carey, who would likely have spent this special birthday with the casino boss. In previous years, Carey had spent birthdays with Packer on his Arctic P luxury yacht in the South of France.

However, with Carey reported to have moved on to a new beau, it is unlikely there will be any reconciliation between the former lovebirds. The boat is currently moored in French Polynesia, according to reports, suggesting that Packer may see in his birthday with close friends in a low profile setting.

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