January 28, 2021

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Crown inquiry could scupper Packer’s $1.7b deal

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<p>James Packer will be thrust into the spotlight as an inquiry investigates the billionaire's proposal to sell 20 per cent of the Crown casino operation to a Hong Kong businessman.</p>

James Packer is set to be thrust into the spotlight as an inquiry is launched today into the billionaire's proposal to sell 20 per cent of the Crown Resorts casino operation to a Hong Kong businessman.

The inquiry, held in Sydney, is also expected to explore allegations of money laundering in Crown's VIP high roller rooms.

Last year a Nine investigation by 60 Minutes, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age looked into claims of money laundering, fast-tracked visa applications for wealthy Crown clients and other issues.

Melco Crown Entertainment co-chairman and chief executive officer Lawrence Ho, left, speaks in 2015 as co-chairman James Packer listens during a news conference about the Studio City project in Macau.

The NSW inquiry, led by former NSW Supreme Court judge Paddy Bergin, will dig into Packer's proposed $1.7b sale of Crown shares to a Macau casino mogul, Lawrence Ho.

Mr Ho's elderly father, Stanley Ho, is banned from having any association with any Australian gambling operations, because of his alleged links to criminal syndicates.

Mr Packer and Lawrence Ho, who owns Melco Resorts, are expected to give witness testimony at the inquiry.

The inquiry has the potential to derail Mr Packer's billion-dollar sale to Ho's company.

Melco maintains Stanley Ho does not have any involvement with its operations.

Crown unmasked: Part oneCalls for parliamentary inquiry into Crown Resorts after 60 Minutes investigation

Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/crown-casino-inquiry-james-packer-expected-as-witness/568ff3a5-8495-4937-ae40-47db78e8f814

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