James Packer resigns from Crown board


Billionaire James Packer quit the board of his casino operator Crown Resorts Ltd due to mental health issues, the latest turn in a turbulent private and business life that's seen his overseas gaming empire unravel.

"We have appreciated James' contribution to the board and respect his decision to step down from his role as a director at this time", said Crown's executive chairman John Alexander in a brief statement. Back in the early 2000s, he revealed he made a decision to step out of public attention as he was dealing with a breakdown after the One-Tel collapse.

The ASX-listed gaming company told the stock market on Wednesday morning that Packer had resigned for "personal reasons".

Mr Packer, who is now in the United States, intends to take a complete break from work commitments in order to regain his health.

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Packer, who is Crown's largest single shareholder, rejoined the company as a director in August of last year, having previously stepped down from the role in 2015.

Packer flirted with the Church of Scientology around the same time, but has since distanced himself from the group.

"I have always been shy". Most of it is negative.

Lucas said Crown "will get through it" without Packer because there's enough leadership on the board already.

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He was also questioned by police in December over a corruption probe involving Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is suspected of receiving luxury gifts from wealthy supporters.

Packer has been married twice, and has three children.

A month ago, Mr. Packer sold off more than 100 million Australian dollars, about $75 million American, of his own shares in Crown.

He had rejoined the Crown board past year after the company withdrew from its Macau and United States investments and re-focused on Australia. The staff arrests hurt the ability of the company to attract such players to its Australian casinos, which on the other hand made Crown Resorts to reconsider its long-planned expansion into the Asian gambling hub Macau and focus on its Australian assets.

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