By Byron Kaye
SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australian casino billionaire James Packer on Thursday said international tour operators helped Chinese gamblers circumvent Chinese capital controls, and that his company gave incorrect public statements distancing itself from the so-called junkets.
The Crown Resorts Ltd <CWN.AX> founder and one-third owner shared his perception of the travel agents who bring gamblers, often from China, to casinos at an Australian government inquiry. The inquiry is being held to determine whether the company should be allowed to run a A$2.2 billion ($1.6 billion) casino in Sydney’s tallest building.
So far during the inquiry, taking place just two months before the 75-floor tower’s scheduled opening, Packer has agreed that he sold a stake in Crown to Hong Kong’s Melco Resorts & Entertainment Ltd <MLCO.O> contrary to a ban on doing so.
In his third day testifying, Packer was asked about Crown’s relationships with junket operators after the