Crown Resorts Ltd.’s billionaire shareholder James Packer pushed for a tie-up last year between Australia’s biggest casino operator and Hong Kong-based Melco Resorts & Entertainment Ltd.
This was despite prohibitions levied by an Australian regulator against associates of Macau casino tycoon Stanley Ho — whose son Lawrence is Melco’s CEO — from owning a stake in Crown.
Packer on Wednesday said that he had “forgotten” about the conditions on Crown’s license to operate a casino in Sydney. Pressed further, Packer conceded it was probable that his mind didn’t turn to the prohibition.
The acknowledgment came during Packer’s second day of testimony in a probe of alleged money-laundering activities at Crown. Among other issues, the inquiry is assessing whether Crown’s Melco links breached terms of its license to operate a casino in Sydney.
Packer and Lawrence Ho briefly considered a full merger