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James Packer Macau Casinos Mentioned in Bribe Case

Written by:
Alistair Prescott
Published on:
Feb/19/2009

Two casinos owned by Australian mogul, James Packer, were mentioned in court documents related to bribery allegations against a former Macau government official, The Australian revealed on Friday.

Ao Man-long, a former transport and public works secretary, faces 28 new charges of taking bribes, money laundering and an abuse of power.

The case was said to revolve around 19 land deals, some of which included Packer's City of Dreams and Crown Macau land based casinos.

From the Australian:

There was no detail mentioned of the alleged amounts of money involved, or the specifics of any allegations. Mr Packer's casino company, Crown Limited, has a 38.9 per cent stake in the company that owns the casinos. The company is listed on the US NASDAQ stock market.

Lawrence Ho, the son of Macau casino veteran Stanley Ho, had aleady begun building Crown Macau when he formed joint venture with PBL in 2005.

Lawrence Ho has invested in the operations through his Hong Kong listed company, Melco.

City of Dreams marketing manager Charles Ngai last night referred The Australian to a spokeswoman for Melco for comment.

A spokesman for Crown in Australia said yesterday the company had not heard of the allegations.

The Crown Macau has around 12 percent of Macau's gambling market.

The Packer family have long been the subject of controversy.

In 1984 the now defunct Fairfax newspaper The National Times published leaked extracts of the Costigan Commission's draft report which implicated a prominent Australian businessman codenamed the "Goanna" in tax evasion and organised crime, including drug trafficking, pornography, and murder. Australia's richest man, media magnate Kerry Packer, James late father, revealed himself to be the subject of these allegations which he strenuously denied.

"The moral to this story is to skip these land based casinos and play online," joked Australian media man, Greg Tingle.  "Who would have thought the online casinos would be deemed safer and today they very well might be.  Play in your jammies."

Speaking of which - Golden Lounge Casino is offering a free $3000 bonus when you open an online casino account today.  Over 300 games.  Restrictions apply on the bonus.

Alistair Prescott, Gambling911.com

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