Australian gambling tycoon James Packer
Australian gambling tycoon James Packer looks on during day two of the Commonwealth Business Forum in Colombo November 13, 2013. Sri Lanka's main opposition party on Monday demanded that police take action against Packer saying his plan to build a $400 million casino in Colombo has no proper licence. Mounting opposition by Buddhist religious leaders and some political parties has already led the Sri Lankan government to delay approval for Packer's Crown Ltd planned casino resort - the flagship project in a government plan to draw in Indian and Chinese gamblers. Reuters/Dinuka Liyanawatte

As a businessman, Australian billionaire James Packer is different. He is guided more by his instincts than tradition. It is the penchant to traverse unchartered paths that makes Packer different.

Despite his roots in a family that had a successful media business to fall back on, Packer saw his calling in casino business, which is not a sure shot route for many businessmen to attain stardom and live as a billionaire.

The 47-year-old casino business magnate is the son of late media mogul Kerry Packer. Obviously, expectations will be that Packer will do big in media business and enjoy the laurels of entrenched success. But he sold off his family's last media asset in 2012 and immersed fully in the casino business.

Business Empire

Today, Packer controls a casino empire that is spread far and wide across cities such as Melbourne, Perth, Manila and Macau that is showing off his global vision. He is in the process of adding more cities to his casino map with Sydney and Brisbane marked up for bigger projects.

Packer is also not short of glamour; the glamour touch to his business comes from his Hollywood connection with a base in Las Vegas. Parker owns Los Angeles film company RatPac Entertainment where Hollywood director Brett Ratner is his partner.

Great Legacy

In a recent interview with Daily Mail UK, Packer introspected and commented about his style, which is different from rest of the crowd. The interview was packed with glimpses of Parker’s life and business goals where he looks at himself jovially and talks about the perception some might be carrying about his personality. He quipped, “Some might say I’m a moron.”

Right now, James Packer has set his focus on completing the multibillion-dollar casino business that he is building in Sydney, which is claimed to be the world's most expensive casino-hotel. The project named as Crown Sydney is expected to be ready by November 2019.

Packer likes to think big and is claiming that the upcoming Sydney based six-star hotel will cost $4.5 million per room. His dream project in Sydney also marks a diversification into apartment development. The $2 billion hotel at the waterfront Barangaroo precinct is a skyscraper and boasts of 80 apartments. Besides apartments, the development will also offer 350 rooms with six-star facilities. Packer says, “There's nothing more important for me than Sydney.”

Packer is ecstatic about the quality he is trying to infuse into his hotel business. He told Mail, “We are trying to build hotels as good as anything in the world.” In his business expansion plans, he is not without rivals. The Crown Resorts chairman is now battling against a rival, who is trying to infringe his brand equity, reports Sydney Morning Herald.

Economic Contribution

Reflecting on the economic contribution his business empire is making in Australia, Packer points to the central role of his Crown Resorts in the cities it has been present. Currently, his company provides 15,000 jobs in Australia and was "Employer of the Year" twice in the last four years. This is in addition to the contribution it makes in terms of tax payment and boost given to the tourism business of Australia.

Packer was unfazed when his casino revenue in Macau had a slide and his company’s stocks lost millions in share value at the Hong Kong stock exchange. He enjoys business but also understands it cannot be without challenges.

While business always gives him a high, he also enjoys his paternal role as the dad to three children. There are also private moments when he feels slightly depressed. He shows no inhibitions in talking about his heartbreak when his marriage to wife Erica ended, reports Daily Mail.

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