James Packer steps down from Crown, again

File image James Packer and Crown Resorts executive chairman John Alexander

Australian tycoon James Packer on Wednesday (March 21) quit as director of his gaming empire Crown Resorts as he battles "mental health issues", stepping back from all commitments, his company said.

Crown Resorts will remain in the control of trusted executive chairman John Alexander, who has overseen Crown's improved performance since the company changed its focus following the detention of Crown employees in China in late 2016.

"Now is the right time for me to focus my endeavours on my new role with Crown, as I outlined to shareholders when I stepped aside as chairman in August", he said in a statement.

Crown's official statement on the matter merely confirmed "personal reasons" as the catalyst for his sudden resignation, however it is now understood that he is removing himself from his post to concentrate on his own mental health. "At this time he intends to step back from all commitments".

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.

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The billionaire mogul has been in the spotlight for personal reasons in recent years following his high-profile engagement and subsequent split from United States diva Mariah Carey.

In February, Packer was named a key figure in an investigation into corruption claims against Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu over a series of expensive gifts given to him by wealthy worldwide businessmen.

Lucas Review market strategist Evan Lucas said the impact of Mr Packer's departure may not have a large impact on Crown shares given Mr Packer was departing Crown for health reasons.

Police recommended Netanyahu face charges of "fraud and breach of trust" over his relationship with Packer, who participated in a voluntary interview as a witness in the case, and faced no suggestion of wrongdoing.

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