Packer shelves US$5bn Vegas casino plans

The Australian billionaire James Packer has ditched plans to build the tallest casino in Las Vegas because of recessionary fears in the U.S. Packer has been expanding in the US to build on his Crown group’s existing casinos interests in Australia and Macau. The US$45bn project, unveiled last year, consisted of a 5,000-room hotel on an 11-hectare former water park along the Strip, featuring a 324-metre tower, which would have been the highest building in the desert city.
Rowen Craigie, Crown’s chief executive, said: “The recent upheavals in world credit markets has made it increasingly difficult for Crown and its partners to develop a commercially viable project on what remains an attractive location on the Las Vegas Strip.
“Accordingly, we took the decision to stop making further payments to the vendors of the site and concentrate our focus on other areas of our business.”
Packer’s father, who died in 2005, was a legendary gambler who blew more than US$50m in Las Vegas when he became stranded there after US airspace was shut down following the 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre.