Former Crown Casino Guard Suing James Packer
A former security guard of the Crown Casino is suing James Packer for assault.
Crown Resorts cannot seem to catch a break. After being told they cannot open their new casino venue in Sydney due to an ongoing investigation, now James Packer has been hit with a lawsuit. A former security guard of the Crown Casino is suing Packer due to assault and threatening behavior. Crown Resorts and MSS Security have been named in the lawsuit over an altercation that took place in 2016 involving Packer and Iskandar Chaban.
The assault incident reportedly took place on New Years Day four years ago. Chaban was walking to the main gaming floor with a colleague, Ishan Ratnam, when he ran into Packer. He did not recognize the executive chairman and according to Chaban, it appeared as though he was drunk.
Packer was reportedly abusive to Chaban and then ran towards him, pushing him in the chest. He then reportedly said that he would throw him out of a job. Chaban, who is now a Dr. holding a PhD in philosophy, claims that he was taken to the office where he was abused, intimidated and humiliated by managers of the Crown. He was also bullied before he was taken to the Southern Cross Station.
At the time, Chaban was 60 years old and was eventually taken to the Northern Hospital due to injuries to his neck and back. Carbone Lawyers, the attorneys representing Chaban, also say he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.
John Karantzis, a partner in the law firm, said that Chaban continues to suffer from the attack by Packer and the co-defendants. He has depression as well as anxiety and high levels of stress. His life has been severely affected by the incident.
When the incident occurred, Crown Casino dismissed it as a misunderstanding.
For Crown Casino, back in 2016, they claimed that Chaban was alerted that a ‘most important VIP’ was coming to the casino but the guard did not recognize Packer at all. He then blocked Packer from the entrance, which caused what Crown calls, a ‘collision’.
Today, Packer denies the claims. A spokesman for Packer says that the ‘alleged incident’ took place almost five years ago and he denies the allegations against him. He will defend himself during the proceedings.
The Crown Casino has yet to comment on the new lawsuit. MSS Security, the employer of Chaban at the time, also has not responded yet.
The new court case is just one more negative thing to add to a long list involving Packer and Crown Resorts. Over the past year, the casino has been under investigation due to several failings uncovered by the New South Wales Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority.
Already, over 60 days of public hearings have taken place. During this time, the company was found to be falling short of its duty, including repeatedly failing to comply with anti-money laundering laws.
This is also not the only time that Packer has been accused of violent behavior. Earlier this year, he admitted to writing emails to Ben Gray, the leader of TPG, a US private equity firm. According to reports, Packer was said to have threatened Gray with his connections to Mossad, an Israeli national intelligence agency.
Packer said that his behavior was disgraceful and shameful. However, he attributed his actions to mental illness and being bipolar. He is currently being treated for these diagnoses. He was asked by counsel during this recent inquiry how the New South Wales regulator can have confidence in his character now, after all of this behavior.
In response, Packer said that he is now being treated for being bipolar. He feels the treatment will help to avoid incidents like this in the future.