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James Packer Drops $100m On Upgrading His High Roller Private Jet Fleet

James Packer Drops $100m On Upgrading His High Roller Private Jet Fleet

Globe-trotting billionaire James Packer is stretching his wings, snapping up three new luxury private jets worth $US100 million.
 
The casino magnate’s Crown Resorts has bought three Bombardier Global Express XRS aircraft for the exclusive use of the company’s biggest gamblers, known as “whales”.
 
“This acquisition will ­enable Crown to expand the range of its private jet service to Asian VIP customers and provide a superior level of comfort and amenity,” Crown said.
 
The new jets — set up with 15 seats and nine sleeping berths — replace Crown’s existing fleet of Gulfstream aircraft, bought between 1995 and 2010.
 
The Bombardiers use Rolls-Royce engines and can fly 6000 nautical miles without refuelling, allowing Asian gamblers to easily make it to Mr Packer’s ­casino resorts in Melbourne and Perth. The jets’ luxury offering includes a first-class food and drink service sourced from Crown restaurants helmed by noted chefs.
 
Crown’s aerial upgrade comes on the back of a 66 per cent profit surge to $655 million for the 2014 financial year announced yesterday.
 
But Mr Packer’s ambitions continue to soar, with plans revealed this month to expand into Las Vegas with a $2 billion high-rollers casino on the famous strip.
 
Along with his Barangaroo tower, Mr Packer is also building resorts in Macau and hopes to grab a slice of the emerging Japanese and Sri Lankan markets.
 
This week, Crown also paid $10 million to gain 100 per cent control of wagering operator Betfair Australia.
 
Despite the booming profit result yesterday, Crown chief executive Rowen Craigie said weak consumer sentiment was ­adversely affecting trade at both Crown Melbourne and Crown Perth.

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