]>> The billionaire boss of casino company Crown Resorts, James Packer, has quit citing mental illness. Packer spokesman confirmed his departure on Wednesday. He's leaving after both a breakup with singer Mariah Carey and the failure of Crown's attempts to expand. It's the world seventh largest listed casino operator worth nearly $7 billion.
Packer's quit the board, but he owns 47% of Crown. It's an expected departure, but recent years haven't been smooth sailing for either Crown or Packer himself. He'd left the board in 2015, the year he was engaged to Carey and rejoined a year later during a crisis. 18 of its staff were arrested in China for breaking gambling laws that triggered a pullback from a decade of expansion into both Las Vegas and Macau to instead focus on Australia.
Crown has been trying to recover since. Then last month, Packer was named as a witness in Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's bribery investigation. Police alleged he gave gifts to Netanyahu including cigars and champagne. On Tuesday, Crown shares dropped 1.4% to a month low on the news of Packer's leaving.
Analysts do say the Crown board is expected to weather his departure. However, keeping such a large stake in the company has long driven rumors Packer wants to take it private. And stepping away from the board will remove a conflict of interest if he ever wants to stage a buy-out.