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Former AFL boss due to face casino inquiry

Current and former directors are due to continue facing questions this week over the culture of casino giant Crown Resorts.

Majority shareholder James Packer gave a “painful” few days of evidence at the NSW gaming inquiry last week, admitting he would not return to the boardroom and might have to sell some of his shareholding in the company.

“This has been a terribly painful and shocking experience for the board, as it has been for me,” Mr Packer told the inquiry via video link from his luxury yacht in the South Pacific.

The inquiry is looking at Crown’s suitability to operate a casino at Sydney’s Barangaroo, in light of media allegations Crown’s casinos have facilitated organised crime and money laundering.

The regulator was troubled by Mr Packer’s agreement to sell 19.99 per cent of the company to Melco Resorts.

Melco is run by Lawrence Ho, and it was a condition of Crown’s licence that Mr Ho’s father, now deceased Stanley Ho, not gain an interest in the company.

The inquiry is scheduled to continue on Monday, when Crown board member and former AFL boss Andrew Demetriou will give evidence.

Crown chair and former Australian senator Helen Coonan is also due to appear in coming days.

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