Aussie Casino Mogul Finally Takes Delivery of $200M Giga Yacht

One of the richest men in Australia has finally taken delivery of his giga yacht four years after placing the initial order.

Casino mogul James Packer, the former executive chairman of Crown Resorts who recently sold his stake in the casino company for a reported $1.8 billion, took delivery of his latest yacht last week after waiting four years for it to be built. Packer placed the order with Italian yacht manufacturer Benetti in 2015 at a cost of $150 million. Costs spiraled and the former fiance of Mariah Carey has had to hand over $200 million.

The 108-meter “giga” yacht is the largest Benetti has ever constructed. Benetti codenamed the mammoth project FB275 but has learned Packer’s latest plaything will be named IJE after the initials of Packer’s children: Indigo, Jackson, and Emmanuelle.

Packer’s Giga Yacht is Huge

IJE will be a behemoth of the seas with more than 10,000 square feet of outdoor deck space spread across five decks, a custom interior designed by Packer’s in-house team, 11 cabins for guests, 15 cabins for the crew of 29, and luxuries such as a sauna, gym, cinema, heated swimming pool, over-sized fire pit and an observation deck.

Packer will have no issues traversing around the globe as IJE has a gargantuan 345,000 litre capacity fuel tank that gives the yacht a range of 6,500 nautical miles.

While Packer’s yacht is nothing short of enormous, it is not the largest yacht sailing in the world’s oceans today. It does rank in the top 40, but is some 72 meters shorter than the Azzam, owned by the current President of the United Arab Emirates Khalifa bin Zayed al Nahyan.

The Immense Wealth of Packer

The $200 million cost of the yacht is a drop in the ocean, pardon the pun, for Packer who has an estimated net worth of $3.6 billion, making him the ninth-richest person in Australia. Packer topped the rich list until 2007, but the next three years saw his personal fortune plummet from $7 billion to $3 billion. He regained the top spot between 2010 and 2014, but has since slumped again.

Leading the way in terms of wealth is Gina Rinehart, a mining magnate and heiress who is the chairman of Hancock Prospecting. Rinehart is worth an estimated $14.8 billion and is the only Australian with double-digit billionaire status.

Will Packer Return to Crown Resorts?

Packer’s father, media expert Kerry Packer, died in 2005 and Packer inherited control of Consolidated Press Holdings Limited in addition to a major investment in crown Resorts. Packer concentrated his attention on Crown Resorts instead of his family’s traditional media businesses.

It was a roller coaster ride for Packer. The global recession of 2007 came at a bad time for Packer as he invested heavily in a Las Vegas casino, which eventually turned sour and saw Packer facing a lawsuit. The next three years saw Packer’s fortune more than half before the 33% investment in Melco Crown Entertainment in Macau bore fruit and pushed him towards the top of the rich list.

In 2014, Packer sold some of his holding in Melco Crown Entertainment following a downturn in revenue in Macau, before selling the rest of his investment later in the year when 18 of his Crown employees were arrested in Shanghai, China for illegal advertising. Packer declared himself semi-retired, got engaged t music star Mariah Carey and left his position as Crown Resorts’ chief executive.

Packer returned to the Crown board before stepping down again in 2018 citing mental health issues. Shortly after resigning, Packer sold half of his holding in Crown Resorts for almost $1.8 billion.

The billionaire has stayed out of the limelight since his sale, living in Israel for the most part. It is unknown if Packer has been assisting the Crown Resorts board following the recent investigation into corruption by Crown representatives and government officials relating to high roller and VIP casino players from China.