16 Revealing Quotes From Billionaire Casino Mogul James Packer On Life And Empire-Building

Some might say James Packer was born into the right family.

But the billionaire casino mogul isn’t about milking the family fortune.

Sure, the extra couple of dollars would have helped, but Packer has etched his own path.

Son of the late media mogul Kerry Packer and grandson of Sir Frank Packer, James today is the third richest person in Australia, reaping his wealth from the success of his Crown casino business after cutting his family’s deep ties to the media sector when he sold Consolidated Media Holdings to News Corp in 2012.

The past two years has been particularly rewarding for Packer after winning approval for a $1.3 billion casino and hotel development at Barangaroo, Sydney.

With plans to build a $1 billion casino at Brisbane’s Queen’s Wharf and another $400 million casino in Colombo, Sri Lanka, business is booming for Australia’s casino king.

But it could be said that the success he has experienced in his professional life has had an impact on his personal life.

Recently separating from the mother of his children and second wife, Erica Baxter, Packer hasn’t had much luck in the love department.

Despite this, Packer is a family man. Concerned with balancing his work life with being a good father and having passionately reflected on his own relationship with his father in rare interviews, it appears there is more to Packer than business.

These unseen sides of Packer are captured in a few remarks his had made publicly over the years.

Business Insider has collected some of his best. Here they are.

On his father, the late Kerry Packer

My father used to think the word 'legend' was tossed around far too often. I want to say today that in the opinion of his family, my father was a legend.

- At Kerry Packer’s state memorial service on February 17, 2006

On continuing the Packer empire

If I sat back and decided to sell the product of my father and my grandfather’s work, like a leech, you know I wouldn’t be able to look at myself in the mirror… I want to be able to look at my father in 10 years’ time and say, ‘I’m proud of you, and you should be proud of me.’

- In interview with The Sydney Morning Herald in September, 1997

On being truthful

I may be a f..kwit but I’m not a liar. I was a believer.

- Outside the courtroom of a liquidator’s hearing in May 2002

On why he wouldn't bank his father's billions and live off the interest

I’m an ambitious person. I mean, if I did that… I would self-destruct, in the sense that the decadence would be too strong an attraction for me. Whether that be in the form of gambling, fast cars, alcohol, drugs, whatever it happens to be… I think the lure of that lifestyle would be too strong.

- In interview with The Sydney Morning Herald in September, 1997

On his divorce with Erica Baxter

Business is good right now, but now my personal life is a disaster.

- In an interview with Forbes in March 24, 2014

On working with charities

People can make a real difference. One person at a time, one job at a time, one life at a time.

- He said to the media ahead of the launch of GenerationOne on March 19, 2010

On the public perception of his casino business

This perception that the only people that come to Crown are helpless victims and we are just sitting there preying on them, you know, I reject that absolutely and that does upset me. And I think that that is, you know, that is a spin line from the latte set, which is completely wrong.

- In an ABC interview on October 28, 2011

On the growth of China's middle class

I think it may be even a bigger story than the internet. You know, it's like saying, ‘how big a deal is the internet?’ The Chinese middle-class is going to change the world.

- In an interview with 60 Minutes on May 14, 2012

On balancing being a dad and running a billion dollar corporation

The last thing I think I am is perfect. I’m just trying to do the best job I can. I’m trying to be the best father I can to my kids. I’m trying to do the best job I can running my business.

- In an interview with Forbes in March 24, 2014

On building a strong team

We need to make sure we have the best people we can in our operations, and that is a constant challenge. There is always room to improve.

- Unknown

On the economic benefit of casinos

I genuinely believe if we get the chance to do something in Sydney, the people of Australia will win out of that proposal. There will be jobs, taxes, tourism – there’ll be more people coming to Australia looking to spend money and I think that is a good thing.

- In an interview with 60 Minutes on May 14, 2012

On proposing to the one that got away

Marry me. You can have all the money and credit cards you want, and the glory of being Mrs Packer, but you’ve got to let me do what I want.

- He reportedly said to fiancé Kate Fischer in 1998.

On why you don't mess with the Packers

I am here to tell you my father was right. You are a raging f..kwit. Now f..k off.

- To former Nine Network executive David Leckie in October 2009

On not putting all your eggs in one basket

In a perfect world we don't want to be overly dependent on any single asset or be so dependent on the cycle or where one asset is the bulk of this company.

- Unknown

On getting lucky after the GFC

I got plenty of guesses wrong on things in the past as well. I don't want to pretend I have some great insight... But when the global financial crisis came along in 2008 it was scary times if you were in the middle of building $5 billion buildings. It wasn't perfect... I think that I am the luckiest person in Australia.

- In an interview with 60 Minutes on May 14, 2012

On his lifestyle choices

'I do 90 minutes of exercise a day, and obviously I have the lap band... (it's) about being fitter, happier and more active.' But he admitted: 'I'm an idiot. I (still) smoke and do all those things I shouldn't do.'

- In an interview with News Limited in August 4, 2012

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.