Casino real money. John Cleese says James Packer's casinos a 'horrible way to make money'

British comedian John Cleese railed against casino operators like James Packer this week for "preying on people's weaknesses", calling it "a horrible way to make money." Casino money.

But boy do casinos make money.

A few months ago, Packer's casino operator Crown Resorts announced that it would be paying out all of its "normalised" net profit to investors as a dividend.

And it is working out very well for Packer, who is gearing up for his third wedding - to marry pop diva Mariah Carey.

Mariah Carey and James Packer in an Instagram moment from their travels.

He will be receiving a $143.9 million dividend this October despite Crown's poor performance for the 2016 financial year, which was announced on Wednesday.

This dividend is for the six months through June. For the whole financial year 2015/16, Packer will be netting around $264 million in dividends from Crown.

It makes Rupert Murdoch's $2.8 million pay day from the sale of News Corp's performance stock this week look like a quick dash to the ATM as the octogenarian juggles wife number four, Jerry Hall, with attempts to patch up the trouble of his most lucrative business at 21st Century Fox, Fox News.

Comedian Cleese of course has made no bones about the fact that it was his most recent divorce that has forced him back on tour, which found him on Monday spruiking his latest show at the Roslyn Packer Theatre - the world premiere of Fawlty Towers Live.

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John Cleese introduces his Basil, Stephen Hall, in Melbourne.

The theatre is named in honour of James Packer's mum, thanks to the millions donated from the Packer family and Crown Foundation - which is funded by the earnings of Packer's casinos.

Illustration: John Shakespeare.

But back to Packer himself.

Crown did not update the market on negotiations to pay its resident billionaire some sort of wage - now that he has stepped down as its unpaid executive chairman to work as just another of Crown's 15,000 employees.

If it does come up with an appropriate compensation package for Packer, allowances would have to be made for his moonlighting in the movie business via his RatPac venture.

Thanks to Oliver Stone, we know Packer is hard at work in Hollywood.

In June, the legendary director said Packer pulled out of financing his hotly anticipated biopic about whistleblower Edward Snowden because he feared he would be denied entry to the US - which is also shaping up as his next gambling mecca.

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Peer to Peer

Dominic Stevens makes his public debut on Thursday as the new chief executive at ASX, presenting its full year results just weeks after taking the job.

Luckily, he remembered a rather important task he had to perform beforehand.

Peer-to-peer lender SocietyOne announced Wednesday that Stevens was resigning as a director with immediate effect "to concentrate on his new full-time duties" as the new ASX boss.

So that heads off any pesky questions from reporters and analysts as to whether it is a good idea for the ASX boss to have outside interests given the experience with Elmer Funke-Kupper and his Tabcorp role.

Not that Stevens will be losing all interest in SocietyOne.

He will remain an "indirect shareholder" in the company and an investor/funder of its loans.

"I'm very confident about the company's future and will continue to take a close interest in its progress in the coming years," said Stevens.

And hey, if SocietyOne is ever looking at an initial public offering down the track, Stevens might have an idea or two on that front.

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Dog gone

Vicinity Centres' Kiwi boss, Angus McNaughton, has wasted little time in going native following his recent move to Melbourne.

The move from New Zealand to Sydney many years ago left him at home in the state where rugby is still a favourite pastime - despite casual sightings at Sydney Swans matches.

But it sounds like the latest relocation to the footy mad capital in the South has made a believer of McNaughton.

A client took him to a game featuring the Western Bulldogs, and the the self-confesse rugger bugger now says he is a proud, paid up member of the Doggies.

He even quietly admitted to one of CBD's colleagues that after seeing a live AFL game "rugby is quite boring".

Let's hope nobody hears about this back home in New Zealand.


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