PBL Cuts Ties with Stanley Ho - Sunday 19th of March 2006

AUSTRALIA – As reported by the Sydney Morning Herald: "The Packer family's Publishing & Broadcasting Ltd has severed its relationship with Macau's controversial casino tycoon Stanley Ho after he announced late yesterday that he would step down as chairman of PBL's Asian partner, Melco International.

"Mr Ho's son, Lawrence, who is Melco's chief executive and largest shareholder, will step in as chairman.

"Severing ties with Mr Ho, whose alleged Triad links have troubled gambling regulators around the globe, is expected to expedite probity checks into the PBL-Melco venture by Victorian regulators. The checks have been under way since 2004.

"The acquisition of a sub-licence from Wynn Resorts earlier this month, for an unprecedented $US900 million, gave PBL and Melco control of their own destiny in Macau but may also have been the first signal that more space was needed between the partners and Mr Ho.

"…Whether the latest manoeuvre will be enough to satisfy the Victorian Commission for Gambling Regulation (VCGR) has yet to be seen…"

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