Gaming magnate James Packer has been involved in an altercation with a security guard, Dr Iskandar Chaban, who failed to recognize him at his own casino. The confrontation occurred when the 60-year-old security guard attempted to block Mr. Packer's entry to the main gaming floor of the casino.
Dr. Chaban was taken to the hospital after collapsing on his way home following the incident. The Syrian-born doctor claimed that Mr. Packer pushed him out of the way and have ordered him to be ‘fired immediately' after the altercation.
Mr. Packer was with senior Crown colleague Ishan Ratnam when the security officer prevented their entry. The guard alleged the pair of screaming abuse at him and pushed him aside at the bridge entry.
"I had no idea who the men were at first," Dr. Chaban said. "What they did to me was inhuman. James Packer treated me as if I was nothing," he added.
The Crown Casino has brushed off the incident as a misunderstanding, despite the security officer engaging with a law firm to seek compensation.
"Crown confirms a minor incident took place on New Year's Day at the Crown Melbourne Resort, following a misunderstanding by a security officer," said a Crown spokesperson.
"A contract security officer, working inside the resort was radioed that one of Crown's most important VIPs was approaching his position but failed to recognise Mr Packer, moving in front of him to attempt to physically block him from entering the casino and causing a collision. It's understood that a verbal altercation ensued and Mr Packer continued into the facility."
The security officer was treated for back pain and shock for around seven hours.
The verbal and physical confrontation followed by the unsatisfactory response from Crown has made the family contact the media and engage with Melbourne law firm Maurice Blackburn.
Crown has denied sacking Dr. Chaban, saying he was suspended pending a review.
A statement from Crown said, "Mr. Chaban has been reinstated and will receive training and coaching in relation to the incident.