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Best avoid the air in Packer's palace

Best avoid the air in Packer's palace

Cancer. That's what James Packer's proposed Sydney casino megaplex might give you. And CBD thought losing your shirt was bad enough.

The casino - sorry, "Sydney Hotel Resort" - proposed by Slim Jim's Crown Limited and conditionally approved by NSW Premier Barry O'Farrell last Thursday is to include up to 20,000 square metres of "VIP gaming areas" - about the same size as the MCG.

"Smoking will be permitted in all VIP gaming areas," Crown said in its submission to the NSW government. Apparently this is "absolutely critical" because "all of Crown Sydney's competitors in Singapore, Macau, Philippines and Las Vegas allow smoking in VIP gaming areas".

The only other Australian indoors areas CBD knows of where smoking is allowed are the high-roller rooms at rival Star City and Crown's Melbourne's palace.

Crown has a deal with union United Voice to install air quality technology - so maybe it'll only be the smokers getting cancer.

Is that Welsh?

Memo world: adman turned business guru Siimon Reynolds has again changed the spelling of his name. That's if an outraged letter from his lawyer, Graham Hryce of Beazley Singleton, is any guide. Hryce wrote to Fairfax Media's lawyers, Minter Ellison, on Thursday after CBD had the temerity to email Reynolds seeking comment about an item that appeared on Friday.

Sorry, according to Hryce that should be an "inflammatory email" sent "in relation to a no-doubt defamatory article".

"In the circumstances, our client regards Mr Butler's behaviour as quite disgraceful," Hryce said. "We put you on notice that our client will rely on Mr Butler's conduct as further evidence of malice and our client will also rely upon it in relation to his claim for aggravated damages."

Hryce previously demanded an apology for a smattering of CBD items relating to the business career of Brian Sher, Reynolds' business partner at coaching outfit The Fortune Institute. (See CBD June 5, 6, 25, 26 and 27.)

On Friday, Minter's wrote to Hryce, telling him that no apology would be published. But CBD stands ever ready to publish the side of the story belonging to Reynolds ... or whatever his name is. Born just plain Simon, the Photon Group founder added an extra "i" at age 18, reportedly on the advice of a numerologist. And on Thursday, Hryce referred to his client as "Siiomon".

Over the years, that adds up to quite the vowel movement.

Let's share

NSW's Supreme Court has become the latest venue to host a round of a long-running stoush over the estate of Singaporean property developer Chow Cho-Poon that has already resulted in six lawsuits. At stake in the NSW proceedings is more than $52million in Australian assets, to be divided among Chow's heirs.

Chow, who died in 1997, left money to 12 family members including his son, Chow Kwok Ching, who is a trustee under a will signed in 1982. But the tycoon also made provision for grandkids, even though at the time he didn't know how many there would be.

Two of those grandchildren now say the family trust has vested, entitling them to their share.

Chow jnr asked the court for private advice on how to proceed - but his approach didn't sit well with Justice Geoff Lindsay. In a judgment handed down late last month, the judge said there had been no grounds advanced for imposing a gag order and said the decision by Chow jnr and his wife to come to court without first telling other family members "reinforce an impression, which may not be entirely fair, that the object of their chosen procedure is to avoid engagement with competing interests".

He said it was his "provisional view" that the trust vested on August 2 last year, entitling the grandkids to their share.

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