Australian mogul Packer gives away $232 million

SYDNEY - Billionaire James Packer, one of Australia's richest men, on Tuesday announced he was setting up a philanthropic foundation to give away A$200 million (S$232 million).

The casino tycoon, who runs worldwide gambling empire Crown, said the cash would go to charities promoting the arts and those supporting the broader community, particularly indigenous education.

Half of the money, to be donated in A$20 million installments for the next 10 years, will come from Crown Resorts, and the rest from the Packer family.

"This exciting collaboration between Crown Resorts and our family creates a platform from which to contribute towards strengthening communities in Australia and developing our artistic future," said his sister Gretel, who will administer the fund.

Philanthropy Australia chief executive Louise Walsh said she hoped it would encourage more of the country's corporate boards and wealthiest people to do the same.

"We are starting to see some serious mega gifts happening now in Australia and this is fantastic," she told reporters.

The son of late media baron Kerry Packer, James Packer is one of Australia's wealthiest people, with a personal fortune estimated at A$7.2 billion.