Gaming Love Matches That Blew Up Big Time in 2016

Posted on: December 29, 2016, 02:00h. 

Last updated on: December 20, 2016, 09:56h.

Mariah Carey’s relationship with billionaire casino mogul James Packer was the talk of the town in 2016. They were engaged in early January, and broke their silence on the much-rumored affair a week later, with Carey declaring that the $10-million 35-carat engagement ring the love-struck former Crown chairman had given her was “so heavy I can’t lift my arm.”

Packer, Carey, the Wynns and the biggest 2016 gaming love matches
The Packer-Carey affair had the tabloids gripped this year, but it’s the Wynn’s feud that may have us breaking out the popcorn in 2017. (Image: E! / Daily Mail)

With that, they sailed away into the sunset. According to the tabloids, they spent the next 56 days sailing around in Packer’s yacht, from New York to Macau and back, taking in various European destinations for the super-rich along the way.    

Diamonds Are Forever

But by October, it was clear that all was not well in paradise. Aussie magazine Woman’s Day broke the news that Packer had “dumped” Carey over her “excessive spending” and her decision to air their day-to-day life on TV in a reality show called Mariah’s World.

Meanwhile, TMZ, choosing its words very carefully, reported that Carey had had “some sort of rendezvous” with one of the dancers in the show.

Whatever the truth of the matter, the fairytale was over. Rumors were that Carey got to keep the ring, but it was now conspicuously absent from the finger of her left hand.

On the bright side, at least this meant she could once again lift her arm up as she belted out her caterwauling vibrato for the eager masses. 

Wynns’ Battle Becomes Nuclear

Meanwhile, in Las Vegas, the casino industry’s very own War of the Roses was turning more bitter by the minute.

As husband and wife, Steve and Eileen Wynn had once built a casino empire together. Now long divorced (for the second time, with Steve remarried), Elaine was wrestling to regain control of her stake in the company via the courts.   

The divorce was initially amicable, but things turned sour in 2012 when Elaine filed a legal claim to extricate herself from a shareholders agreement that barred her from selling her stake in the company, worth some $900 million. Steve said the claim was not in the interests of the shareholders and failed to reelect her to the board.

In October, Elaine filed a petition to the Supreme Court asking for whistleblowers’ protection in relation to a statement she had made to a third-party auditor which claimed Wynn Resorts had violated securities laws.

Elaine accused her former husband of “reckless, risk-taking behavior.” Wynn resorts called her a “disappointed wife” whose claim is “filled with lies and distortions.” In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Steve vowed she would “get her comeuppance.”

Expect more fireworks in 2017, and remember: in a war of two Wynns, someone will ultimately lose.