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Friday, December 31, 2010

Gibraltar Raises Taxes on Online Gambling Companies

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The British territory of Gibraltar has announced that it will be drastically inflating its taxes on all online gambling firms starting in January, a decision that could prove costly for several online poker sites. Online gambling companies are currently paying just a 1% tax in Gibraltar, with a ceiling of £425,000, but starting next month, they’ll be forced into the same 10% tax rate as other Gibraltar businesses pay.

Gibraltar has been an ideal location for many online gambling sites due to the low tax rate and has become something of an “online gambling capital” as a result. Poker rooms such as PartyPoker and 888poker currently hold their headquarters in the territory and the online bookmakers Ladbrokes and William Hill made the move to Gibraltar in 2009 – a decision that was expected to cost the Treasury of the United Kingdom about £12 million per year.

Gibraltar’s first minister, Peter Caruana, said the tax increase has been called for by Gibraltar government’s decision to conform to European law. "To comply with EU law, we must phase out the tax exempt company in 2010," Caruana said. "However, in order to sustain our successful economic model, we must retain a commitment to a very competitive corporate tax model."

PartyGaming, which owns and operates PartyPoker from Gibraltar, recently released details concerning its long-awaited merger with online gambling giant bwin. PartyGaming said in a statement that it would keep its headquarters in Gibraltar while bwin continues to operate in Austria. Whether the news of the tax increase changes those plans remains to be seen. "We’ve known about this for some time and we’ve factored it in," said PartyGaming spokesman John Shepherd. "The tax is still going to be very low."

According to a report in The Guardian, while online companies will now pay the standard 10% tax rate paid by other businesses, they will still not be subjected to any Value Added Tax (VAT), meaning that Gibraltar will remain an attractive setting for gambling companies. VAT is a consumption tax only on the "value added" to a product, material or service – similar to the state sales tax that most U.S. residents pay.

Many experts seem confident that the tax increase won’t cause companies like PartyGaming to flee to other locations. Victor Chandler, Chairman of independent bookmaker Victor Chandler International, expressed his assurance in an interview with regional newspaper El Pais: "Nobody will leave, although we’ll all complain about the tax going up." Chandler began his U.K.-based company in 1946 that does much of its business online, including sports betting, casino games, and poker.

The decision will likely add up to big things for Gibraltar in the near future. Under the current 1% tax rate, Gibraltar collected £10.5 million in revenue from online gambling taxes in 2009. So long as online gambling firms decide to stay put, the government can expect to see that number magnify in the coming years.

Online gambling has proven to be an extremely important source of revenue for Gibraltar and it is believed that 2,000 people currently work in the sector, which is around 12% of the island’s workforce. The industry has also helped to protect the local economy against neighboring Spain’s harsh economic conditions. Of Gibraltar’s 30,000 residents, only 600 (2%) are unemployed. The bordering Spanish city of La Línea de la Concepción is estimated to have 10,000 of its 65,000 inhabitants (15%) out of work. (Credit: Poker News Daily)

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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Australian Government VS Clubs NSW: Pokie War, by Greg Tingle - 31st December 2010

Happy New Year, even including you guys at the Australian government. The Aussie government, reeling from media reports that Australian clubs are fighting back on the Big Brother type regulation like "biometrics" and finger printing, is now fighting back putting some of their own PR into cyberspace and trying to get Australian newspapers to print their side of the story. Media Man and Gambling911 with the Aussie Clubs VS The Aussie Government; news, PR or both.... you be the judge...

The war of words and paperwork over the federal government's proposed pokies revamp reforms has heated up, with the so called "independent" Nick Xenophon accusing Clubs NSW of waging a campaign of "fiction and fear" that has left NSW the worst informed state about the issue.

But, the word on the street of 'Sin City' Sydney is that the people hate being told what to think, what to do, and especially when it comes to their entertainment dollar and mattes or privacy. Labor has previously tried to get into people's bedrooms with in depth questions about sex and living arrangements on Government Censorship paperwork, along with paperwork being throw as pensions and others getting welfare, doing it a bit tougher than most. Yeah, Australia's big brother is on the nose, seemingly even worse that Ex PM Kevin Rudd was a few years ago. In addition, over the past 12 months Labor has lost about a dozen MP's, having to resign about things including sexual misconduct, porn visits in working hours, and even gambling at work!!! So, who is addicted now hey? Not good!

Senator Xenophon and teammate independent MP Andrew Wilkie, have begun a national consultation process on the reforms, agreed to by the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, in return for Wilkie helping Labor form a minority government. Their agenda driven spin campaign has upset many other independent MP's, including also the Labor and Liberal Party. Yeah, they appear to be walking on very thin ice and insiders tip their days may numbered, having the radical and fanatical views they do, being out of touch with real Australians, be it Bondi Beach or the Western Suburbs of Sydney.

Their agenda reform proposals include but are not limited to forcing gamblers to decide how much they are willing to lose, known commonly as "mandatory pre-commitment", and a $250 buck withdrawal limit from ATMs in pokie venues. The PM has drawn a line in the sand and given the Aussie States until May 31 to agree to the changes... or else! Forced by law is the spin being thrown around.

But the independent MPs keep getting hostile receptions at clubs, including recently at Narrabri this month when they were called '"fanatics" by angry club patrons and supporters et al.

"As I travel the country, the only state where people seem uniformly misinformed about what the changes will mean is NSW, and that's not the people's fault," Senator Xenophon has gone on record with. Many insiders think its complete spin. "Clubs NSW has been deliberately misleading its members with misinformation. It's not hard to stir up people if you are willing to feed them fiction and fear."

His comments coincide with the launch of a "'personal campaign" by the gambling reform activist Paul Bendat, who works closely with Senator Xenophon. Bendat, who runs the Pokie Act website has prepared full-page newspaper advertisements to run in the Illawarra Mercury targeting the chairman of Clubs NSW, Peter Newell. Could they be doing their own fear and spin techniques? If it looks like a rat and smells like a rat, you can pretty much pick what it is, so the story goes.

Newell happens to be the prez of Clubs Australia, chairman of the Steelers Club in Wollongong and a former newspaper editor, so he's a pretty clever cookie.

The adverts resemble those taken out by Clubs NSW during its campaign against increases to poker machine taxes under the ex NSW treasurer Michael Egan.

The ads say Newell "should be telling his members these truths about pokie gambling pre-commitment". Bendat reckons that gamblers will not be tracked under the new system, that casual gamblers, such as interstate or international visitors, will not have to sign up, and implementation could cost clubs as little as $1.50 a day per machine.

The issues, including the likely prospect that gamblers might be fingerprinted, have been raised by the clubs movement. There's also the "biometrics" which are fairly effective to ID people, reminding many of the doomed 'Australia Card' Big Brother proposal that was tabled about 15 years ago. It was a PR disaster for the government of the day.

But Newell described the advertisements as "ridiculous" and advised it was obvious Senator Xenophon and Wilkie were losing the war on "mandatory commitment technology".

"I'm amazed they think such a tactic would intimidate me or the industry," he said.

Newell said the MPs had begun amending their "on-the-run agreement" as the public learnt more about the proposal.

"It seems neither man actually wants to explain how mandatory commitment will work, what it will cost the industry and what impact it will have on problem gambling rates. The Australian public deserve answers to these questions before having the technology forced upon them."

The NSW government opposes mandatory pre-commitment. The Opposition Leader, Barry O'Farrell, said yesterday he favoured a voluntary system, setting up a fight, albeit written, verbal, and via news media with PM Gillard if the Coalition wins power in March. "What's important for poker machines … is to focus on those people who have a problem," he said.

At the moment the Australian government has a substantial PR problem, having being caught out lying to the Australian public on everything from gambling to the environment, to government porn scandals. They mad their bed, and now they are sleeping in it.


Australian Clubs Declare Pokies War On Australian Governments; Will Be Bigger Than Aussie Mining Companies VS Aussie Government War...

Australian Gambling reform could overshadow the mining tax as a political nightmare for the Gillard lead Labor government next year. The all mighty licensed clubs lobby is getting ready for a very public slaughter campaign against compulsory "pre-commitment" tech on pokies, unless the government backs of. Yep maties, its man VS machine. The hi tech which would link 200,000 poker machines across the great nation of Australia and in effect force all players to place a limit on how much they gamble...was a condition Tasmanian independent MP Andrew Wilkie placed on support for the minority Labor government. Many political and media commentators say it was a form of blackmail, but Gillard needed the vote, so didn't have much choice, if you follow us. Now in a new development that will make it even more of a pain in the ass for Gillard to deliver on her forced promise to have the new tech up and running by Wilkie's 2014 deadline, the Coalition government has declared it will support voluntary pre-commitment only.

A Media Man insider jokes "It's the commitment you have when you're not having a commitment", in reference to a famous beer add that went "It's the beer you have when you're not having a beer".

The art of war tactic will put pressure directly on Wilkie's fellow independent MPs who have been supporting the minority government, Lyne MP Rob Oakeshott and New England MP Tony Windsor, both of whom represent New South Wales regional seats with high levels of licensed club membership and participation. Oh dear, there goes the election Labor. Ok, close, but you have just smell the downfall of Labor already. The Coalition has tactically not formally declared its hand on the pokie reforms (yet), but it shouldn't be long now. Murdoch owned News Limited news hounds have now obtained a letter from Parkes MP Mark Coultan to a constituent setting out Coalition policy in black and white for the first time. "We support voluntary pre-commitment programs," Coultan writes. "Some gaming venues already have in place voluntary pre-commitment programs, and we would like to see these extended to other gaming venues. The Coalition wants schemes to be in place to help problem gamblers. However, we believe that any response to gambling must recognise that many Australians gamble responsibly. It is also important to recognise that many Australians rely on the sector for jobs. Heavy-handed government regulation may not be the best response to problem gambling." Industry reps claim that pre-commitment technology using smart-cards would cost clubs roughly $5000 a pokie to install and could lead to a 30% drop in pokie profits during the first year. The Prime Minister has said she will legislate the changes by 2012 if the states do not move before then...something not even one of the states, which rely heavily on gambling taxes, has shown a willingness to do in the slightest. Licensed clubs have been passionately lobbying Oakeshott and Windsor, along with Labor MPs across Oz, many of whom are understood to be pretty pissed off at Gillard's promise to Wilkie that jettisoned an earlier undertaking made to the clubs. ClubsAustralia chief executive Anthony Ball advised the industry was giving the government until May to back down, or face the power and mighty force of the industry in a public campaign along the lines of the one spear headed earlier this year by mining companies. "Clubs, hotels and casinos are a large industry and employ hundreds of thousands of Australians," he said. "I don't think people are going to be prepared to let this through. "The Coalition is echoing what most people are saying about this issue...that voluntary pre-commitment can be a useful way to help gamblers set and stick to limits. The government went from supporting a sensible position on this issue in late June to supporting a licence to play poker machines in late August." Oakeshott went on record to News Limited with, "I have met with nearly every club in the Hastings, Camden Haven and Manning areas and continue to listen to industry views. I am also talking the issue through with many local constituents and can confirm a wide range of views within the mid-north coast of NSW." Folks, things are not looking good for the Gillard government.

The Australian Government VS Clubs Australia and Clubs NSW? We think the smart money is on the clubs. This could be the issues that's the final nail in the coffin on Labor. Just saying! It's war on!

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How did you like the report? What have you got planned for New Year's Eve? Tell us in the forum.

If you have a bet, please bet with your head, not over it, and for God's sake, have fun.

*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911

*Media Man http://www.mediamanint.com is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. They cover a dozen industry sectors including gaming and offer political commentary and analysis.

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Australian Media Piracy; News Info Wars, by Greg Tingle - 31st December 2010

Season's Greetings punters, casino and gambling millionaires, billionaires, media tycoons, entertainment news junkies, insiders, outsiders, politicians, thought police, journalists and everyone else. The news just keeps coming as the speed of news, which is just about as quick as the speed of sound. Media Man and Gambling911 with a special New Year's Eve edition of Aussie news to celebrate...

Aussie Pay TV Foxtel Top Dog Highlights Piracy Concerns With Hi Tech...

Foxtel big cheese (chief executive) Kim Williams has issued a public warning that the upcoming NBN (National Broadband Network) down under in Oz could quite likely increase video piracy. Williams, along a legal eagle, has encouraged Canberra members of Parliament and media companies, big and small, to campaign against the theft of intellectual property. Maybe KW say have effective the 'Get Up' and 'Internet Blackout' days were, where driven forward using media and people power. Williams advised that a co-ordinated effort of the TV industry, the government and the NBN Co as well as new laws were badly needed to prevent greater rates of piracy in a high-speed digital world. Readers, I think we know he's telling the truth, as apposed to some of the porkies coming out of the Labor government recently. "We need an allied plan in terms of appropriate legal adjustments, otherwise you are creating the equivalent of the largest road train in the world backing up to rob the world's largest jewellery store without the police force to stop them. Copyright theft and privacy are very serious crimes. Companies like Foxtel and other media companies that are dependent on the sanctity of intellectual property need to become much more effective advocates in working with government to find appropriate remedies." News Corp leaks have been spreading the message to other small and mediums size media outlets such as Media Man, in a way an insider described as "a kind of Wikileaks way". Copyright reform is high on the must do list for many media firms A "convergence review" of broadcast media policy announced by your friend and ours (satire) Communications Minister Stephen Conroy earlier this month is set to consider copyright issues, of which there are quite a few. "I think you'd have to be short-sighted not to be concerned about piracy," said another leaker from Australian free TV. "What we have had in our favour is the large file size of a TV show or movie which makes it harder to download, but clearly as technology gets better, you reduce the complexity of piracy." Foxtel regards the NBN as an "opportunity" and has embraced online distribution, getting a deal in place to broadcast channels online through Microsoft's Xbox console and offering sub customers a comprehensive movie download service. The FTA (free to air) networks are also offering catch-up TV services such as the ABC's iView player and James Packer's Network Ten has plenty on offer too, with Bondi Rescue understood to be the most popular over the past few years. TV execs reckon that their large audiences give them the scale to outbid new internet broadcasters for quality content. "Of all the media organisations in Australia, in television and electronic media at least, we are the most adaptive and most innovative and have the longest record of investing in innovation so it's business as usual for us," Williams said. Stay tuned for more on Aussie piracy (and privacy) wars.

Channel Nine: Nine Entertainment Co Poised For A Great 2011...

A fresh Channel Nine will be the one to watch next year as everyone awaits the forecast relisting on the ASX of the television network in the first half of 2011. Private equity owner CVC Asia Pacific looks about ready to launch an estimated $5 billion initial public offer after an improved ratings performance in 2010. Even better, improved advertising conditions for free-to-air television are in swing and likely to continue for many months, if not over a year. The owners have rebranded the network as Nine Entertainment, scrapping the PBL brand that had been associated with the television station, and revamped the management team headed up by David 'Gyng' Gyngell. A Media Man insider said "The smart money says this will work out well for Nine. We are ready to buy in. Network Ten was give a fresh life with Packer, we bought shares, and will do the same with Nine in a heartbeat. The support is there, and Network Nine has the richest history in Australian TV, not to mention the highest ratings when you look at the landscape over a few decades. They didn't get the tag 'The One' for nothing". Another insider on the funds side of things said a float was an "odds on" chance in 2011. CVC currently owns 99.3% of Nine Entertainment, which holds assets including Nine, ACP Magazines, ticketing firm Ticketek and half stakes in the NineMSN and carsales website portals. Then known as PBL Media, the company was formed when James Packer's Publishing and Broadcasting Ltd split its media and gaming assets circa 2006. 'Our James' held onto the gaming assets, such as Melbourne's famous tourism landmark, Crown Casino, and formed a JV with CVC on the media assets. CVC initially held 50% of Nine Entertainment, but increased its holding to 99.3% in 2008. Nine has roughly $4 billion of debt due to mature in 2013 and 2014. Gyngell told fund managers Nine Entertainment was expected to post a 35% increase in earnings in 2010/11, according to numerous news media reports. Nine is able to consider an IPO due in large part to the strong bounce in advertising in 2010, with most media companies reversing the savage declines experienced in 2009. Free-to-air television, which was one of the main beneficiaries of the lift in advertising, also received a boost thanks to a few government decisions. Communications Minister Stephen Conroy quickly cut TV licence fees by 33% in 2010 and 50% next year. Then, an updated anti-siphoning list gave pay-television the right to bid directly for some AFL and NRL footy games, thus also permitting the free-to-air stations to broadcast certain first-run events on their digital channels instead of their main channel. The latter concession could likely be good news for Ten Network Holdings Ltd's all-sport digital channel One. Ten's share registry was raided late in 2010, resulting in 3 new board members, the "forced" departure of executive chairman Nick Falloon and left a few folks up in the air about Ten's future. Packer returned to free-to-air television alongside mate Lachlan Murdoch in October, spending $280 million to buy 18% of the company and securing 2 seats on the board. The transaction is being investigated by the competition watchdog (ACCC) because Consolidated Media Holdings Ltd, chaired by Packer, and News Corp, of which LM is a director, both hold interests in ONE rival and pay-tv station Fox Sports. Some speculate that Packer is keen to shut down One, but we hope not, as we love the wrestling and UFC, as does much of the Aussie public.
Ten's latest shareholder and director, mining tycoon and Australia's most well to do woman, Gina Rinehart, has also made next to no comment about why she bought 10% of the television network in November. While the ratings of ONE are smaller than the digital offerings from the other free-to-air digital channels such as GO! and 7Mate, the all-sport is profitable and drawing in viewers and advertisers.

Aussie Pay TV Operators Foxtel And Optus Get Cosy In Bed Together; Will Boost Subs...

Optus will commence marketing Foxtel to its customers again after the two companies inked a new deal on subscribers. The smart move comes around two years since Optus stopped actively promoting Fox. Foxtel is facing up to increased competition from the new free to air digital channels and Internet-delivered TV services. The new deal will see Optus customers offered Foxtel’s HD services for the first time via the iQ HD settop box. At present, Foxtel is offering 20 HD channels...a major point of difference to free to air, which has seen the main channels available only in standard definition since the launch of the secondary digital channels. Optus will also be able for the first time to sell Foxtel via satellite where it does not have a cable network, in order to build bundled offerings to customers. Foxtel CEO Kim Williams went on record, "The audio visual entertainment market is increasingly competitive with the arrival of terrestrial multichannels and new IPTV providers, and we welcome these agreements as they provide solid incentives for Optus to offer the full suite of Foxtel subscription services into the future." Optus CEO Paul O’Sullivan was prepared to say "Foxtel has been a strategic partner and customer of Optus for many years and we’re pleased to be able to extend the breadth of Foxtel services we sell to our customers." Come February the deals will be promoted to the public.

One HD; Network Ten: Be Prepared For Games and iGaming in 2011

With the likes of media and gambling tycoon joining a board of directors come numerous benefits and unique opportunities, and Ten is learning quickly. Have you already spotted the gaming promos being ramped up? More mentions of Crown Casino on TV? How about the coverage of The Poker Star last year, and the appearance of Packer mates Shane Warne and Joe Hachem on The 7PM Project earlier this year, and all of the gaming related fundraisers. Coincidence? No, of course not. Insides tell Media Man to expect a lot more gaming, gambling and sports betting on the network next year, and maybe even some 2 way TV stuff, along with gaming related reality TV. Stay tuned to this dial for more on this developing news story.

Media Man Awards - December 2010. Let's have a look...

PartyGaming's PartyCasino has done it again, picking up another Media Man 'Online Casino Of The Month Award' for December, and also the parent company, PartyGaming, picked up the prestigious EGR Slots Operator Of The Year Award ...Some other top picks of ours who picked up awards at the EGR night of nights were:
Virgin Games (Affiliate Programme)
Betfair (Innovation, Mobile Operator and UK Sports Betting Operator)
Bwin (European Sports Betting Operator
PKR (Poker Operator)

Oh, we almost forgot...Media Man and Casino News Media 'Casino Babe Of The Month': Jenny Woo, 'Poker Babe': Kara Scott, 'Gambling Babe Personality': Paris Hilton.

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Readers... er, punters, how did you like our report? What have you got planned for New Years Eve? Tell us in the forum.

If you have a bet, please bet with your head, not over it, and for God's sake, have fun.

*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911

*Media Man http://www.mediamanint.com is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. They cover a dozen industry sectors including gaming and offer political commentary and analysis.

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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Aussie Celeb News; James Bond Casino Icon Connection by Greg Tingle - 29th December 2010

Season's Greetings punters, entertainment news junkies, one and all. Today we have a look at the latest from Aussiewood and Hollywood powerhouses James Bond, with a Bondi Beach twist, Marvel Entertainment (go Wolverine)..we love you Hugh, Spider-Man, Underbelly and more.. Media Man and Gambling911 with your celebrity and entertainment news fix, just in time for the New Year. Ho Ho Ho!...

MGM Emerging from Bankruptcy; Wants To Produce James Bond 23...

MGM Studios is emerging from bankruptcy with a $500 million line of credit, and its first Xmas wish is to produce James Bond #23, rumoured to be directed by Sam Mendes and starring Daniel Craig (again), despite many leaks saying that means it will be a gay Bond (for real), if you follow.

The James Bond franchise has long been a fav of casino and gambling lovers, with Casino Royale being the top pick for most punters.

MGM Studios has been going through the wars as of late, with the filing of bankruptcy hanging around their neck. Their massive financial troubles led to the delay of not only The Hobbit, directed by New Zealander Peter Jackson, but also James Bond 23 starring the Daniel Craig.

The studio just underwent a giant restructuring and was able to acquire $500 million worth of credit from financial powerhouse JP Morgan, a good lot of which will likely be spent on the sequel to Quantum of Solace. MGM is expected to partner with Sony for co-financing, as it has done a few times previously with Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace.

Bond fans, did you know that 2012 marks the fiftieth anniversary of Dr. No (1962), the very first James Bond movie ever, which makes it bloody good timing to release a new Bond movie. The studio will be attempting to secure and shore up its cast, director, and screenplay for the new movie in very short order.

The studio had previously announced that Peter Morgan, and frequent Bond collaborators Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, would be penning a draft of Bond 23. Purvis and Wade have worked on every James Bond flick since The World Is Not Enough, and that includes Die Another Day, Casino Royale, and Quantum of Solace - the last two of which were rewritten, to some extent, by Paul Haggis.

Rumors have been flying for months have indicated that Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Revolutionary Road) is leading the pack to direct the new movie. Now, Mendes is not a filmmaker known for his action style skills. He did however direct Road to Perdition, co-starring none other than Daniel Craig.

As of press, James Bond will not be film in 3D. Oh, did we mention Media Man is the agent and manager for John Seru who played bad guy Gabor in Bond's 'The World Is Not Enough'. In Nine's 'Underbelly' Seru placed Kiwi Steve in the following episodes:
Alpha and Omega, The Good Lieutenant, Hurt on Duty (2010), Saving Face and Women in Uniform.

MGM is still technically under bankruptcy protection for a couple more months.

Marvel Entertainment's The Avengers: New Mexico Connection...

Marvel Entertainment's biggest film project of all time is is now New Mexico’s biggest film production ever as 'The Avengers' confirms its 2011 shooting locations.

Thor not only hits off the summer movie season of 2011, but it sets up events that will culminate in the Marvel superhero team-up epic, The Avengers, the following year. With story elements of Thor taking place in New Mexico, and the production shooting in Santa Fe and Galisteo, it’s of little surprise to see Marvel Studios returning once again for their biggest project ever.

New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson and Marvel Studios officially announced the agreement making The Avengers the single largest film production in the state’s history. The current schedule has Joss Whedon’s The Avengers shooting in New Mexico between April and September of next year, using both Albuquerque Studios and of course, the beautiful and vast surrounding locations that so many other major Hollywood flicks have used.

The Avengers also is set to shoot action in Michigan and New York but production will primarily take place in New Mexico’s largest city Albuquerque.

Governor Richardson talks to local economic benefits to New Mexico: "In addition to being our biggest production to date, The Avengers will be the most technologically advanced and will provide cutting-edge training opportunities for our crew… I’m announcing this as a Christmas present of sorts to the people of New Mexico. This is a perfect example of the incredible job creation, economic impact and global visibility this industry has brought our state over the past eight years, and of the need to keep it moving forward."

So Marvel heroes fans, be looking out for Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, Scarlett Johansson, Clark Gregg and Samuel L. Jackson.

Thor opens May 5, 2011; The First Avenger: Captain America hits July 22, 2011 and The Avengers is scheduled to debut May 4, 2012.

Spider-Man: Broadway No Match For Movie; Spidy Fans Disappointed; Would Rather Play Spider-Man Games And Play Dress Up...

The new and much talked about Spider-Man musical has another problem stuck in its web. Sick to death of waiting for the problemetic Broadway show to officially open, critics for two mainstream news companies released early and negative reviews of the $65 million musical, which won't officially open until February 7.

Writing for Bloomberg News, the influential financial news wire service, veteran critic John Simon slammed the show as "an unfocused hodge-podge of story-telling, myth-making and spectacle that comes up short in every department. A few good songs would help, in which department the show is sorely lacking," Simon wrote in the review late Sunday night. Like most rock stars, Bono and The Edge haven’t a clue about writing for the theatre."

The U2 legends wrote the score for the show, which was directed by Lion King helmer Julie Taymor.

Both Simon and Newsday's Linda Winer defended their premature reviews on the grounds that the show was charging full ticket prices in some cases more than $200 a seat for the performances, and that the opening date had been pushed back twice.

Winer called the show's infamous high-flying acrobatics "exciting and scary, in a circus way" but dismissed the second act as "weak."

Simon was also impressed with the flying scenes: "An hour of anticipation for about 90 seconds of exhilaration," he wrote.

Would you believe four actors have been injured during the show's rehearsals, including a horrible injury to lead aerialist Chris Tierney last week.

Critics almost never publish their reviews of productions before the official opening night. Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark has pushed back its debut twice.

The New York Times said in a posting to its arts blog that it would not review the show until the official opening.

Media Man loves Marvel Entertainment, Spider-Man and U2, but this project does not sound good. Sorry guys.

Underbelly TV Movie Legal Problems...

Network Nine may be forced to shelve forever one of its Underbelly telemovies because of legal action in the state of New South Wales.

Tell Them Lucifer Was Here, the first of 3vtelemovies being made under the Underbelly Files title, tells the story of the 1998 murders of Victoria cops Rod Miller and Gary Silk.

After a probing investigation by the Lorimer Task Force, Bandali Debs and Jason Roberts were found guilty of the double murder in 2003. Debs was sentenced to life in prison, Roberts to 35 years.

The subject seemed relatively safe... for true crime. Reader may recall the first Underbelly could not be screened in Victoria.

However, anything that identifies "Debs" could be a bit no go zone in NSW.

On September 24, the Victorian Government Solicitor applied to the Melbourne Magistrates Court to have Debs transferred to a NSW prison for questioning over the death of a Sydney prostitute 15 years ago.

Debs's lawyer, Michael De Young, did not oppose the application, saying his client maintained his innocence and was confident of being acquitted and returned to Victoria.

New South Wales Police have been trying for 2 years to question Debs...also was convicted in 2007 of the 1997 murder of 18-year-old sex worker Kristy Harty...and reckon they have enough evidence to link him to the killing.

The transfer order was granted by the court, but Debs had 14 days to appeal the decision.

Channel Nine has 3 options: rush the Silk-Miller telemovie out before NSW police have laid any charges that might arise from the interview; release the telemovie in all states bar NSW if charges are laid; or hold off for a national release until any case has been heard.

Nine has has yet to comment on this matter.

Underbelly #4 To Hit Aussie TV...

A 4th Underbelly series to screen in 2011 promises to showcase the birth of organised crime in Australia.

Based in Sydney in the roaring 1920s, Underbelly Razor tells the story of the bloody battle between "vice queens" Tilly Devine and her rival Kate Leigh.

The Nine Network are calling it their most "ambitious and daring" Underbelly series yet.

It will be joined by 3 Underbelly telemovies - Tell Them Lucifer was Here, Infiltration and The Man Who Got Away...which were announced earlier in the year.

Aussie Poker Celeb King Shane Warnie Tag Team With Wolverine Hugh Jackman In Cricket Nets; Jackman Hit In Balls (Almost) In Lead Up To Boxing Day Ashes Test...

The tag team led the celebrity contingent to the Melbourne Cricket Group for the prestigious Boxing Day Test. 'Our Hugh' got hit in the balls by a Warnie spinner, so it seemed, but he had a cup on, perhaps taking safeguards, after getting hit in the eye with a foreign object at his Oprah Winfrey grand entrance via way of flying fox a couple of weeks ago. Wolverine Jackman joined other famous mugs in the crowd, including Opposition Leader Tony 'The Bruiser' Abbott and veteran English talk show king Sir Michael Parkinson aka 'Parkie'. Premier Ted Baillieu and wife Robyn also tagged along, as did Eddie "Everywhere" McGuire, Cathy Freeman and Molly Meldrum. In a smart and rather cunning move, just outside the MCG sports stars and entertainment biz celebs tag teamed a game of cricket which raised money for the McGrath Foundation. The foundation ambassador Lee Furlong joined ex-cricketers Justin Langer and Michael Slater, Glen Moriarty, Kris Smith and Guy Sebastian at the friendly game. Earlier, Shane Warne made one of his very first public appearances since the "Hurley-burley", acting as host for his fav Shane Warne Foundation's annual Boxing Day breakfast at Crown. Warne mate, James Packer, attended, along with wife Erica in a show of support. Singer Leo Sayer also entertained to an appreciative crowd that included Glenn Robbins, Mark Taylor, Ian Healy, Aaron Hamill and Bill Brownless. A great day was had by all, as best we can tell.

Aussie Poker Celeb Shane Warne And UK Sort Liz Hurley: Come Down Under And Come In Spinner?...

Is Liz Hurley coming to Australia? Getting spotted at Heathrow Airport sent press into a frenzy and created munch speculation she will keep her date with Warnie. Friends of Hurley told the Pommie press she had dumped the cricket spin legend after learning he had sent more than 100 sexy text messages to another woman behind her back. Warnie is known for his ability to sent sexy texts that can get the right response. Now it appears Liz may have reconsidered after attempts to stop an imminent divorce and rekindle her relationship with husband Arun Nayar reportedly failed. During her public flirtation with the spinner on Twitter, Hurley wrote that she was keen to attend the January 3 "Pink Test," which supports the Jane McGrath Foundation. Talk about a play on words "Pink Test", got to love her form. Liz also told Warnie she would "definitely" make an appearance on his Channel Nine chat show if she made it to Sydney. Sources close to the Aussie spinner have said the cricketer was devastated after being apparently dropped by Hurley, having previously confided his desire to marry her. Both Hurley and Warne announced on Twitter that they had split from their respective partners shortly after spending 2 delightful, fun filled nights together at a luxury London hotel earlier this month and being papped kissing outside a restaurant. Warne was last week caught in the outfield sending erotic texts, including, "I want to see you riding me" to middle-aged Melbourne mum Adele Angeleri. In an apparent attempt to win Hurley back after the messages were published in the British tabloids he logged back on to Twitter to pen "No matter what anyone says if you know in your heart… who cares what people think / say !!!" Hurley was snatched in the airport mess at Heathrow, where snowy conditions caused widespread cancellations from Saturday, leaving over 100,000 punters stranded, having their patience tested. A fellow traveler said the swimwear model and well loved celeb babe "looked nervous" as she attempted to blend in with the crowd, wearing large sunglasses and dressing down. "She'd dressed down and it was clear she wanted to be left alone," the witness told The Sun. "She looked like a woman with a lot on her mind." Liz’s office refused to comment on her travel plans. Whatever the case, we wish Liz (and Warnie) well on any of their upcoming travel plans.

Betting For Aussies On TV And Film Success: Not Yet...

Many Australia's remain pissed that they are not able to bet on financial outcomes of upcoming TV shows and motion pictures. Passionate Aussies has been reading reports filed by Media Man and Gambling911 on Box Office betting exchanges, but none of the action has come to Australia, so us Aussies can't be on it. We're not sure any Yankees of Canooks got to bet on outcomes either. Sly, Arnie and Wall Street - when you read this, give us an update please. We want to bet on movie and TV outcomes. PartyGaming and Virgin were rumoured to have some interest in the concept, but nothing has eventuated from our probe as yet. Oh, if you want to see the way Hollywood used to work, do yourself a favor and rent or buy 'The Last Mogul', which told the career story of the late Lew Wasserman. Oh, we heard you want a review, so here it is mates...

The Last Mogul: The Life And Times Of Lew Wasserman...

For the second half of the 20th century, Lew Wasserman was without question the most powerful money man in show business, even if most people had no idea who he was. Born in Cleveland, OH, in 1913, Wasserman started out booking music gigs for mob-controlled clubs, and quickly became an agent for Music Corporation of America, which became the most lucrative music agency in America. Funny that. As Wasserman rose through the ranks at MCA, he established such innovative business practices as "packaging" talent i.e: booking hot acts and artists only in a package deal with other artists who were not as talented, to put it politely, and took the company into managing acting talent in Hollywood, where he re invented the film industry forever by negotiating a ground-breaking deal for James Stewart on the film Winchester '73, which reduced the actor's up-front salary in favor of a cut of the movie's profits, earning the actor a mint in the process. Under Wasserman's lead at MCA, the company took over Universal Pictures, established the studio's television branch and made it the most important production outlet in the business), created the hugely successful Universal City studio tours, and expanded MCA's recording branch into one of the biggest record companies in the world. Wasserman was also politically well connected. Ronald Reagan was one of his early clients when MCA want Hollywood), and was reputed to have some handy connections to organized crime. Wasserman was a secretive fellow who did not give interviews or commit anything to writing if it could be avoided, but he knew nearly everyone in show business. The Last Mogul: The Life and Times of Lew Wasserman is a documentary that through interviews with his friends and business associates beautifully showcases his remarkable career, from his childhood in Ohio to his death in 2002. Yep, there's mob ties and such, but hey, that's show business.

Awards...

Last month was a big month for casino awards also. Let's have a look...

PartyGaming's PartyCasino has also come back with seconds, picking up another Media Man 'Online Casino Of The Month Award' for November, and also the parent company, PartyGaming, picked up the prestigious EGR Slots Operator Of The Year Award ...Some other top picks of ours who picked up awards at the EGR night of nights were:
Virgin Games (Affiliate Programme)
Betfair (Innovation, Mobile Operator and UK Sports Betting Operator)
Bwin (European Sports Betting Operator
PKR (Poker Operator)

Oh, we almost forgot...Media Man and Casino News Media 'Casino Babe Of The Month': Jenny Woo, 'Poker Babe': Kara Scott, 'Gambling Babe Personality': Pamela Anderson.

Media Man Profiles

Australia

Australia Casinos

Cricket

Movies

Crown Casino

Jupiters Hotel and Casino

Tabcorp Holdings

SkyCity Entertainment Group

Politics

Broadcasting

Television

Media Companies

Australian Sports

News

Casino News

Entertainment News

Media News

Technology News

Sports News

News

Wrap Up...

Readers... er, punters, how did you like our report? What films and celebs take your liking? As Shane Warne says, 'How goo was that?!". Have you been naughty or nice? Did Santa give you what you had hoped for? What have you got planned for New Year's Eve? Tell us in the forum.

If you have a bet, please bet with your head, not over it, and for God's sake, have fun.

*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911

*Media Man http://www.mediamanint.com is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. They cover a dozen industry sectors including gaming and offer political commentary and analysis.

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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

PartyGaming and bwin to Retain Brands Following Merger

Profiles

PartyGaming PartyCasino.com PartyPoker.com Bwin PartyBingo.com World Poker Tour

Websites

PartyCasino.com PartyPoker.com PartyBingo.com PartyGammon.com World Poker Tour

In recent days, PartyGaming and bwin announced merger plans to form a giant gambling group that could become effective toward the end of the first quarter of 2011. The merger, which had long been rumored before the companies signed an implementation agreement in July, is expected to create the world’s largest listed online gambling business.

The new company will operate worldwide with its existing brands under the name of bwin.party Digital Entertainment plc in which current bwin shareholders will hold a 51.6% stake, while current PartyGaming shareholders will hold 48.4%. Both bwin and PartyGaming will retain most of the core of their brands, but will be operated under the new umbrella company, which will be based in Gibraltar and listed on the London Stock Exchange. PartyGaming will keep its main headquarters in Gibraltar, while bwin will continue to operate from Austria.

The companies issued a 478-page document to shareholders on Thursday giving a detailed outline of the planned merger. Shareholders will vote on the merger at a joint annual general meeting on January 28th. Should the general meetings of both bwin and PartyGaming approve the merger, all shareholders holding bwin stock when the merger is effective will receive 12.23 PartyGaming shares denominated in GBP for each bwin share.

“The online gaming industry is going through a phase of consolidation, making market players’ size and geographic diversification more crucial than ever,” said Norbert Teufelberger, Co-CEO of bwin. “Our products and target markets complement one another perfectly, and we can continue to expand our technology lead in all key product segments: sports betting, poker, casino, bingo, and games.”

According to the document, the merger would create a business with unaudited net revenues of €696.2 million, unaudited clean EBITDA of €193.7 million, unaudited profit after tax of €99.4 million, and unaudited net assets of €1.27 billion after consolidation adjustments for the year 2009.

Jim Ryan, Chief Executive Office of Party Gaming, will join Teufelberger to become Co-Chief Executives of the merged company. Current bwin Co-Chief Executive Manfred Bodner will become a Non-Executive Director on the Board of the enlarged group. Said Ryan, “This is a transformational opportunity for both our companies to create the world’s largest listed online gaming business. With market-leading positions in poker, sports betting, casino, and games, the enlarged group will have a winning formula to exploit the growing online gaming market, supported by a strong balance sheet, significant cash flow generation, and a highly experienced management team.”

The merged company will continue to focus on business-to-consumer products, an area in which it enjoys considerable strength. However, because of the financial gains added through the merger, the company will also encroach into business-to-business and business-to-government endeavors. Teufelberger explained, “Our many years of online know-how, healthy balance sheet, and one of the largest pools of poker liquidity in any regulated market will make us an attractive business partner.”

There will also be focus on regulated and newly opened markets, as the company intends to make plans to enter the U.S. market if and when the current situation changes for the better. In 2006, bwin stopped taking bets from U.S. residents due to the passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). PartyGaming, which operates the popular online poker room PartyPoker, followed shortly thereafter. (Credit: Poker News Daily)

Profiles

PartyGaming

PartyCasino.com

PartyPoker.com

PartyBingo.com

PartyGammon.com

PartyBets.com

GameBookers.com

FoxyBingo.com

Bwin

Cashcade

World Poker Tour

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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Casino News Media: PartyCasino Wins Media Man 'Online Casino Of The Month' Award

PartyCasino.com Wins Media Man Online Casino Award

PartyCasino.com has been awarded the Media Man and Casino News Media "Online Casino Of The Month".

PartyGaming's igaming suite has grown a custom to winning awards since they first opened for business in 1997.

The competition for the coveted award was intense again this month with massive bids from both WPTCasino.com, Captain Cooks Casino, Virgin Casino, Betfair, PKR and Noble Casino however there can only be one winner... ladies and gentlemen, that's PartyCasino.com

The award follows PartyPoker's EGR Poker Operator Of The Year and PartyGaming also made the shortlist for EGR Operator Of The Year. Recently PartyGaming's PartyPoker.com also won the Casino News Media "Online Poker Website Of The Month".

The Media Man - Casino News Media accolade is based on a combination of elements including user experience, innovation, trustworthiness, customer service, gameplay, affiliate program offerings, newsworthiness and company values.

PartyCasino.com is one of a number of PartyGaming brands.

The most popular PartyCasino.com games of late include Heist, Circus, Rambo, Palladium Slot, The Godfather, Sinatra, Slotbox, Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Mission: Impossible, The Terminator, Cleopatra, Sinatra, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, The Amazing Spider-Man, Monopoly, Resident Evil, Melon Madness, Wheel Of Fortune and Mega Fortune Wheel.

The PartyCasino.com jackpot is currently approaching the $2 million mark. Players can also compete for The Big One and Marvel Hero Jackpot, playing the Marvel super hero themed online slot games.

PartyCasino's most recent game releases include Shaaark! SuperBet, Crocodopolis, Alice's Wonderland, Glamour Puss, Super Cubes, Heist, Palladium Slot and Circus Slot.

PartyGaming CEO Jim Ryan has gone on record advising PartyCasino will soon feature more Hollywood blockbuster themed slots. A few in the know journalists and media agents have been recently tipped off that an all time classic movie adaption will be showcased in the PartyCasino portfolio within 1 month. PartyCasino has the world's most impressive line up of Hollywood themed games, and more are just around the corner.

PartyCasino.com and PartyPoker.com customers can also benefit from rewards and bonuses via PartyPoints and the Palladium Lounge. Be certain to check out the PartyCasino exclusive "Cash Machine" that is being championed as one of the greatest online casino promos ever.

Media Man, Casino News Media and Global Gaming Directory do have a b2b relationship with PartyGaming, as they do with dozens of other companies in the gaming, igaming, media and entertainment industry.

Websites

PartyCasino.com

PartyPoker.com

World Poker Tour Casino

Profiles

PartyGaming PartyCasino PartyPoker PartyBingo Circus PartyCasino Marvel Slots The Big One Melon Madness Casino World Poker Tour PartyCasino Promotions

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Australian Gambling, Casino And Entertainment News, by Greg Tingle - 26th December 2010

Season's Greetings punters, casino and gambling millionaires, billionaires, entertainment news junkies, insiders, outsiders, politicians, journalists and everyone else. The festivities continue to roll on, just as the news continues to be pumped out via our worldwide network. Media Man and Gambling911 with yet more Aussie news to help keep your Santa's stocking full. Ho Ho Ho!...

NSW Smoking Up The ACT For Pub Pokies; Australian Gambling Smoking Wars...

The ACT's dolphin and whale size gambling firms tell us that they're losing cold hard cash to "cross-border alfresco" pokies and they demand a bigger tax cut to compensate their loss! Canberra's clubs, once thought to be a bit part of 'Sin City', taken over by Sydney, are hard at work lobbying the Government for a tax cut of upwards to $4.2 million a year, saying they are losing punters across the border to Queanbeyan where gamblers can smoke cigarettes while playing outdoor poker machines. It's well known that many gamblers like to smoke, and they are loving doing so in an outdoors environment. Got to keep the smoking gamblers happy we guess? Anti gambling and anti smokers are none to impressed, as the battle for minds on the gambling subjects continues to be red hot fodder down under. The ACT gambling operators put forward that regulatory changes to the industry in the ACT, including bans on outdoor smoking areas that rule out "alfresco pokies" on the ACT side of the border, make a tax cut of more than $4 million bucks "seem more than reasonable." The clubs desire to be able to establish a market to allow rich clubs to buy machines from smaller operators, a move that would overturn years of ACT out of date Government policy. Clubs ACT's hard line type list of "I Wants) to the Quinlan review of the territory's tax system states that the industry's revenue base has been declining for years and is now taking another a dive, news that pokie and gambling haters are relishing in. Gaming Minister Andrew Barr has been unavailable to respond on the industry's wish list as we go live to news. The clubs state that the present taxation system, which nets the Treasury close to $36 million annually, hits the big earners in the industry extremely hard, with well to do clubs contributing about 98% of the total tax take. The industry peak body has now suggested 2 business models for restructuring the tax arrangements, one that would result in a tax cut of $3.2 million and another that would result in a cut of $4.2 million. The apparent inability to compete with "all-weather poker machines" in NSW is cited in the submission as a key disadvantage. A Media Man spokesperson said "The ACT based clubs appear to have a case for a large tax break in this case. The situation may get worse before it gets better, as heavy rain is also forecast for much of Australia's east coast as we head towards the new year."

Pommie Paddy Power Scoops Up £86m For Aussie Sportsbet...

Just two days before Christmas Paddy Power increased the size of its bet that Aussies will keep gambling no matter how the cricketers get on. The Irish based company bought out the remaining 39% of Sportsbet, snatching total control of one of the biggest bookies Down Under. Paddy Power is paying A$132 million in cash and shares to secure the deal which is worth roughly £86 million. The UK gambling and spread betting industry has been expanding down under for a few years in the firm belief that the market can be better "exploited", more more softly, better serviced. UK mobs want a bigger slice of the Australia pie. Paddy Power purchased 51% of Sportsbet last year and negotiated options to increase its stake over time. Chief executive Patrick Kennedy described Sportsbet as "a cracking business". “The team has made great strides in marrying the best of both Sportsbet and Paddy Power,” he said. "This is a good deal to acquire the remaining shares early, which will allow us to drive development and investment and secure full participation in the upside of the business." Paddy is funding most of the deal from cash in its large bank account and issuing about £12 million worth of new shares. A special dividend of A$8.5 million will be paid to Sportsbet shareholders. A Media Man spokesperson said "So, the pommies are doing more deals with the Aussies thanks to Paddy and it might be time for the Aussies to do more deals with the Yankees and Canooks, just to settle the score."

Cricket WAGS (Wives And Girlfriends) Get Blame For On Field Performance; Too Much Sex And Party Time?

Pommie captain Andrew Strauss was Scrooge like telling his team keep keep their minds on the game. Strauss' attitude came as he told his team to focus on breaking the Aussies in Melbourne's Boxing Day blockbuster cricket match. Stung by criticism that the arrival of players' wives and girlfriends soiled their "killer instinct" and contributed to Australia's series-levelling win in Perth, WA, Strauss demanded a full-on training day at the Melbourne Cricket Ground broken only by a short lunch at the team hotel. England's mindset was very different to Australia's jovial session followed by a lunch with their families inc WAG's at Crown casino. "In the past, the Christmas Day practice has been very light. We specifically made sure this was a normal day before Test match practice, and rightly so," hardliner Strauss said. "It is a big Test, our heads have to be firmly on the cricket. We will have a couple of hours off with our families and have a nice lunch, but we don't want to have any regrets thinking, 'Oh we should have prepared better for this Test match'. Was he meaning for players not to have too much sex or something? "I think we have ticked this one off the list. The guys are very determined, there is a good, steely atmosphere about the lads and we need to transfer that on to the pitch. We really want to make up for our performance in Perth and I am confident we will do that." Anderson followed a quick trip to Lancashire for the birth of his second daughter by delivering 46 overs in the Perth Test loss. "He had a bit of a niggle, but seems to have got over that. He's 100% fit and available for selection," Strauss said. Strauss revealed the in-form batsman Ian Bell, who has 213 runs at 71 this series, would stay at #6 while Paul Collingwood would be retained despite contributing only 61 runs at 15.5 this summer. "Paul is an experienced fighter and these sort of scraps bring out the best in him," Strauss said. He said patience would be the key to success on an MCG pitch with early moisture and dealing with a possible record crowd exceeding 90,000. "The general consensus is at the MCG that if you go too hard a bit too early you're going to be back in the hut, so we need to be able to adapt quickly to the conditions we encounter," Strauss said. "It's one of the highlights of your career, being able to play at the MCG in a Boxing Day Test. We intend to take the most of that." Gambling911 and Media Man wish both teams the best as today's game is set to kick off.

Tabcorp Jupiters Boss Quits Sunny Gold Coast For Auckland Casino Gig; Headhunted On Merit...

The mastermind who considerably helped snatch a $350 million revamp at Tabcorp owned and operated Jupiters Hotel and Casino has recently resigned. Stuart Wing, the MD at the Gold Coast gambling hub, has been appointed chief operating officer of SkyCity Casino Auckland, in the land of sheep - New Zealand. Industry and media buzz is that he was headhunted, after successfully securing revamps at both the Tabcorp owned Gold Coast and Jupiters Townsville and working in the tourism sector for more than a decade. In a statement sent to staff a few days ago Jupiters Casino parent Tabcorp said it would conduct an international search to find a replacement when Wing departed in 3 short months. Wing declined to comment as we go to press, but it is understood his transfer will also coincide with his wife having their first child. Sky City Entertainment Group's annual report states its Auckland operation has 2810 employees, 20 restaurants, bars and cafes, 660 hotel rooms, 1647 gaming machines and 110 gaming tables. It also owns other casinos in New Zealand, and in the Aussie cities of Darwin and Adelaide. The Jupiters website says it has 15 restaurants and bars, 593 guest rooms and more than 70 gaming tables and 1300 gaming machines aka "pokies". Wing was appointed to the Gold Coast in February 2008 and was previously the Jupiters Townsville GM and earlier headed up Tabcorp's international rebate business. This past October, Tabcorp announced an investment of $175 million at Jupiters Gold Coast but this month it said the investment would be increased to $350 million after it struck a deal with the QLD State Government. The investment includes a 200-room 5-star boutique hotel, 8 new restaurants and bars, 2 new night-life venues, new spa facilities, a beach club, a refurbished ballroom, an expanded main gaming floor and new private gaming room and VIP gaming facilities. We wish Wing the best with his new appointment. A Media Man insider joked "This Wing guy is amazing. Jesus, he would be a an awesome wingman to have on your team wouldn't he. Should add more fuel to the fire of the Australian and New Zealand casino wars".

Awards...

Last month was a big month for casino awards also. Let's have a look...

PartyGaming's PartyCasino has also come back with seconds, picking up another Media Man 'Online Casino Of The Month Award' for November, and also the parent company, PartyGaming, picked up the prestigious EGR Slots Operator Of The Year Award ...Some other top picks of ours who picked up awards at the EGR night of nights were:
Virgin Games (Affiliate Programme)
Betfair (Innovation, Mobile Operator and UK Sports Betting Operator)
Bwin (European Sports Betting Operator
PKR (Poker Operator)

Oh, we almost forgot...Media Man and Casino News Media 'Casino Babe Of The Month': Jenny Woo, 'Poker Babe': Kara Scott, 'Gambling Babe Personality': Pamela Anderson.

Media Man Profiles

Australia

Australia Casinos

Cricket

Movies

Crown Casino

Jupiters Hotel and Casino

Tabcorp Holdings

SkyCity Entertainment Group

Politics

Broadcasting

Television

Media Companies

Australian Sports

News

Casino News

Entertainment News

Media News

Technology News

Sports News

News

Wrap Up...

Readers... er, punters, how did you like our report? Have you been naughty or nice? Did Santa give you what you had hoped for? Tell us in the forum.

If you have a bet, please bet with your head, not over it, and for God's sake, have fun.

*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911

*Media Man http://www.mediamanint.com is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. They cover a dozen industry sectors including gaming and offer political commentary and analysis.

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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Casino News Media: Proposed Merger with bwin; Change of name to bwin.party digital entertainment plc; Publication of Shareholder Documents

Press Release: Proposed Merger with bwin; Change of name to bwin.party digital entertainment plc; Publication of Shareholder Documents

Profiles

PartyGaming PartyCasino.com PartyPoker.com Bwin PartyBingo.com World Poker Tour

On 29 July 2010, PartyGaming Plc and bwin Interactive Entertainment AG (‘bwin’) announced they had agreed the basis of a Proposed Merger of both companies. The Proposed Merger will create the world’s largest listed online gaming business, with pro forma unaudited net revenues in 2009 from continuing operations, of €696.2 million, pro forma unaudited Clean EBITDA from continuing operations of €193.7 million, and pro forma unaudited profit after tax from continuing operations of €99.4 million (excluding transaction costs) for the year ended 31 December 2009 and pro forma unaudited net assets as at 31 December 2009 of €1,276.7 million (after consolidation adjustments).

PartyGaming is pleased to announce that a key milestone in the process has been reached with the publication today of the Prospectus (the ‘Prospectus’) and a circular to its shareholders (the ‘Circular’) containing further details of the Proposed Merger and also a series of proposed resolutions (the ‘Resolutions’) to be considered at an extraordinary general meeting of all shareholders to be held on 28 January 2011 (the ‘EGM’). One of the proposals to be considered is to change the Company’s name on completion of the Merger to bwin.party digital entertainment plc (‘bwin.party’).

Copies of the Prospectus and the Circular will today be submitted to the National Storage Mechanism and will shortly be available for inspection at www.Hemscott.com/nsm.do.

The Circular will be posted to PartyGaming’s shareholders tomorrow and copies of the Prospectus and Circular will be available to download from the Group's website tomorrow.

Completion of the Merger is conditional upon, amongst other things, approval of the Resolutions by PartyGaming’s shareholders at the EGM. At the end of the Circular, PartyGaming’s shareholders will find a notice convening the EGM to be held on 28 January 2011 at 2.00 p.m. (CET) at The Eliott Hotel, 2 Governor’s Parade, Gibraltar.

A summary of the expected timetable to Completion is set out below:

bwin EGM
10.00 a.m. (CET) on 28 January 2011
PartyGaming EGM
2.00 p.m. (CET) on 28 January 2011
The following dates are indicative only and subject to change. Please see note (1) below.
PartyGaming Court Hearing to sanction the Merger
15 March 2011
Last day of dealings in Existing bwin Shares
25 March 2011
Last day of dealings in Existing PartyGaming Shares and Effective Date
31 March 2011
De‑listing of Existing bwin Shares from the Vienna Stock Exchange
close of trading on 31 March 2011
De‑listing of Existing PartyGaming Shares from the London Stock Exchange
8.00 a.m. (London time) on 1 April 2011
Expected Admission and commencement of dealings in bwin.party Shares, Completion
8.00 a.m. (London time) on 1 April 2011
CREST accounts expected to be credited with Depositary Interests in respect of the bwin.party Shares
on or around 1 April 2011

Notes:
(1) These dates are indicative and assume that the requisite regulatory clearances have been obtained and other conditions to Completion fulfilled before the date estimated for Completion. The expected dates following the PartyGaming Court Hearing will depend, among other things, on the date upon which the Court sanctions the Merger and the timing of the satisfaction of all the conditions to Completion. If any of the above times and/or dates change, the revised times and/or dates will be notified by announcement through a Regulatory Information Service.

Copies of the Prospectus, the Circular and other documents noted in the Prospectus and Circular as being available for inspection may be inspected during normal business hours on each Business Day from today up to and including the Expected Admission and commencement of dealings in bwin.party Shares at the registered office of the Company, being 711, Europort, Gibraltar, at the offices of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, 65 Fleet Street, London EC4Y 1HS, United Kingdom, and will also be available for inspection at the Extraordinary General Meeting for at least 15 minutes prior to and during the meeting.

Capitalised terms used but not defined in this announcement have the same meanings as set out in the announcement released by the Company at 11.03 a.m. BST on 29 July 2010.

Press Release

bwin and PartyGaming present details on the merger

Announcement by bwin Interactive Entertainment AG (“bwin”)

Below is the text of an announcement issued today by bwin.

bwin and PartyGaming present details on the merger

bwin.party digital entertainment will be the world’s largest publicly listed online gaming provider.

Vienna, 23 December 2010 - The merger plan presented by bwin Interactive Entertainment AG and PartyGaming Plc will create the world's largest publicly listed online gaming group – a group that will be ideally positioned to take advantage of the rapid consolidation of the online gaming industry and to open up new markets around the world. The annual synergies resulting from this merger are expected to total approximately 55 million Euros: it is anticipated that about three quarters of this amount will be achieved in the financial year 2012, with full synergies from 2013.

Brands to be retained
“The online gaming industry is going through a phase of consolidation, making market players’ size and geographic diversification more crucial than ever,” explains Norbert Teufelberger, Co-CEO of bwin. The new company will operate worldwide with its existing brands under the name of bwin.party digital entertainment plc, in which current bwin shareholders are expected to hold 51.7 per cent of the shares and current PartyGaming shareholders 48.3 per cent. “Our products and target markets complement one another perfectly, and we can continue to expand our technology lead in all key product segments: sports betting, poker, casino, bingo and games,” according to Teufelberger.

Strong capital structure and customer liquidity
Like PartyGaming in the past, bwin.party will have its headquarters in Gibraltar and be listed on the London Stock Exchange. Besides a clear focus on B2C products, the company will also steadily expand its B2B and B2G business. “Our many years of online know-how, healthy balance sheet, and one of the largest pools of poker liquidity in any regulated market will make us an attractive business partner,” clarifies Teufelberger, who will head up the company as Co-CEO together with Jim Ryan, PartyGaming’s current CEO. The business operations of bwin in Austria will be retained, where a newly founded subsidiary, bwin Services AG will support selected areas of the group in Vienna.

From merger plan to completion
The merger plan published today contains full details of the planned merger, and can be downloaded together with other documents from bwin’s corporate website at www.bwin.org. The Executive Board of bwin will be convening an Extraordinary General Meeting on 28 January 2011 at which it will recommend shareholders to vote for the merger. Provided the general meetings of both bwin and PartyGaming approve this merger, all shareholders holding bwin shares when the merger becomes legally effective – expected to be towards the end of the first quarter of 2011 – will receive 12.23 PartyGaming shares denominated in GBP for each bwin share. This share swap will be carried out automatically and free of charge.

Any shareholders not wishing to become shareholders in bwin.party can sell their shares beforehand on the Vienna Stock Exchange or exercise their entitlement to a cash settlement. The amount of the cash settlement has been set at 23.52 Euros. The exchange ratio and the cash compensation amount have been confirmed as adequate by independent experts.

About bwin
The bwin Group has over 20 million registered customers in more than 25 core markets. On a number of different platforms, the Group offers sports betting, poker, casino games, soft and skill games, as well as audio and video streams of top sporting events such as the German Soccer League. The holding company bwin Interactive Entertainment AG is listed in the ATX on the Vienna Stock Exchange (ID code BWIN, Reuters ID code BWIN.VI), and as the parent company provides various services such as software development, marketing, communications, human resources and finance for its subsidiaries and associated companies. The operational business of the bwin Group is carried out by subsidiaries and associated companies on the basis of licences (e.g. Germany, Italy and Gibraltar). Full details about the Company can be found on its investor relations website.

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Australian Gambling, Entertainment And Media News, by Greg Tingle - 23rd December 2010

G'day again and Merry Christmas punters, casino and gambling millionaires, billionaires, entertainment news junkies, insiders, outsiders, politicians, journalists and everyone else. What a year it has been. It's just 2 sleeps before Christmas hits, depending upon where you live, but the cracker Aussie news just keeps coming think and fast. We thank you, the loyal readership for your custom this year, and we look forward to continuing to satisfy your desire for the best in gambling, gaming, casino, entertainment and sports news and information in 2011. Media Man and Gambling911 with a Santa's sleigh full stocking of news. Ho Ho Ho!...

Aussie Rat-Pack Vice King Dies At 82; Secrets Of Australia Vice Dies With Da Man...

Former senior detective Tony Murphy, a king of Australian vice including the gambling and prostitution biz has died. Legend has is that he was once one of the most feared fit it and can do men in Sydney. By circa 2000 however has had assumed the position as the licensed operator of the TAB betting facility at Dunwich on Stradbroke Island, north east of Brisbane. Journey back to 70's as he was the law man now to cross, striking fear in the hearts of those who dared crossed him, and who, according to many who knew him, was the boss of corruption in a Queensland police force that was as rotten you could get. It was the landmark inquiry into police and political corruption headed by Tony Fitzgerald QC began in 1987 and concluded in July 1989, that resulting in the locking up of 4 National Party ministers as well as police commissioner Terry Lewis, and the charging of more than 250 other people, of whom 139 were found guilty. That's lot of heads, crooked cops et al. All told, 30 coppers were charged with crimes, 36 charges of official corruption laid and 10 indemnities granted to corrupt senior police who were involved in protecting illegal casino dens, brothels and unlicensed bookmakers. Yep, crooks and cops has finger in all sorts of pie. One against whom a bush tucked bag of allegations were made but who was never charged after the Fitzgerald inquiry was 'Our Murphy', who retired from his position of assistant commissioner in 1983 after a "smashing" 38-year career. The Fitzgerald inquiry was told that Murphy headed what was known as "The Rat Pack": a trio of crooked cops who organised the standover and the "creaming off" of organised crime in Queensland. The Rat Pack comprised Murphy who was the tough as shoe leather boss man, detective Glen Hallahan and Terry Lewis. Some insider say they were basically the creme and puppet masters of the brothels, gambling dens and a range of other popular vice industries. Yet another chapter of Queensland's love affair with vice and corruption has been put to rest.


Aussie Gambling And Media King James Packer And Mining King Andrew Forrest Tag Team On Resources Investment...

It's not quite the bright lights of the Las Vegas Strip, or even Packer's Crown Casino, but Packer and good friend "Twiggy" Forrest have teamed up again, the last known tag match being our favorite GenerationOne indigenous employment initiative. Australian-listed Medical Corporation saw its shares surge 342.86% to 16c yesterday, after it announced it was to buy Amphion International, a private company backed by Packer and Forrest, along with a $2.8 million share placement. Packer is also understood to be a shareholder in the Twig Meister's Fortescue Metals Group and as a vocal supporter of the mining king's Generation One program. Mining vet Miles Kennedy, the head of Amphion, will head up the new project, along with Medical Corp chairman Simon Lee, who has vast experience in the gold sector. Packer, Forrest, along with ex Multiplex director Tim Roberts, have supported the power play and will take up their full entitlement in the share placement, in a vote of confidence in the team finding a resource project. It is understood Medical Corp will soon change its name to reflect its new focus on the business of mining. The purchase of Amphion and the share placement would leave Medical Corp with about $12m in cash and listed shares to seek out a "suitable investment" in the resources sector. We wish the tag team will in their hunt for their next jackpot, and we might even pick up a shares soon, in yet another show of support in the Packer - Forrest dream team.

Aussie Casino And Media Tycoon James Packer And Media Boss Kerry Stokes Now Mates!...

Having spent years, if not decades, in a war for news media dominance down under, the families are now sharing luxury ski lodge digs over Xmas. We hear that The Packer's and their two juniors are heading to Beaver Creek in Vail Colorado for Christmas where they will be the guests of Seven Network big cheese Kerry Stokes. Stokes has been buying up properties in the luxury ski resort for years and has a world class penthouse in the region which will suit fellow billionaire Packer to a tee. Earlier in the year JP and Stokes clashed, when Stokes made a hostile raid on 'Our James' Consolidated Media Holdings, but both gents have moved forward. Packer has of course bought a large bite of Ten and insiders reckon there's will be plenty of sport to go around the Aussie media landscape, should it get split up from Ten's digital channel OneHD. Afterwards The Packer's will snatch a lend of a a boat and cruise up to the Bahamas. Packer family matriarch Ros has flown to Paris, France, to catch up with daughter Gretel for Xmas. Ok, that's you first lot of Xmas media celeb goss. Stay tuned.

Aussie Shane Warne May Focus More On Cricket And Poker; Love Life Suffers Blow; Twitter-Gate...

Love him or hate him (we like him lots, but not too much), Warnie is newsworthy. Mate and biz partner or the rich and famous, like James Packer, just to name one, has a thing for poker (and ladies). Warne's romance with British babe Liz Hurley has suffered a blow out. Hurley has apparently distanced Warne the leg-spinner's loose fingers (phone and other... satire) and love for hot women again led distracted him, says Murdoch's News Of The World. The 41-year-old legend reportedly pumped out more than 100 hot texts to a married 44-year-old Melbourne mother of two, Adele Angeleri, while he was courting Hurley. The pair met when Angeleri, who runs a shop across the road from Warne's office, allegedly approached him with a business proposal only to receive a string of propositions herself. The sexy text affair reportedly spun out of control when the woman's husband, lawyer Denis Angeleri, found out and stormed into Warne's office demanding to speak to him. The following day Warne is understood - alleged to have telephoned a not happy Angeleri in an attempt to keep the affair secret. Warne, who had reportedly told friends he wanted to marry Hurley, has not been his usually happy go lucky self on Twitter recently. "Still no sleep… so got up out of bed, now staring at the water here in Perth, sulking and feeling grumpy!! Need cheering up today!" Warne said in the early hours of Friday morning. Not even Australia's comeback in the Perth cricket Test could boost Warne's spirits. He also asked why "some people enjoy being nasty, it's good to be nice to." Media Man will be checking in with Warnie's Twitter for further updates.

Crown Casino Aussie Cricket Yarns And Gossip...

Cricket Legend Jeff Thomson hit the stage at Melbourne's Crown Casino in a shirt that Yankee ex politician and pro wrestling colour man, Jesse 'The Body' Ventura would have been proud of. Pink, yeah Pink! He also sported black pants, black tie and a lovely cream jacket, with his trademark mop of white hair hanging over his shoulders. Maybe he mas been watching too many re runs of WWE WrestleMania is its heyday or something. Anyway, on with the story... the 60 year old or so veteran was straight up at them Cricket Victoria luncheon, and let loose with some ripper quotes on the Pommie batsmen. Thomson had some words of wisdom for Australia's selectors ahead of the 4th Ashes Test commencing at the Melbourne Cricket Ground this Sunday. "Don't worry about a spinner. Just keep the quicks. I think we can frighten the s**t out of those blokes." Thommo got to trade sledges with old rival Colin Cowdrey on stage. Back in the day the story goes "Jeff Thomson, I've been dying to meet you". Ex England batsman David Lloyd, who suffered a nasty blow to the groin region thanks to a Thommo thunderbolt in the 1974-75 series. Hundred of guests laughed as they crossed to video footage showed Lloyd sinking to the turf in agony after been hit in the balls. Lloyd, dressed in a short-sleeved shirt and a tie, evened the score by sledging Thommo's dress last night. "You look like a bag of s**t," Thommo responded. Thommo was supportive of the Aussie side, that have been bad ass with the sledging of late. "It's all part and parcel of the game. "You are just trying to upset the guy's concentration. You're out there for six hours, you get bored sh*tless. You've got to say something." Known for his speed in the roaring 70s, Thommo was quizzed about reports that his 160 km/h bowling had now estimated at closer to 170 km/h. "They came out pretty quick. I hit a lot of sightscreens on the full. I wanted to be the quickest and scare shit out of everybody and I think I achieved that".

National Australia Bank Reduces Gamble On Tabcorp Shares...

Gamiing an gambling giant Tabcorp Holdings advised National Australia Bank has reduced its holding in the firm. Tabcorp advised in a statement on Monday that NAB had decreased its relevant interest in the company to 34,911,845 ordinary shares representing 5.097% of its issued fully paid ordinary capital. On December 6, NAB was listed as holding 45,655, 936 shares in Tabcorp, representing 6.67%. Tabcorp said the shares were sold on December 14.

Aussie Pub And Land Based Pokie Players Loose $2m Per Day!..

One armed bandit punters are set to lose a record $800 million this year. Nearly $2.2 million a day ($200.4 million) was lost between July and September, the third-highest quarterly loss in South Australian history. If punters continue at this rate, they will lose more than the record $792.6 million they fed poker machines in the 2006-07 financial year. The last occurrence that ore than $200 million was lost in a three-month period was leading up to smoking bans in November 2007. Since then, losses steadily have decreased, with pokes recording a 7-year low $729.4 million profit in 2009-10. Last September, the state and federal governments released the findings of two pre-commitment technology trials in SA. They showed the technology, which allows people to determine the amount of money they want to spend before gambling, may be effective in reducing the amount of money problem gamblers lose. South Australian Senator Nick Xenophon said the latest poker machine figures highlighted the urgency of implementing a national mandatory pre-commitment scheme. "Voluntary pre-commitment is a joke," he said. "What it does show is the technology can work, but the only way to do it properly is there has to be a mandatory all-in pre-commitment scheme." State Gambling Minister Tom Koutsantonis said South Australia was leading the nation with pre-commitment technologies. "This can empower individuals to take control over their own spending behaviour," he said. Yep, its man VS machine, citizens VS "big brother".

Nine Entertainment Company Continues To Get New Blood Pumped In...

Nine is doing its utmost to give the business every chance of hitting mega paydirt this year, with yet another shot of new blood into the ranks. David Coleman will lead Nine Entertainment’s digital growth. David Coleman has been promoted internally to head up digital activities across Nine Entertainment, the recently rebranded PBL Media. Coleman, previously PBL’s director of strategy, will retain his original portfolio. but adds good does of digital into the nex mix of cocktail. Nine Entertainment’s assets include the Nine Network, ACP Magazines and joint venture with Microsoft NineMSN. Nine Entertainment CEO David Gyngell said "David brings great experience and understanding to our ever growing digital businesses, having worked in the Internet industry since the late 90s. That hands-on experience, and his runs on the board already with our group, make him the logical choice for the new role in what is a key growth area for Nine Entertainment Co." Coleman said "Our digital assets are the best in the Australian media sector, and we intend to build on them in the future. We see great opportunities to both grow our existing digital activities, and enter new categories. I am looking forward to working with David and the broader management team as we aggressively build our position in digital media." Coleman first joined the PBL family 5 years back. He now reps the firm on the boards of several group assets, including NineMSN, Rate City, Cudo and Sky News. Prior to joining the group, he worked like a demon at Internet companies Looksmart and dstore, as well as for one or two consulting firms. We wish Colman well with his ongoing career at Nine, part of Team Gyngell, an offshoot of what's know around Aussie media and gambling circles as the 'Aussie Gumleaf Mafia'.

Awards...

Last month was a big month for casino awards also. Let's have a look...

PartyGaming's PartyCasino has also come back with seconds, picking up another Media Man 'Online Casino Of The Month Award' for November, and also the parent company, PartyGaming, picked up the prestigious EGR Slots Operator Of The Year Award ...Some other top picks of ours who picked up awards at the EGR night of nights were:
Virgin Games (Affiliate Programme)
Betfair (Innovation, Mobile Operator and UK Sports Betting Operator)
Bwin (European Sports Betting Operator
PKR (Poker Operator)

Oh, we almost forgot...Media Man and Casino News Media 'Casino Babe Of The Month': Jenny Woo, 'Poker Babe': Kara Scott, 'Gambling Babe Personality': Pamela Anderson.

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Wrap Up...

Readers... er, punters, how did you like our report? Have you been naughty or nice, and what sort of Xmas present are you gambling on? Tell us in the forum.

If you have a bet, please bet with your head, not over it, and for God's sake, have fun.

*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911

*Media Man http://www.mediamanint.com is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. They cover a dozen industry sectors including gaming and offer political commentary and analysis.

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