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Saturday, July 24, 2010

Australian Casino, Gaming And Politics News, by Greg Tingle - 24th July 2010

Readers er punters, the Australian connection between casinos, gaming and politics had never been so hot. Aussie politicians and campaigners continue to battle for your mind (and vote), headlines and the whole box and dice. Media Man and Gambling911 deliver the uncensored news (full strength caffeine in Google speak) you need to know, not always what you want to hear. Here's your weekend fix my friends...

James Packer Family Spotted In Barcelona...

The Packer holiday continues with his luxury boat, the Arctic P, sighted this week off Barcelona, the biggest city on Europe's Mediterranean coastline. Spy's reckon the casino and lifestyle king and family, wife Erica, Indigo and Jackson, are voyaging east. Ah, Captain Cook would be proud, as is perhaps Packer dare devil, billionaire adventurer, Richard Branson, who is to embark on a kite surfing expedition soon. Packer plans to catch up with Tom Cruise from Top Gun and Mission: Impossible Fame. Rumours circulating Party may release more games featuring Cruise, and more on that in upcoming editions.


Australia MP Wants Political Betting Online Banned...

The "Jungle Girl" Julia Gillard VS Tony "The Bruiser" Abbott war must be heating up. Now some are calling for the banning of betting on Australian politics. Oh, our nicknames for Julia and Tony are done in a tongue and cheek and affectionate fashion, so no offence Julies and Anthony okies? We know your legal eagles an spinners read our column, as well they should! With Australia’s 2010 elections underway, federal MP Michael Johnson has called for a ban election betting. While Johnson is not opposed to casual betting between friends in the local pub, he feels betting on Australian elections should be outlawed. Johnson is calling for a change to be made to Australian gambling laws forbidding high street bookies and online sportsbooks from offering odds on national elections. "It's entirely inappropriate for Australians to bet on the result of an election," said Johnson. "Just like the next guy I enjoy betting on two flies (going) up a wall. I just think something like the result of an election, money shouldn't be put on it, given the seriousness of it. There's just something undignified about it. Betting and gambling is already a huge problem in our country." In addition to feeling that elections are too serious to be wagered on, it seems Johnson is also concerned with the possibility that heavy betting on state and national elections at online sportsbooks in Australia could affect the outcome of elections. "It might allow some political parties to engage in some sort of rorting," he thinks. Matie, ok, you got your worldwide headlines, thanks in part to Media Man and Gambling911, now get back to business son.


Australia's Air Supply Perform Their Hits The Orleans Hotel And Casino...

Australian music groups have been hitting American hotels and casinos of late. Air Supply follows in the footsteps of the the Australian Bee Gees who yesterday appeared at the Paragon Casino Resort, Marksville. The Aussie soft-rock group Air Supply quickly became a star of early ‘80s radio after their first smash hit, "Lost in Love." Performing together for more than 30 years, Air Supply returns to The Orleans Showroom for three shows Labor Day weekend, September 3, 4 and 5, each evening at 8 p.m. Englishman Graham Russell and Aussie Russell Hitchcock met in 1975 while performing in the Australian production of Jesus Christ Superstar. Later that year, the duo formed Air Supply and released their first smash hit and self-titled debut album, reaching gold in Australia. After opening for Rod Stewart's tour in the United States in the late ‘70s, Air Supply had an international breakthrough and signed a distribution deal with Artista Records in 1980. Their album, Lost in Love, featured three U.S. top five singles, including the title track, which was the fastest-selling single in the world; "Every Woman in the World"; and "All Out of Love," which hit No. 11 in the United Kingdom's Top 40 charts. Throughout the next three years, Air Supply produced hit after hit, including "Just Another Woman," "The One That You Love," "Here I Am," "Sweet Dreams," "Even The Nights Are Better" and "Making Love Out Of Nothing At All," which reached No. 2 on the Billboard charts in 1983. Producing 30 albums and more than 15 hit singles, Air Supply has become a worldwide sensation, touring in Australia, Asia, India, the United States and the Caribbean. In 2008, as the only Australian band on the list, Air Supply was named No. 83 on Billboard's top 100 musical acts of all time. Showtime is 8 p.m folks. Tickets start from $29.95, plus extras. Visit the Orleans Casino website for more details.


NSW Opposition To Block Cartoon Gambling Legislation Re Randwick Et Al?...

The NSW Opposition has hit out on the Government's plan to fund a major upgrade to Sydney's Randwick racecourse with revenue from a computerised gambling game. The State Government says it will loan the racing industry $150 million for the Randwick upgrade, if the Australian Jockey Club and the Sydney Turf Club official merge. As part of the deal the racing industry will get dollars from an animated horseracing game called Trackside so it can repay the loan. That means the animated game will soon be in pubs, clubs and TABs. The changes require new legislation but the Government does not have a majority in the Upper House at this time. The Opposition's racing spokesman George Souris has concerns about the plan and says the Coalition could join forces with crossbench MPs to block it for good. "The Government is acting somewhat in a vacuum and almost dictatorially if it takes as assumed that the Opposition will support legislation which will be necessary. I think it sends a very poor message that the government now is addicted to gambling revenues. It now can't think of anything more innovative than to increase the level of gambling in our community so as to fund vital upgrades on racecourses." The Greens have pledged to vote against the changes. The NSW horse racing sector continues to bleed, hence is looking to adapt to the times, something Aussie media legend and horse racing expert Alan Jones said they needed to do. Jonesy and John Singo, might be time to hit the phones again and bring this politicians into line. Jones and Singo... mate I wish you guys were running the country. John, you said it right with out last PM... "couldn't or wouldn't sell him". Labor... you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink. The AJC wants to drink but some polies don't want them to. Without water one can die... is that the goal? Time will tell.


Online Casino Wars...

The Aussie casino wars continues, both offline and online. This week Richard Branson's Virgin Casino released the War Of The Worlds slot game. This may be a counter measure, at least in part to PartyGaming's PartyCasino Palladium Slot, and Party's strong branded line up. Virgin are closing the gap on Party by all accounts, while Captain Cooks powered by Microgaming seriously needs some new branded slots if they are to compete on even ground. Aussie's and Kiwi's still can't play at Branson's Virgin, so thank god for Party and the captain, with the PKR 3D casino and poker room also in the mix for good measure.

Media Man commentary: "The Australian online casino wars have never been hotter. The political headlines in mainstream media are a strong indicator of this. Knockers reckon gaming is a training ground and "practice" for gambling machines. We can confirm first hand that the gaming (and igaming) sector is recession resistant (but not recession proof). One of the great aspects of gaming brands like PartyGaming and Virgin is that most games can be played for free or played for money. Responsible gaming websites also offer betting limits. Always remember to keep your gaming fun and don't let it become a problem. Gaming is not intended to take over your every day activities, be it Sex, Drugs and Rock N Roll... Mind, Body and Spirit, or other!"

Online Casino Wars: PartyCasino VS Virgin Casino VS Captain Cooks Casino...

PartyCasino remains the online casino of choice for Aussies. Their Palladium Slot, named after the Palladium Lounge has been a bit hit with VIP's and "whales". But PartyPoker isn't benefiting, falling in the PokerScout ratings. Richard Branson's Virgin Casino has just released an awesome online slot entitled 'Jeff Wayne's Musical Version Of War Of The Worlds', based on the classic H.G. Wells 'War Of The Worlds'. PartyGaming is strong rumoured to be releasing a 'Rocky' and 'Pink Panther' slot game in less than 2 weeks! Meantime, Captain Cooks Casino in the way of Hollywood themes has Lara Croft Tomb Raider, but its been well over a year since they added Hollywood branded slots. Now Microgaming has done a deal with Branson's Virgin seeing Hitman, Tomb Raider and Thunderstruck no longer stand out slots for the Captain, but its good they have them for Australians and New Zealanders, as some had trouble signing up with Virgin (a sign of things to come with the Aussie internet filter perhaps?)


Crikey Media Founder Based In Victoria - Melbourne Plays Anti Pokie Card Running For Politics...

Publicity stunt by Mr Mayne or genuine concern? You be the judge, jury and executioner... so to speak... no malice intended Stevie my son. Guess I'm not just a TAFE student not worthy of your time anymore you arrogant "Sir"...Shareholder activist, serial pest of sorts, and former Liberal staffer Stephen Mayne is running for the Senate in Victoria as an anti-gambling candidate. He was an innovator in the Australian media and new media landscape, so give the devil his due but numerous Media Man sources say its an elaborate publicity stunt from Mr Crikey Mate, perhaps following in the footsteps of Media Man comedian friend and sometime associate, Austen Tayshus, now representing The Sex Party (or is it the Green or both)... in Manly... home turf to Tony "The Bruiser" Abbott. Tayshus has been seen wearing a Mankini ala Sasha Cohen (Borat, Ali G and Bruno).

More politics...

Media Man Politics
http://www.mediamanint.com/profiles/politics.html

Gambling911 Politics
http://www.gambling911.com/politics.html

Gambling911 Australian News
http://www.gambling911.com/regional-news/australia.html


Burswood Bouncers Casino Guards Dodge Assault...

Packer's Burswood Entertainment Complex over Perth way in WA is back in the news.

The daily double Burswood Bouncers aka Casino Security will not be formally charged even though a magistrate found they assaulted a punter who was attending a wedding no less. A police spokesman advised there was insufficient evidence to charge the bouncers, named as Uhmet "Guns" Gungor and Peter "Puncher" Ross, even though Magistrate Robert Lawrence encouraged coppers to investigate them when Gregory Haig was acquitted in November last year of assaulting punter Gungor. A Corruption and Crime Commission spokesman said there was no evidence the police decision not to pursue charges against the two men was unreasonable, improper, oppressive or unjust. As the late, great, Big Tim Bristow would say, "Be Told"! Haig, who was attending a wedding function, was apprehended by the two security officers on 23rd November 2008 after receptionist Casinda May Buckley-Stanton alerted security to a punter being abusive towards her. However, during the trial it emerged Ms Buckley-Stanton had advised police the verbally abusive man had sandy blond hair, when Mr Haig has dark brown hair. Sounds like the iconic Aussie flick 'Black & White', featuring a young Rupert Murdoch, now media 'king of the world'. Mr Ross, who Mr Haig claims pushed him from behind, refused to give police a statement or testify. According to the court transcripts, his reason for not doing so was that at the time he faced a charge of assault occasioning bodily harm. The investigating officer, Constable Alan Edward Ball, admitted under cross-examination that he had not viewed the security footage, of which there was 32 minutes missing by accident (or something). Insiders ask 'Does Underbelly stuff still exist in Perth?' Handing down his verdict, Mr Lawrence said "I am satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that the incident occurred as described in detail by the accused." He went on about there had been no lawful justification for Mr Ross grabbing Mr Haig from behind and forcing him to the ground with the assistance of Mr Gungor. "They assaulted him unlawfully and then the two of them physically threw him to the ground outside the door," Mr Lawrence stated. "I would have thought that there should be further inquiries as to the conduct of those security officers." A Burswood spokeswoman said the matter had been investigated more than once and Burswood considered the matter closed. Got that everyone, Case Closed.


Victorians Spent $2.6bn On Pokies Last Financial Year...

Numbers released by the Victorian Commission for Gambling Regulation (VCGR) show gamblers put out the big bucks despite the pressures of rising interest rates and living expenses. But the VCGR said the spending was 4.1% less than the $2.7 billion spent in the previous financial year, and the biggest decline since 2002/03, when smoking bans began. It said spending per adult dropped by 5.8% to $611. The number of gambling venues and machines in the state fell to their lowest levels since the mid-1990s, it said. There are now 514 venues with 26,682 licensed poker machines in Victoria.


Aussie Tatts Hit On UK Pokies...

Tatts has become the latest Aussie firm to reveal it is suffering in Britain, finally conceding a huge write-down of its Talarius pokies. Tatts announced it was writing down the value of Talarius by $140 million to $180 million. It attributed the write-down to an emergency budget from the new government that will increase the rate of value added tax, which is expected to affect consumer spending. Talarius, which now runs 8000 machines in some 170 venues, has been disappointing the market and investors for too many years to list. Chief executive of Tatts, Dick McIlwain, was upbeat about the future of Talarius and revealed he had refused 3 private equity offers to buy it in the past six months. Tatts is spending £10 million ($17 million) restructuring the business and has closed 45 venues. Industy analysts advised the write-down was no surprise, given Talarius's piss poor performance.


Business Talk: Bring In Skills Or Pay To Piper...

Australia's economy will stagnate and inflation increase if the intake of skilled migrants is not kept at least as high as it is now, say many of Australia's most influential businessmen. But the business community is in furious agreement that Australia's infrastructure and training programs must be better planned to accommodate economic growth. One of the country's richest businessmen, Len Ainsworth, founder of pokies group Aristocrat Leisure, has warned that Australia needs to be careful to match population growth with infrastructure availability. Packer mate 'Twiggy' Forrest said "If you stop Australia growing then you stop the economy growing and you stop the aspirations of every single Australian growing. The Aristocrat pokie mob bottom line has been much better days, while Packer's Crown share rates continue to struggle, but are making a slow upward recovery.

Australian Share Price Wrap Up...

Crown Limited 8.000

Aristocrat 3.580

Tabcorp 6.720

Centrebet 1.390

Tatts Group Limited 2.380


Aussie Boxing Sports Scandal - Not Ready Or Fix?...

Footage posted on YouTube of an out-of-condition Briggs sparring is believed to have sparked the betting rush on Wednesday night's fight with Danny Green. The video of Briggs sparring middleweight Peter Mitrevski jnr, shows "The Hurricane" getting a bit of a hiding, with action at one minute and 14 seconds showing Briggs getting punched while his hands are by his side. Mitrevski jnr is going half-paced and finding holes in Briggs's defence.

"I got a million calls after that video went up," Hussein told the Fairfax Media."Jeff (Fenech) told me two weeks before the fight to pull him out. I spoke to Paul and he said there was no way he would pull out, he wanted to knock out Danny Green and he believed he could do it. Regardless of if I had pulled out of camp, he would have fought. He would have found another trainer. I wanted to be there for him as a mate. I wanted to make sure he was going to be OK in there. If he didn't go down to that shot, if he had taken a bigger punch, I would have thrown in the towel. I was there to protect a guy who was adamant he was going to fight." Briggs, who has separated from his partner and has two children, was so desperate for cash he had earlier approached Anthony Mundine but was told they would rather give him money if he needed it. Briggs stronly claims he did not throw the fight and was "not the man he once was". The Australian boxing community says it will take a long time, if not ever, to recover, with insiders saying it will help the UFC and MMA in general, at least in the short term, while make the boxing business even harder. A sad week for Austrailan boxing to say the least.

YouTube Secret Briggs Training Footage!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWd2OGS4Wmw


Briggs VS Green Press Conferce (Star City Casino)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0GDqwxOooH8&NR=1

Media Man Profiles

Boxing
http://www.mediamanint.com/profiles/boxing.html

Danny Green
http://www.mediamanint.com/profiles/green.html


90% Of Australian Web Snoop Document Censored To Stop 'Premature Unnecessary Debate'...

The federal government has censored approximately 90 per cent of a secret document outlining its controversial plans to snoop on Australians' web surfing, obtained under freedom of information (FoI) laws, out of fear the document could cause "premature unnecessary debate". The government has been consulting with the internet industry over the proposal, which would require ISPs to store certain internet activities of all Australians - regardless of whether they have been suspected of wrongdoing - for law-enforcement agencies to access. All parties to the consultations have been sworn to secrecy. *full report: The Sydney Morning Herald website
http://www.mediamanint.com/profiles/smh.html


Key Websites In The Aussie Casino War...

PartyCasino

Captain Cooks Casino

Virgin Casino

PKR

Media Man and Gambling911 have a casino reviews section, so check it out to find out more. Bet with your head, not over it, and have fun".

Media Man Profiles

Australian Casinos
http://www.mediamanint.com/profiles/australian_casinos.html

Casino Reviews
http://www.mediamanint.com/profiles/casino_reviews.html

New Games
http://www.mediamanint.com/profiles/new_games.html

What did you like or hate most about this editions news? Tell us in the forum. Aussie's, vote early and vote often... just kidding brothers and sisters. Know the odds, Keep it legal and have fun maties.

*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911

*Media Man http://www.mediamanint.com is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. Gaming is just one of a bakers dozen of sectors they cover. They also offer political analysis and commentary

*The writer owns shares in Crown Limited and Virgin and has conducted b2b with Crown Limited, PartyGaming, Virgin and others mentioned in this report

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