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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Australian Gaming, Casino And Sporting News, by Greg Tingle - 22nd July 2010

Readers er punters, a good spread of Aussie gaming, gambling and sporting news fodder this edition. The ongoing debate about the potential dangers of punting continues, we've got an update on the NRL, a boxing scandal, the horses industry revamps, crime links to pub pokies and more. Media Man and Gambling911 once again take you on a voyage of discovery down under...

Aussie - Greek News: Centrebet Cyber Squatter Fun And Games...

No, not the Intralot troubles this time. Centrebet, the Aussie online betting and gambling machine has got back both Centrebet.gr and Centerbet.gr from domain squatters in Greece.

Centrebet commenced operations in downtown Greece in 2009 using the centrebet.com domain but the recovery of the .gr domain names helped potential mix ups and worse, and will stop others stealing traffic and other kind of "dark forces" of the web.

Centrebet’s Head of Marketing, Luke Brill said "Greece is one of Centrebet’s fastest growing markets and it has been a priority for us to recover the domain successfully and ensure we have full control of our online brand in Greece. Melbourne IT’s effective recovery of the domain in time for Greece’s participation in the 2010 FIFA World Cup was also a high priority and we are very pleased there is no longer any cause for customer confusion." Centrebet engaged Melbourne IT to recover the .gr domain names after prior attempts did not bear fruit. Media Man understands Melbourne IT collaborated and worked with the ELTA (the Greek Post Office...who hold responsibility for the dispute resolution process on .gr) to put forward Centrebet’s case and come up winners this time around.

"When faced with domain cybersquatters, trademark holders are generally faced with two options – either buy the domain from the cybersquatter or resolve the dispute through arbitration. When you consider that international brands are launching new products and services every day, the opportunity for squatters to grab domains is enormous and, if not managed properly, the time and cost of recovery can be significant,” Mr Thymian advised press.

Both Media Man and Gambling911 have previously thwarted attempts by others to ride off their good names with "knock offs", copy cat try hards and the like. Media Man and Casino News Media for example own and operate a large variety of .com .com.au .org and .net to help keep the mongrels at bay, as well as maintaining their top ten and front web page results status. A Media Man spokesperson said "Its a great idea to protect your brand as much as possible. Prevention is better than cure. Having your brand in various gives number benefits including marketing, media, legal, technical and reach. We recommend firms include a strong brand and domain protection strategy in their overall business plan."


Australian Bee Gees to appear at Paragon Casino Resort - Friday 23rd July...

Australia's "Stayin Alive" will appear at the Paragon Casino Resort 9pm., Friday, July 23, in the Mari Center located at Highway 1 in Marksville.

The Australian Bee Gees show is a multimedia concert style event featuring state-of-the-art sound, superb lightening and big screens, featuring video clips, live camera images and awesome graphics. Critics say the act genuinely captures the look, sound and personality that defines one of the most successful and loved acts in history. The show is presented from a contemporary outlook and has evolved to become the definitive live celebration of 4 decades of the magic music written by the Brothers Gibb. For one night only here's your chance to be a part of the magic that is the Australian Bee Gees. Tickets are $20 and can be purchased through Ticketmaster or by calling (800) WIN-1-WIN. Folks, can you hear it... Ah Ah Ah Ah, Stayin Alive, Stayin Alive ... Aussie Aussie Aussie, Oi Oi Oi


NRL VS News Limited Legal War Over?...

All major media and insider insiders tip that the legal war between News and the NRL is history. The News Limited owned Storm announced on Thursday it would be dropping the case against the NRL, which is half-owned by News Limited. The legal case, which sought an injunction on the penalties that included stripping the club of the 2007 and 2009 premierships and all competition points this year, had been brought by the club's four independent directors. But the independent directors were sacked last week after a report revealed the Storm's salary cap breaches were greater than first thought. After a legal review, the club's new directors, appointed by News Limited, decided the case would not proceed. NRL chief executive David Gallop said the decision removed the "barriers the Storm's legal team had placed in the path of the NRL salary cap auditor" and the league could now begin working with the club on a playing roster for 2011. "This case did not have merit and has only served to give false hope to Storm fans," Gallop said in an NRL statement. "The penalties were the right ones for what had occurred. "It's time for all of us to concentrate on the club's future." Storm lawyer Leon Zwier told the Victorian Supreme Court on Thursday he had instructions that the matter be discontinued. "The parent-subsidiary and half brother are now in agreement," he said. "We are now one big happy family." Outside court on Thursday, Zwier said the matter was over. "Whilst it is fair to say that our advice hasn't changed, certainly our instructions have and that has brought it to an end," he said. "I remain confident that neither Mr Gallop (NRL chief executive David Gallop), nor the NRL will never allow for repetition of the events that occurred on the 22nd of April. "From the Melbourne Storm's perspective the dispute is now over."


Boxing Scandal: Danny Green Knocks Out Paul Briggs In 29 Seconds...

Perth, Western Australia: This was the fight that was banned from Sydney as reported by Gambling911 earlier this week. Online bookie Centrebet has labelled the IBO cruiserweight world title showdown as "highly, highly dubious" after a massive betting plunge yesterday on Paul Briggs to be knocked out in the first or second round. A quick knock out and a near riot situation with fans and punters feeling ripped off. Boxer and promoter Green has watered down his criticism of Briggs in the past 24 hours but the investigation is on, and bookie Centrebet has been speaking out about what many are calling a "fix". A squad of police escorted Paul "The Hurricane" Briggs from Challenge Stadium in Perth last night, dodging fruit, beer cups and anything else what wasn't belted down. Fans were spitting and shouting abuse, all feeling ripped off. After less than 30 seconds of the IBO world cruiserweight title fight, Briggs appeared to be glanced a blow by a Danny Green left. Centrebet spokesman Neil Evans said hundreds and hundreds of bets began pouring in from yesterday morning, shortening the odds for a first-round knock-out from $5 to odds-on by the time the fight got underway. Evan's said "We've never ever in the history of boxing seen so much money go on a specific decision outcome, as in a first or second-round knockout." The trend was not just within Centrebet but was mirrored in betting agencies across the country, he said. Betting agencies are now demanding a full investigation into the fight, fearing the worst - a FIX. "There was a massive go on first or second round knock-out starting from very early yesterday morning, right through the day, certainly up until early afternoon," he said. "There were hundreds and hundreds of bets of all different shapes and sizes, and a lot of them from Western Australia. There was one bet of $50,000 which is extraordinary on an option of a first-round knock-out, even on a hot favourite. "They were both into even money, paying $2 each at around lunch-time almost, such was the amount of money just poured in the gate." After the fight Green called Briggs a "dog" and "canine". Woof, that's boxing! 1 more nail in the coffin of boxing, and more power again to the UFC and MMA world.


Sydney: Randwick Racing Gets $175 million Boost, Games and Movie Drive Inn...

Royal Randwick racecourse's capacity will be increased by 30,000 and "five-star facilities" built in a $175 million deal funded by the introduction to TABs of the cartoon gambling game Trackside. The package, which will be announced today by Gaming and Racing Minister Kevin Greene, will include funding for a new Queen Elizabeth II stand at Randwick and the $15 million upgrade of a stand at Rosehill Racecourse. But the provision of the $175 million to the racing industry will be contingent on the Australian Jockey Club and Sydney Turf Club agreeing to merge in a bid to improve efficiencies. Rumours in recent months that the Government alone was about to kick in $150 million will be quashed, sources said. Instead there will be a grant of about $20 million and the major part of the $175 million will be given as a "loan". The loan will be repaid from revenues to be reaped from the introduction of cartoon gambling game Trackside - which already exists in Victoria - to TABs, hotels and licensed clubs around the state. The Government expects some heat from knockers that the money could be spent elsewhere, but it will argue the racing industry creates 50,000 jobs, NSW is in competition with Queensland and Victoria for racing revenue and that Royal Randwick is in desperate need of an upgrade. Racing sources said that the announcement was the biggest in the history of the sport in NSW and that the upgraded stand at Randwick could be built within 12 months. "At the moment if you wanted to go to Randwick as a corporate customer, there's nowhere to go. If you're a bloke wanting to take your wife or girlfriend, there's nowhere to go. "It (the upgrade) will turn Randwick into a five-star facility. "At the moment it's (like a) Formule 1 hotel." The source said Star City and Victorian TABs had had the Trackside game, which punters could play between races, for several years. Speculation that Thoroughbred Breeders' Association boss John Messara would head the new combined club was described as "nonsense speculation" and given just a "100-1" chance by racing sources yesterday. Government sources said that no one in the Cabinet Budget committee meeting on Tuesday opposed the package, because it was argued that Trackside would be introduced to venues where gaming already was in place. Randwick is going for a total entertainment experience, much like casinos, with a new drive in now being pushed to residents in Sydney's eastern suburbs.


Aussie Pokies Crime Link?...

A Victorian Government report has found poker machines cause crime. It's the first major study to make the link. The study finds that poker machine use is second only to drug use as a cause of crime. One gambling researcher says the finding should lead to more community consultation when it comes to deciding on where poker machines are allowed.

The ABC's Simon Lauder spoke with Dr Charles Livingston. Here's a sample transcript of the interview...

Dr Charles Livingstone is a gambling researcher at Monash University.

CHARLES LIVINGSTONE: The authors have found that the only greater relationship between increased crime in an area is that it is drug use or crimes associated with drug use, so the expenditure on poker machines is right up there with drug use as a cause of crime.

SIMON LAUDER: The report, which has been published by Victoria's Justice Department, finds poker machine use can be linked to an increase in crime all round, but especially income generating crimes like robbery, theft and fraud.

The authors looked at where poker machines are located and cross checked that with local police data on crime.

Dr Livingstone says there's no evidence to explain exactly why people who use pokies are more likely to commit crime.

CHARLES LIVINGSTONE: Anecdotally we know that many, many people end up in serious difficulty, financial difficulty because of their excessive poker machine use. In Victoria there is many well documented cases of people embezzling millions and millions of dollars to put them through poker machines, whether at the casino or at local venues.

The plausible link appears to be that people's you know addiction if you like to poker machines is so great that they will, people who have never committed a crime before will resort to it in order to fund this habit.

SIMON LAUDER: The study will fuel arguments that the community cost of poker machines is much greater than previously thought.

Dr Livingstone says communities should be given a greater say on applications for new gambling venues and licenses.

CHARLES LIVINGSTONE: Unfortunately in Victoria, despite some progress in recent years, local communities still have only a very limited say in most of the rest of the country they have almost no say.

This is very strong support for the view that local communities should be able to say yes or no to increase gambling opportunities.

SIMON LAUDER: A spokeswoman for the Victorian Minister for Gaming, Tony Robinson, says the relationship between crime and gambling is complex and the Government is tough on crime.


Queensland gamers leading the world...(Positive PR On Gaming From Queensland Government!)...

Premier and Minister for the Arts: The Honourable Anna Bligh - 22/07/2010

A Queensland game development company is slaying its competition by creating the world's most downloaded "Mini" game on the Playstation Network.

Premier Anna Bligh today congratulated Halfbrick after their game 'Age of Zombies' was named the number one Playstation Minis download.

"That's an incredible achievement for a Queensland company when you consider the sheer size of the international market for companies producing Playstation games," Ms Bligh said.

"The talented Halfbrick team is also responsible for creating the international best seller 'Fruit Ninja', which has sold more than one million copies and been on the iPhone games global top ten list for weeks.

"The Queensland Government has been a keen supporter of Halfbrick since it was established in 2001, and it's fantastic to see the team's talent and dedication being recognised on a worldwide scale."

At an ICT Industry Business Luncheon hosted by the Australian Information Industry Association and Australian Computer Society in Brisbane today, Ms Bligh spoke about the growing importance of the ICT industry to Queensland.

"The ICT industry in Queensland directly supports around 69,000 jobs and thousands more indirectly," Ms Bligh said.

"Queensland is fast becoming 'game central' with 40% of Australia's games industry based here, including innovative firms like Halfbrick, and Krome Studios and THQ, the country's two biggest game studios..

"Today the Queensland Government in partnership with the Australian Computer Society launched the 'I Choose Technology' portal.

"We're investing in this portal to show young people that an ICT career can be incredibly rewarding and exciting.

"Our aim is to encourage more people to choose ICT careers to address current and future ICT skills shortages."

The Queensland Government is the Titanium Sponsor of the World Computer Congress to be held in Brisbane in September.

Media Man commentary: "Maybe this government press release will shut up the knockers that reckon gaming is a training ground and "practice" for gambling machines. The release further adds to the augment 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?)

Websites

PartyCasino

Captain Cooks Casino

Virgin Casino

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. Tony Clifton, Andy Kaufman, Austen Tayshus, A. Reader, Miller Markson, Mr X, A. Bah and Outback Jack, we will be looking forward to your contributions, based on the lively forum heat in the past weeks. Must be the Australian federal election getting everyone a bit fired up and agro, or something is in the water. 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, Fairfax Media, News Limited and Betfair

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