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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Australian Casino Brawls: Crown Casino Battle Royal, by Greg Tingle - 1st September 2010

Australian casinos of the land based variety continue to maintain their status as a place to find Aussie biffo - fights and the like. James Packer owned Crown Casino in Melbourne was recently the venue for a bit of unscheduled no holds barred WrestleMania meets UFC. The strong arm of the law has come down hard on the thugs sending the message that mugs and trouble makers will no longer be tolerated and the world famous casino. The only fighting in future will take place in a ring and punters will have to purchase tickets. Media Man and Gambling911 take you front row ringside and court side... ding ding ding...let's get ready to rumble...

It's the best of 2/3 falls pin or submission, in this fight to a finish. No holds barred, barbed wire and razor blades (just kidding) match up as the Australians take on the Iraqis. Your special referee is Sergeant Slaughter.

A threesome of brothers who brawled with Crown casino security staff aka 'bouncers' were yesterday convicted and fined in excess of $10,000 grand.

Ex Iraqi refugees, the 3 main tag team of Hemdad, Bestoon and Ghamber Muhammad pleaded guilty to a charge of "affray" (legal jargon for fighting and running a muck)... no fights were scheduled as part of the festivities, not officially anyway.

Swinging now to court side...Melbourne Magistrates Court heard they were rejected from Fusion nightclub at roughly 1.40am on 23rd January last year before they joined a bakers dozen of other combatants in fighting with about 5 casino staff.

The Muhammad brothers threw numerous bare knuckle punches in a brawl that lasted only about two minutes before reinforcements settled down the offenders. It was quite the street fight, with no sign of bodyslams, suplexes, triangle chokes or Indian death locks. It's understood a variation of a collar and elbow hooks up, Irish whip and good old fashioned side headlock was used, but wrestling and MMA purists would not have been impressed. Maybe Mike Tyson and Stone Cold Steve Austin might have gave marks for aggressive force used in the encounter.

Quizzed his reason for the blue, Hemdad, 29, told cops "Because of my brothers. I was too drunk. I got my lesson".

Defence lawyer Emma 'No Bull (MM tag) Turnbull told the court her fighters er...clients, who did not normally drink or fight, had been celebrating Bestoon's birthday.

Turnbull said none of them had any memory of the incident which was spontaneous, did not involve weapons, and did not cause serious injuries.

'No Bull' told the court the trio, who worked as painters and had no prior convictions, fled Iraq circa 1988 and spent a decade in refugee camps before finally arriving in Australia.

Magistrate Tim 'The Master' (MM tag) McDonald advised such behaviour happened too often in the community and told the trio, from Deer Park, they would have received a jail term if they had not pleaded guilty. Their strategy of pleading guilty goes against the oath of legendary Australian 'Underbelly' figure Mark 'Chopper' Read' who says "Never Plead Guilty".

Hemdad and Bestoon were fined $4000 each while Ghamber was convicted and fined $2500.

None of the brothers have immediate plan to enter the MMA, boxing or professional wrestling world, but word has spread to the organisations who are always on the look out for new, exciting talent who stands out from the pack.

The trio would not comment on whether they preferred the Cleopatra, Street Fighter, Sumo or Hitman slot games.

Media Man and Gambling911 wish the threesome good fortunes with their endeavors, be it painting, martial arts, one armed bandits pokies or other.

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Readers, play nice, know the odds, bet with your head, not over it, and have fun. Good punting, and don't drink too much.

*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.

*The writer owns shares in Crown Limited

*This article is done with satire and humour, and is based on real life events. No disrespect is intended towards any of the competitors.

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Monday, August 30, 2010

PartyCasino Wins Media Man Online Casino Of The Month Award, by Greg Tingle - 31st August 2010

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.

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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Australian Gambling And Political Wars Reach New Level, by Greg Tingle - 30th August 2010

The Australian gaming, casino and political wars are reaching new heights, with at least 2 Aussie MP's seemingly making it their mission in life to take on the pokies. Some insiders say they should get a a life, with others say they are fighting the good fight. Yep, Australia's thought police are having another crack. What's interesting in that most agree that further regulation would be a good thing, but for most change isn't happening soon enough, despite the release of the Australian Productivity Report into gaming and gambling. Media Man and Gambling911 probe the relationship between politics and Aussie casinos, gaming and gambling...

Much stronger regulation of Australia's $10 billion slot machine aka "pokie" industry may become a significant issue in determining the nation's next government, after a independent lawmaker called for gambling reform this past Friday.

MP Andrew 'Wild & Witty' (MM tag) Wilkie is one of (gang of) 5 cross-bench lawmakers who will help determine which of Australia's two major political parties form a minority government after an inconclusive election.

The 'wild and witty' one called for a crackdown on slot machines, blaming them for causing addiction and misery for families.

One may pose the question, are the people or the machines this problem, or is it a combination? Or, are some MP's just looking for a point of difference and platform to stand out from the pack? Some saw a Melbourne media identity playing the anti pokies card and slogan as not much more than an elaborate media stunt.

Let's now cross for some rip snorted quotes from our learned friend...

"This in particular is one issue where I would demand reform," he told the press, joined by a sitting independent senator who has been a passionate advocate of tighter regulation. "I would not regard inaction any longer as acceptable."

Slots aka pokies are prevalent in pubs, not just casinos, and account for the majority of the gambling - gaming industry's turnover. Aussies gambled A$10.5 billion on slots in pubs and clubs in the year to June 2009, and another A$1.4 billion on machines in casinos, according to government data. Just quite how much goes to online casinos isn't as clear, and website portals such as Casino News Media and Global Gaming Directory are doing well out of it, but the number is thought to be millions, perhaps billions. Let's see.. x website portals x 200 games, plus a Hitwise top ten website portal and news media... strong combo. Leading brand names such as Marvel Entertainment (Thor and Hulk etc), Paramount Pictures, Google, Sony, FremantleMedia, IGT (Cleopatra etc) and Hasbro (Monopoly) are also in on the act. The punters and casinos often prefer the branded slots, as they command a loyal audience.

Listed Aussie companies that are plugged into slot machine revenues include gaming and wagering groups Tabcorp Holdings, Tatts and Crown Limited as well as Aristocrat Leisure, which just happens to be the world's 2nd largest maker of pokies aka "one armed bandits".

Regulation of gambling sits with Australia's 6 states, but national and state governments work together, or so they say, to ensure a coordinated approach to regulatory issues.

The states currently rely heavily on taxes from slots but they also rely on Canberra for funding support, which is understood to give the national government leverage in areas of state influence. You know, 'How to win friends and influence people'. Look it up, if you haven't already. It's a great read.

Wilkie said he desired single bets limited to A$1 ($0.89) each and players prevented from spending more than A$120 an hour. Currently, players can wager as much as A$10 every time they activate the bandit. Some say the 'thought police' should but out, but others say some people need protection from themselves, so the machines need to be adjusted or replaced. Cleopatra was not open to an interview on the matter when probed... just kidding... inside joke.

"This is something that will reduce the hurt," he said. The witty one went on to add that that 40-50% of slot-machine losses were suffered by problem gamblers, but many media commentators have disputed his % claim saying its closer to 2 - 10%, and that he's going for shock value and headlines, and needs to stick to the facts, or end up looking like a goose... one without a golden egg.

Wilkie advised he would raise his plan during his meetings with Prime Minister Julia Gillard, and with opposition leader Tony "The Bruiser" Abbott, set for today at this stage.

Both Gillard's Labor party and Abbott's conservative coalition have been reluctant to crack down on the gambling industry because of its funding importance to the states, which are also traditionally governed by one of the major parties.

Both mainstream news media and gaming media will be watching this space with bated breath, so don't change your dial.

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Readers, what's your take on the situation? What's your favorite games? Who is your favorite politician, if you have one? Should further regulation be introduced, and why or why not.

Aussie MP's may find encouragement in this classic line... One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man (Elbert Hubbard).

We can't help wondering what would have the late, great, Kerry Packer proposed if he were still with us. Maybe there's an opportunity here for Australian casino and lifestyle king, James Packer, to go public on this thoughts about the way the Australian traditional and internet gaming landscape should be further developed and regulated. Possible or 'Mission: Impossible'? Over to you Mr Packer, punters, one and all. Let them know you heard it on the Gambling911 and Media Man 'Bush Telegraph', just around the corner from 'Goanna Gold' and Bondi Beaches' Golden Mile. 'Casino Jack', stay on hold, we won't call unless we need to, or decide to add a surge of additional fun and games to the giant political chess board. Cheque, cash or Check Mate?

Readers, know the odds, bet with your head, not over it, and have fun. Good punting, and keep your politicians honest.

*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.

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Australian Sports News Update, by Greg Tingle - 29th August 2010

The Australian sporting world has enjoyed a mega week. We've got Mark Webber, F1 ace in pole position, a footballers ear bitten off and explosive news of AFL's Ben Cousin's tell all documentary, drug revelations and all, and who can forget
the Jason Akermanis gay AFL player revelations. Media Man and Gambling911 offer you on front row ringside and reved up account of the huge Australian sports week that was...

Mark Webber In Pole Position For Belgian Grand Prix...

Mark Webber was over the moon after snatching pole position for Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix, but did admit that timing of his best qualifying lap was crucial. It was the 34-year-old's 5th pole of the season for Red Bull, who have taken pole at all but one race this year. Webber, who snatched back the lead in the driver's championship from McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton after winning the Hungarian Grand Prix, nipped the Pommie, who starts in 2nd place, by less than a 10th of a second. Webber clocked a time of 1min 45.788sec on his 1st lap in Q3 and admitted that the timing was vital as some timely rain prevented his rivals from matching his time. Remember the old saying, the more I win the luckier I get. "We knew the first lap was going to be pretty important because round here it is so unpredictable - the weather has been unique, even for Spa. It has been so on and off," the Aussie said. "So to have a pretty clean qualifying was very important. The first lap I was happy with, but you never know in this company if it is enough or not. It was nice to be on pole halfway through, but the weather made it more difficult to improve on our second attempt." Hamilton advised he was disappointed not to have bested Webber's time, but was delighted to be starting on the front row. "It was quite a tricky session through the whole qualifying," he said. "I got out for my first lap, the first one out. Turn 14 was drying up but I was first one to get there and didn't know how much to push. It was a bit of a disappointing first lap, I wasn't able to hold the time out of the tyres. Then I got the opportunity on the second lap which was a good lap apart from Turn 1. That was wet and a little bit damp, I lost time there. But the rest of the track was dry and I was able to utilise the tyres and pull out the time. I think I was a tenth behind Mark, there was the potential there to be in front in P1, but to be P2 on front row is a good position for us." Pole Robert Kubica will start in 3rd position for Renault ahead of German Sebastian Vettel in the 2nd (more controversial) Red Bull, while Brit Jenson Button of McLaren also made it into the top 5 spots. Ferrari driver Brazilian Felipe Massa was 6th fastest followed by Brazilian Rubens Barrichello of Williams. Force India's Adrian Sutil will start in 8th position ahead of fellow German Nico Hulkenberg of Williams and Ferrari driver Spaniard Fernando Alonso in 10th. Hulkenberg set the fastest time in the Q1 opening mini-session which saw rookie Russian Vitaly Petrov fail to set a time for Renault after spinning out on the exit of turn 9 on his opening lap. Sauber drivers Kamui Kobayashi and Spaniard Pedro de la Rosa joined Petrov on the casualty list after crashing out towards the end of the session. Despite not making it to Q2, Italian Jarno Trulli of Lotus will start in 16th position ahead of German Nico Rosberg who, despite finishing 12th fastest, has been given a 5 place grid penalty owing to a gearbox replacement. Kobayashi will start in 18th ahead of Hispania drivers Brazilian Bruno Senna and Japanese Sakon Yamamoto. Former champion Michael Schumacher's 10-place grid penalty for the incident involving Barrichello in Hungary means that despite making it to Q2 and finishing 11th fastest, he will start in 21st place! That will teach you a lesson son. Webber leads the championship just 4 points clear of Hamilton with another 6 points to Vettel.

Australian Rugby Player Loses Ear In Fight...

It was WrestleMania no holds barred on an Aussie footy field. An Australian rugby league player had part of his ear bitten off in a wild WrestleMania like brawl during a match. Jason "Smartypants" (MM tag) Schirnack, who was playing in the forwards for Sydney-based club Wests Tigers, was rushed to the Liverpool Hospital after being bitten in what his coach Paul 'Fireman' (MM tag) Fletcher described as a "bar-room brawl" during the match. The hungry and agro player responsible, winger Mitchell 'Muncher Steak' (MM tag) Stevens, 22, has been released by his club, the North Sydney Bears, Fairfax reported. The butt ugly match last Sunday was part of the NSW (New South Wales) Cup...1 of the 2 feeder competitions for the nation's prestigious National Rugby League premiership. Stevens will front up to the sport's judiciary Wednesday evening, and if found guilty, News Limited papers reported he could be suspended for 18 to 20 weeks. Some other media reckons he could be banned for at 1 year. Pissed off Tigers officials have lodged an official complaint over the bite to the sport's governing body, New South Wales Rugby League, while Schirnack, 21, described the bite as a "low act." "I was involved in a bit of biff with the guy and we started wrestling on the ground," Schirnack told Rugby League Week magazine. "Other players came running in and as we were wrestling on the ground, he took a chunk out of my ear. I couldn't believe it. It wasn't really all that painful, but when I realized a bit of my ear was missing, I was in shock. It's a low act. "I saw a plastic surgeon, but he said there wasn't much he could do," Schirnack said. "We didn't have the missing bit, so that made it hard for him to do anything. My girlfriend isn't happy because it looks pretty ugly, but what can I do? I just have to get on with life and try to move on." Tigers coach Paul Fletcher went on record with "The game was pretty nasty; it was like a bar-room brawl. There was no need for that sort of thing...it was a disgraceful act."

AFL: Ben Cousins Documentary - Drugs And All...

The first explosive scenes from the controversial Ben Cousins doco have been released. Cousins, 32, is shot dancing shirtless while holding a glass of red wine in Such is Life: The Troubled Times of Ben Cousins, which has been purchased by the Seven Network. Another scene shows the AFL star crying while under the influence of an unknown substance. "My name is Ben Cousins. I'm a drug addict", Cousins says while staring into the camera. The tell-all film, which was filmed over 2 years, is expected to screen later in the year over two nights. During the 30-second trailer, his dad Bryan chokes back tears while opening right up about his fears for his young fella. The AFL has confirmed Chief Executive Officer Andrew Demetriou has viewed the doco but has not publicly commented on its content. The Richmond Footy Club has also viewed the flick. Cousins played in West Coast's 2006 premiership but was sacked by the Eagles after the 2007 season when his drug problem and behaviour spiralled out of control. He was suspended by the AFL soon after for bringing the game into disrepute, before Richmond recruited him for the 2009 season. The Tigers club threw him a lifeline and he has played at Punt Road for the past two seasons. A sleeping pill overdose saw Cousins hospitalised overnight just last month. His club accepted it was accidental and he only missed one AFL match. Stay tuned for more.

TV Deals To Rich AFL And NRL Clubs...

About $2 billion from the next AFL and NRL television rights deals is due to deliver an massive boost to the brand value of the top clubs from the two codes. A list of the 10 most valuable football clubs in Australia across Australian rules, rugby league, rugby union and football, compiled by entertainment and trademark lawyer Wayne Covell of Worthy Of The Name, showcases the important role of television exposure in adding value to a club's overall brand. For example, Covell's $ list attributes a value of $263million to Collingwood with $87.9million of that due to television revenue and audience projections. In the NRL, television revenue and audience figures are also vital. Of the $169million value applied to Brisbane Broncos, $89.2million can be attributed to television weightings. For the Parramatta Eels, TV revenue accounted for $86million of the club's value of $141million. Interestingly, on a table compiled by brand analysis specialist Repucom International, highlighting the cumulative television audience of all football clubs in Australia across the four codes for 2009 on free-to-air television and Fox Sports, the Broncos are 1, the Eels are 2, and Collingwood are 3. The AFL's television deal, which expires at the end of next year, is worth $780million while the NRL's television deal, expiring at the end of the 2012 season, is worth $500million. Both codes will be looking for $1billion from their next deals. Covell emphasises the central role television plays in his valuations. "The size of the television deal has a huge impact on the football team valuations. A large slice of the television fees paid are attributable to a team's viewership. Their audience drives sponsorship, advertising and merchandise deals." With the NRL's potential to double the value of their current TV deal, and the AFL set to increase its own deal by $220million, it's interesting to compare their numbers to the English Premier League - its television deal is worth about $5billion, confirming its stature as the biggest football league in the world. NRL chief executive David 'Giddy Up' (MM tag) Gallop says he does not have a target price in mind for his code's next television deal, but feels the game has put forward a strong case to potential broadcasters. Gallop told the press "Our expectation is to get an increase in TV revenue that reflects the game's standing. We have not set a dollar value on that but we believe we have compelling content for any broadcasters and our ratings consistently reflect that." He said the NRL was doing everything in its power to secure the best deal. "It is an enormous opportunity," Gallop advised. "It is unquestionably our biggest single revenue source so it plays an important role in growing the financial strength of the game and in helping the game reach as many people as possible. I don't think anyone is underestimating the significance of the next broadcasting deal." AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou says his code isn't in a battle for the same television money as the NRL, despite having signed NRL players Karmichael Hunt and Israel Folau. "We do not believe we are competing for the same television dollar in our next round of TV rights negotiations," Demetriou says. Covell's list comes after the release last month of Forbes magazine's valuation of the world's top 10 sporting franchises. Manchester United topped the Forbes list, with a valuation of $2billion. The total value of Australia's top 10 football brands is $1.8billion, which is about the value of the New York Yankees baseball team, which Forbes ranked as the world's third most valuable sports team. Well, it is sports business, and sports business is Big Business, something Gambling911 and Media Man can certainly attest to.

Boxing Gossip: Danny "The Green Machine" Green VS Anthony "The Man" Mundine (Outside The Ring)...

Mundine is a huge fan of the TV show Top Gear and quite the rev head...but he's said No chance to appear on the program. The producers really wanted Mundine to race against his arch rival Danny Green in what would have been a fantastic dream segment, but Mundine has put cold water on the pitch. "Let's get one thing clear...just like I whipped him in the ring when we fought, I'd whip him on the race track," Mundine sprouted "But Green has based his entire career on me and has ridden on me to try and make a name for himself in that time. I am not going to try and help him resurrect his name after his recent farcical fights (Hurricane Briggs). I've got to fight a world ranked fighter, Ryan Waters, on September 15 in Wollongong. All Green does is pick on blokes past their best."

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Readers, know the odds, bet with your head, not over it, and have fun. Good punting.

*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.

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Saturday, August 28, 2010

Australian Gambling, Marketing And Media Wars, by Greg Tingle - 29th August 2010

The Australian casino and gaming wars are taking on a new angle, with marketing and legal eagle X factors playing a bigger role in both the high end of town and at the coal face. Crown Limited and Tabcorp may be 'The Big Two', but Tatts Group is far from standing still, using the iron fist of the law to help protect their turf. Media Man and Gambling911 give you a close up look at the expansion of the Australian casino, gaming, marketing and media wars in the ongoing battle for the entertainment, gambling and internet dollar...

Australia's Tatt's Group would not hesitate to expand its betting operations into every state of Australia if the governments failed to stop a marketing company from offering betting on computer terminals in pubs, the company's chief executive has disclosed. And keep in mind, Australian governments have a long history of failing business, mums and dads and punters.

Recently Liberal leader Tony "The Bruiser" Abbott called the Labor government "incompetent", and street survey results indicate he's hit the nail on the head. As to whether Abbott will snatch the victory, hitting his own jackpot, is yet to be determined.

In the meantime the Victorian Commission for Gambling Regulation is prosecuting a marketing company, VenueNet, and a hotel owner for providing an "unauthorised instrument of betting", after seizing a computer kiosk with internet access to a betting website from a South Melbourne drinking hole aka pub. Don't get us started on whether drinking and punting mix, but Media Man will point out that its scientifically proven that drinking does effect the brain's capacity to make sound decisions.

Many media, marketing and gaming brains are pointing out that it was just a kiosk, and that it can provide access to gambling, just as it provides access to most of the world's websites via the www access... like your home or work computer!

A roll-out of the computers would undermine the state's exclusive retail wagering licence, which is currently held by Tabcorp, but is up for renewal. Tatts Group, which runs UniTAB in Queensland, South Australia and the Northern Territory, is among the bidding hopefuls. It's a bit like ABBA's 'The Winner Takes It All'.

The chief executive, Dick 'Moneybags' (MM tag) McIlwain, advised Tatts had lobbied governments to ensure devices such as that offered by VenueNet would be banned. Did the lobbying work? Gibraltar based PartyGaming, the world's leading listed igaming company has had mixed success with lobbying, but has invested millions over the years. 'Moneybags' understood the Victorian government was "waiting first" to see how the charges against VenueNet played out in a court of law. Yep, that's the important part punters.

"In Queensland they haven't had to resort to extra regulation, they've been able to use what [laws] they have," he said.

In its recent report into gambling, the Productivity Commission recommended states no longer issue exclusive wagering licences, as the monopoly arrangements were a "rare privilege", unfair to punters and no longer justifiable.

McIlwain went on to say he did not expect states to scrap the arrangements but if VenueNet succeeded, Tatts would retaliate. Yep, that means war!

"If VenueNet can come over the border, well, we'll jump the border too into NSW and Victoria and anywhere else that we don't have a licence," he said not mincing worlds. Let the battle begin... we will know soon, and watch out for gunfire and hand grenades, leading up to war head missiles.

Tatts posted a profit of $119 million, less than 50% of 2009's result, after writedowns of $165 million.

It also purchased the NSW Lotteries licence for whopping $850 million during the year.

Tatt's is performing strongly of late. In 3 months of operation, net sales, after prizes, were $156 million. Tatts top brass encouraged analysts, journos and the like not to rely on that figure for a full-year comparison, which would be closer to $625 million.

Quizzed about that figure and the $460 million NSW Lotteries reported for 2009, McIlwain said, "I'm not interested, I'm only interested in what we do."

Tatts purchased the 40-year licence for at least $150 million more than many expected. The deal included the rights to unclaimed prizes. Investors initially reacted negatively and it sparked controversy about whether Tatts had been treated differently to other bidders, as previously covered at Gambling911.

Tatts looks to be rising the stakes and we understand have put the world on notice that they are well and truly part of the Australian gambling wars, despite not actually owing a casino. In other areas they are a powerful player without question.

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Readers, know the odds, bet with your head, not over it, and have fun. Good punting.

*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.

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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Australian Sports: AFL Gays, Drugs, Sex And Scandals, By Greg Tingle - 27th August 2010

Australian sporting news remains red hot with AFL news all the rage. Yep, its gays, drugs, legal, personality clashes, a tell all book, cover ups and all matter of scandal. Media Man and Gambling911 leap out of the closet (so to speak) with this special report...

Gay or not gay, and does it matter? Should Jason 'Hot Ass' (Media Man affectionate tag) Akermanis have been sacked? Was he too hot for footy, in one way or another? So many questions, yet still quite a few go unanswered. Regardless, we go probing on the ass hunt (satire)... the writer is not that way inclined, ok fellas.

Sacked and apparently well hung, Western Bulldog Jason Akermanis is swimming in controversy again after he publicly named 3 current AFL players he claims have used illegal drugs. Naughty, naughty. Who's been a bad boy in need of a smacking? The situation has sent a tidal wave through the AFL community, with some players wondering if they will be outed in a bit way, balls and all, that might lead to more Sack - Ings. Some analysts remain Hung about the situation, and are a bit too Stiff to talk out at the time of print.

At a luncheon speech to about 80 folks in Mildura this month, no stranger to Gambling911 and Media Man readers, the Brownlow medallist advised he had not used illicit drugs in his time as a footy player but that he certainly knew of other players who had engaged in them and danced with the devil.

It was in a break at the function that Akermanis named the players to the guests at his tongue wagging table. That very same night, at another event in melting pot Mildura, Akermanis named AFL players he said were gay.

These titillating revelations came as it spoofed out that former West Coast premiership player, one Chad 'Cokey Fun' (MM tag) Fletcher had indeed been arrested by the cops for cocaine possession in a Kings Cross nightclub toilet, and on the eve of Ben Cousins' television documentary on his battle with drugs screening!!!

Wait, there's more...former Western Bulldog meister Mark 'Always' Alvey, master of ceremonies at the Mildura gig, confirmed Akermanis' lines but would not elaborate or be quoted further thank you.

Former Doggie star player Doug 'Happy Chappy' (MM tag) Hawkins got wind of Akermanis' comments at the later function, where the sacked player also spoke of his forthcoming autobiography, which he forecast in his crystal ball would be released on the eve of the 2010 preliminary final. Yep, fireworks.. the Eve Of The War kind of thing.

As word of Akermanis' accusations spread like wildfire through the AFL community, a number of football identities have attempted to contact guests and officials who attended both Mildura functions to pick up details of what indeed was said.

The now hot as a dynamite stick in a dunny autobiography, Off The Leash, reportedly takes aim at a number of Akermanis' ex Bulldog teammates and was considered a final straw at the club, which first suspended the 33-year-old prize winning stud in June after he apparently misled the club over a piece encouraging gay footballers to "stay in the closet".

It is not yet known whether Akermanis has used the book to detail illegal drug use or to expose the sexuality of any footballers. Maybe a threesome ... er combination of factors. Trust Gambling911 and the Media Man group to keep probing for more details in this hard case that's come our way. In a footy - gaming tie in, PartyGaming and Virgin Games have some football themed slot games like World Cup Stars... Top Trumps, so don't be bashful and check them out maties. We'll be rooting for you to experience good fortune on those free spins. We also heard that some footy players and fans like King Kong, Bonus Bears, Lord Of The Rings, Snow Business, Top Gun and Pink Panther. Hey, whys' pool like sex? Because if you don't sink the pink, you sink the brown! Ah, we guess there's a beast in all of us just waiting to be unleashed.

Readers, know the odds, bet with your head, not over it, play hard, or don't play at all, party harder animals, and have fun.

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*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911

*Media Man http://www.mediamanint.com is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company.

*The writer is not gay, just saying

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Australian Casino, Gaming And Sports News, by Greg Tingle - 27th August 2010

Australian casino, gaming and sporting news continues a full warp speed. Crown Casino is powering ahead for bean counters, investors and the like. We've got the pro casino and pokies mob vs the anti casino and pokie establishment, scandal, bookies speaking out, F1 ace Mark Webber, more Aussie sports betting scandals and more. Media Man and Gambling911 give you a front row ringside seat to enjoy the no holds barred action once again, blood, guts and caffeine included (most assuredly non filtered and non censored)...

Crown Casino Back To Profit: Red Turns To Black...

The impressive casino, gaming and tourism - lifestyle operator hit paydirt as it swung back to net profit of $292.3 million, delivering a near-$1.5 billion turnaround after a net loss of $1.2bn in 2009-10. Last year's results at Crown were hit by a $1.44bn writedown on the value of the group's North American investments as the impact of the global financial crisis shook up the sector. On a normalised basis, Crown's net profit rose 2.7% to $288.4m, from $280.7m a year before. Financial and gaming industry analysts were expecting normalised earnings of $276.7m, according to a Dow Jones poll of seven brokers - market-watchers typically forecast normalised earnings because it evens out in VIP - high roller gaming. Revenue from operations rose nearly 2% to $2.34bn. Crown declared a final dividend of 19 cents. Shares in Crown were 2.91% higher in the past 24 hours, adding 24 cents to settle at $8.48, after having gained 1.6% immediately after the profit result. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 was 0.7% higher. For the first 7 weeks of the current 2010-11 financial year, Crown advised main floor gaming revenue grew by roughly 4% at its Australian casinos. VIP program play volumes have started the year "encouragingly", management said. Crown's gaming venues include Burswood in Western Australia and the flagship Crown Melbourne casino. Their Macau ventures are are also performing strongly, with City of Dreams beating bean counter, public and news media expectations. Seems 'Our James' (Packer) can't put a wrong wrong lately. On ya Packer. You're doing Australia and and family name proud.

Crown Casino Gets Pro And Anti Casino Commentary...

High rolling VIP whales and a mix of dolphins have pumped a record $27 billion through Crown Casino over the past year. Latest numbers demonstrate the casino shrugged off strong competition like Star City in 'Sin City' Sydney, to retain its status as a favoured destination of some of Asia Pacific's most well to do high rollers and big spenders. Well to do whales and dolphins gambled their way through roughly $74 million every day at the Melbourne based casino in the year to June, up from the previous year's figure of "only" $67 million a day. Senator and anti-gambling crusader - campaigner Nick Xenophon aka 'Mr X' Media Man tag) said it was challenging to screen such large amounts of money. "That is a staggering amount of money and we need to ask whether the current rules can guarantee that none of that $27 billion was laundered money or embezzled money," he said. News Limited has previously revealed how Crown offers the use of VIP Lear jets, extravagant hotel rooms and an assortment of gifts on some of its most well to do international guests, who often stay weeks or months. Crown has now embarked on a $440 million program to refurbish and extend the casino with more gaming tables, restaurants and new VIP facilities. Crown chief executive Rowen Craigie advised high rollers spent less in the second half of the financial year after 2 new casinos opened in Singapore. Senator Xenophon advised there was a false perception that high-rollers were not hurt by gambling. "Just because you're a high roller, doesn't mean you are immune to having a gambling problem," he said. Throwing in her 2 cents, Anne Holland, CEO of Relationships Australia, went on record with "Rich people could have families, they could have mental health problems, they could have the same issues around gambling and problem gambling as anyone." The 10% boom in VIP turnover at Crown Melbourne came as regular punters ("tuna" and "average joes") trimmed back their gambling.
Revenue on the main floor of the famous casino jumped 2.5% over the 12 months. This is less than the 3.1 of inflation recorded in Melbourne over the same period. Tatts chief Dick 'Machine' (MM tag) McIlwain has also thrown in his 2 cents...advising the controversy surrounding pokies was making consumers reconsider the machines. The Tatts Group and Tabcorp lost their stranglehold - monopoly of sorts on the poker machine market in May when the State Government sold 10-year gaming machine entitlements to new and existing operators. "The constant controversy that poker machines generate leaves consumers and players wondering what they are doing," 'Machine' McIlwain said. Tatts' after-tax profits tumbled more than 50 per cent to about $120 million in the year to June, with revenue from its (soon to be defunct poker machine division) falling 5% to $1.22 billion. "It's been tough," 'Machine' McIlwain advised. The withdrawal of the spending stimulus, a reduction in the maximum bet per spin and regulatory changes all contributed to the decline in pokie spending, he shared. The exact impact and all round popularity of online gaming in Australia isn't exactly known, but what is known is that the online sector continues to chip away at the traditional land based casinos, hotels and clubs. Switched on traditional gaming operators are adapting to the web, with the business models of PartyGaming including the World Poker Tour, Harrah's Entertainment and Virgin Games being examined. Crown Limited is understood to be moving forward with their online gaming and gambling plans, and insiders think a deal with PartyGaming, NextGen Gaming, Virgin or a combination is on the cards. Media Man and Gambling911 will be following up with more details in the coming days and weeks.

Crown Casino Bribes 4 Jobs Accusation Raised...

A number of senior staff in Crown's food and beverage arm are accused of demanding sums of $5000 plus to help secure jobs or internal promotions for foreign workers and international students. Some alleged bribes were paid by folks hoping to increase their chance of "winning" (game or skill or chance) permanent Australian residency with a superior job. A leak said the scam had operated for many years and involved primarily Indian and Asian students. "They are employed with 'no questions asked' and no pressure until they gain their permanent residency status," the leaker whispered. Roughly a bakers dozen staff have been caught up in the scam. 2, perhaps 3 staff and a former employee are believed to be behind the evil scheme. A long-serving employee has been sacked. Alarm bells were raised by a foreign student who is understood to have been pressured by those behind the scam to work in excess of the 20 hours allowed under his student visa. "Some of them wanted a higher grading on their job or a better job description which would help them in applying for permanent residency," another leak said. Crown spokesman Gary 'Overloaded' (Media Man tag) O'Neill confirmed police had been called in to investigate. "A few months ago we became aware there were allegations that some of our staff were being exploited. "Crown spends a huge amount of money and time recruiting and training its staff who come from a very broad section of the Melbourne community, both culturally and ethnically, and we will not stand for even one of them being exploited and we are treating the matter very, very seriously." O'Neill confirmed a staff member had been dismissed as the result of an internal investigation. He said Crown was assisting staff caught in the scam. The sacked worker, who cannot be named for legal reasons, denied accepting bribes and said the matter was in the hands of his lawyer. He confirmed he had been questioned by Crown management but said he had no idea why he had been accused. "I refuted (the allegations) with my solicitor when I went there," he said. The man advised he had already decided to leave Crown over an earlier matter. Police overnight said they were investigating the allegations of fraud at Crown. Crown Limited are taking a very pro active role in the investigation and embrace a fair go for all, but it for punters or employees.

NRL Investigates Betting Surge On Penalty Goal Sector...

The NRL is now investigating an extremely unusual betting plunge on what is normally a low-interest option in last Saturday's no big deal game between North Queensland and Canterbury at Dairy Farmers Stadium. The plunge on the first scoring play...in which a Cowboys penalty goal was heavily backed...convinced various bookmakers, including TAB Sportsbet, to cease betting on the option hours before the game officially kicked off. NRL media and communications director John Betman' (MM tag) Brady overnight confirmed an investigation was in progress..."We're looking into some betting activity and seeking information on any trends surrounding that. We're talking to some people about it, and we're open to receiving any further information that is around on it." The plunge did not come off however North Queensland did have the option of taking an easy shot at penalty goal to open the scoring after the Bulldogs were penalised in the 2nd minute for not getting off the tackled player (Cowboys halfback Grant Rovelli) quickly enough, following the rule book type of thing. The penalty was awarded only 9 metres out, and right in front of the posts to book, but the Cowboys elected to take a quick tap and scored a try out wide! A change of plans perhaps to cover other plans? We might never know. The NRL was first alerted to the plunge by TAB Sportsbet's Glenn Munsie, who told the News Limited "It was unusual to see the bets that went on that option. It was an inordinate amount of money to be placed on a (North Queensland) penalty goal as the first scoring play, in what was a nothing match. "The money started coming for it on the Thursday, and kept coming until Saturday. It had been backed from $13 to $7 by the time we turned it off a few hours before the game. I contacted the league on Saturday afternoon, and handed the information to them." Gerard 'Duck' (MM tag) Daffy, understood to be the most experienced man in sports betting in Australia, said he turned the first scoring play option off at his agency...Sports Alive - shortly after a punter tried to place a bet to win $8000 on a Cowboys penalty goal. "It's extremely rare for anyone to seriously back an option like that unless it's bad weather. We took some bets, and then someone tried to have $1000 on at $8, which obviously rang alarm bells. I let him on for a reduced amount. It was still Saturday morning, so I checked around the other bookies, and could only find one still betting on it, and they had a Cowboys penalty goal at $5.50. I turned it off after that." Michael Sullivan, of Sporting Bet advised his agency had also stopped betting on the option. "Increased interest would be the best way to describe it. No doubt we did turn it off, but I don't want to make any further comment because people just think bookmakers are whingeing." Centrebet's Neil 'Even Odds' (MM tag) Evans advised the odds on a Cowboys penalty goal was cut "from $13 to $3". He went on record with "It was certainly hot property. It was an inordinate go that you would normally never get." There were allegations of a betting rort in the final round of last season. The Cowboys were heavily backed to win by 13-plus against Sydney Roosters (Eastern Suburbs), and came from well behind to win 32-16. There were suggestions the Roosters had thrown the game, but the league investigated the match and announced that it could find no evidence of anything untoward. Quizzed if this was a time of the year when the NRL was particularly alert to the possibility of something untoward happening in games, Brady went with "We're alert at all times. This can be a time of the year when results are naturally hard to pick, because we're getting to the end of a long season, and some teams are heading for the finals and others are just trying to finish the season off well." Sports betting follows are understood to be finding these times very interesting to follow or participate, and the news media business is generating more colourful stories from the fun and games, on and off the field.

South Australian Govt Missing Millions Thanks To Online Gambling; Could Be National Trend...

Online gambling is clearly understood to be diverting tax money from state coffers as punters go colder on poker machines and give online pokies from the likes of PartyGaming, Centrebet, PKR, Virgin, Roxy Palace, Captain Cooks Casino and Media Man white label type deals a go. The most recent figures show a significant dip in the amount gamblers pour into the state's pokies and a $10 million annual fall in tax revenue. State Government analysis shows punters put $729 million into pokies in the past financial year, compared with $750 million in the 12 months to June 30, 2009. The result is the lowest annual outlay on poker machines for 6 years and has resulted in a Government gaming tax revenue drop from $292 million to $282 million in the past year. Experts say mass-media advertising campaigns have driven a dramatic rise in the popularity of internet gambling, which sidesteps traditional tax regulations. South Australian pubs and clubs have also suffered an $11 million revenue hit, which comes as smoking bans look to further harm the sector. Australian Hotels Association general manager Ian Horne said competition from both sports betting and online gambling outlets was placing major pressure on the industry. "The sports betting market is expanding enormously," he said. "Just look at the betting options for the federal election. The promotion of betting odds was unprecedented. It's becoming the normal way of life to bet on anything and everything." Horne said poker machines had been unfairly "demonised" while other gambling options were considered socially acceptable. A spokeswoman for Gambling Minister Tom Koutsantonis said the decline could be attributed to reduced household expenditure for recreational activities. "This expenditure is also affected by the Reserve Bank's increasing of interest rates over the past 12 months," she said. The spokeswoman also said the Government was working to reduce the number of pokies, despite figures showing 7 more in use now than last year. "There is always some variation in the number of live machines, as gaming venues may not use all of their entitlements, for example during renovations," she said.
"The Rann Government is committed to reducing pokie machine entitlements by 3000. "So far the Government has removed more than 2200 gaming machine entitlements from SA venues." Treasurer Kevin Foley has warned the state to brace for a tough September 14 Budget, saying the lingering impact of the global financial crisis has diminished revenue. Media Man and Gambling911 have strong reason to believe that online gaming and gambling will continue to grow in the Australian - Asia Pacific region, and many land based venues will continue to be hit hard.

Tasmania: $8 Million Jump With Betfair Deal...

A taxation cut offered to James Packer 50% owned betting agency Betfair will cost Tasmania about $8 million more than first promised over the next two years, the Liberal Party claim. The deal Labor offered Betfair just before the state election is now up in the air with the Liberals holding off on giving their support to the legislation. With the Greens Party already declaring they are opposed to the deal to cut Betfair's tax rate, the legislation's success now depends on the support from the Liberals. The tax break has created a split between Labor and the Greens' Cabinet representatives, leader Nick McKim and Cassy 'O God' (MM tag) O'Connor. As part of the power-sharing arrangement between the two parties, the Greens can choose to remove themselves from a Cabinet vote if they disagree with the legislation being discussed. When the tax break was announced in February Bartlett claimed the deal would reduce state revenues by about $2 million over two years. However, in the State Budget in June that figure had jumped to about $5 million a year, reducing revenue from Betfair from $7.3 million to just $2.4 million. The Liberals and the Greens sought a clarification this week on the exact costing. Treasury yesterday confirmed the cost would be more than first thought. The tax cut, already budgeted, will put a $5.3 million dent in state coffers this year, $5.1 million in the next financial year, increasing to $6.7 million in 2012-13 and $7 million in 2013-14. Treasurer Michael Aird said the Budget clearly outlined the reduced tax revenue from Betfair. He advised the Government had been transparent about the revenue dip. "The level of fees, licences and taxes relating to that arrangement with Betfair would incur loss of revenue to the state. The figures in the Budget are a very clear indication of our estimate of the revenue we expect from Betfair," Aird said. A spokesman for the Liberals said the party would vote on whether or not to accept the legislation. The key component of the deal is Betfair's tax rate, which is to drop from between 10 and 15% of gross earnings to 5%. Labor offered Betfair tax cuts to keep the company and its 130 employees in Tasmania. Betfair continues to enjoy boom times, getting a huge urge thanks to the Australian political election and the betting feeding frenzy.

A Media Man spokesperson said "Packer's 50% owned Befair is now well and truly part of Australian culture. Having a punt is in our blood. It goes back to the convict ships, Captain Cooks crew and the like. We all used to have our favorite SP bookie, back in the good old days. Betfair identified market and gave the public a chance to get much better odds than the Government TAB, and they lapped is up. NRL and Australian political betting is powering along. It's what people discuss at home, work, cafes. I guess we all like to know who the smart money is on. Packer always wins, but in the information age, the web and all, we can all win. A lot of it gets down to where you get your information from. Not sure? Just ask horse jockeys and footy players. Hey, they were going to give them training for what constitutes insider trading. That's got to tell you a story punters".

F1 Ace Aussie Mark Webber Has World Championship In Mind This Weekend...

With only 7 races remaining, Australian Mark Webber has admitted that he will be driving with the world championship title in mind at this Sunday's Belgian Grand Prix. The 33-year-old Red Bull driver believes that the most consistent driver will win the championship and admitted that he will not be taking as many risks as he would have earlier in the season. "Finishing is certainly something that you think of," said the Aussie. "With this points system, you need to finish so consistency is important. "That's something you sign up for straight away because you don't want to win races but have non-finishes. You have to capitalise on the days when you are not potentially going to win to get the next best thing, whatever that may be. That comes down to reliability, the decisions made - when you roll the dice as a midfield team you take a gamble but for us, McLaren and Ferrari there are obviously bigger things at stake. You have to be mindful of the fact that you might not get anything out of it so you need to realise that four points is better than none and gambling." Webber denied that this weekend's race in Spa and the forthcoming Italian Grand Prix will be a case of damage limitation, despite the tracks' potentially highlighting his car's weakness at high speeds. He went on record with "Always when you are running medium downforce on these cars, it's for a reason. And that reason is long straights. We know that it's not a strength of the car and hasn't been for quite a few years and we know why. "But we work incredibly hard to make the car strong in other areas and when we go to those venues obviously we are strong. "We can still keep up at these tracks, but whether we have an advantage remains to be seen. We still weren't uncompetitive in Montreal, but we weren't the pacesetters as we were in some other venues. "I think if we had to have 17 races in a championship, we wouldn't choose Spa and Monza to have races at, but it's part of the calendar and we have to make the car quick everywhere." However, Webber added that many had assumed that his team would struggle in Valencia, but his team-mate Sebastian Vettel won the race. He said "We were worried about Valencia, and Sebastian won. "Last year were very poor in Valencia and got blown away, but this year we were quick. Let's see how the top speeds are tomorrow in sector one and sector three and see where people are pitched." Webber reclaimed the championship lead from McLaren's Lewis Hamilton when he won in Hungary four weeks ago, but his advantage is just four points. Webber is credited with helping make F1 fun and exciting again, and needless to say interest in the sport down under in Australia is running sky high. Richard Branson's Virgin Racing also created some buzz, with Branson a fave in Australia, but they have lacked the results to date that Aussies crave for sports stars and teams. Webber is now thought of as a living legend by many, but he downplays the suggestion.

A Media Man insider was overhead with "If Mark wins the world championship many close think he will then be more than happy to have the tag 'legend' but until that time, champ or just mate, will do him fine."

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Readers, is it time for Crown and Burswood to get their own branded online casino games like 'Underbelly' and 'Kerry Packer'? Has Crown now got its security levels to the right level? Is Mark Webber going to win the world championship? What's your favorite casino games and why? Tell us in the forum.

Crown Limited Shares...

$8.510

Readers, know the odds, bet with your head, not over it, and have fun. Want more good Aussie fodder... check out Media Man and the 'Australian Casino Wars' portfolio at Gambling911 of course. Good punting.

*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.

*The writer owns shares in Crown Limited

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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Australian Casino, Gaming And Politics News, by Greg Tingle - 25th August 2010

Australian casino, gaming and political news remains crazy. Australia is counting the final ballots as Australia awaits the announcement of who the Prime Minister actually is! Crown casino has signed up more world class entertainment acts and online gaming and gambling moves forward down under, as the industry awaits internet laws to catch up to reality, in line with much of the rest of the world. James Packers' Crown Casino marketing, internet and legal is going to be very busy, as they updated system and websites to the evolution of the online gaming world, with a bit of Aussie Casino Wars on the side. Media Man and Gambling911 once again dominate the world of online gaming reporting, with just enough politics to keep them honest. Enjoy the ongoing journey of discovery...

Crown Casino Getting More Top Line Entertainment Acts...

The Australian Bee Gees Show returns to The Palms with a brand new show celebrating 50 years of wonderful music by the Brothers Gibb. This multimedia concert event is the only Melbourne show in the Australian leg of their 2010 world tour. Since 1996, The Australian Bee Gees Show has played to capacity houses around the world, cementing their reputation as an exceptional live concert act and the world's leading Bee Gees show. For one night only be a part of the magic that is, The Australian Bee Gees Show. Date Saturday 28 August 2010
Time: Doors Open: 7:30pm

Australian Hip Hop Championships 2010 - 18th September
Tommy Fleming - 1 - 2 October
Village People - 8 - 9 October
Cirque Mother Africa - 12 - 24 October
Bjorn Again - 18 - 21 October
Leo Sayer - 27 November

World's Top ABBA Show BJORN AGAIN Coming To Crown Casino 'The Palms' This November...

BJORN AGAIN plus Special guest support are The Old Romantics who are a highly entertaining parody of the New Romantic music era in the 80's, featuring songs by Spandau Ballet, Duran Duran and Culture Club. Get ready to have the time of your life! Tickets available from 9:00am 24 August, 2010. Dates: Thursday 18 - Sunday 23 November 2010

Tabcorp May Take On US Private Debt!...

Australian gaming gaint Tabcorp Holdings is looking at refinancing options as debt repayments near, and declared a preference for placing bonds in the US private debt market, its finance top brass says.. The firm would consider Australia dollars and other currencies, but the US traditional private placement market would be a natural place to revisit since the company has issued $US1 billion ($A1.11 billion) of bonds there, chief financial officer Matt Bekier told the press. "Ideally, I'd like to get 12 to 15-year money," Bekier said.
Traditional private placements in the United States have been a popular source of funds for Australian companies looking for long-dated debt. 7 Australian borrowers raised a total of $US2.2 billion so far this year. Bekier also said he was committed to keeping the firm's investment grade ratings, as Tabcorp embarks on an $860 million expansion strategy. Tabcorp is trying to fill a looming hole in its earnings from 2012 when it and Tatts Group are due to lose their duopoly on gaming machines in the Australian state of Victoria. This month, ratings agency Standard & Poor's warned it may cut Tabcorp's BBB-plus ratings due to higher debt levels after spending money on a revamp of Sydney's Star City Casino. "We want to remain investment grade, whether they are BBB flat or BBB-plus," Mr Bekier said. The lowest ratings for investment grade is BBB-minus. Bekier said his main focus was ensuring gross debt did not exceed a ratio of 2-2.5 times the firm's earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation. He did not say where the ratio stood currently, though it was within that range. "That is, to me, the bigger metric," Bekier said. As to whether Tabcorp would consider raising equity to protect its ratings downgrade, as suggested by a Merrill Lynch research report, Bekier is unequivocal. "The idea we would raise equity just to maintain a specific rating is a bit outlandish," Bekier said. Tabcorp has $450 million of debt maturing in just over one year and is looking at refinancing into long-term debt. Typical buyers of US traditional private placements are "buy and hold" US insurance companies keen on long-dated paper to match their liabilities. Bekier said the Australian dollar bond market would always be part of Tabcorp's funding strategy but would not be its core, mostly because of the firm's focus on long-term debt. The gaming outfit could also sell Australian dollar retail bonds, as it did last year when all other long-term funding avenues were shut in the wake of the global financial crisis. However, Bekier highlighted the high costs associated with selling retail bonds. "It was relatively expensive," Bekier said, adding that the all-in cost of issuing retail bonds was around 100 basis points above what Tabcorp could get elsewhere. Unlike Japan and New Zealand, retail bond offers are rare in Australia, where bonds are typically reserved for professional investors. The Aussie authorities introduced this year measures to to ease documentation and speed up the lengthy process to give that market a boost. Yet Tabcorp's Bekier said the regulators would have to go much further still to attract borrowers. Looks like the Aussie Casino Wars are taking on more of an international flavor. Debt anyone?

Greens Exclude Themselves From Cabinet: Betfair Fun And Games...

The two Greens members of the Tasmanian Cabinet have excluded themselves from Cabinet deliberations over Betfair. Greens leader Nick McKim and the Greens Cabinet secretary Cassy O'Connor 48 hours ago exercised their right to abstain from Cabinet deliberations on an area of policy difference. Labor members of Cabinet approved legislation to enact a Memorandum of Understanding signed by the Government and the online betting agency Betfair before the March state election. It includes a reduction in the company's state tax contribution, a move opposed by the Greens. McKim says it is simply a policy clash that will happen from time to time in the power-sharing Cabinet. Bartlett says it's the first time the Greens Cabinet members have abstained from deliberations under the power-sharing model. He says the difference was handled with maturity. "The spirit of cabinet is a very positive one," he said. Bartlett says the rest of Cabinet supported legislation to reduce the company's state tax contribution to secure its future in Tasmania for another 10 years. "This is a clear indication that this relationship is maturing and that the protocols that we have put in place to provide for certainty and stability are working." Liberal leader Will Hodgman says it is a split that highlights the uncertainty and instability of the Labor-Green Government. His statement did not indicate whether the Liberals would support the Betfair bill. Political analyst Richard Herr says if the Greens oppose the Betfair bill, the Government will need the support of the Liberals to pass the legislation. "Well the Government will realise that if it proceeds to present this to the House and the Greens do not support it and the Liberals don't support it then it will fall over, it'll fail," he said. "Either they're betting the Opposition will or they are manoeuvring to oppose the legislation in hopes that it will embarrass the opposition." Stay tuned to Media Man and Gambling911 for more political and gaming fun and games, and Packer's Betfair (now understood to be off the ACMA blacklist) is tipped to remain in the thick of the action.


Punters Remain Excited On Aussie Election Result...

Australian punters wagered as much as $10 million on the election poll, with 1000s taking their changes on the craze that is election betting. There's is no sign of when the bookies will pay out or even when betting markets will actually close. Many are still taking bets on the final results two major betting agencies reported a flood of money rushing back to Julia Gillard on Monday afternoon. Prime Minister Gillard is neck and neck with Parliamentary Secretary Bill Shorten for the top job, says many punters. Betfair insiders Daniel Hoare went on record with "By Friday afternoon we had somewhere around $2.5 million on the federal election market overall. But at that point in time about mid-afternoon Friday there was about $3,000 a minute being traded on the election. That market now is bordering on $3.5 million. In the past few hours there's been a significant move towards Labor. This morning the Coalition were red-hot favourites to find a way to form government, but for some reason in the past few hours those odds have tightened right in for Labor and it's almost pretty much a toss-of-the-coin market at the moment and it's heavily fluctuating as we speak." Analyst Neil Evans from online betting agency Centrebet also noticed an increase in the total amount gambled and advised about $5.5 million has been wagered through Centrebet. "Certainly in the main book, the prime ministerial book, the market's still powering away," he said. "Hung Parliament punters of course have been paid and those who took the Coalition with the start, they're all in the winners' queue and of course most of the seats, but the battle goes on. It's been a very big day for the Australian Labor Party, who went from being favourite for so long out to a clear outsider overnight, with negotiations continuing. "But they've been backed from as high as $2.75 right down to $1.85 equal now with the Coalition. So the momentum back with Labor, the Coalition coming a long way out from $1.40 out to $1.85.". Some academic research suggests betting trends are a more reliable indicator of a likely election result than opinion polls. Newspoll, which is published in The Australian newspaper, was the closest to predicting the result with its final poll on Saturday. "We came out with a 50.2 two-party to a 49.8 in favour of Labor, which shows that we're very likely to have a hung Parliament. It was so close to 50-50 it wasn't funny," said Newspoll chief executive Martin O'Shannessy. Most of the other national polls showed a narrow Labor win, with the party ahead of the Coalition 52 to 48 on a two-party preferred basis. Newspoll had also been predicting a 52 to 48 result for most of the campaign and Mr O'Shannessy admits to being slightly nervous about Saturday's poll. "Obviously when you see a change like that, and especially the big negative swing in Queensland, you worry. "Then you look at it and you think well, a big move like that is much more than what you'd expect from sampling error, so the odds are then hundreds to one against it actually being sampling error. "And so while your hands shake, you have to remind yourself of the rules of sampling and you know and go with it."

Australian Punters Back Coalition To Form Government...(But Keeps Changing)!!!

Aussie bookies have installed the coalition as the favourite to form government following an inconclusive result from Saturday's federal election.

Aristocrat Not Concerned About Poker Machine Rules And Regulations...

Tougher rules and regulations on Aussie pokies are not likely to be a big ticket item of the new federal government, the gambling machine manufacturer Aristocrat Leisure has gone on record with. The company's half-year results went public less than 48 hours ago, and showed a 23% drop in revenue and a net profit of $49.5 million, Aristocrat's chief executive, Jamie Odell, advised he did not expect a new government would act soon on recommendations of the Productivity Commission's recent report on gambling, and did not factor it into his outlook. The report, published way back in June, proposes $1 bet limits with a maximum of $20 to be fed into a machine at any one time and recommends a pre-commitment system by 2016, for players to set a limit on the amount they are prepared to lose. The former prime minister Kevin Rudd referred the report to a council of state governments to consider. First things first...Once the election results are known, the new parliament may include the independent anti-pokie campaigner Andrew Wilkie. The Greens, who support greater restrictions on poker machines, will hold the balance of power in the Senate. 'O' told analysts earlier in the week that it was too early to know what all this might mean, and any changes would need to be managed "in an orderly manner through new product coming through. In the short term I'm not factoring anything in around the government because, like you, I don't know which government we will take or what influence that will have, but I would think with all the other issues around it wouldn't be the first cab off the block." Aristocrat's profit includes a $12.7 million sale of an asset, but also represents a turnaround from the $33 million loss the company reported this time last year, and its $157 million full-year loss. It reported encouraging results in its biggest market, North America, where profit rose 5.5% in local currency, but it made a 199 million-yen loss in Japan. Aussie revenue fell 22% and profit fell 46% to $11.8 million. Odell described the local result as unacceptable and attributed it to difficult market conditions "legacy issues" within the company. Aristocrat reported some good news with strong sales in Macau and in Singapore's 2 new casinos but Odell said he expected trading conditions to remain difficult in most markets. "We do not expect any improvement over the balance of 2010." Aristocrat declared an unfranked 3.5% dividend to be paid on September 30. Profit results were roughly in line with expectations, and shares rose 2.62% to close off at $3.52.

James Packer: Casino And Media King News Report...

James Packer's pay television investment group Consolidated Media Holdings last week said it would not seek a new standstill agreement with Kerry Stokes' Seven Group Holdings when the current agreement expires on September 10. The 2 groups reached the agreement last year following Seven raids on Consolidated Media, which raised Seven's stake in the group to 19.9%, compared to James Packer's 40.8% holding.


Mildura Jewel Casino Prop: Up To Public...

If Mildura wants a casino now is the time for the city’s “movers and shakers” to back the proposed $400 million development. That is the view of the man behind the Mildura Jewel entertainment and convention centre plan, casino and property developer John Haddad. In an exclusive interview with the Sunraysia Daily this week, Mr Had dad said the time for him to “push” the project had lapsed – it was now up to Mildura to show it wanted the development. It was a development he labelled “a once in a lifetime opportunity” for Mildura, one he hoped people would see as critical to underpinning the city’s future. “It’s a Mildura thing now, not a John Haddad thing anymore,” he said. “I’m not pushing it now – I’m standing back. “I’ve put the project and the idea together for everybody to look at. “I’ll await the outcome. “All I will say is that it’s an extraordinary opportunity that has been handed to Mildura by the government, to be able to decide whether it wants the Jewel or not.” Casino proponents have been buoyed in recent weeks by the level of backing from various interest groups around the city. Last week, a group calling itself the Mildura Progress Action Group met for the first time, its immediate aim to gain information on the development and the processes needed to move it forward. It followed earlier backing from the newly formed Advance Northwest Association, a resident-based, pro-development lobby group.

South Australian Govt Missing Millions Thanks To Online Gambling; Could Be National Trend...

Online gambling is clearly understood to be diverting tax money from state coffers as punters go colder on poker machines and give online pokies from the likes of PartyGaming, Centrebet, PKR, Virgin, Roxy Palace, Captain Cooks Casino and Media Man white label type deals a go. The most recent figures show a significant dip in the amount gamblers pour into the state's pokies and a $10 million annual fall in tax revenue. State Government analysis shows punters put $729 million into pokies in the past financial year, compared with $750 million in the 12 months to June 30, 2009. The result is the lowest annual outlay on poker machines for 6 years and has resulted in a Government gaming tax revenue drop from $292 million to $282 million in the past year. Experts say mass-media advertising campaigns have driven a dramatic rise in the popularity of internet gambling, which sidesteps traditional tax regulations. South Australian pubs and clubs have also suffered an $11 million revenue hit, which comes as smoking bans look to further harm the sector. Australian Hotels Association general manager Ian Horne said competition from both sports betting and online gambling outlets was placing major pressure on the industry. "The sports betting market is expanding enormously," he said. "Just look at the betting options for the federal election. The promotion of betting odds was unprecedented. It's becoming the normal way of life to bet on anything and everything." Horne said poker machines had been unfairly "demonised" while other gambling options were considered socially acceptable. A spokeswoman for Gambling Minister Tom Koutsantonis said the decline could be attributed to reduced household expenditure for recreational activities. "This expenditure is also affected by the Reserve Bank's increasing of interest rates over the past 12 months," she said. The spokeswoman also said the Government was working to reduce the number of pokies, despite figures showing 7 more in use now than last year. "There is always some variation in the number of live machines, as gaming venues may not use all of their entitlements, for example during renovations," she said.
"The Rann Government is committed to reducing pokie machine entitlements by 3000. "So far the Government has removed more than 2200 gaming machine entitlements from SA venues." Treasurer Kevin Foley has warned the state to brace for a tough September 14 Budget, saying the lingering impact of the global financial crisis has diminished revenue. Media Man and Gambling911 have strong reason to believe that online gaming and gambling will continue to grow in the Australian - Asia Pacific region, and many land based venues will continue to be hit hard.

A Media Man spokesperson said "Online gambling and gaming is here to stay in Australia. The internet is of course a global medium. Website portals, affiliate programmes, and media agency deals help determine where the traffic, players, entertainment dollar and media coverage goes to. Even Fairfax Media, News Limited and Google are big industry players now. YouTube may ramp up also. Website portal developers such as us have also done well. This is all fueled by media and gaming press speculation, and remains hot fodder for news articles. PartyGaming, Virgin, World Poker Tour and World Series of Poker remain some of the biggest brands that often get major articles in mainstream press, so of which we help facilitate, be it officially or unofficially. Smart Australian casino operators such as Crown Casino are starting to plug into the action, exampled by Crown accepting PartyGaming - PartyPoker.com online poker players as part of their Aussie Millions promo last year... one by an Aussie, and will be doing the same again this year. Google is pushing forward with Google Games on the back of Pac-Man. Marvel Entertainment, Sega, DC Comics and even Harrah's are expected to ramp up. Gambling911 and Media Man will remain in the thick of the action, even though gaming and sports betting are only 2 of about a dozen of sectors covered. Many media companies are heding thier bets are offering strong coverge, while also covering many of industries like tech, politics, entertainment and the like. Some brands like Party and Virgin are in a number of sectors which is very exciting and profitable. Online variations of Cleopatra, Monopoly and Sinatra remain the top slots, with Tomb Raider enjoying a second wind, with 3D games like Heist on the upswing too. The industry is looking forward to a further improved remainder of the year, and punters will be able to benifit from great promos and deals, so its a win - win - win".

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Aussie Millions Poker Championship At Crown Casino This January...

Folks, mark it down in your diary. Australia's richest poker tournament is coming back to Crown in Melbourne this January.

Readers, is it time for Crown and Burswood to get their own branded online casino games like 'Underbelly' and 'Kerry Packer'? Has Crown now got its security levels to the right level? What other developments would you like to see at Packer's world of entertainment? What's your favorite casino games and why? Tell us in the forum.

Crown Limited Shares...

$8.350

Readers, know the odds, bet with your head, not over it, and have fun. Want more good Aussie fodder... check out Media Man and the 'Australian Casino Wars' portfolio at Gambling911 of course. Good punting.

*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.

*The writer owns shares in Crown Limited

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Monday, August 23, 2010

PartyCasino News: PartyCasino Gets New Games, by Greg Tingle - 24th August 2010

PartyCasino Gets New Games

PartyGaming, the world's leading listed online gaming company, has just released a package of new slot games to PartyCasino.com, some in conjunction with Australian based NextGen Gaming, headquartered at tech hub North Sydney.

The new game titles with full descriptions and instructions are available to view at PartyCasino.com

Gaming innovators NextGen Gaming have announced that www.partycasino.com, the world's largest online casino, is releasing three games under their Slide-a-Wild™, SuperBet™ and Select-a-Play™ brands.

These 3 innovative brands have been specifically designed to give players control of their gameplay. Players can 'Slide their Wild' to different reels, engage in 'Super' play by adding extra symbols to reels and 'Select' their preferred volatility in feature play.

Look out for Crocodopolis Slide-a-Wild™, Shaaark! SuperBet™, and Unicorn Legend Select-a-Play™ on PartyCasino.com

Matt Davey CEO of NextGen Gaming stated "We are very proud to work with PartyCasino.com. Their efficient and focused technology team has enabled us to release market-leading innovative games in record time. Crocodopolis, Shaaark! and Unicorn Legend capture a new level of entertainment and design, providing an excellent complement to PartyCasino.com's product suite. Through these brands and future games we look forward to supporting PartyCasino.com and its talented team".

A spokesman for PartyCasino.com said: "PartyCasino.com has the most frequent game launches and largest jackpots in the industry and we're delighted to offer these 3 new titles from NextGen Gaming to a portfolio of over 150 games. NextGen are great partners and we look forward to the delivery of more games in the near future."

For more information see PartyCasino.com and NextGen Gaming.

Also check out new slot games Snow Business, Super Cubes, Heist, Chain Reactors and Palladium Slot.

PartyCasino.com has the most frequent game launches and largest jackpots in the industry and offers over 150 games, including over 100 slots. PartyCasino.com pays out easily over $10 million EVERY DAY to players. This year marks the 200th Oktoberfest in Germany and what promises to be the biggest, best and most memorable edition of one of the world’s biggest parties ever! Palladium VIP’s on PartyCasino.com can secure their place there very simply: be one of the first 10 players to collect 10,000 PartyPoints by playing slots and jackpot slots between 16th and 31st August and they will win a package. Please note these packages are for the weekend of the 1st – 3rd October. See: PartyCasino.com for more information.

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