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Sunday, September 5, 2010

Australian Casino, Betting And Political News, by Greg Tingle - 5th September 2010

The Australian and Asia Pacific casino, gambling and political scene has never been hotter. We've got Aussie casino king James Packer doing deals with Shane Warne, Crown Casino and other Packer interests on fire (in a good way), more on the Australian - Paki cricket fixing scandal, a legendary Aussie gambling yarn, PM Julia Gillard getting swayed by anti pokie campaigners, News Limited being named by Govt 'Big Brother' as a porn site, PartyGaming : PartyCasino VS Virgin Casino "war", Aussie casino wars, WWE pro wrestling - WWE gambling connection, bible bashers being fingered on internet porn and more. Media Man and Gambling911 continue to fight the good fight, and deliver censorship free news to your laptop computer. Sniffer dogs Bluely, Timmy and the gang hit the trail encountering kangaroos, koalas, Tasmanian devils, whales, dolphins, tuna and even sharks... yes crew, its feeding time again...

Politics, Gambling And Porn At Work: Labor Minister Quits; More Fallout On Cards...

A Labor minister has been busted by extremely naughty (and wasting the public's money). Another minister is knocked out in NSW. Paul McLeay has resigned after being busted for using a work computer to visit gambling and adult sites. Rev Fred Nile's office also have porn tracks on their computers. Who will be next? A tote should set up odds on who and when. Does Labor still have a major sources of leaks? We think so, given the info been directed our way.

Real Life And Death Underbelly: Dennis "Greedy" Smith; Crown Casino Death Plot...

It's that's time for your real life 'Underbelly' true crime fix. Once upon a time there was an alleged plot to kill former Crown Casino boss Lloyd Williams and an Oriental VIP whale and empty their pocket of towards $15 million bucks. Well, its alleged no more. Following the death of Melbourne crime figure Dennis "Greedy" Smith revelations have come forward that it is a true story. Retired police sergeant Brian "Skull" Murphy this week advised Smith was the mastermind of a 1997 attempted heist to hijack and murder Williams and the gambler en route from Melbourne Airport to the casino. Smith, who passed away in the Royal Melbourne Hospital this past Monday after a series of heart attacks, was traced to a number of other high-profile robberies including planning the 'Great Bookie Robbery' and went on to use the proceeds to establish his colourful and somewhat dangerous Aussie Bar in Manila, Philippines. The bar became quite the haven for Aussie and international fugitives and crooks. 'Greedy' reckoned he killed a man there who tried to rob him, and who would doubt him. It was the plot to murder one of Australia's richest men that has long been legendary bar room yarn told by the well-known former Victorian detective "Skull" Murphy. It has been denied by the key insiders until now. Murphy was tipped off about the plot and then told Williams. He advised one of Williams' staff at the time, Ron 'Winning' (MM tag) Winsall, had gifted him $5000 bucks for tipping off the casino boss about the cunning plot. At the time, Williams told the press that he didn't "believe a word of the story" but Murphy said it was all true blue, kill a bird with a strong, and hope to die. It was this week, Williams verified the story. When informed of Smith's death, Williams went "Well, thank goodness for that." Murphy advised Smith's gang had plotted to intercept (think Ned Kelly meets Mad Max meets James Bond) Williams's car on the Tullamarine Freeway and rob the gambler, who was understood to be carrying roughly to $15 million in cash! "My informant said that they were prepared to kill Williams, his driver and the gambler to get the money," said Murphy. The keen gang had carried out rehearsals of sorts, done surveillance and had established a "safe house" in Essendon. High-calibre weapons had been purchased for the dirty deed. They dropped the plan after the tip-off.

Australian Casino Wars: Star City 'Sin City' To Take Fight To Packer's Crown...

Star City Casino in 'Sin City' Sydney is whale hunting, and it's apparent they are hunting for the same breed of whale high rollers that James Packer's Crown Casino and City of Dreams have taken a liking to. Get ready for this...a $100 million fleet of jets (think Thunderbirds A Go) and its harbourfront to be modified into a wharf of sorts to shore up the world's biggest yachts which will attract gambling "whales" to Sydney. Well, that's part of the plan. Thing is, 'Our James' already has a lot of the key relationships with whales (and big dolphins), so maybe relationships may be tested over the coming year, depending upon the type of bait, lure and rod used. Whale VIP's will treated like royalty (hopefully better, since we're talking Australia) and pampered with luxurious penthouse suites fitted out with kitchens designed by some of the nation's best chefs. Yeah, but where's the casino babes (not already snapped up by Team Media Man and the Gumleaf Mafia)? That info may be under wraps and 'Not For Publication' (like stuff in the Chris Masters book sharing the same name). The casino's US management is also aiming high on entertainment, hoping to lure super stars like Michael Buble and Elton John who would headline concerts after its forecast $890 million makeover is completed at the end of next year. In the U.S high end casinos like Wynn have used a similar bait in country rock god Garth Brooks, who Steve Wynn pushed heavily. The 'art of war' tactic is designed to establish Star City as Asia's gambling leader. This would therefor have to surpass James Packer's Crown Casino in Melbourne to actually be successful, and at the same tie compete with dragon like competition from lucrative whale friendly casinos in Macau and Singapore. Casino boss Larry 'Moneybags' (Media Man tag) Mullin...known for his 15 years running US billionaire Donald Trump's gambling empire, advised a "no-holds-barred" approach was required to make Star City a must-see destination for the biggest gamblers, known as whales. Yep, its a casino "war" on steroids folks, as Media Man and G911 have been tipping for over a year. "The only limits are our imaginations," he told News Limited during an extremely rare tour of the casino's existing high-rollers' room, which will need to be revamped. "The game plan is to put us on the map so people travelling around the world put this casino on their lists as a place they have to visit. "There's nothing Sydney shouldn't be first for. It's the bigger and better positioned city. For the premium level, it will offer the pinnacle of what the world has to offer." In excess of $100 million has been set aside to purchase a number of long-haul private jet aircraft to fly whales non-stop from the orient to down under Aussie land. Currently under consideration are aircraft such as the Bombardier Global Express, the sort owned by Frank Lowy and Packer; the Gulf Stream 550, billed as the world's most advanced business jet; and the Boeing Business jet, which is used by Australia's Prime Minister (which one may argue would not be a good look, because of the knifing of Kevin Rudd, a well known figure in Asia. We're whale "hunting" but not "whale killing". Crown is the only Australian casino that offers offer private jets. Mullin disclosed the casino hoped to redevelop the jetty area into a wharf complex that would attract the owners of the world's largest ocean-going private yachts. "That area is the sleeping giant," Mullin said. "We'd love to accept those kinds of boats...the only issue we would have is that they fit under the Harbour Bridge." The consultants who created the Colosseum entertainment venue in Las Vegas' renowned Caesar's Palace will oversee the design of the new entertainment venue, which will fit 3000 to 4000 people. Yep, an all mighty war is raging that might have been right at home in the Roman Colosseum, but 'Sin City' is getting it instead. We're going to wait a little longer before rushing out to but Tabcorp shares, and suggest you do the same, but its your God given right to choose sides. You can taste the blood already as the war causality tally count is set to rise, be it officially or unofficially. Ah, the things that go bump in the night outside the entrance to Star City.

Macau: City Of Dreams Revenue Up 40% For Packer...

Packer has backed another winner. Go Aussie. Macau, the only Chinese territory where casinos are legal sees revenue up 40% to $2.2 billion in August at its 6 operating casinos. Rev peaked 6% to $16.35 billion in the past 8. A jump in the number of high-stake tables and the return of high-rollers (what Tabcorp and others are hunting for) after visa constraints were lifted was a key driver for the impressive result. Crown's 2 Macau casinos - Altiri and City of Dreams, are owned in a joint-venture, Melco Crown, with Chinese tycoon businessman Lawrence Ho. Melco Crown had been previously besmirched by some for struggling to match up to its US and regional competitors. Now Macau is generally more healthy for the casino business that those Las Vegas show offs and big mouths. Numerous analysts had flagged concern Altiri and the flagship $3 billion City of Dreams resort could not maintain their 12.5% market share in the expanding local market. However, it was reported this week that Melco Crown had in fact increased its market share to 19% in the first half of August after sitting at 15% in July. Media Man hasn't see the real books, but we trust them as much as you can for a land based casino. Although the August revenue figures were impressive, as insider said the growth was partly driven by higher capacity in the Macau casino market. "You're not seeing all the operators go up by 40 per cent. However, Macau is surpassing everyone's expectations. Packer was stripped of his title as Australia's richest man last year after his mixed and largely failed stab into the US casino market. A leak said on Packer's Macau "I think things have definitely improved over the past six months. They've improved their marketing campaigns and they've reconfigured the set-up of their main gaming, so that's improved the yield they're getting from the floor. And the opening of the Grand Hyatt hotel at the City of Dreams late last year improved the gaming volumes at the casino." Yep, Packer is still on a roll. Don't bet against him.

Aussie PM Julia Gillard Broken Promise Again To Clubs NSW; Clubs Australia...

PM Gillard has broken a promise to Australia's 4000 registered clubs after cutting a deal with independent Andrew 'Witty & Wild' (MM tag) Wilkie that will mandate smartcard technology to limit gamblers' losses in return for his support in the hung parliament. Numerous leaks and insiders say Wilkie will be lucky to last 6 months, let alone a full 3 years in Parliament, based on the amount of enemies his is making on both sides of politics. An insider leaked "He's a very prejudiced, discriminatory type of person. He tries to force his own beliefs down everyone's throats. He doesn't listen to everyone. He hates the Aussie tradition of having a punt. Bit of a mummy's boy. Kind of reminds us of the old Kevin Rudd". Rudd was stabbed by Gillard with a 'midnight knock' by 'faceless Labor men", before the blood had to be mopped up off the floor. Clubs Australia executive director Anthony 'Buster' (MM tag) Ball said the Prime Minister had backflipped on an agreement to consult the industry before making any changes to gambling and he threatened to lobby the 3 rural independents (Rob Oakeshott, Tony Windsor and Bob Katter), who will decide what government will win. Under the deal, pre-commitment technology will be delivered to every poker machine by 2014 and withdrawals from ATM machines in venues with poker machines will be limited to $250. The PM said she would override state legislation if state premiers failed to take action, but overnight Victoria and New South Wales said they would back the move. Constitutional experts said the commonwealth appeared to have the power to override the states, which net in $3 billion a year in tax revenues from electronic gaming. The pre-commitment technology requires gamblers to use smartcards, to track how much money they spend on the poker machines and to limit their total losses. Gamblers would be able to opt out of the scheme if they wanted. But, should we believe Julia Gillard based on her track record? The Productivity Commission recommended this year that smartcards were the "most effective way to target problem gamblers". It recommended gamblers should be able to "opt out". Wilkie championed Gillard's commitment to force gambling reform by using corporations law to override unco-operative states as "unprecedented". Under the deal, the Aussie states must agree to implement the cards by May 31 next year. Ball told press that forcing gamblers to "pre-commit" to their pokie spending, along with introducing limits on ATM withdrawals, would close rural clubs, cost jobs, inconvenience recreational gamblers and club users, and do nothing to alleviate problem gambling. "She's done this without consultation and without any evidence to support it as an effective harm minimisation measure. Julia Gillard wrote to Clubs Australia and committed herself to consultation in developing gambling policy. That commitment has been broken." The NSW government grabbed more than $1 billion bucks from poker machine taxes in the past financial year. A senior NSW government source... let's call him 'Leak #100' said he did not think the commonwealth had the authority to legislate rules on use of pokies. "And if they think they can make an impact on state revenues, they'll have to compensate us". Acting NSW Gaming Minister Jodi McKay said Gillard's announcement was "exactly the sort of conversation we have been looking forward to having with the federal government". Constitutional law expert and Australian Catholic (a religion!) University vice-chancellor Greg 'Christ' (MM tag) Craven said the PM should be able to achieve poker machine reform across the states within the limits of Australian law. Professor Craven said Gillard should be able to legislate mandatory pre-commitment technology in electronic gaming machines because the commonwealth had the power to make laws with respect to corporations. The Victorian government welcomed Gillard's proposal. Gaming Minister Tony Robinson said the state had taken the lead by working towards implementing pre-commitment technology on all gaming machines. RSL & Services Clubs Association chairman Bryn Miller said he expected the reforms would undercut the revenue of his clubs but the move was preferable to introducing a maximum bet spend. Rumors are starting to circulate in and around the Australian club, hotel, casino and entertainment industry that Gillard, Andrew 'Witty & Wild' (MM tag) Wilkie and Nick 'Mr X' Xenophon are currently making some powerful and very dangerous real life Underbelly type enemies and that they should exercise extreme caution. One clubber whispered in a straight shooting fashion "Labor knifed one of its own. Have a stabbing guess at what us fellas might do when the opportunity presents, and it will". A Media Man insider was overheard with "A real life Underbelly meets Casino Jack meets Casino the movie situation is brewing here. There's going to be fall out. A full on dictator type Aussie government in Australia won't be tolerated much longer in Australia. The people are angry, and some are calling for blood. You might hear a phrase come up...Aussie Gumleaf Mafia. Fact is often stranger than fiction, especially in this world."

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Wrap Up...

Readers... er, punters, what's your view on the casino wars, online casinos, broadband, censorship, internet censorship and freedom of the press?... at work or home? Who will win the Aussie Casino Wars? Is Gillard's luck running out? Do you enjoy adult content (that is legal)? Make your voice heard. Tell us in the forum. The big wigs of Australian politics and business read and hang on every word at your beloved Gambling911. From Australia's answer to 'Casino Jack' to 'Outback Jack', they're all here folks. Keep checking daily for updates. Don't forget to use Proxy if need be, depending upon how you like your coffee and internet... filtered or not?

WWE Pro Wrestling Company Does WWE Poker: WTF - Grooming Kids For Poker?...

The World Wrestling Entertainment company, headed up by Vince McMahon, fresh off an Aussie and China tour, is ramping up WWE Poker, with it getting promoted on the official WWE website. There's a forum and various tournaments, using the names of superstars, wrestling moves and the like. Years ago McMahon rival Eric Bischoff dabbled in mixing wrestling and gaming together with mixed results. EB's website says this on some of his business activities: BHE licensing has developed brand strategies, licensing opportunities, and retail distribution for entertainment brands including WWE, Playboy, Socko Energy, Hulk Hogan, LG, and WalMart. BHE licensing is currently working with Rainmaker Gaming Technologies and ID Gaming for a November launch of a Hulk Hogan branded line of slot machines at G2E in Las Vegas. Swing back to Vegas in 1999 and it was the then World Wrestling Federation who bought a casino but it never got past concept stage. WWF proposed to open on the property best known as the Debbie Reynolds Hotel and Casino, but now known as the Royal Resort Hotel and Casino. It's understood they sold it roughly a year later for a few million dollars profit. McMahon now doing WWE Poker may be a politically dangerous move, given his wifes' Linda McMahon's high profile position in American politics. WWE Poker isn't anywhere close to being listed on PokerScout (yet) which lists the world's most popular poker rooms, dominated by PartyGaming's PartyPoker, PokerStars, PKR, iPoker, Full Tilt, Microgaming and others. WWE toured Australia last month but no mention was made of poker or gambling, online or offline. A few years ago Ric Flair's association with gambling, namely Lotto, was tipped as a reason the company further distanced themselves from 'The Nature Boy'. TNA pro wrestler, Kevin 'Big Sexy' Nash (formally 'Vinnie Vegas' and Diesel) has some links to online gaming and gambling on his official website, which may be a one off in the industry. Media Man on the other hand has pushed the envelope as has a number of gambling and gaming campaigns running on their Wrestling News Media website portal, featuring PartyGaming, Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair. WWE Poker is not particually impressive as yet, not to say that it won't become a body slamming hit with both Yankees and Aussies. Most of McMahon's other WWE entertainment themed side projects of late have been successful including WWE Studios, WWE action figures (Mattel) and WWE Comics. His past bombs included WBF (bodybuilding) and WWE backed American Football entitled XFL. At least he knew how to sell a land based casino for profit, so give the devil his due. Oh, McMahon has joined Facebook, plugging himself into the social media phenom, but thus far seems to have resisted his own official Twitter account, but his company and wrestlers are Twitter maniacs (in a good way). Side note, Hulk Hogan finds himself having numerous fake Faceook and Twitter accounts springing up on an almost weekely basis. Fakes are one of the main dangers of the internet world, but thank god there's only one Gambling911 and one Media Man. Often imitated, never, ever, duplicated!

The Late News...

Australian 'Gumleaf Mafia' fighting back against the 'Thought Police' and 'Bible Bashers', with some serious campaining planned, along with Clubs NSW exposing Australian Labor party lies. More resignations tipped from ALP... MP's doing the wrong thing. Sports: Pakistan Cricket team could be banned from Australia for life. If you have a bet, please bet with your head, not over it, and for God's sake, have fun.

*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911

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

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