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Monday, November 29, 2010

Crown Casino: Sports Performer Awards, by Greg Tingle - 30th November 2010

G'day punters, sports nuts, casino and gambling millionaires and billionaires, poker nuts, politicians, super whales, journalists, ... one and all. Today we dish up sporting feast as Melbourne's Crown Casino plays hosts the annual Sports Performer Awards. Media Man and Gambling911 hunt down the hottest sports stories in the world just for you...

Tonight's the night, at Crown Casino, if your into sports that is, and we don't mean poker.

Very cleverly James Packer owned Crown Casino continues to put on a bush tucker bag of activities, events et al... some gambling related, some not. It's all part of his 'World Of Entertainment' which JP has been selling for a few years now.

Regular G911 and Media Man readers will recall other events that are hosted by Crown included Warnie tapings, 'The Logies', Brownlow Medal awards, and the upcoming 'This Is Your Life'.

Well, tonight (Tuesday) Crown does elite sports.

Let's see... we've got Alicia Coutts (swimmer) and Mark 'No Bull' Webber (F1 ace) in the mix of a world class line up of elite sports men and women.

The winner of the super cool sports performer of the year will get a handy $50,000 payday and a Raymond Weil timepiece valued at $3900. The watch might end up on eBay, but that's another story punters.

The top individual award line up is: Webber, Huegill (swimming), Coutts, Mitchell, Torah Bright (snowboarding), Todd Carney (NRL), Stephanie Gilmore (surfing), Lydia Lassila (aerial skiing), Chris McCormack (ironman), Neil Robertson (snooker), Dane Swan (AFL) and Steve Hooker (athletics).

Who will be Australia's top athlete? We've got Cadel Evans, Matthew Mitcham and Craig Alexander.

F1 legend Webber is a fav of ours and finished third in this year's F1 championship. Webber's performance is amazing when you consider the Red Bull team appeared to treat him as their #2 driver for the season, and you can look up the history on this website.

Collingwood midfielder Swan was a awesome performer all year and significantly assisted the Magpies end a 20-year premiership hiatus.

Snooker ace Robertson grabbed the world championship before going on to top the rankings and win the World Open. Readers will recall some of the history when the favorite got stuck in a sports betting scandal, but enough of that for now.

Aerial skier and Vancouver Olympic gold medallist Lassila went on record that she was was "surprised" and "very grateful to be nominated". Lassila won this year's The Don Award at the Sport Australia Hall of Fame induction ceremony, so she's on a roll.

The nominees for the team performance of the year are the Matildas (soccer), Kookaburras (hockey), St George Illawarra (NRL), Collingwood (AFL), Queensland State of Origin (NRL) and Team Vodafone (V8 Supercars).

How about coach of the year? Ok, we've got Ric Charlesworth (hockey), Gai Waterhouse (horse racing) and Mick Malthouse (AFL) in the field of contenders.

Young performer of the year? Try on for size Melissa Wu (diving) and Jessica Watson (sailing), and swimmer Matthew Cowdrey for the sports performer of the year (with a disability).

Crown Casino Mate To Call And World Class Cricket (And Business) Spinner...

Shane Warne TV News...

Warnie sweetly beat Channel Ten shows The Good Wife and House. Australian TV critics expressed some optimism after viewing the first Warnie. Herald Sun's TV writer Colin Vickery went with the show "a solid first innings". "Warne doesn't have the skills of the famed British interviewer (Michael Parkinson) but the former Aussie spin king has a knockabout charm that brought out the best in his guests," Vickery said. Veteran interviewer and radio host Derryn Hinch told the newspaper he was pleasantly surprised after initially fearing the show "had bogan written all over it". "Take it for what it is, it's entertainment and I think Shane Warne has, what I've seen at this stage, done a pretty good job," Derryn 'The Human Headline' Hinch said. "It's just straight up and down, it's folksy and chatty, it's light and entertaining and it will go quite well." Professional blogger Karl Quinn, from The National Times, a Fairfax Media publication scribed the program as "neither a disaster nor a world-changing event". "It was exactly what you might expect from Shane Warne: affable, blokey, and not to be taken too seriously," Quinn said. Other celebrities to feature on the show include Sting, Pink, Chris Martin and Daniel Radcliffe. Quotes From Warnie And Guests...Warne: "Did you ever think, 'I wish I could be a plumber for a day, or drive a truck and deliver beds or deliver pizzas?'" Packer: "To be honest, not a lot. I sometimes wished I was you, but if I can't be you I'm happy being me." Sam Kekovich: "A life spent making mistakes is more honourable and more useful than a life spent doing nothing," he said. Claiming he was quoting George Bernard Shaw, but everyone knew who he was really talking about. Our rating: 9.5 out of 10. Yep, Warnie hit em for 6, with Packer chipping in being a good sport, making sure it would be a success. Not quite a Packer whacker, but not a puff piece either. Warnie could well be heading for a jackpot next week. Don't change your dial, and always remember to spin to win.

Awards...

It's been a big month for casino awards.

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

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

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Wrap Up...

Readers... er, punters, how did you like our report? Did you enjoy the Crown Casino sporting news? Tell us in the forum.

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

*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911

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

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Aussiewood - Hollywood Entertainment News, by Greg Tingle - 29th November 2010

G'day punters, entertainment news junkies, casino and gambling millionaires and billionaires, politicians, super whales, journalists, one and all. Today we have a special Aussiewood - Hollywood entertainment news round up for you. From the golden sands of Bondi Beach, the Opera House in Sydney, over to Perth, all the way up to our friends in Hollywood, you will be sure to get stars in your eyes today. Media Man and Gambling911 continue to bring you some of the most interesting and news on the planet. Lights, camera, action...

Sylvester Stallone Sex Film 'The Party at Kitty and Stud's' Sells For $400K on eBay...

Sly, The Italian Stallion himself, is back in action…erotic action, sort of... The rights to a soft-porn film starring Sylvester Stallone four decades ago, was sold on e-Bay for $412,100. The then strapped-for-cash star made his on-screen debut in the 1970 film "The Party at Kitty and Stud's." Stallone played Stud, a young man who, along with his oversexed lover Kitty, enjoys inviting various women into their bed. The 71-minute movie was eventually renamed "The Italian Stallion" by Bryanston Distributors after the actor became famous in "Rocky." Now that the rights have been purchased (the owner has not yet been identified), it's likely the film will be re-released, The Sun reported. In an interview in the 1970s, Stallone, now 64, told Playboy that he was so poor that he had to take the role. "It was either do that movie or rob someone because I was at the end—at the very end—of my rope. Instead of doing something desperate, I worked two days for $200." After filming "Rocky," the erotic filmmakers tried to sell the movie back to Stallone for $100,000, but the actor said he "wouldn't pay two bucks for it," according to AOL's Moviefone. Last year MGM unsuccessfully tried to buy the flick. Sly, you've cum a long way since then.

U2 legend Bono Waits For Table At Australian Bondi Beaches' Icebergs...

Bono snuck into 'Sin City' Sydney on Saturday. He headed for a eat and a drink as he often does when down under. The renowned Irish rock singer, who spent two weeks at Sydney's Bungan Beach with his family in 2006 completely undetected, casually strolled into Rose Bay nosherie Catalina on Sunday for a seafood feed with guitarist The Edge (David Evans) and the eatery's owner, Michael McMahon. On Saturday night he arrived unannounced at Icebergs Dining Room and Bar at Bondi Beach and like a normal person waited or a table at the "no reservations" restaurant. "He was having a red cocktail but didn't finish it because a table became available," advised a deepthroat. No, not a Stallone type of deepthroat you rascals. The U2 360 tour begins in Melbourne this Wednesday night.

Avatar Michelle Rodriguez Star Teams Up With Sea Shepherd In Perth...

Hollywood babe actress Michelle Rodriguez, star of Avatar, was in Fremantle supporting anti-whaling activist group Sea Shepherd. Rodriguez has been aboard Sea Shepherd’s flagship vessel MY Steve Irwin. The crew are replenishing supplies before heading to the Southern Ocean in December. The trip, dubbed 'Operation No Compromise', will be Sea Shepherd’s seventh mission into the frigid waters of Antarctica to attempt to stop the slaughter of whales by Japanese "scientific researchers". Among the crew are three Perth residents including former Labor Attorney General Jim McGinty’s brother Kevin McGinty, Steven Bennett and Georgie Dicks. Captain Locky MacLean said the crew are looking forward to having Rodriguez on board. The group, which uses rather militant art of war tactics in its fight against whaling, made headlines early this year when their stealth vessel the Ady Gill was "cut in half" by Japanese whalers. This year, a new monohull fast vessel called the Ocean Adventurer will replace the Ady Gill. SS are currently seeking a large sponsor which would give them the naming rights to use 'Godzilla'. Something like that. Sea Shepherd’s Australian Director Jeff Hansen said: "It is great to see high profile people like Miss Rodriguez giving up their spare time to help promote our fight to defend the whales being illegally targeted in New Zealand and Australian waters". Media Man lost good mate Peter Carrette this past weekend, approximately 48 hours after doing photography at the Bondi Beach 'No Compromise' gig at Bondi Beach last Friday. R.I.P Peter. We miss you mate.

Darren Aronofsky Explains 'The Wolverine' Aussie Hugh Jackman...

If you're wondering why "Black Swan" director Darren Aronofsky was hired to tackle "The Wolverine" for 20th Century Fox, wonder no more. Aronofsky himself has broken his silence on the "Wolverine" front in an extensive interview with Movie City News. According to the filmmaker, his reasons for choosing the "Wolverine" non-sequel as his next project are quite simple: in the end, he just wanted to have a good time. "I'm just trying to have fun," he said. "I think, for the first time in my life, you know, every single film that I've done so far I've been the only person in the room who wants to make the movie. And, I kind of am excited about doing a film where actually everyone wants to make it just to see what the experience is like and to see if I can do what I do in that world." It's not like I'm going to change my process," he added. "I'm going to be working with the same team, and making, you know, really trying to do something very, very different and see what happens." During the interview, Aronofsky said that he's received a large amount of support both from franchise lead Hugh Jackman and Fox Studios head Tom Rothman, joking that Rothman "doesn't even know how gutsy it is" that he hired the outside-the-box filmmaker for "The Wolverine." "I've been looking for a situation where everything lines up really well. This just makes sense; I think I'm being hired because of who I am. I'm not being hired to turn into someone. I'm being hired to do what I do. I don't know if (Rothman) knows exactly what he's bought, but we're definitely going to make something great, you know, but it will be very different, and that's what I do. We're going to try and have a great time with it."

John Travolta and Kelly Preston 'Overjoyed' With New Baby Benjamin; Travolata Not Gay...

Living legend and iconic star of Saturday Night Fever (the movies and the online slot game), is delighted with his new baby, but very unhappy about the gay rumours. Actors John Travolta and Kelly Preston took to Travolta's website earlier this week to announce the birth of their 8-pound, 3-ounce son, Benjamin Travolta. "We are overjoyed to announce the arrival of our son, Ella's baby brother, Benjamin Travolta. Born November23, 2010 in Florida, Benjamin is healthy and doing beautifully. Thank you for the congratulations messages and wishes...we are beyond happy about the newest addition to our family," the family said in the message. Travolta, 56, and Preston, 48, announced the pregnancy earlier this year, celebrating with a dozen close friends at a shower held at their Los Angeles-area home. "This baby is such a healing baby," a family friend told People magazine. The pregnancy was the first bit of good news they had shared in a long time. "It's impossible to keep a secret," they wrote in a statement on Travolta's website in May, "especially one as wonderful as this." We want to be the first to share this great news with everyone that we are expecting a new addition to our family," the online statement continued and like this week's update, was signed "Love, John, Kelly and Ella." John Travolta's family has been dealt another blow as reports emerge that he has been allegedly cheating on his wife...engaging in "lewd sex acts with other men" as part of a "secret gay spa subculture." Perez Hilton posted the story on his website along with a cover of the National Enquirer, carrying the headline "John Travolta Caught In Cheating Scandal! "John Travolta has been cheating on Kelly for years!" said Robert Randolph, author of the memoir, You'll Never Spa in This Town Again. "And when the details emerge, he's gonna make Tiger Woods look like a boy scout." John has been married to Kelly Preston for 19 years, with the pair expecting their third child this year. They lost their eldest son Jett in 2009 to an autism-related seizure.

WWE Studios Films Flop At Box Office; Perform Well In DVD Rental Market...

Entertainment trade publication Variety published a report today on WWE Studios's new films strategy "flopping" at the box office, but perhaps finding a market on home video. Variety followed up on WWE's third quarter earnings report last Thursday by noting WWE reported $3.8 million in revenue related to "Legendary," despite the movie drawing a measly $200,000 at the box office. WWE executive Jim Connelly told Variety that WWE is banking on strong storefront marketing at retail locations such as Walmart to help boost DVD and Blu-ray sales of their movies. Variety also reported on WWE pushing their slate of movies to theaters simply for marketing purposes before pulling the movies and releasing them on DVDs. That was apparent with WWE Studios's theatrical release schedule for "Legendary" and "Knucklehead." Related to the planned launch of the WWE TV Network potentially in 2011, Variety reports that WWE is looking to their slate of movies to serve as "more high-profile programming" on the new cable tele channel. Going forward, Jim Connelly told Variety that WWE will be re-evaluating their movie release schedule for 2011 as they begin to roll out the next slate of low-budget movies in theaters with an eye on home video. Variety concluded: "For now, it appears as if the future of WWE Studios will play out on the smallscreen."

Aussie's Nicole Kidman, Keith Urban To Appear On Oprah Winfrey Show Tomorrow; Australia Catches Oprah - Oprah House Mania...

Australian actress Nicole Kidman and huby singer Keith Urban will be on The Oprah Winfrey Show tomorrow. Urban has earlier confirmed that he would be performing in the shows Ultimate Australian Adventure episodes to be filmed later this year. "Tomorrow, two of the hottest Aussies are here! Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban! The countdown to Oprah's Ultimate Australian Adventure starts now!," says a post on the official Facebook page for The Oprah Winfrey Show. Keith Urban was in The Oprah Winfrey Show earlier this November where he confirmed his performance at the much anticipated episodes set to be shot in Sydney this December. Urban promoted his sixth studio album Get Closer to in the United States. However, the Australia singer did not comment on rumours that his wife Nicole Kidman will also be on Oprah's Australian show. Tomorrow's episode might just confirm if Nicole Kidman will indeed be a guest on December 14 and 15 at the Sydney Opera "Oprah" House.

Mad Max Revamped Movie #4 Will Happen Says Aussiewood Insiders; Fury Road?!...

Remember the Aussie cult film classic that went on to mainstream...Max Max. They got to #3, always with Aussie tough guy Mel Gibson in the lead as 'Max Rockatansky' aka 'The Road Warrior'. Filming will take place near Broken Hill, New South Wales. Gibson will not be reprising his old role in Mad Max 4: Fury Road which will star British actor Tom Hardy alongside Charlize Theron. In November 2006, George Miller had stated that he still had full intentions to make Fury Road, telling the press that he was considering doing the film without Mel Gibson, saying, “There's a real hope. The last thing I wanted to do is another Mad Max, but this script came along, and I'm completely carried away with it." The film's screenplay was co-written with cult British comic creator Brendan McCarthy, who also designed many of the new characters and vehicles. Miller again confirmed his desire to make another Mad Max at the 2007 Aurora film maker initiative. However, he did say he thought Mel Gibson would not be interested in the film because he is too old (not too nuts!)

Billionaire Branson To Launch Apple iPad Lifestyle Mag...

Aussie's live Branson and Virgin, so you'll love this...Word of Sir Dick's plans to publish "Project" for delivery on iPads came shortly after media mogul Rupert Murdoch hinted that his News Corp empire will soon publish a digital newspaper for the hot Apple gadgets. News Corp, owner of The Australian, has been tight-lipped about the project but 79-year-old mogul Murdoch acknowledged in an interview last week that "The Daily" is in the works. Sir Richard said in invitations to the press that "Project" themes will include entertainment, travel, business, design, and international culture. The event in New York City on Wednesday did not indicate whether "Project" would be provided as passenger reading on flights. Billionaire entrepreneur Sir Richard owns about half of Virgin Atlantic airline with its aircraft that boast internet-age amenities such as power outlets at seats and wireless connections to the web. He recently said that his Virgin Galactic enterprise is on track to offer commercial space travel within 18 months, and that space hotels are next on the drawing board. Yeah, we know, Branson has appeared in films such as Casino Royale, Around The World in 80 days, and a good spread of other movies and TV specials. If your going to be a media tart, you might as well be very good at it.

Lachlan Murdoch Acquires Ten Network Stake, Joins Shareholder Aussie James Packer...

Lachlan Murdoch, son of News Corp. Chairman Rupert, has recently acquired a little over half of James Packer’s stake in Ten Network Holdings Ltd. Packer bought a 17.88% stake, or 172.2 million shares, in the media group last month through Cavalane Holdings Ltd. Murdoch, through Illyria Nominees Television Pty Ltd. has agreed to buy 93.4 million shares for A$128.2 million, according to a regulatory filing to the ASX (Australian Stock Exchange). The two gents will act in concert in relation to the exercise of their votes, the statement said. Packer and Murdoch agreed to join the board of Australia’s third-ranked television broadcaster last month. Gina Rinehart, Australia’s richest woman, lifted her stake in the company to 10%. Packer also owns 49% of Consolidated Media Holdings Ltd. which in turn has 25% of Foxtel, down under's largest pay television operator.

Media Man Showcases Movies; Reviews...

Want more? Check out Media Man Movies here and Media Man Movie Reviews here.
Try not to get square eyes. We're told PartyGaming still has the best movie blockbuster themed slot games on the planet, but you be the judge, jury and executioner. The Media Man has left the building.

Awards...

It's been a big month for casino awards.

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

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

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Wrap Up...

Readers... er, punters, how did you like our special Aussiewood - Hollywood report? Did you get stars in your eyes? Tell us in the forum.

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

*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911

*Media Man http://www.mediamanint.com is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. They cover a dozen industry sectors including gaming and offer media, entertainment industry and political commentary and analysis. They also publish Australian Sports Entertainment http://www.australiansportsentertainment.com and Hollywood Slot Games

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Saturday, November 27, 2010

Asia Pacific, Aussie Gambling And Entertainment News, by Greg Tingle - 27th November 2010

G'day punters, casino and gambling millionaires and billionaires, poker nuts, politicians, super whales, journalists, politicians... one and all. Today we dish up an Australian and Oriental giant size feast. Media Man and Gambling911 circumnavigate the globe to satisfy your culinary delights. 2, 4, 6, 8, dig in, don't wait...

Shane Warne TV Update...

Warnie sweetly beat Channel Ten shows The Good Wife and House. Australian TV critics expressed some optimism after viewing the first Warnie. Herald Sun's TV writer Colin Vickery went with the show "a solid first innings". "Warne doesn't have the skills of the famed British interviewer (Michael Parkinson) but the former Aussie spin king has a knockabout charm that brought out the best in his guests," Vickery said. Veteran interviewer and radio host Derryn Hinch told the newspaper he was pleasantly surprised after initially fearing the show "had bogan written all over it". "Take it for what it is, it's entertainment and I think Shane Warne has, what I've seen at this stage, done a pretty good job," Derryn 'The Human Headline' Hinch said. "It's just straight up and down, it's folksy and chatty, it's light and entertaining and it will go quite well." Professional blogger Karl Quinn, from The National Times, a Fairfax Media publication scribed the program as "neither a disaster nor a world-changing event". "It was exactly what you might expect from Shane Warne: affable, blokey, and not to be taken too seriously," Quinn said. Other celebrities to feature on the show include Sting, Pink, Chris Martin and Daniel Radcliffe. Quotes From Warnie And Guests...Warne: "Did you ever think, 'I wish I could be a plumber for a day, or drive a truck and deliver beds or deliver pizzas?'" Packer: "To be honest, not a lot. I sometimes wished I was you, but if I can't be you I'm happy being me." Sam Kekovich: "A life spent making mistakes is more honourable and more useful than a life spent doing nothing," he said. Claiming he was quoting George Bernard Shaw, but everyone knew who he was really talking about. Our rating: 9.5 out of 10. Yep, Warnie hit em for 6, with Packer chipping in being a good sport, making sure it would be a success. Not quite a Packer whacker, but not a puff piece either. Warnie could well be heading for a jackpot next week. Don't change your dial, and always remember to spin to win.

Melco Crown Entertainment's Altira Macau Awarded Forbes Five Star Ratings for the Second Year...

Melco Crown Entertainment Limited, a developer and owner of casino gaming and entertainment resort facilities focused on the Macau market, announced today that Altira Macau has been awarded the Forbes Five Star ratings in both Lodging and Spa categories for the second consecutive year. Altira Macau is a luxurious casino hotel located in Taipa, Macau, which is developed, owned and operated by Melco Crown Entertainment. Mr. Lawrence Ho, Co-Chairman and CEO of Melco Crown Entertainment, said: "We are honored to receive this very prestigious recognition again for Altira Macau's exceptional commitment in ensuring each and every guest experiences the true art of hospitality. Altira Macau has emerged as the top choice for travelers seeking flawless comfort and sophistication during their stay in the city. "Altira Macau represents Melco Crown Entertainment's in-depth understanding of the hospitality landscape in Asia and its commitment to the diversification of Macau's tourism industry. The awards reinforce our role in the transformation of Macau into an international travel and leisure destination for the most discerning guests." Forbes Five-Star Lodging Awards are granted to hotels with exceptionally distinctive luxury environment, offering consistently superlative, personalized service and extensive amenities and treatments. Forbes Five-Star Spa Awards are granted in recognition of the same level of exceptionally distinctive spa experiences located within a hotel.

Politics And Gambling Do Or Don't Mix? You Be The Judge...

Problem gambling report strengthens resolve for gambling reforms...(Greens)

ACT Greens Parliamentary Convenor, Meredith Hunter MLA, has described a Gambling and Racing Commission report into problem gambling as timely and an informative addition to moves by the Greens and Government to reform ACT gaming machine laws. “This report very clearly identifies the mood in the Canberra community for reforms that do more to reduce the harms caused by problem gambling,” Ms Hunter said. “The report shows that more than 5% or 14,000 Canberrans show symptoms of problem gambling. “What is even more troubling is that only 19% of those who do have a gambling problem have even accessed a problem gambling service. It is often not until problem gamblers seriously consider suicide that they seek help. “A Greens Bill before the Assembly is targeted at securing adequate funding for problem gambling support services and further research into gambling. “These services need more funding in order to be accessible and to reach people before they are in crisis. “The Greens legislation is designed to work with other reforms which have been flagged both locally and federally,” Ms Hunter said.

The Greens Gaming Machine Amendment Bill:

- Requires licence holders to contribute 0.75% of their gross gaming machine revenue to the Problem Gambling Assistance Fund
- The fund is to be managed and distributed by the Gambling and Racing Commission to organisations that provide assistance to problem gamblers
- This new funding would mean around $1.3 million is dedicated to addressing problem gambling, an increase of $0.9m on what was allocated by the clubs this year.

Candidate deals out criticism over casino support ads...

An independent candidate in the seat of Mildura is threatening legal action unless the National party withdraws television advertisements that began airing at the weekend. The ads say candidate Glenn Milne supports the proposed Jewel Casino, although Mr Milne has publicly stated he is not in favour of the development. The Nationals say by exchanging second preferences with pro-casino candidate Doug Tonge, Mr Milne is effectively supporting the casino. However, Mr Milne says the ads are wrong. "No and that has never been my campaign. I think the Nationals, they're the ones running it, they're really starting to grab at straws now because they are worried about losing the seat with their lacklustre member," he said.

New report shows extent of gambling in the ACT...

Minister for Gaming and Racing Andrew Barr said a new report released today on the prevalence of gambling in the Canberra community highlighted the need for the ACT Government to introduce reforms to address problem gambling. “The Prevalence Study into Gambling and Problem Gambling in the ACT, by the Australian National University’s Centre for Gambling Research, is the most significant study of its kind to be conducted in the ACT since 2001,” Mr Barr said. “The level of problem gambling in the Territory was measured as 0.5 percent of the adult population, which is about 1370 adults. This compares to 0.4 percent in New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia and 0.7 percent in Victoria. “The report found that 45 percent of people gambling weekly or more on activities other than scratch tickets and lotteries, had at least some symptoms of problem gambling and 5.6 percent were identified as problem gamblers. “55 percent of those who played gaming machines weekly or more often were experiencing some symptoms of problem gambling and just under nine percent, or one in eleven, were classified as problem gamblers.” The study found 70 percent of adults in the ACT had gambled at least once in the last 12 months. Thirty percent of adults (or 82,000 people) had played gaming machines in that period and 10 percent of gaming machine users played weekly or more. The study also found 70.3 percent of Canberrans thought ATMs should not be available in gaming machine venues and 57.8 percent thought the number of gaming machines should be reduced in the ACT.
Mr Barr said the ACT Government was committed to addressing problem gambling and had flagged a significant package of reforms to the Assembly earlier this month. “As part of the total reform package, the Government supported in-principle a Bill from the ACT Greens to introduce a mandatory contribution by the operators of gaming machines to a central problem gambling assistance fund,” Mr Barr said. “While supporting the Greens Bill in-principle, the Government will propose that the problem gambling assistance levy be set at 0.6 per cent, rather than the 0.75 per cent proposed by the ACT Greens. “We will also reduce the number of gaming machines in the ACT’s gaming machine ‘cap’ by 143 which would see the number of machines available in the territory drop from 5200 to 5057. “Multi-venue club groups will be able to transfer gaming machines internally subject to the social impact and needs assessment currently outlined in the Gaming Machine Act 2004. “The reforms also outlined an increase in the required percentage of community contributions from 7 per cent to 8 per cent of net gaming machine revenue and the consideration of requiring other operators, such as Casino Canberra and ACTTAB Ltd, to contribute to the gambling assistance fund in the future.” Mr Barr said there were some positive findings in the study. The ACT gambling participation rate had fallen slightly in the last decade and between 2000-01 and 2007-08 per capita gambling expenditure in the ACT fell by 21 percent in real terms. “But alarmingly the study also showed those with gambling problems often didn’t reach out for help. The ACT Government will continue to work with clubs and support groups to try to increase the number of people seeking support services,” Mr Barr said. “I will also continue to work with local clubs and the Federal Government when it comes to reforms to address problem gambling."

Burswood Casino Gets Yet More Violence...

An 18-year-old man underwent surgery after a fight broke out on the dance floor of a venue at Burswood Casino in the early hours of yesterday. Police spokesman Samuel Dinnison advised that a group of men began fighting, and the 18-year-old victim received a head wound. He said the victim alleged that one of the men threw a glass bottle at his head, but said he could not yet confirm if the bottle broke on his head, or that the incident was a glassing. Dinnison said the bottle may not have broken, and the blunt force of the bottle may have caused the injuries. Another man was taken into police custody and questioned over the incident, but he was released without charge. The victim is in a stable condition and will undergo surgery later today at Royal Perth Hospital.

ACT: Getting Help For Problem Gamblers: Last Resort...

A new study has found most problem gamblers in the ACT do not seek help until they are considering suicide. The research carried out by the Australian National University for the ACT Gaming and Racing Commission found 70 per cent of Canberra adults gambled at least once in the past year. Researchers surveyed 5,500 residents, making it the most significant study of its kind conducted in the Territory since 2001. Nearly 60 per cent of those surveyed want the number of pokies in the ACT reduced and more than 70 per cent think ATMs should be banned from poker machine venues. According to the survey, less than 1 per cent of Canberrans are considered to be problem gamblers. "If you benchmark the rest of Australia the ACT is about in the middle," said ACT Gaming and Racing Commission CEO Greg Jones. "We're talking just the problem gamblers those that scored the highest risk on this index, they made up 0.5 per cent of the total adult population. That compares to 0.4 per cent in New South Wales, Queensland and South Australia but Victoria was 0.7 per cent." But Mr Jones says the number of people with symptoms of problem gambling is of growing concern. "We're talking about those that are low and medium risk which are getting close to showing some of those signs," he said. "What we found in our survey was 5.3 per cent of our adult population are showing some signs or some symptoms of problem gambling and that's about 15,000 adults in the ACT. "The survey found problem gamblers and those at risk do not usually seek help until they are at risk of or are contemplating suicide. Mr Jones says it appears seeking help is a last resort. "This is very disturbing. This is going to be the focus of the Commission and ANU's future research," he said. "That came as a little bit of surprise to us and that is going to be our focus over the next few years, identifying who the problem gamblers are and what their issues are and why they don't seek help are of our research over the next few years. "Maybe we need to change the way we market our health services. Maybe we need to change how we deliver our health services." Lifeline Canberra CEO Mike Zissler says the finding is concerning. "This is part of the evidence we have. When we do our intake with people we talk to them extensively and we find about 20 per cent have thoughts of suicide," he said. "How we get people to come and avail them of our services is a real issue. "It's a challenge we face as we move forward."

'Not the answer'

Jeff House from ClubsACT says the report has some useful data but he would be worried if the ACT Government based new policies on it. "I think what the report shows is that we have to get better at providing services to the people that need them," he said. "Every time a measure like banning ATMs comes up, there's a very simple question that needs to be asked - will this help the problem gamblers? "I don't think we should be demonising all people who gamble. We need to target problem gamblers and those at risk. We need to deal with them sensitively and effectively. Treating every gambler as a problem gambler is not going to achieve that." Mr House says banning ATMs and reducing the number of poker machines is not the answer. "If we have more widespread and more sophisticated education campaigns, that would help," he said. "I think there is a range of things we can do and we should be talking about those things rather than these sort of broadbrush measures like reducing machine numbers and banning ATMs."

Pokies cut

The ACT Government says it might have to ask the Commonwealth for more money to compensate for any drop in poker machine revenue. At the launch of the report, Gaming Minister Andrew Barr foreshadowed cutting 143 poker machine licences bringing the number in Canberra to just over 5,000. However Mr Barr admits the Government would feel the cost of that decision through decreased taxation revenue. "The nett gaming machine revenue is in the order of $175 million - the ACT Govt collects about $35 million in taxation," he said. "We know the Territory budget couldn't survive without that level of revenue, that's effectively one per cent of the territory budget, but I think we'd all be more comfortable if we were less reliant on that revenue base."

Sydney - Five Dock Pokie Plans On The Way; Council And Residents At War!...

Five Docks's Illinois Hotel has been given the green light by Canada Bay council to build an outdoor pokies and smoking area. The approval allows for a maximum of eight existing pokie machines and ten people to be in the outdoor area until 3am six days a week. The new and exciting rear area will be built at the back of the hotel where a smoking terrace was illegally built back in 2007. Addressing the meeting, hotel neighbour Arthur Ciantar said the gaming area would increase noise and smoke pollution for those living around the pub, which is a pretty fair dinkum call. "I think it would be unfair for the council to consider this proposal over the welfare of residents and value of our property," Ciantar said. Liberal Michael Megna was one of two councillors who voted against the development application on noise and health grounds. "This is slap bang in the middle of a residential area… sure have a smoking area, but they don’t need pokies in there," Cr Megna said. Before voting in support of the hotel’s alterations, Mayor Angelo Tsirekas said other pubs and clubs such as the Concord RSL, had been allowed to build similar areas. "This is not a precedent, other clubs are doing it...we approved one similar at the last meeting,” Cr Tsirekas said. As part of the development’s conditions, hotel staff will be required to regularly ask patrons to keep the noise down and the volume of pokie machines will have to be kept at a low level. It was not ascertained at the meeting how these provisions would be enforced. Chair of the Gambling Impact Society NSW Kate Roberts said the move will harm those most vulnerable to pokie machines. "The business they are hoping to capture are those most addicted to the machines who, if they want a smoke, will have to push the pause button to go outside," she said. "This means they have to stop the routine or the cycle they’re in and may be more likely to actually think about what they are doing." Illinois Hotel’s manager but did not receive a comment. More fireworks are expects, as other Sin City councils look on with an eagle eye, always on the lookout for more revenue streams. Who will get lucky... the council, the residents, or both?

Americans Taking Over Star City Casino; American - Oriental David Chang To Cook Up Storm At Star...

He's been described as the world's hottest young chef, David Chang, of Momofuku in New York, is opening a restaurant in Sin Sydney... at Star City in fact. In a coup for the operators of Star City, the 33-year-old will open in the revamped casino in September next year. The American-born son of South Korean migrants owns four restaurants, including one with two Michelin stars. He's is on Time magazine's 2010 list of 100 most influential people. Chang mixes classic French training with Asian influences but said: "I just say it's American food and we try to serve something delicious because there's nothing worse in the world than leaving a restaurant and thinking you got ripped off." He was tipped to open his first venue outside New York in Los Angeles but "I've just fallen in love with Australia. I'm just fascinated by the food scene in Sydney and Melbourne. "People are excited about food in Australia. It's fresh and it's energetic. "New York will always be home but there's something in Australia that Americans have never opened up at - Australians are very serious about their food, their coffee culture and their drinks. It's a fascinating place." "It's up in the air. We have some ideas but nothing hammered out." Chang is Star City's headline act for its $860 million redevelopment. He will join a line-up that includes Chase Kojima, formerly with Nobu restaurants, whose restaurant will be in the casino's new five-star hotel. Teage Ezard of Melbourne will open a steak and seafood restaurant, Steve Manfredi will open an Italian restaurant, and the pastry chef Adriano Zumbo will open a cafe. We're hungry, how about you?

Betfair: The Ashes...

Powerhouse betting exchange Betfair is to launch an integrated campaign to coincide with the commencement of the first Ashes Test in less than 24 hours. In the campaign former Ashes winning England captain Michael Vaughan is outed as the ultimate “Urn-coat”...betting against his own country with Betfair during the Ashes. The campaign centres on Vaughan’s attempt to hide his identity as a 'Betfair Australian', and explain why his money is on Australia for this summer’s Ashes. Two unbranded viral video clips were seeded last week prior to the official launch and have so far recieved more than 150,000 hits combined, with some insiders tipping its some sort of record... for the betting meets ad sector down under. Other social media aspects included a colourful Twitter conversation between Vaughan and former Aussie batsman Darren "Boof" Lehmann giving the nod to the viral footage. This surged the 30 second TVCs of the Vaughan interview as well as ink, and a Facebook account that will link Betfair and Vaughan’s Twitter account and outdoor executions. Vaughan will also spend time today (at time of submission) the eve of the first test war...conducting a series of interviews with Australian radio stations. Betfair Australia marketing director David Pisker said: "What could be a simpler expression of our value proposition than having the Ashes-winning Captain of an English cricket team turning his back on Queen and Country to take advantage of Betfair’s superior value on Australia this summer.". The ad is expected to remain on the banned list from Australian TV, even though most tele watchers will chase it up on YouTube.

Rinehart; Australia's Richest Woman Join Network Ten Board...

Ten Network Holdings Ltd advised Gina Rinehart has become a director of the television broadcaster four days after acquiring a 10% stake in the company. Rinehart will join the board following the company's annual general meeting on December 9. Rinehart on November 22 bought a 10% stake in Ten and the company's confirmation of her board seat had been widely expected. The move comes two days after billionaire James Packer carried out his promise to sell half his newly acquired stake in Ten to good mate and fellow billionaire Lachlan Murdoch. Rinehart is the fourth billionaire on the Ten board. Fellow billionaire and WIN TV owner Bruce Gordon holds 14% while Packer and Murdoch each now hold a stake of about nine per cent.

Awards...

It's been a big month for casino awards. Ok, as you read earlier, Macau's Altira Macau was awarded the prestigious Forbes Five Star Ratings for the second year in a row, so Packer and the Ho family continue to work their magic.

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

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

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Wrap Up...

Readers... er, punters, how did you like our report? Did you enjoy the Asia Pacific - Oriental adventure with us? Tell us in the forum.

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

*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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Friday, November 26, 2010

Casino News Media: Win A Dream Holiday And Guaranteed Entry Into WPT Celebrity Invitational; PartyCasino Big One Near $3 Million

Win A Dream Holiday And Guaranteed Entry Into WPT Celebrity Invitational; PartyCasino Big One Near $3 Million

‘The Big One’ at PartyCasino.com is nearing $3,000,000 while the accumulated jackpots on the world’s largest online casino are nearing $4,000,000! ‘The Big One’ is structured as a five tiered pool. The highest tier - Colossal Cash - seeds at $1.5 million, the biggest online jackpot seed in the industry, and currently stands at $2,840,000. Customers can play for ‘The Big One’ through traditional slot Melon Madness and the recently introduced Snow Business. Somebody is going to win very big!

PartyPoker.com recently introduced anonymous heads-up tables. How does that change your game? We asked Kara Scott et all for their views.

Win A Dream Holiday And Guaranteed Entry Into WPT Celebrity Invitational

Gibraltar – 16th November 2010 -- PartyPoker.com is offering customers the opportunity to indulge themselves in the world of the rich and famous by winning a four-day dream holiday to Los Angeles, including a seat in the prestigious WPT Celebrity Invitational at the Commerce.

A PartyPoker.com spokesman said: “Win one of our amazing prize packages and we’ll make sure you live it up in one of the coolest cities on the planet. Last year we took package winners on a tour of Hollywood and Beverley Hills as well as organising a fun-filled day at the world-famous Universal Studios – and this time it could be you experiencing the A-list lifestyle. As well as the sightseeing you’ll also get a seat at the exclusive WPT Celebrity Invitational. This event is packed full of celebrities and big names from poker but we’ve made sure our winners will have their place among the elite for a chance to win a major slice of the $200,000 prize pool.”

"These packages are sure to be popular. We don’t know how many of the 14 packages we’ll give away in each weekly satellite so remember, once they’re gone they’re gone and the promotion will be over."

PartyPoker.com’s Los Angeles packages include:

Four nights’ hotel accommodation
$2,000 spending money
Our world-renowned hospitality throughout your stay in Los Angeles
Guaranteed entry to the WPT Celebrity Invitational

There are a wide range of daily qualifiers that run until the 19th December or until 14 packages are given away. Daily freerolls mean there is the chance to win the trip to LA for free!

The WPT Celebrity Invitational is the curtain raiser for the LA Poker Classic and takes place on the 18th – 19th February 2011 – the event is overseen by WPT Executive Tour Director Matt Savage. The event is strictly invite only. Amongst the celebrities spotted in the field in 2010 were Ricki Lake and Terri Hatcher, with reality star Trishella Cannatella and poker pro Thor Hansen making the final table. Amateur Leron Washington took the $100,000 first prize.

Full information can be found at: PartyPoker.com

Please note that players have to be 21 to take part in the WPT Celebrity Invitational.

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

AFL Star David Schwarz: Gambling, Mafia Warnings, by Greg Tingle - 24th November 2010

Readers, punters, politicians, casino millionaires, billionaires, sports nuts, one and all. We know that only a small percentage of people develop a gambling problem, where it starts to become a real problem and negative in their lives. As a public service and in the spirit of being fair and balanced in our coverage of gaming and gambling we offer the story on an Aussie sporting champion who survived his problem, and today he shares it with us. Media Man and Gambling911 with the news you need to know, not necessarily what you want to hear...

AFL footy star David Schwarz knows what it's like to battle with a gambling addiction.

His addition has been compared to the one that Brendan "Punter Fev" Fevola once was known for.

He gambled the better part of $4 million bucks over a decade while playing with the Melbourne Demons AFL team between 1991 and 2001.

In a revealing and candid speech at a gambler's help launch at Victoria's Latrobe Community Health Service last Monday, Schwarz disclosed he made it out of his gambling addition only because of the help of other people.

Schwarz lived in Morwell and Traralgon as a child before moving to Beechworth and then Sunbury.

He's good memories of growing up are overshadowed by bad. When he was 8 years old he said he saw his father shot dead in front of him, leaving the family with gambling debts of almost $40,000, then the value of 3 houses in the town.

When he was 14 he placed his first bet and scored a winner, pocketing about $50.

Schwarz said when he told his mother how he got the money he "saw the fear in her eyes straight away".

The only days of the year he didn't gamble were Christmas Day and Good Friday, because the betting companies were closed.

When the AFL hit the "boom time" in the 1990s Schwarz said his income jumped from about $30,000 a year to $1.28 million for a 4 year deal.

"Most people would think 'I can set myself up for life here', I thought 'I can do some damage at the track'," Schwarz said.

His gambling spiralled out of control and the rising footy star blew his earnings and the equity on his Camberwell home, and his personal and work relationships began to suffer greatly.

"I was hanging out with d**kheads in the Mafia...all of a sudden I'm the person who's letting my team down...no one trusts me," he said.

"(But) I don't care, I'm punting, that's my life."

He told the group that punters made selfish choices and lied to family and friends.

Schwarz said he didn't believe the gaming industry was "evil", but some punters were vulnerable to becoming problem gamblers and those people needed to be protected.

Average electronic gaming machine expenditure in the Latrobe Valley is about $4 million a month. You read correctly.

Latrobe Community Health community support executive director Anne-Maree Kaser said the Venue Support Workers program helped gaming venue staff identify and respond to people showing signs of problem gambling behaviours.

Two Venue Support Workers are now in Gippsland working with gaming venues and gambler's help organisations to support responsible gambling practices and environments.

Hat's off to Schwarz, gaming companies and community support groups doing the right thing.

If gambling is becoming a problem for you please seek assistance.

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Wrap Up...

Readers... er, punters, how did you like our report? Do you think you or a friend might have a problem with gambling? Tell us in the forum.

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

*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911

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

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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Mildura Jewel Casino: Impossible Dream?, by Greg Tingle - 24th November 2010

Readers, punters, politicians, casino millionaires, billionaires, tourism operators, one and all. You've been asking for more information on the Mildura Jewel Casino proposal from down under in Victoria, Australia, and today we deliver. Media Man and Gambling911 take a ride on the farm tractor and put on the cowboy hat and work boots with this special report...

Dreaming is often encouraged by Australian aboriginal elders, as was re quoted by rocker Bob Geldof on his journey to Australia borrowing from German writer Johann von Goethe..."Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.".

Now some media and gaming analysts, academics and Mildura residents and political types are asking themselves what is dream and what is fantasy, in regard to the celebrated Mildura Jewel Casino proposal.

Local candidate Doug Tonge has slammed an academic report which deems the Jewel casino project an "impossible dream".

PhD student and business lecturer Larry O’Connor presented his review of the proposed Jewel development at a press conference convened by La Trobe University last Thursday.

Recently a number of Australian university studies and research papers have come under fire, for appearing bias and being geared to get the result they want, not being entirely based on fact or scientific results, but we will quote the Uni brain anyway, us being good sports and all.

In his study entitled "Gambling with Mildura’s Future," O’Connor said a casino/hotel may be viable but not the full $300-$400 million Jewel proposal...which also included a business convention and entertainment centre.

But pro-casino independent candidate Doug Tonge branded the report a political stunt, and a number of media and gambling analysts tend to agree.

"This is probably the most useless piece of information I have read in considering the pros and cons of the Jewel proposal," Tonge said.

"Mr O’Connor draws a comparative example of the proposed Mildura project and concludes that the venture would be unviable and detrimental to the Mildura community.”

The presentation was chaired by Mallee Family Care executive director Vernon Knight, who welcomed Mr O’Connor’s report as a definitive statement to the merits of the Jewel proposal.

A Media Man spokesperson said "We are certain that the universities negative findings on the Mildura Jewel was a stunt, and we know a thing or two about political stunts, and this reeks of it and something else that comes out of the backside of the cows down there in Mildura. Australian universities have recently being releasing a number of negative based findings on casinos and gambling, so this should come as no surprise".

More political lobbying, reports and community consultation will continues, but when the merry go round stops and the casino development starts is anyone's guess at this stage. If one person in Australia might know if its a green or red light that would be Victorian Premier John Brumby, who has done well for Melbourne's Crown Casino and is largely seen as a very successful premier who gets the job done and also finds the right balance between business and community. We're rooting for you John.

Candidates’ Each Way Bet On Casino; Says National Party...

All of the data used by Mildura accounting academic Larry O’Connor in his report Gambling With Mildura’s Future was sourced from publicly available information material. “The pro-casino Independent candidate claims that I used statistics from Mr O’Connor’s report in the week before it was released,” says Member for Mildura Peter Crisp. “Actually, I’ve been using facts and figures on casino operations for much longer, because they’ve been available in documents produced by the Productivity Commission and in a report produced for the Australasian Casino Association by the Allen Consulting Group. “For example, I said via a news release on October 26 that: “More than 80% of customers of casinos in Australia are drawn from the city/state in which the casino is located, according to a 2009 report to the Australasian Casino Association by the Allen Consulting Group”. “I was making the point that a casino would drag patrons away from local community-owned clubs, which I reiterated throughout the campaign. “The Workers Club made the same point in a full-page advertisement in the Sunraysia Daily in early November. “Had the pro-casino Independent candidate done even a scrap of research he would know that a casino in Mildura would bankrupt a number of existing community-owned clubs.

Report Questioning Casino 'Irrelevant'...

The developer planning to build a casino in Mildura has dismissed an independent report questioning the project's viability. Larry O'Connor from the La Trobe Regional School of Business says even the most generous business modelling cannot support the Jewel Casino, hotel and function centre development. He says a $300 million or $400 million complex cannot generate enough income to sustain it. But developer John Haddad says the viability of the complex is the concern of the investors, the political argument is whether it will be allowed. "It'll be the Parliament that will give the turnkey to the casino, so it's irrelevant (for) this gentlemen, whoever he is, to do this research. The object is for us to build it," he said. Most tourism experts believe the casino proposal will give the region a much needed boost, as its continues to bounce back from the world's financial crisis.

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Wrap Up...

Readers... er, punters, how did you like our report? Should the Mildura Jewel Casino development start construction, or are more checks and balances required? Tell us in the forum.

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

*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911

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

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Australian Gambling And Entertainment News, by Greg Tingle - 24th November 2010

Welcome to another jam packed news update from down under in Australia. We're got pro casino and gaming VS the haters, news media players, politic, entertainment goss and lots more. Media Man and Gambling911 take bring you the best in Aussie gambling and entertainment news. Lights, camera, action...

Biggest Police Raid In Victorian History; Gambling And Pokies Connection; Real Life Underbelly...

34 people, mainly Aussies and some Chinese and Taiwani are locked up after the biggest drug operation in Victoria's history sent 650 police storming into scores of properties allegedly linked to a $400 million cannabis-farms syndicate. Police raided 68 properties all allegedly connected to a cannabis cartel producing indoor hydroponic crops – each worth $80,000. Deputy Commissioner Sir Ken Jones revealed the raids would have happened sooner but US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's visit to Melbourne had diverted too many resources. But Sir Ken said suggestions the raids had been timed to benefit the State Government days before the election were "absolute rubbish". "We're not going to threaten our operations to suit any political cycle," he said. Today's raids are part of a long-term police investigation codenamed Entity.
Many of the properties raided today were used as hydroponic "farms’’. As part of the investigation police have previously raided 50 properties in Victoria and New Zealand, seizing more than $20 million in assets. The investigation involves Victoria Police, Australian Federal Police, customs, tax and immigration officials. Investigators say the main targets are members of the Vietnamese community. Police say some of the funds reaped from the marijuana crops have been used to buy heroin in Vietnam, which has been imported into Australia. Detective Superintendent Gerry Ryan said early reports were the operation was going well. Police have long maintained there is a direct link between Vietnamese syndicates trafficking in both cannabis and heroin. Police have identified seven major heroin syndicates, which have recruited more than 100 Melbourne-based couriers. Police were ready to raid the houses two weeks ago, however the operation had to be delayed because of US Secretary of State Hillary Ms Clinton's visit. Drug Taskforce investigators say the syndicates target members of the Vietnamese community with gambling debts who are susceptible to pressure from loan sharks. Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade figures show 25 Australian nationals are in Vietnamese jails on drug charges. Since 2003, seven Australians sentenced to death in Vietnam have had their penalty commuted after pleas for clemency from the Australian Government. A police taskforce of drug taskforce detectives, Customs and Border Protection officers, the Australian Crime Commission and Australian Federal Police has been set up to investigate the syndicates. Operation Ripsaw has resulted in the arrest of more than 30 suspects in Australia and Vietnam in the past two years. In August police seized commercial and residential properties valued at $20 million they allege had been purchased through laundered funds made by the syndicates through heroin trafficking. More than 20 suspects have been arrested and $3 million in cash seized during the raids in Fitzroy, Brunswick, St Albans, Maribyrnong, Footscray, Sunshine and Collingwood. Detectives say heroin couriers fly into Melbourne from Vietnam every week and some have made several trips.
They have identified one female syndicate leader in her 30s, who bet $3.7 million at Crown Casino in six months and regularly wagered $50,000 a hand. Another key figure bet $12 million in Australian casinos in just over five years. Couriers are paid up to $24,000 to import four 70-gram heroin pellets (80 percent pure). Syndicates can net more than $700,000 from the drugs sold on Melbourne streets. On June 4, 2006, Australian Federal Police arrested Vietnam Airlines pilot Van Dang Tranas at Sydney International Airport with more than $540,000 concealed in his cabin luggage. The Australian Crime Commission money-laundering Taskforce Gordian found that he had smuggled $6.5 million out of Australia in less than 12 months. He pleaded guilty and in 2007 was sentenced to a minimum of two years' jail. It is alleged that crime syndicates used the Long Thanh Money Transfer Company in Footscray to launder more than $93 million.

Shane Warne Has Nerves About New TV Show...

Warne has he and Aussie gambling and media king, James Packer, were nervous before his interview before new show, Warnie. The interview is Packer's first one-on-one TV interview in 20 years and a real coup for Warne. Speaking at Channel 9's Ashes launch this week, Warne said the two had been friends for two decades, which contributed to the nerves. "Not many people know James Packer that well," he said. "He is a wonderful guy. He's been a good friend to me for 20 years." Warne's interview subjects for his new show include Dannii Minogue, Coldplay's Chris Martin and Sting. He said he just tried to be himself when interviewing the big names. "I think the one thing about this show is, when I'm doing the interview, I'm not one of those guys who ask those silly questions about the past and that sort of crap. "I want to know how you spend your life away from this, how you relax and have a bit of a laugh. "I think people will see a good side to so many different people." Joining Warne on the show is his old mate Merv Hughes, who will be a reporter on the street, and Nine's rising star in the world of news, Today reporter Alicia Gorey. The first episode of Warnie airs on Wednesday - that's tonight on Channel 9, of course! Ok, it could of been Network Ten, but 10 out of 10 for 9, for putting this show together.

Poker Machined Banned From Shopping Centre...

Electronic gaming machines have been banned from the Mansfield strip shopping centre. The amendment to the Mansfield Planning Scheme banning the machines has been approved by the Victorian Department of Planning and Community Development. A survey conducted by the shire found 87 per cent of respondents did not want gaming machines in the Mansfield Shopping Centre. The CEO of Mansfield Shire, David Roff, says the shire's research shows the amendment is in line with community beliefs. "Effectively, what the amendment does is it identifies the Mansfield strip shopping centre as an area where gaming machines are prohibited but it recognises that gaming is a legitimate activity but for areas not so close to the centre of town," he said.

Candidates’ Each Way Bet On Casino; Says National Party...

All of the data used by Mildura accounting academic Larry O’Connor in his report Gambling With Mildura’s Future was sourced from publicly available information material. “The pro-casino Independent candidate claims that I used statistics from Mr O’Connor’s report in the week before it was released,” says Member for Mildura Peter Crisp. “Actually, I’ve been using facts and figures on casino operations for much longer, because they’ve been available in documents produced by the Productivity Commission and in a report produced for the Australasian Casino Association by the Allen Consulting Group. “For example, I said via a news release on October 26 that: “More than 80% of customers of casinos in Australia are drawn from the city/state in which the casino is located, according to a 2009 report to the Australasian Casino Association by the Allen Consulting Group”. “I was making the point that a casino would drag patrons away from local community-owned clubs, which I reiterated throughout the campaign. “The Workers Club made the same point in a full-page advertisement in the Sunraysia Daily in early November. “Had the pro-casino Independent candidate done even a scrap of research he would know that a casino in Mildura would bankrupt a number of existing community-owned clubs.

Murdoch Media Power; Sarah Murdoch Fires Production Company After Model Mistake...

If you stuff up big time at work, the firm you work for decide to sack you: that's how it usually works. Not if you're Sarah Murdoch, part of the powerful media family dynasty it doesn't. If you're Sarah Murdoch, you fire the company. Foxtel, which is partially owned by the Murdoch family, had, at her insistence, dumped Granada Media Australia, the production company behind the past 6 series of Australia's Next Top Model...which Murdoch presents and executive-produces...to slide in with a new production company for the show's 11th series. Media Man has been hitting the phones... AAP, Fairfax Media, News Limited, and this amazing news is confirmed. Exactly what new production company will get the gig now open is not known at this time, but the favourite was Shine, which is owned by sister-in-law Elisabeth Murdoch. When called Granada, where a spokesperson couldn't confirm that it had lost the show. Calls were also placed to to Foxtel, explaining the nature of the enquiry, but no one called back. Then Murdoch went on record, confirming the change in production company and gave the following: "Granada produced Australia's Top Model for six years. I worked with them for two years. They are a very talented and hard working crew. But after what happened this year I thought very hard about it and decided it was probably time for a change." The readerership might recall that on the final live episode of the show, Murdoch momentarily panicked after a breakdown in communication with the backstage production team, and announced the wrong model as the series winner. It was a simple, embarrassing and pretty exciting misunderstanding that had everyone in a bit of a fluster, but also generated extra publicity. Murdoch is understood to be a driving force to firing Granada. So Sarah's stirred up things, and husband Lachlan now involved with Network Ten, Elisabeth at Shine and old man Rupert still plugging away, there's a Murdoch's everywhere. We expect James Packer to enjoy much smoother sailing with his Lachlan Murdoch and Network Nine dealings, and even Shane Warne wouldn't likely get a gaffe as rough as this one.

'Grandfather' Of Australian Paparazzi Peter Carrette Dies At 63...

Good friend of Bondi Beach's Media Man, Peter Carrette, and friend to many, died on the weekend we are sad to report. Veteran paparazzo Peter Carrette, who infamously fired a water pistol at Heath Ledger, has died in his Bondi Beach office. The man dubbed the "grandfather of Australian paparazzi" was discovered by a friend slumped at his desk at his home at Bondi Beach in Sydney's eastern suburbs. "They found him this morning - he was still at his computer," said his friend of 11 years, journalist Natalie O'Brien. The 63-year-old Carrette had worked around the world, including Paris and New York, and is survived by a son and a daughter. "He was just a beautiful guy," O'Brien told AAP. "In a dog-eat-dog world, he was a very kind man." Asked about the key to his success and long career, O'Brien said: "He knew everybody and everybody trusted him. They would come to him with information and he did the right thing by people. Everyone who knew him loved him."

Man Man Tribute To Peter...

RIP Peter Carrette. Peter, you were an angel among us. I feel blessed to have known you. Glad we caught up at the Bondi Beach Sea Shepherd on Friday. It was strange how we first met at Kerry Packer's funeral in 2005, at the Sydney Opera House, on a day which was more a celebration of life, rather than a focus on his death. When I moved to Bondi Beach in 2008 our friendship blossomed, and you were always an attentive ear, and a wonderful source of information and humor. Your Packer and nightlife stories were fantastic and music to my years. Being able to make modest donations to your orphanage in Cambodia was and always will occupy a special place in my heart and memory, as it will for our dear friend, Eva, who also just loved your presence, generosity of heart and sprit, and your photos of course. Eva and I just loved the gifts we got from you at the beach on the weekend, having been sent over from your orphanage in Cambodia. Your Tony Abbott costume you wore to the Sea Shepherd No Compromise! event on Friday night was a classic, just as you were. Knowing you enriched my life, and that of so many of my friends and acquaintances. You were one of the Australian media's great guys, and I think you knew that I saw you as a bit of a father figure or uncle also, even though I never said those words. You were smart enough to know. The visits to the "best office in the world' at the pad at Bondi Beach were also a fun and memorable experience. Your beautify energy, passion and warmth will always be remembered. You made me, and others, probably look so much better than we actually were, thanks to your artistic and creative gifts. Your colorful shoes will be hard to fill. Always in my mind, and whenever I walk down the hill to the beach I will continue to think of you fondly. You were way too good, in too many ways, to only be remembered as a great photographer. You were a wonderful human being. Another legend has been lost, but will never be forgotten
Greg Tingle, Founder and Director, Media Man

Australian Media and Photographer Legend Dies, by Greg Tingle

One of Australia's most colorful and successful photographers Peter Carrette has died of a heart attack this past weekend. Regarded as one of the good guys in the pap and photography biz, London born Carrette first came to prominence when he photographed a sick Marianne Faithful in a drug coma in her hospital bed circa 1969. Faithful had tripped to Australia with musician Mick Jagger who was to star in a film about Ned Kelly. She had over-dosed after, it was claimed in the British press, she had discovered Jagger in bed as it were, with another woman. Carrette donned a white doctor's coat and stethoscope and sneaked into Faithful's room, snapped the photo that was flashed around the world as one of the first examples of intrusive photography. Earlier this year when Faithful was in town for the Sydney Festival, she advised new media outlet 'The Shuttle' she'd still like to give the snapper a "quick boot in the backside". However she later revealed she had forgiven him. After a stint of studying photography in London, Carrette traveled to Sydney and picked up gig as Sir Frank Packer's copy boy when the media baron owned Daily Mirror newspaper. Once established he worked for various publications photographing news. He ambushed the US invasion of Grenada by hiring a smuggler's boat while the world's news media waited for official transport in downtown Barbados. He also did well in New York for 6 years and photographed for leading fashion title Vogue in Paris for 2 years. A few years back here in Sydney he and another pap squirted the actor Heath Ledger with water pistols at a Sydney film premiere. The images of a startled and wet Ledger was flashed around the world. He was ever so briefly banned by film companies from movie premieres and the like, but later made peace with Ledger shortly before he died in New York. Carrette also supported an orphanage in Cambodia by donating the fees received from his exclusive candid photos of celebrities often taken around Bondi Beach. He ran his own studio and photo biz from a Bondi Beach flat, "The greatest office in the world" he said, where he had lived for the past 20 years. The flat is owned by his good mate, Jack Thompson. Carrette was well liked in the industry, a keen philanthropist, and gave a lot back to the industry. He attended the Sea Shepherd Bondi No Compromise! event at the beach on Friday night at the invitation of Media Man, who has collaborated closely with Peter over the past 3 years, usually at Bondi Beach and often on community based projects. It's understood he passed away on Sunday evening from heart failure while working at his computer.

James Packer Likely Inspired Australia's Richest Woman Share Raid On Network Ten...

It all happened at the event to celebrate Alan Jones's 25 years in radio. Gina Rinehart witnesses history, and decided to play a big part in it. Australia's richest woman was in the mix of the 1100 media and political in crowd who gathered at Sydney's Darling Harbour on November 5 to toast Jones and witness tributes from the likes of former prime minister John Howard, Liberal powerbroker Michael Kroger, opposition Treasury spokesman Joe Hockey, NSW Premier Kristina Keneally and British conservative icon Jeffrey Archer. An emotional address from gaming and media mogul James Packer clearly made an impression. In a rare public display, Packer opened up about Jones. "Alan, no one will ever take your place," he said. "You are without peer, my friend." Packer had just raised his already considerable public profile by grabbing 18% of Ten Network Holdings in a shock sharemarket raid. Here was confirmation he was back in town after some moments of severe doubt during the global financial crisis. Rinehart was paying attention. It is understood the mining heiress wrote to her fellow billionaire afterwards, congratulating him on his speech, expressing her support for Jones and wishing Packer luck with his $280 million Ten investment. Within days, traders noticed that Morgan Stanley Smith Barney...a retail brokerage that accounts for less than 1% of Ten trading on an average day...was responsible for a whopping 24.3% of turnover. That was November 10. The brokerage continued to soak up stock in the following days. Seek co-founder Paul Bassat, adman John Singleton and media company News Limited (publisher of The Australian) were all rumoured to be behind the trades. But this week the mystery buyer was revealed as power woman Rinehart. Nobody could have guessed, except perhaps Packer, who received another letter from Rinehart yesterday, telling him she had spent more than $150m on 10 per cent of Ten. Without being too specific, Rinehart indicated broad support for the Ten shake-up and said she liked the look of the new board. Here was confirmation that Georgina Hope Rinehart was not content to confine her $4.5 billion fortune to the mining sector. Rinehart is said to resent the description "mining heiress", believing she deserves credit for building on her father's legacy. She also does not want to be remembered as the person who took Porteous to court. Some associates believe she wants to make her mark on a bigger stage, much as fellow iron ore magnate Andrew "Twiggy" Forrest has in championing the cause of indigenous Australians in recent years. She hinted at issues of national interest in the short statement released on late Monday. "Our company group is interested in making an investment towards the media business, given its importance to the nation's future, and has selected Channel 10 for this investment," it said. So notions of legacy and influence perhaps explain why Rinehart jumped on the truck to help lead the big crowd in a chant of "axe the tax". She used a megaphone to do it that day. Others have found owning part of a media company is another way to open doors in Canberra. Media Man will be following up the fun, games and media power plays of Australia's Richest women and think she might be the source of more major news for media friends and partners across the global, especially for the good folks at the always hard hitting and switched on Gambling911.

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Readers... er, punters, how did you like our report? Tell us in the forum.

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

*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911

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

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Crown Casino Forced To Defend Reputation In Press, by Greg Tingle - 23rd November 2010

Crown Casino, Australia's leading land based casino and prize jewel of gambling and media tycoon James Packer, is publicly fighting back against a number of serious allegations being thrown at them. Media Man and Gambling911 play devil's advocate as we bring you this special report on the cafe and pub talk about Crown...

In the past year or so most of the media reports on James Packer owned Crown Casino have been balanced, with a number of even positive reports, but now a new batch of negative stories, allegations and even a spot of "attack journalism" is starting to read its ugly head again.

Casino Casino bosses are not happy in the least about a bush tucker bag of allegations being leveled at their gambling and entertainment premises.

One of the more gross allegations is that Crown was accused of letting desperate gamblers urinate at machines during 24-hour pokie marathon sessions!

Other leaks say Crown throws fights into the street and tries to cover up crimes and other unwanted attention.

The hard hitting allegations are found in a report based on interviews with 225 current and former Crown casino staff who spoke out about their impressions of the level of violence, problem gambling and alcohol abuse inside Australia's biggest gambling venue.

A number of Australian media and gambling commentators believe the reports may have been geared to generate negative results for the casino, and that a large number of former staff and disgruntled current staff may have been tricked into focusing on negatives, and that somehow the Uni compiled report was designed to make Crown Limited look bad.

The so call "study" was conducted by Deakin University researchers, sphere headed by Associate Prof Linda Hancock. Liquor, Hospitality and Miscellaneous Workers Union staff agreed to participate in the industry-wide research.

The most disgusting allegation was that some one armed bandit players stood by the same pokies for up to 24 hours, with one respondent saying they "sit there and just wee, go to the toilet at the machine"

Crown Casino advises that allegation is not true.

Some staff also allege that Crown Casino is:

Permits patrons to gamble when drunk, even though it is against the law in Victoria

Calling taxis RSL cabs, Silver Service etc) for injured patrons and staff to avoid an ambulance incident report.

Permitting punters to stay on pokies for 24 hours plus marathon sessions or more.

Forcing drunks onto the street.

Covering up up 20 to 30 brawls per evening, with up to 40 punters a night being escorted out onto the street. This is mostly due to fighting, and sometimes patrons used knives and bottles.

Dr Hancock states her research showed a "systematic breakdown between Crown, government and regulators who don't enforce codes of practice".

The report that some say is bias, was rigged, and not accurate, also demonstrates poor awareness among staff of problem gambling, with half of those interviewed saying they wouldn't intervene if a gambler was in a distressed state.

A media spokesperson at Media Man said "The results of the report are not a total surprise. It's well known that there is an agenda from certain parts of the educational and political sector to get negative press on Crown Casino. Whispers are that the report was focusing on negatives and that they interviewed people who were not happy at Crown and has an axe to grind. They have used this report to try to create a media beat up, and also trying to generate attack journalism. University reports are often used to try to give certain agendas more credibility Do not believe everything you read, including from University reports. We know Crown Casino to do an excellent job of dealing with problems and are a very responsible employer. The report smells of a rat".

Crown casino spokesman Gary O'Neill said the comments in the report were all false and did not deserve to be described as "research: (a term also used to describe Japanese whaling).

"Crown absolutely denies that staff are encouraged or allowed to permit patrons to gamble while intoxicated," he said.

O'Neill said ambulances were regularly called to Crown and he denied claims that responsible gaming codes were being ignored.

At the time of press more media outlets are starting to go public saying there are flaws in the "research" and that Crown Casino haters are trying to create media beat-ups.

Crown Casino is understood to be considering some reality TV concepts and also is pursuing more national and international top line acts to add to its overall entertainment experience, as the famous Aussie casino wars continue with its main competitor being the embattled Tabcorp, owner - operator of Sydney's Star City, who are spending roughly 1 million dollars to try to play catch up to Crown - eventually wanting to become #1. Good luck Tabcorp, you will need it in spades.

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Readers... er, punters, how did you like our report? Is Crown Casino good or evil? Tell us in the forum.

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

*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911

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

*The writer owns shares in Crown Limited

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