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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Australian Gambling And Casino News Xmas Special, by Greg Tingle - 16th December 2010

G'day and Season's Beatings punters, casino and gambling millionaires and billionaires, entertainment news junkies, journos... one and all. Have you caught the Christmas spirit or has it caught you? In line with Xmas, it's a special Xmas themed edition. Media Man and Gambling911 put the X in Christmas, as we navigate Santa, Elves, Christmas Island, and even take out a few Xmas Grinch's as we set sail across the Indian and Pacific Oceans...

Nine Entertainment Company Boss David Gyngell Catches Christmas Spirit; The Anti-Grinch Gives Xmas Hampers To Nine's Little Helpers; Leads By Example...

The Nine Entertainment Company's chief executive David Gyngell has cleverly reinstated the much loved and missed employee Christmas hampers. "It's Gyng's way of saying he knows success comes about by employing the best people and letting them know that he appreciates them," an insider whispered. The hampers, made famous by media and gambling legend and "super whale" Kerry Packer, were given the chop from the Nine Network in 2005 and later ACP Magazines in 2008, due to "chainsaw charlie" cost-cutting measures. Packer, who worked his staff like bastards, with quite a lot of "tough love", awarded employees with a generously large and expensive hamper in the festive season. The move follows a number of management changes at the media company, which resulted from the appointment of Gyngell as chief executive in November. On ya Gyng.

Alice Springs - Man Bashed By Attackers With 30cm Knife...

A 20-year-old young man was robbed at knifepoint in Alice Springs at the weekend. Police say the victim was walking home from the casino across from Taffy Pick Crossing just after 3am on Sunday when he was approached by two blokes. The victim has told police one of the men threatened him with a 30-centimetre knife. The offenders have been described as being of Aboriginal appearance, with one wearing a red, hooded windcheater and the other a darker one. We assume the attackers changed their clothing by now, but if you heard or say anything, let the police know, or us if you prefer, and we will pass the info along to the authorities.

Christmas Island Tragedy For Asylum-Seekers; No Lucky Jackpot; Australians Embarrassed And Want Solution...

Australia's hardline refugee policies were blamed for the deaths of at least 28 asylum-seekers whose wooden boat tragically smashed into jagged rocks off Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean. The island was once home to one of the most successful land based casinos in the Asia Pacific region. Residents of the rugged volcanic island, an offshore Aussie territory, attempted to help, throwing in life jackets and ropes into the ocean. But they were forced to watch the boat was dashed to pieces and its occupants were scooped up by massive waves and hurled against the limestone cliffs. By last night at least 28 bodies had been recovered, with the toll expected to rise as we go to press. The oceans was so angry that volunteers standing on the 100ft cliffs were hit by ocean spray and had to get out of the way of debris flying around from the vessel. Over 40 folks were picked up by the Australian Navy, and one lucky man made it to shore alone. It is thought that up to 100 punters may have been on the boat, and with rescue efforts severely hampered by the angry seas and terrible conditions. Lesson: It is dangerous and sometimes deadly to gamble with rough seas, below standard boats, and Australian immigration law.

Christmas Island: Profile

With the Christmas spirit alive and well we thought we would tell you a bit about the place which a long time ago was the site of a very successful Australian land based casino. That's history of course, but respecting tradition and gambling roots, here we go. This island is actually the tip of a long extinct volcano. It was not not inhabited until 1888, when Britain came to realise it contained rich phosphate deposits. The Brits, who brought in indentured workers from China and south-east Asia to extract the phosphate, gave the island to Australia in 1958. Situated much closer to Indonesia than Australia, the island...first sighted on Christmas Day (hence the name - duh) 1643 by a British Naval captain, William Mynors, is still inhabited mainly by descendants of those Chinese and Malay mineworkers. The 1000 or so population is dwarfed these days by the thousands of asylum-seekers housed in the infamous detention centres you heard about on the news, along with Australian police and immigration officials. A 4-hour flight from Perth, the island was once known as the Galapagos of the Indian Ocean due to its profusion of endemic species. Its annual migration of native red crabs, which come in from the rainforest to the ocean to breed and lay eggs, is one of the world's great natural wonders. The tropical island became notorious in 2001 after the former Australian Prime Minister, John Howard, refused to allow the Tampa, a Norwegian tanker carrying shipwrecked asylum-seekers, to land. His government later built a detention centre there, which now operates as Australia's main offshore refugee processing facility. Phosphate is still the island's biggest employer, but mining is on the way out, and some locals are trying to develop an eco-tourism industry. Past economic projects have almost always failed: a casino popular with Indonesian high-rollers closed in 1998. Plans for a satellite launch pad never got off the ground. The island has one roundabout, one set of traffic lights and, instead of a newspaper, a blackboard on which public notices are scrawled. The only gambling these days on the island would be technically illegal, and as far as we can muster involves officials playing poker and the odd hand of blackjack. No pokies are found on the island as far as we know, but we're certain there's a couple of classic slot machines hidden away in back rooms and basements, such was there proliferation a decade or so ago.

Virgin Games 12 Days of Christmas Give Away; Problem: No Yankees, Canadians, Aussies Or Kiwis

Folks, its not a bad promo, but the big problem is that most of the world's online gamblers won't be able to play, as Branson's Virgin Casino is only still available to punters in a handful of counties. Aussies, Canooks, Kiwis and South Americans... best head over to PartyGaming. Here's Virgin's promo anyway just to satisfy your curiosity, but be careful... the old expression "curiosity killed the cat"!...

Virgin Games, a leading online gaming company, is rewarding its players over the Christmas period by giving away £10,000 worth of prizes. To qualify for the daily prize draw players simply need to play at Virgin Games and earn one V*Point from the company's unrivalled loyalty scheme. The 12 Days of Christmas Promo runs from 13th – 24th December and can be entered by playing at Virgin Casino, Virgin Bingo or Virgin Poker. During the twelve days leading up to Christmas over 50 valuable prizes are being given away, including flights, home entertainment systems and Xboxes. Alan Thomas, Head of CRM at Virgin Games, commented: "Our 12 Days of Christmas promos have proved hugely popular in previous years so we've brought it back - and it is bigger than ever. We thought we'd make Christmas that extra bit special for our loyal Customers and throw in some superb prizes to enhance their user experience. Our prize giveaway is simply another value-added offering for the Virgin Games community." Founded in 2004, Virgin Games has over 1,000,000 players and over 250 games on its site. Through the introduction of a custom built Virgin Games platform in 2008, Virgin Games seeks to provide its players with the widest possible choice of casino games. A growing selection of games can be found at Virgin Games from a number of producers including Microgaming, WagerWorks, Cryptologic, Freemantle and Ash Gaming. *Final note, punters don't worry. The Christmas promos at PartyGaming are just as good, if not better, in our humble opinion. We love Richard Branson, but until he opens up more countries many passionate punters around the world are going to keep missing out on his casino games. Other online casinos also feature Crypto games, Marvel slots, classics like Cleo, Monopoly and Wheel of Fortune. See, we said there was no big problem.

Christmas Themed Festive Fortunes Slot From PartyGaming...

You want Xmas action? Three or more Santa symbols appearing on the reels sets off the free spins feature. Get right into the Christmas spirit at PartyGaming's casino via the new Festive Fortunes online slot game loaded up with features. When a punter gets three or more scattered Santa symbols they get the free spins feature. The Festive Fortune$ Free Spins Reel spins every time you spin. If the Festive Fortune$ Free Spins are triggered, then you are awarded the number of free spins and multiplier on the Festive Fortune$ Free Spins Wheel win line. Are you still with us? The scatter wins are multiplied by the total figure you’ve wagered and get added to payline wins. The highest win on each highlighted line will be paid. Click on the cheerful snowman to Spin and away you go. Ho, Ho, Ho!

MM Online Slots Operator Of The Month: PartyGaming; Runner Up: Virgin Games; 3rd: PKR Casino; 4th: Captain Cooks Casino



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Wrap Up...

What a year its been, whether land based casinos, online casinos, sports betting or other are your poison. Media Man and Gambling911 encourage the readership to spare a thought for the boat people who got killed and injured yesterday off the coast of Christmas Island. For those who didn't know, Christmas Island is in the Indian Ocean, located 2600km north-west of Perth, Western Australia. Even though it is an Australian Territory, its closest neighbour is Java, 360km away. We hope the Australian government can sort out the massive problem that is people smuggling, that all too often ends in disaster, be it death, detention of refuges, and overall reduction in quality of life. On a lighter note, be sure to check out the fantastic Christmas themed promotions at PartyGaming, Captain Cooks, Betfair, Centrebet. Our top pick is Santa's Party Pack via PartyGaming and you must check out the 'Festive Fortunes' slot game at Party. Stay tuned for more of the best on gambling, media, entertainment and sports right here with Media Man and Gambling911.

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

*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911

*Media Man 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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