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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Media Man Movie News, by Greg Tingle - 31st May 2011



Media Man crosses to the U.S for the latest on the business of movie show business.

The Hangover Part II has taken in another $30 million.

Kung Fu Panda 2 didn't recover from its average start on Thursday.

Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides has eased off its its live attendance and takings.

Playing on approximately 6,700 screens at 3,615 locations, The Hangover Part II delivered the top-grossing Friday ever for a live-action comedy, more than doubling Sex and the City 2 on the same day last year, and it eased only 5% from its $31.6 million Thursday opening. That brought the comedy sequel's two-day tally to $61.6 million. We understand the first Hangover had grossed $31.8 million by its two-day (Friday-Saturday) point.

The Hangover Part II will rush past the $100 million on Sunday, its fourth day of release. The first movie took ten days to hit that mark, which was impressive in itself.

With an estimated $13.2 million on close to 7,500 screens at 3,925 locations, Kung Fu Panda 2 jumped 127% from its $5.8 million Thursday debut, but fell far short of its predecessor. The first Kung Fu Panda generated $20.3 million on its first day (a Friday), or more than the $19 million that Panda 2 has made in two days. The disparity was greater in terms of estimated attendance: in two days, Panda 2 has sold around three quarters of the tickets that the first movie did in one day.

King Fu Panda 2's run included 3D presentations at 2,707 locations, which accounted for around 45% of business. Given the scope of its 3D release, a 3D share in the 60 percent range would have been welcome. That's what Shrek Forever After had last May with fewer 3D venues. With a similar 3D release to Panda 2, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides has also been posting 3D shares in the 40% range.

The fourth Pirates of the Caribbean movie dived 69% to an estimated $10.9 million on around 9,000 screens at 4,164 locations, lifting its sum to $124.4 million in eight days. The Friday-to-Friday drop was within the range of the last two movies, At World's End and Dead Man's Chest, but the gross was lower. Those movies had captured $186.2 million and $214.6 million, respectively, by day eight. In terms of estimated attendance, On Stranger Tides was down even further on those two movies and trailed the first movie, The Curse of the Black Pearl, as well.

Bridesmaids was unfazed by The Hangover Part II and boasted the smallest Friday-to-Friday drop among nationwide releases (27%). With $4.6 million, the comedy's third Friday gross and dip were in the vicinity of Knocked Up and The 40-Year-Old Virgin. Bridesmaids' total stands at $73.3 million in 15 days, and its estimated attendance was comparable to Virgin through the same point.

Thor rounded out the Top 5 with an estimated $2.4 million, down 45% for a $152.8 million sum in 22 days. Fast Five slotted 6th with an estimated $1.8 million and still leads 2011 with a $191.2 million tally in 29 days.

In limited release, Midnight in Paris expanded to 58 locations (up from 6 last weekend), and its business jumped to a solid estimated $476,000. Meanwhile, The Tree of Life also was strong snatching an estimated $115,000 at 4 locations, averaging about as much per location as Midnight in Paris did last Friday.

Stay tuned to Media Man for more on the world of show business.

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Monday, May 30, 2011

Australian Gambling: Xenophon Says Ban; Legal Eagle Nettleton Says Regulate, by Greg Tingle - 31st May 2011

Australian news media is currently saturated with a bush tucker bag of casino, gambling and political fun and games news. Here's the latest tidal wave of news from the land down under. Media Man and Gambling911 from the front line of the action...

The anti-gambling campaigner Nick 'Mr X' (satire) Xenophon has been unimpressed by the Australian Federal Police for slow action on enforcing laws which prohibit online casino and poker websites from accepting bets from Australians.

Legal eagles tell the media that's there's lots of grey areas, and this appears so, as if there were not doubts arrests would have already been made.

Companies with any sort of connection into Australia, such as Media Man, have engaged professional legal guidance from legal eagles such as Jamie Nettleton, partner at law firm Addisons, and the word is that there's "grey areas" a plenty and no Australia's have ever been arrested for igaming, as long as the internet has been in existence. In addition that its starting to look like a bit of a media "beat up", fuelled along by anti gambling campaigners.

The world's leading igaming company Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment is watching the Australian situation very closely, to put it mildly, but is not publicly commenting on their assessment of Australia at this stage of the game.

Aussies long used sites such as PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker even though the Interactive Gambling Act prohibits the provision of "an interactive gambling service to customers in Australia".

Many website portals that over games to a worldwide audience, that Australians can also accept, are based overseas, be it Canada, Gibraltar, Malta, the U.S or other.

The Australian Federal Police is currently investigating at the kind request of the FBI, out of the United States. No misprint!

The websites allegedly use Australian bank accounts to accept about $1 billion a year from an estimated 700,000 Australians and at least one, PokerStars, has an office in Sydney. Despite the sites openly flouting the law and bypassing advertising bans by sponsoring sporting teams such as the NRL teams and poker nights, police officers have yet to act and levy the $1.1 million a day fines outlined in the legislation. Media Man and other commentators don't believe many companies would be able to afford the $1 million + a day fine, and legal eagles have doubts over the apparent investigation.

Senator Xenophon said that following revelations in the press the Joint Select Committee on Gambling Reform inquiry would be expanded to include online casino sites. He said it was "very disturbing" that the AFP was not enforcing the law and the FBI and the AFP would be invited to make submissions to the inquiry.

"There could be a hidden epidemic of problem gambling from online gambling that we just don't know about," Senator Xenophon told the Herald.

The AFP has stated previously that it uses a model to determine which cases to devote its limited resources to. It would not comment on Xenophon's criticisms yesterday.

Legal eagle and Media Man friend, Jamie Nettleton, partner at law firm Addisons and high level expert in legal issues relating to the gambling industry, advised the government should liberalise gambling laws and regulate online casino sites. This view has been echoed by the Productivity Commission and Sports Bet executive chairman Matthew Tripp.

Our friend Nettleton, who is the ex-chair of the Sports and Gaming Committee of the International Bar Association, said there was strong demand for online poker and prohibition would only push people to unregulated sites.

"This is part of the reason why countries like Italy, Spain, France and Denmark have all had a prohibitionist stance and are now going down a regulated alternative," stated Nettleton.

The Australian Government last week announced a review of the Interactive Gambling Act and Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said yesterday it would not be appropriate to pre-empt the findings of that review.

Asked to comment on the AFP's investigation into the casino and poker websites, Senator Conroy said he supports action being taken against anyone proven to be breaching Australian law.

Senator Xenophon does not support liberalising gambling laws, saying the more accessible online gambling is the greater the risk of gambling problems developing.

June 20 is the date has has earmarked to introduce amendments to laws which would allow Australians to reverse credit card transactions with international gambling sites as long as it has not already been processed. This would allow people to get their money back even after losing bets and is designed to push the sites to stop accepting Australian customers.

Some internet brands such as Casino News Media and Global Gaming Directory have invested in both .coms, .nets and .orgs to help safeguard their investment, having forecast some potential legal issues coming from the U.S, where various .com domain names were seized by the United States Department of Justice. Many Australian companies which have covered gaming continue to report on dozens of other industries such as technology, property and celebrity, to ensure they are not totally reliant on the gaming sector as a source of news or income.

A Media Man insider said "If they grey areas continue around igaming and web publishing to get too blurred we might sell up and work for another mob, maybe in the pay television or video games industry, which are fully regulated and the grey areas just don't really exist. Maybe even the Australian communications watchdog. If you can't beat them, joint them".

Independent Andrew Wilkie, who chairs the Joint Select Committee on Gambling Reform, said there "clearly" was a problem in Australia with online and interactive gambling. He said the committee's inquiry would examine the issues and provide recommendations to government.

"In the interim I fully support AFP efforts to crack down on illegal operations," Wilkie said.

Many Australian media and commentators continue to call Australia's the biggest gamblers in the world. Hope the Aussies are taking the title as a compliment.

Friends, good punting, know your limits and bet with your head, not over it.

Punters, er readers, stay glued to Media Man and Gambling911 reports for more "can't miss" information on Australian pokies, gaming and casino wars.

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

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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Crown Casino: Good VS Evil?; Preacher Man, by Greg Tingle - 29th May 2001



It seems of late that there's a bit of Good VS Evil and Good Cop VS Bad Cop going on at Melbourne's Crown Casino as of late. We get up close to a man of god somewhat aligned with Crown and also probe to see if Crown may be targeting oldies. Australia is once again home to some of the world's hottest gambling and casino news today, with James Packer and his Crown Casino in the centre of the action. Media Man pounds the pavement with the news you need to know...

Crown Casino Chaplain: No Such Thing As Luck; Punters Need To Take Self Responsibility...

The casino's resident chaplain aka man of Gold, has warned that luck has become a "new religion" as punters crave financial reward for little or no effort. Father James Grant says he sees growing numbers of folks gambling in the hope they will win a fortune before losing devastating sums of money. Speaking at a recent event to raise awareness around problem gambling, Father Grant advised the lack of individual responsibility was alarming. "An increasing number of patrons believe that luck is on their side," he preached. "In our society luck has become a new secular deity. "We are people who believe that it is possible to get something for nothing, that our lives are in the grip of fate … rather than our own responsibility. None of this is Crown's doing. "Rather I would argue that Crown is actually moving into a framework that is going in exactly the opposite direction." The event, held to coincide with the state government's Responsible Gambling Awareness Week, also came a day after it came to light that the casino had hired former ALP chief Karl Bitar to try to push back proposed anti-gambling laws. Father Grant, an Anglican, would not say if he supported the proposed laws. But he was sceptical of anything that "tinkered around the edges" rather than dealt with motivations - real reasons behind people's irresponsibility. Father Grant spends about 20 hours a week at the casino through his Chaplains Without Borders program, an inter-faith agency that serves companies and other organisations. He said the casino responsible gaming support centre was staffed around the clock to help people in need, while casino staff kept watch for people gambling beyond their limits. "It's very easy to bash Crown without really understanding what efforts it does go to," he said. "I don't think Crown gets any credit for what it's doing in terms of trying to encourage individuals to take more responsibility for their life." The man of God is well liked both by patrons, staff and management, and media reckons he's great for a quote to two also. Thanks father, there is a god.

Crown Casino Targeting Oldies?...

The famous casino has been accused of luring senior citizens and struggling community clubs to the casino by offering rebates, exposing weak and vulnerable punters to problem gambling, gambling researcher Professor Linda Hancock says. Professor Hancock, from Deakin University, will soon release her book Regulatory Failure: The Case of Crown Casino, in which she argues that the regulation of the casino is failing people because of "weak sanctions" on the irresponsible service of alcohol and on those failing to implement the Responsible Gambling Code of Conduct. In the controversial new book, Professor Hancock said seniors and people from non-English-speaking backgrounds were being targeted by Crown's "Red Carpet Program", which was promoted to social clubs as a special outing. Bus packages are available for groups and clubs can earn a rebate but only if they stay for at least four hours, or six for a non-gambling function. Patrons are given gambling vouchers, as well as lunch coupons, upon arrival. Visitors on tours are also signed up to loyalty programs, which exposes them to marketing for other gambling products. In her book, Professor Hancock quotes a survey of 204 participants on 6 Crown bus packages from northern suburbs social clubs, which found evidence of "at-risk" gambling behaviours with 42.9% spending more than they had planned and 23.7% saying they planned to return to the casino to win back money. Crown Casino's did not respond as we went to press.

Bitar's New Crown Casino Gig Is Wrong: Bob Brown...

Australian Greens leader Bob Brown says the appointment of a former Labor strategist to a job lobbying for the gambling industry is "worrying". Former ALP national secretary Karl Bitar has taken up a gig with Melbourne's Crown Casino. The appointment comes as the Gillard Labor government works on a new policy to limit the amount of money players can put through poker machines, to prevent problem gambling. Senator Brown said it was an example of the "spectre of undue influence" raising its head. "The appointment by Crown Casino is very worrying, it's very troubling, because he's been a major mover and shaker in politics in Australia," he told reporters in Canberra on Wednesday. "You can't tell me or anybody else that that's not going to open doors for Crown Casino that other people don't have open to them and can't go through." Senator Brown said there should at least be a cooling off period for such appointments. "It is wrong and we should certainly see much stronger regulations and rules about ex-politicians and senior political insiders being able to move to use the knowledge they've had from being on the political inside not only to their own advantage but to the advantage of sectional interests." Anti-gambling campaigner Tim Costello says Bitar's appointment by Crown is not a shock. "Crown has everything to lose from pokies reform, so it's no surprise they employed Karl Bitar," he said. Costello also attacked Crown's involvement in Victoria's Responsible Gambling Awareness Week. The casino made its contribution to the week on Wednesday at an event in which former aerobics champion Sue Stanley compared an addiction to exercise with gambling. Stanley said she needed help when she was addicted to exercise and gamblers should do likewise. The casino's chaplain Father James Grant then said Crown was doing a good job with problem gambling. No Crown officials would take questions from the media at the event. "It's a joke," Costello said. "Crown and its involvement in Responsible Gambling Awareness Week is quite frankly like putting Dracula in charge of the blood bank." Victorian Liberal premier Ted Baillieu said he could work with Mr Bitar. "To some extent I'm surprised that somebody in that position in the ALP would undertake that position but that's a matter for them," he told the press.

Punter Spent Phoney Cash On Sex And Poker At Crown Casino...

A Melbourne fella spent more than $10,000 of counterfeit Canadian currency on prostitutes and poker machines after exchanging the money for Australian dollars at Crown Casino, a court has heard. Cosimo Candido, 34, of Sunshine, was arrested this week by Australian Federal Police after he exchanged counterfeit money he claims he was minding in a shoe box for a friend who had asked him to look after it. Up to seven passports from various jurisdictions were also found in the shoe box in the name of a man who police confirmed is dead. Candido claimed he did not known the money was counterfeit, Melbourne Magistrates Court heard. He is alleged to have told police he was with a prostitute in St Kilda on April 30, got bored, then decided to take the cash to the casino to exchange it. He advised he approached a cashier with $1000 of the currency "to see if it would work" and received $885 in return. He went to another cashier and exchanged $3000 counterfeit Canadian dollars and received $2657 before he was handed $4645 by a third cashier. All transactions were captured on CCTV cameras. Crown staff later contacted police after suspecting the cash was fake. Candido was charged with uttering counterfeit money under the Crimes Currency Act 1981. The Commonwealth offence carries a maximum penalty of 12 years' jail. The court heard that Candido told police his friend who asked him to mind the items had the cash and passports because he was trying to receive the dead man's assets. The police informant, who asked not to be named because of ongoing investigations, said Candido told investigators he had spent the money he received after the exchanges on hookers, hotels and at the pokies. Magistrate Charlie Rozencwajg granted Candido bail to re-appear at the same court on July 13. Crime does not pay... not usually.

James Packer VS Or With Andrew Wilkie; Wilkie's Big Day At Packer's Crown Casino; Win - Win?...

He's the face of Australian gambling haters, but he had a wonder through James Packer's Crown Casino in Melbourne just the other day, but for good reason. What a lovely way to spend a Sunday. The 'Tasmanian Devil' (satire) independent MP had a tour of gambling house in March with James Packer. The gambling king and the political face of gambling dislike took a walk around the place before making way to a conference room with staff to discuss issues of mutual interest we hear. Packer is very interested in Wilkie's plans to slow cash flow of the poker machine industry by imposing a mandatory national system requiring punters to set a limit on their losses. Pokies have been the talk of the town for weeks. State and territory ministers won't shut up about the 'one armed bandits' and Wilkie props. Packer's Crown Limited just appointed Labor's ex national secretary Karl Bitar to boost Crown's lobbying effort against the reforms. There's was a rumour that one or two threats were made in the meeting. What constitutes a threat anyway? Crown rejects that idea. "Mr Packer did not threaten Mr Wilkie in any way, shape or form," a Crown spokesman said yesterday. "The meeting with Mr Wilkie on 20 March at Crown was both civil and constructive. Mr Packer would be disappointed if anyone is claiming anything other than that." Clubs and pubs are pro active with an full on public campaign against the Wilkie proposal; the casino king apparently signalled in the boardroom he was prepared to contribute funds and add his politically influential voice to the objections. Given his interest in the outcome, the agro around the political class and the posture of the pubs and clubs, it would be surprising if he did otherwise. Packer has also made his objections known to other parliamentary crossbenchers, calling on MP's Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott. Wilkie has refused to discuss the meeting. "The content of the discussion was confidential," he said, adding "unless James Packer wants to reveal it, in which case I have no objection". Fun, games and politics continue to mix it up down under, but we haven't heard the last of Packer VS Wilkie, or whatever the relationship is punters.

Friends, good punting, know your limits and bet with your head, not over it.

Punters, er readers, stay glued to Media Man reports for more "can't miss" information on Australian pokies, gaming and casino wars.

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

*The writer owns shares in Crown Limited

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Friday, May 27, 2011

Marvel Entertainment To Get More Games Via Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment



Marvel Hero Jackpot Marvel Entertainment bwin.party digital entertainment

PartyCasino.com already offers Thor, The Incredible Hulk, The Amazing Spider-Man and Fantastic Four and hundreds more games, and in the near future PartyCasino.com is tipped to get even more Marvel comics themed slot games. Go for the Marvel Hero Jackpot, Super Hero Jackpot and more. New players get up to $3000 sign up bonus. As Marvel Entertainment legend Stan Lee says, Excelsior!

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Australian Gambling And Casino News; Packer Special, by Greg Tingle - 27th May 2011



Australia is once again home to some of the world's hottest gambling and casino news today, with James Packer and his Crown Casino in the centre of the action. Media Man and Gambling911 pound the pavement with the news you need to know...

Bitar's New Crown Casino Gig Is Wrong: Bob Brown...

Australian Greens leader Bob Brown says the appointment of a former Labor strategist to a job lobbying for the gambling industry is "worrying". Former ALP national secretary Karl Bitar has taken up a gig with Melbourne's Crown Casino. The appointment comes as the Gillard Labor government works on a new policy to limit the amount of money players can put through poker machines, to prevent problem gambling. Senator Brown said it was an example of the "spectre of undue influence" raising its head. "The appointment by Crown Casino is very worrying, it's very troubling, because he's been a major mover and shaker in politics in Australia," he told reporters in Canberra on Wednesday. "You can't tell me or anybody else that that's not going to open doors for Crown Casino that other people don't have open to them and can't go through." Senator Brown said there should at least be a cooling off period for such appointments. "It is wrong and we should certainly see much stronger regulations and rules about ex-politicians and senior political insiders being able to move to use the knowledge they've had from being on the political inside not only to their own advantage but to the advantage of sectional interests." Anti-gambling campaigner Tim Costello says Bitar's appointment by Crown is not a shock. "Crown has everything to lose from pokies reform, so it's no surprise they employed Karl Bitar," he said. Costello also attacked Crown's involvement in Victoria's Responsible Gambling Awareness Week. The casino made its contribution to the week on Wednesday at an event in which former aerobics champion Sue Stanley compared an addiction to exercise with gambling. Stanley said she needed help when she was addicted to exercise and gamblers should do likewise. The casino's chaplain Father James Grant then said Crown was doing a good job with problem gambling. No Crown officials would take questions from the media at the event. "It's a joke," Costello said. "Crown and its involvement in Responsible Gambling Awareness Week is quite frankly like putting Dracula in charge of the blood bank." Victorian Liberal premier Ted Baillieu said he could work with Mr Bitar. "To some extent I'm surprised that somebody in that position in the ALP would undertake that position but that's a matter for them," he told the press.

Punter Spent Phoney Cash On Sex And Poker At Crown Casino...

A Melbourne fella spent more than $10,000 of counterfeit Canadian currency on prostitutes and poker machines after exchanging the money for Australian dollars at Crown Casino, a court has heard. Cosimo Candido, 34, of Sunshine, was arrested this week by Australian Federal Police after he exchanged counterfeit money he claims he was minding in a shoe box for a friend who had asked him to look after it. Up to seven passports from various jurisdictions were also found in the shoe box in the name of a man who police confirmed is dead. Candido claimed he did not known the money was counterfeit, Melbourne Magistrates Court heard. He is alleged to have told police he was with a prostitute in St Kilda on April 30, got bored, then decided to take the cash to the casino to exchange it. He advised he approached a cashier with $1000 of the currency "to see if it would work" and received $885 in return. He went to another cashier and exchanged $3000 counterfeit Canadian dollars and received $2657 before he was handed $4645 by a third cashier. All transactions were captured on CCTV cameras. Crown staff later contacted police after suspecting the cash was fake. Candido was charged with uttering counterfeit money under the Crimes Currency Act 1981. The Commonwealth offence carries a maximum penalty of 12 years' jail. The court heard that Candido told police his friend who asked him to mind the items had the cash and passports because he was trying to receive the dead man's assets. The police informant, who asked not to be named because of ongoing investigations, said Candido told investigators he had spent the money he received after the exchanges on hookers, hotels and at the pokies. Magistrate Charlie Rozencwajg granted Candido bail to re-appear at the same court on July 13. Crime does not pay... not usually.

James Packer VS Or With Andrew Wilkie; Wilkie's Big Day At Packer's Crown Casino; Win - Win?...

He's the face of Australian gambling haters, but he had a wonder through James Packer's Crown Casino in Melbourne just the other day, but for good reason. What a lovely way to spend a Sunday. The 'Tasmanian Devil' (satire) independent MP had a tour of gambling house in March with James Packer. The gambling king and the political face of gambling dislike took a walk around the place before making way to a conference room with staff to discuss issues of mutual interest we hear. Packer is very interested in Wilkie's plans to slow cash flow of the poker machine industry by imposing a mandatory national system requiring punters to set a limit on their losses. Pokies have been the talk of the town for weeks. State and territory ministers won't shut up about the 'one armed bandits' and Wilkie props. Packer's Crown Limited just appointed Labor's ex national secretary Karl Bitar to boost Crown's lobbying effort against the reforms. There's was a rumour that one or two threats were made in the meeting. What constitutes a threat anyway? Crown rejects that idea. "Mr Packer did not threaten Mr Wilkie in any way, shape or form," a Crown spokesman said yesterday. "The meeting with Mr Wilkie on 20 March at Crown was both civil and constructive. Mr Packer would be disappointed if anyone is claiming anything other than that." Clubs and pubs are pro active with an full on public campaign against the Wilkie proposal; the casino king apparently signalled in the boardroom he was prepared to contribute funds and add his politically influential voice to the objections. Given his interest in the outcome, the agro around the political class and the posture of the pubs and clubs, it would be surprising if he did otherwise. Packer has also made his objections known to other parliamentary crossbenchers, calling on MP's Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott. Wilkie has refused to discuss the meeting. "The content of the discussion was confidential," he said, adding "unless James Packer wants to reveal it, in which case I have no objection". Fun, games and politics continue to mix it up down under, but we haven't heard the last of Packer VS Wilkie, or whatever the relationship is punters.

Friends, good punting, know your limits and bet with your head, not over it.

Punters, er readers, stay glued to Media Man reports via Gambling911 for more "can't miss" information on Australian pokies, gaming and casino wars.

*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. Media Man also publishes Media Man News

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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Online Affiliate Programs Explained, by Greg Tingle - 23rd May 2011



Affiliate programmes via the internet can still be a lucrative business, but as has always been the case, its buyer (or more to the point), affiliate marketer beware, as its getting harder to sort out the gold from the dirt. Gaming and casino affiliate programmes as a general rule remain the most worthwhile from a financial aspect, but their can be exceptions so it pays to keep your eyes and ears open. We also cover that just by participating in a gaming or casino affiliate programme does not in fact make you or your brand a gaming or casino company, rather it just means you are covering that industry vertical (and hopefully adding value to your website) in addition to other subject matters you choose to cover. Media Man and Gambling911 with the latest on the online affiliate sector, with and added bonus on the casino, poker, agency and portal sector...

We've been filling you in on some of the elements, good and bad, of affiliate programmes for a few years now, and will all of the new developments hitting the world wide web we figured it was time to give the ever loyal readership an update.

How To Choose The Right Affiliate Program...

Affiliate programs are one of the greatest ways to generate a massive revenue stream. Even the likes of News Limited, Fairfax Media, CNN, ABC (Australia and the US), AskMen, UFC, WWE, Virgin and Marvel Entertainment are in on the act these days, and there's good reasons why. The programs offered by bwin.party digital entertainment, Virgin Games, PKR, Playboy and Rewards Affiliates are our favorites these days, but more on that later on. You can also start your own, or of course just offer promo and advert rates on your own website portal that can offer work well, and link it in with your news coverage.

There are thousands of affiliate programs on the web to choose from. Features and customer support can vary a great deal, and Media Man has found that only about 30% of all programs are actually worth participating in, but that's just our experience over the past decade ok.

The List..

* Search for an original or unique product or service.Look for a product in a hot market. It might be a brand new game or tech device for example.

* Find programs that have strong growth potential with an expanding product and / or service offering. This will help boost your revenue expansion, and will help stop you getting left behind. You might do well to look for new game releases, new books, new comic books and new car accessories for example.

* Maximize your pay. You want to get paid as much as possible right. Try to get the rates right from the get go, and avoid being talked down in price or percentage too much. There is a huge range of pay rates among affiliate programs. Look for programs that offer a fair pay rate for your efforts are worthwhile. You are not a charity!

* Accept A Clear Remuneration Pay Scale. Affiliate programs should clearly state what you will receive for your effort.

* Increase your revenue potential with two-tier programs. What if you refer another affiliate to the merchant? You've helped grow the business enterprise of that merchant right. Get paid for it!

* Seek programs that generate repeat business. With most affiliate programs you will be referring customers to the merchant website usually with a link, banner or button. Some potential customers may bypass you and go directly to the merchant the next time they want to buy a product or service. The way to help stop this is where your own site is integrated into program and website.

* Avoid merchants which will directly compete with you. If a merchant has an affiliate program, but also has brand recognition, the customer may try to go directly to the merchant. If the customer has a choice to either go via you or go straight to the merchant, which do you think they will likely go with?

* Ensure the program has a good tracking system. It is more than reasonable to expect that your statistics will be readily available to you. You want to track your sales, and whenever you care to right. Always confirm the tracking method of any program. Look for programs that offer real time tracking 24 / 7. PartyGaming and Virgin Games are approx 12 - 24 hour delayed, but overall their are still excellent, so we green-light them, despite not being live up to the minute.

* Seek our programs that offer quality marketing support, and not just lip service. Some affiliate programs have little or no marketing support. You need the right support an tools to be successful.

* Choose a program with community support. Community bulletin boards can be useful to exchange between affiliates and often offer news and expert advice. Look out for programs that believe in providing community support, but its not vital, but is very handy for newbies to the affiliate industry.

* Word of mouth. Listen and read to what people say about various programs. Ok, we like bwin.party's PartyPartners, Virgin Games, PKR, Playboy, WWE, UFC and Marvel Entertainment. Ok, enough brand mentions, Go hunting and find some of your own.

Following our recommendations should assist you. The green-lights you can give an affiliate program on these points, then more chance you have of success. Good luck on the hunt.


Casino VS Poker Affiliate Programs...

It's often a good idea to offer both, since they are closely related cousins. Unless you have a poker website when your players hate casinos (very unlikely), we suggest you offer both.

Ok, poker is primarily a game of skill, where many casino games are just based on luck, so keep that in mind. bwin.party digital entertainment, Virgin Games and PKR are masters at offering their players both, and have a strong cross over audience, helped by their brand power and strong reputation. Make sure you get your website key words and SEO strategy right also, or you won't get found.


Quality Content, News Et Al Help Attract Quality Clients And Partners...

You want your brand, imagine et al as strong as possible to help attract the best people and partners to your business. Maintain a quality of news articles, helpful hints, quotes and other things that people will find useful. Become an expert in the field, and you may like to create your own brand of personality, like Microsoft did with Bill Gates, Virgin with Richard Branson, and perhaps PartyGaming with Jim Ryan, and their World Poker Tour with Mike Sexton. Look up these people and brands on the web and your will often find them side by side, and for good reason.

* Product And Service Reviews: review a product or service, offering details which outline how useful the product or service is. There's a reason we review some casinos, poker websites and games. Try to stick with quality brands to avoid falling into traps. Your reviews should be fair and balanced.

* Publish a how-to article. Example, how to win on games, how to find WWE or UFC DVD's in your part of the world, how to make money on the internet! You will build credibility, and that's good for business.

* Offer insightful commentary on what news in your industry. Be it pro wrestling, UFC, boxing, surfing, search engines, publicity, marketing. Offer up the right quote and your quote might be carried around the world in both mainstream news and via online news. It happens to us frequently, and there's no reason it can't happen to you also. Again, its got to be quality and insightful, or you might end up looking like a goose, but mind you, any publicity is good publicity, usually... so go for it casino jack.

* Linkbait, aimed primarily at attracting thousands of links to your site. This makes pages throughout your site rank higher in Google. As our friends at Wikipedia state, "Link bait is any content or feature, within a website, designed specifically to gain attention or encourage others to link to the website. Matt Cutts defines link bait as anything "interesting enough to catch people's attention." Link bait can be an extremely powerful form of marketing as it is viral in nature. The term often has a negative or dismissive connotation".

* Usability so thing things on your website that are going to make you money get found by the audience, and are not buried in impossible to find places. Top of the front page of a site is usually the best, along with promos in hot articles, ads and promos on pages ranked highly by search engines.

* Have a range of websites, not just one. You might like to have a casino based website, a poker website, a property news website, a pro wrestling website and and celebrity news website. Trust us, having more than one website and covering more than one industry sector can boost business considerable. It's pays to have more than just one racehorse in the race. Back a few winners to increase the chance of picking a winner.

* Portals and ultra popular websites. If you can get listed or referenced on a big website portal such as Wikipedia, Google 'Best Of The Web', Virgin, CAP, Gambling911, About.com, AllExperts.com, Film Festivals, Street Corner, and even very popular mainstream news websites, this can help you considerably. Look up your brand or name in Google News or Google search, and see what comes up. Yeah, you will see us there too.

Punters, if you adopt all or most of the techniques we have outlined in our feature article it will greatly increase your chances of success in the online affiliate program sector. We've been doing this stuff for 10 years, and while we do not have all the answers, we have some of them. Learn from others who have survived in the long haul and are established experts in the field. Keep up the quality and integrity, work hard and smart, and you will be well on your way to business successful in this industry sector.

Awards...

Media Man Online Casino Of The Month: PartyCasino

Media Man Affiliate Program Of The Month: PartyPartners

Media Man Brand Of The Month: Marvel Entertainment http://www.mediamanint.com/profiles/marvel_entertainment.html

Runner up: Virgin Games, second runner up: PKR

Our company, Media Man, has also achieved the Hitwise Australia top ten (entertainment - personalities category) award for 6 years in a row, which helps with image, credibility and results. Do your best to win as many awards as possible, without taking your eye of the ball i.e: business at hand.

Friends, good punting, know your limits and bet with your head, not over it. Happy hunting.

Punters, er readers, stay glued to Media Man reports via Gambling911 for more "can't miss" information on Australian gaming and casino wars.

*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. Media Man also publishes Media Man News

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Friday, May 20, 2011

Pro wrestling legend Randy 'Macho Man' Savage dies in car accident, by Greg Tingle - 20th May 2011



Randy Savage VS Ric Flair

RIP Randy Savage (November 15, 1952 – May 20, 2011)

Professional wrestling superstar Randy "Macho Man" Savage passed away after having a heart attack while driving his Jeep Wrangler in Seminole, Florida.

A witness told the press that he "suffered a heart attack while driving and hit a tree."

Florida Highway Patrol said Savage, 58, leapt a concrete median, veered into oncoming traffic and smashed into a tree head on.

He died from his injuries at largo Medical Center.

Savage, whose birth name is Randy Poffo, had recently celebrated his first wedding anniversary with his wife Lynn. It was his second marriage.

His wife was in the car at the time of the accident, which was first reported by TMZ. She suffered only minor injuries.

He married his first wife Elizabeth Hulette best known as "Miss Elizabeth," in 1984. They divorced in 1992. She ended up dying from a drug overdose in 2003.

World Wrestling Entertainment, in progress of rebranding to WWE, advised in a statement that Savage's death was a huge loss.

"WWE is saddened to learn of the passing of one of the greatest Superstars of his time, Randy Poffo, aka Randy "Macho Man" Savage. Poffo was under contract with WWE from 1985 to 1993 and held both the WWE and Intercontinental Championships. Our sincerest condolences go out to his family and friends. We wish a speedy recovery to his wife Lynn. Poffo will be greatly missed by WWE and his fans."

The wrestling world posted thousands of comments Twitter to grieve over the former wrestler.

"He had so much life in his eyes & in his spirit, I just pray that he's happy and in a better place and we miss him. We miss him a lot. I feel horrible about the ten years of having no communication. This was a tough one." Hulk Hogan posted on his Twitter account.

"RIP Randy 'Macho Man' Savage - you were one of my childhood inspirations and heros. Strength, love and prayers to the Savage/Poffo family," Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson said on Twitter.

"I lost a close friend today. If anybody in heaven is wondering who the cat in the ugly cowboy hat is it's Randy. Love you Bro. Never another," Kevin Nash tweeted.

Twitter queen Alyssa Milano was also among those offering condolences, tweeting, "Rest in peace, Macho Man Randy Savage."

Savage helped put WWF wrestling on the global map in the 1980s and '90s, becoming, along with Hulk Hogan, one of its biggest draws of all time. His outrageous ring attire and his "Oooh Yeah!" catchphrase made him a fan favorite. He had also been pitchman for Slim Jims media and advertising campaigns.

"I feel so fortunate that I had a second chance to marry my first love, here where it all began," Savage said a year ago, after his Lido Beach wedding to Payne, whom he'd met there decades before.

Savage had recently returned to the wrestling scene with the release of the WWE Wrestling All-Stars video game. There was also a push to see him be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, many insiders and fans saying he was the greatest wrestler never to have been inducted, with rumours circulating that the reason he may not have got the green light was a fling with WWE boss Vince McMahon's daughter, but that is speculation, not fact.

Savage, who announced the release of a Macho Man action figure at Comic-Con in July 2010, was known for his catch phrase "Ooooooh yeaahhh" and his affiliation with Slim Jim snacks.

His pro wrestling success including numerous reigns as WWE (then WWF) and WCW champion...Savage appeared as Bone Saw McGraw, the wrestler Tobey Maguire's Peter Parker squares off with in "Spider-Man" (2002), among other occasional acting parts, and released a rap album, "Be a Man" (2003).

Savage had a numerous of other wrestling accomplishments and was the 1987 WWF King of the Ring and the 1995 WCW World War 3 winner.

His WrestleMania III match with Steamboat was considered a classic by both fans and critics and was named 1987's Match of the Year by both Pro Wrestling Illustrated and the Wrestling Observer.

He drew a lot of money in just about every wrestling territory he entered, be it Memphis, Florida, Atlanta or New York.

Savage signature moves included the flying elbow off the top rope, sometimes even from the top of cages, double ax handle, and had an extremely fast brawling style, as well as being a solid technical wrestler, often using a variety of suplexs in his matches.

His greatest wrestling feuds were with Hulk Hogan, Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat, Ric Flair, Andre The Giant, The Honky Tonk Man, Tito Santana, George 'The Animal" Steele,
Bruno Sammartino and prior to the WWE, Jerry "The King" Lawler. He's biggest out of the ring feuds with with Hulk Hogan and wrestling boss, Vince McMahon.

Under his real name Randy Poffo, he played minor league baseball in the St. Louis Cardinals and Cincinnatti Reds systems in the early 1970s. Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen was also among those expressing condolences Friday.

A Media Man staffer was overhead "Savage was one of the greatest ever and a true legend. He was up there with Hulk Hogan, Roddy Piper, Flair and Steamboat. It would be nice to see a classy tribute by the WWE and also see him finally inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame. Thanks for the awesome memories Randy".

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Friday, May 13, 2011

Australian Gambling News, by Greg Tingle - 14th May 2011



It's been a big week for Australian gambling news, both down under in Australia, as well as Aussie gambling entities making waves overseas. Plus we're got the IGT VS Aristocrat legal update, Australian gambling and media stock price updates and loads more.

Media Man, Casino News Media, Media Man News, Property News Media and Global Gaming Directory team up to deliver this jam packed news update, with some help from friends at Fairfax Media, Google News and wires.

Credit To Gambling Companies And Players Where Credit Is Due...

Congrats to Crown's James Packer for his ongoing development of Crown Limited, creating employment opportunities for thousands of Australians, in addition to continuing to assist GenerationOne, focused on sustainable solutions for Aboriginal Australians, which employment and welling being key aspects. Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment's PartyCasino.com has snatched another Media Man 'Online Casino of The Month' award too, and Vegas gambling tycoon Steve Wynn has gotten himself married, and invited some of Australia's most notable citizens, including you guessed it - The Packers. We also thank Fairfax Media, The Daily Telegraph and The New York Times for their responsible reporting on the gaming and gambling industry, and also well done to Gambling911 and Poker News Daily for their daily colourful stories covering the sector. Life would be more dull around gambling if it wasn't for Chris, Jenny and the team and Gambling911. Media Man of course remains independent, certainly for new media and gaming coverage standards, but once in a while do an official campaign for quality brands and individuals.

Packer Family And Other Aussie Billionaires Attend Wynn Wedding In Las Vegas...

Gambling tycoon James Packer and wife, Erica, Wolverine Hugh Jackman and his wife, Deborra-lee Furness, billionaire truck driver - transport entrepreneur Lindsay Fox and his wife, Paula, retail big wig Solomon Lew and wife, Rosie, were the Australian guests at casino king of the kids Steve Wynn's extravagant wedding. The Aussies enjoyed themselves big time at the ball that went for 3 days, which featured a swag of entertainment including Lionel Richie and Garth Brooks. Clint Eastwood was best man. Wynn married his Pommie sweetheart, divorcee Andrea Hissom, and the lovely couple have been named by the press "duke and duchess of Vegas". Wynn first met Hissom during a trip to the French Riviera circa 2008. Wynn aged 69, and Hissom, understood to be in her 40s, got married at the cost of $US5 million ($4.7 million), with 500 guests from around the globe. Other guests included Donald Trump, Sylvester Stallone and Celine Dion. The super A-list guests were flown in for a poolside "white" party on the day prior to the elaborate wedding. A "Grand Celebration" was housed in Wynn's Encore Ballroom...was put together by Michael Jackson's ex musical - events et al genius Kenny Ortega. Brunch was held on the Sunday morning. Wynn's ex wife, Elaine, was not on the list. She's mum to Steve's two kids. Last year the ex was awarded one of the largest divorce settlements in US history - $US741 million in stock in Wynn Resorts. It's understood the Packers enjoyed napoleon of tuna with caviar and roasted turbot with red wine sauce and cauliflower puree. The Wynn's are understood to be delighted at the way everything went down, and the Australia's were equally delighted we understand.

Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment's PartyCasino Wins Media Man 'Online Casino Of The Month'

PartyCasino has once again won the Media Man 'Online Casino Of The Month Award'. The well known and respected online casino brand has won the Media Man awards over a dozen times in the past three years. The award is given out based on a number of factors including gameplay, portfolio of games, customer services, affiliate partners offerings, value for money, innovation and overall customer service. Richard Branson's Virgin Casino has also won the award, but Branson's brand doesn't accept Australians which has held back the firm in recent years. PKR Casino and Captain Cooks Casino have been Media Man semi finalists over the years, but PartyCasino looks like a safe bet to maintain it's stranglehold on the title for now. Well done Party.

Las Vegas Live at Burswood Theatre...

When: Friday 20 May...Take a trip to Las Vegas without the airfare or expenses. Viva Las Vegas has all the razzle dazzle and glitz of the entertainment capital of the world, and is coming to Burswood for one night only! The show combines sensational song and dance numbers with exciting specialty acts. Viva Las Vegas will take viewers on a spellbinding journey to Las Vegas, without leaving their seat. Show-goers will witness the gorgeous Vegas Showgirls in spectacular costumes and dazzling choreography, plus the remarkable illusions of Magic2. Audiences will also experience the best celebrity impersonators, Tom Jones tribute artist and world class Elvis impersonator Rick Charles performing together with a live band. This is 90 minutes of spectacular Las Vegas entertainment, a fabulous night to be remembered forever.

UK Gaming Giant Keen On Centrebet...

Alice Springs-based online gaming - gambling giant Centrebet International has confirmed a London-listed company is proposing a takeover bid. A spokesman for Centrebet says discussions are being held with Sportingbet. The UK gaming company is proposing to acquire shares and performance rights for starters. The spokesman says no agreement has been reached as yet. He says the Centrebet licence would most likely remain in Alice Springs if a takeover bid is successful.

MP Wilkie Keen To Discuss Poker Machines With Victoria...

Federal independent MP Andrew Wilkie says he is happy to talk to Victoria about its concerns regarding his planned poker machine changes. Wilkie is insisting on a compulsory scheme where pokie players will have to pre-set how much they are willing to lose or play on machines, which will only accept $1 bets. Victoria opposes a mandatory scheme and says Mr Wilkie should see the voluntary scheme it is putting in place. Mr Wilkie, who is threatening to bring down the Federal Government if he does not get his way, says he is happy to speak with the Victorian Government. "But I want to make one thing perfectly clear: it is not an option for Victoria to be exempted from these national reforms. It is as simple as that," he said. "There will be mandatory pre-comittment on these high-intensity poker machines, full stop."

Aussie Lottery Winners Unlucky With Love Life...

They used to be a couple whose relationship would not endure for love or money - not even $3 million bucks. They split up a year after the woman bought a winning lottery ticket, and the Federal Magistrates Court had to decide how to divide the fortune. Known by the pseudonyms Ms Kneen and Mr Crockford, the pair - aged in their 20s - had lived together on and off for a while. In September 2008, after spending much of the year in women's shelters, Ms Kneen moved back in with Mr Crockford. A month later she bought a Powerball ticket at a Canberra newsagency and was stunned when she learnt she had won $3 million. Establishing the facts was not easy; the federal magistrate who determined the property settlement, Stuart Lindsay, said both parties were "very poor witnesses" who lied to help their own case. Kneen claimed she was the only one who bought lottery tickets and that Mr Crockford was "dismissive of her buying tickets and encouraged her not to". ''She said that she always referred to the tickets as her tickets,'' Mr Lindsay said. ''She said that she had only ever won small amounts … and that she always kept those winnings for herself.'' But Mr Crockford said they both played Powerball or Lotto every week and each contributed to the tickets, on the understanding that "whoever bought it, it was a joint ticket and that they would share the winnings," Mr Lindsay said. After the $3 million windfall, they bought three properties. The pair flew to Melbourne together to claim the winnings and Ms Kneen was with Mr Crockford when the cheque was made payable to his account, Mr Lindsay said, suggesting a relationship where the money would likely "be regarded by them both as having been jointly won". Mr Lindsay allocated $100,000 to Ms Kneen because she earned less than her former partner, but split the rest equally. (Credit: www.smh.com.au)

One.Tel Legal Case Against James Packer And Lachlan Murdoch Dismissed...

The New South Wales court has dismissed a civil case against James Packer and Lachlan Murdoch in relation to the collapse of phone company, One.Tel. Some of One Tel's creditors appointed a special purpose liquidator, Paul Weston, to investigate why the board withdrew financial support for the company and put it into voluntary administration in 2001. Mr Murdoch and Mr Packer were directors of the board and companies linked to them were investors. But Justice Julie Ward said the case was stale and the proceedings should be dismissed. Mr Weston has been ordered to pay the costs of the case. The High Court has agreed to hear an appeal by ASIC against the dismissal of civil penalties against former James Hardie directors. In 2009, the Australian Securities & Investments Commission won a landmark court case against the company's former executives and directors for misleading the market about asbestos compensation. James Hardie was fined, and the former executives and directors were fined and disqualified. The case was partially overturned on appeal and the former directors had their penalties quashed. The local share market ended higher after a volatile day. The All Ordinaries Index rose 11 points, or nearly 0.25 of a per cent to 4,787. Spot gold is higher at just over US$1,510 an ounce. West Texas Crude oil is at US$98.97 a barrel. The Australian dollar is nearly $US1.07. Congrats to 'Our James' and 'Our Lachlan'.

Aristocrat Names Gaming Visionary Rich Schneider Chief Product Officer‎...

Aristocrat Technologies has named legendary gaming visionary Rich Schneider as its new Chief Product Officer. As CPO, Schneider will lead all aspects of product design, portfolio management and global marketing activities, and he will direct the overall leadership of Aristocrat's vibrant creative studios. Schneider will be based in the company's Las Vegas office and will report directly to CEO and Managing Director Jamie Odell. "The appointment of our CPO is significant, and we are fortunate to have attracted someone of Rich's calibre, and he will play a critical leadership role in the next stage of our turnaround story," Odell said. "His skill set, knowledge of the industry and years of experience will be tremendous assets to Aristocrat's Executive Leadership Team and to our business." "I could not be more delighted about joining Jamie and the entire Aristocrat team. Aristocrat's breadth of product, coupled with a great game library, and a strong tradition of delivering games that players just love to play are all great building blocks for a successful future," said Schneider. Schneider is widely regarded as an important force in the gaming industry and has played significant roles in shaping its future. Most notably, Schneider was Executive Vice President of Product Strategy at IGT. He has also served as IGT's Senior Vice President of Server Based Gaming and President of IGT Systems. Prior to IGT, he served as President and Chief Operating Officer at Acres Gaming. He has also been V.P. of Game Development for CDS and Director of Engineering for United Coin Machine. Schneider's vision has helped lead to the creation and proving the value of system bonusing products that have become the industry standard for building patron loyalty and driving casino revenues. He also played a vital role in conceiving what is now known as the Gaming Standards Association and has been a tireless advocate for open standards. Schneider has held several important positions in GSA, including Board Member and Vice Chairman of the Board. Schneider holds a BS in Engineering from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. He will begin his tenure at Aristocrat on July 28. Aristocrat Technologies Inc. is a subsidiary of Aristocrat Leisure Limited (ASX: ALL), a leading global provider of gaming solutions. The Company is licensed by more than 200 regulators and its products and services are available in more than 90 countries around the world. Aristocrat offers a diverse range of products and services including electronic gaming machines and casino management systems.

Aristocrat v. IGT: Attorney Negligence, Revival, and Inequitable Conduct...(Credit: www.patentlyo.com)

Aristocrat Techs. v. Int'l. Game Tech. & IGT (N.D. Cal. 2011)

Patent attorneys regularly have hundreds of patent applications pending, each with their own due dates – far too many for anyone remember on their own. We keep track through docketing systems, paralegals, and attorney cross-checks. We are often overwhelmed – especially when firms change and staff leaves (as happened in this case). One of the comments to this post astutely introduced the old adage: "there but for the grace of God go I."

The Aussie slot-machine manufacturer Aristocrat missed its US national stage patent filing deadline by one day. The patent was saved when the USPTO granted Aristocrat's US attorney's petition to revive the abandoned application based on the claim that the "entire delay" in filing the appropriate papers was "unintentional." During infringement litigation against market leader IGT, the district court first held the patent invalid based on a defense of improper revival. In particular, the district court held that the USPTO lacked authority to revive national stage applications unless the abandonment met the much higher standard of being unavoidable. On appeal, the Federal Circuit reversed — holding that improper revival did not constitute a cognizable defense to allegations of infringement under 35 U.S.C. 282.

On remand, IGT shifted its focus to unenforceability — alleging that Aristocrat committed inequitable conduct in the revival of its abandoned application.

Late Filing and Hiding Abandonment from Client: The district court used one-hundred-twelve paragraphs to described the facts relating to the abandonment and revival. Here are a few key facts:

January 10, 2000: On the day of the 30–month deadline, Aristocrat's US patent counsel (Shahan Islam) used US Express mail to file the necessary documents to enter US national stage examination. The USPTO received the documents the next day (January 11, 2000). However, according to the USPTO, Islam did not include sufficient evidence to prove the January 10, 2000 mailing date. And, Mr. Islam's firm did not retain the filing evidence in a locally held file.

June 2001: The USPTO dismissed Islam's petition to correct the filing date and indicated that the application remained abandoned. Mr. Islam later testified that he did not remember receiving the June 2001 decision. The court found that Mr. Islam likely saw the decision shortly after it was mailed.

November 2001: Aristocrat requested a status update on the application from Mr. Islam. (Up to that time, Aristocrat had been told nothing of the abandonment issues). In December 2001, Mr. Islam responded in an e-mail that "we have learned that the application won't be examined for at least another nine months(!) [or] so in view of the backlog." The e-mail did not indicate anything about the abandonment. Mr. Islam also forwarded his response to another attorney at his law firm saying "lets discuss."

During this same time period, eight other Aristocrat applications being prosecuted by Mr. Islam also went abandoned based on failure to respond to PTO notices mailed in 2001.

July 18, 2002: Mr. Islam (at this point with the KMZ firm) filed a petition for revival for unintentional abandonment — included a statement that "the entire delay in filing the required reply from the due date for the reply until the filing of a grantable petition under 37 CFR 1.137(b) was unintentional." In addition, Mr. Islam filed a preliminary amendment and petition for accelerated examination. In a letter to Aristocrat, Mr. Islam incorrectly (and apparently intentionally) stated that the amendment & petition to accelerate had been filed in January 2002. The letter did not mention the petition for revival.

September 3, 2002: USPTO granted the petition to revive.

2003: KMZ attorneys informed Aristocrat of the abandonments & revivals.
Revival: The USPTO typically does not require documentation to revive under the unintentional delay standard. Rather, the office relies on the applicant's statements that the entire delay in filing a response was unintentional. Here, the USPTO did not require specific documentation.

Unintentional versus Not Intentional: In its analysis, the district court held that the facts did not provide clear and convincing evidence that Mr. Islam had intentionally delayed the petition filing. In particular, the court could find no motive for the delay. Instead, the delay appeared to be the result of Mr. Islam's ongoing negligence rather than intentional misbehavior. Negligence is the foundational non-intentional tort and therefore a finding of negligence does not suggest that the delay was intentional. In an odd logical analysis, Judge Whyte concluded that Islam's failure to notify Aristocrat of the abandonment "actually suggests that the delay was unintentional."

Mr. Islam did not want to disclose his errors [to Aristocrat] because he was likely embarrassed by his failure to act in accordance with his client's instruction. Had it been granted, Mr. Islam's Petition to Correct would have avoided abandonment altogether. Mr. Islam's deflections in December 2001 show that he was fully aware that Aristocrat wished to proceed with the '717 application. Mr. Islam's comments to Mr. Owen's regarding the PTO backlog at the time further avoided acknowledging any personal responsibility for delay but it may have been correct, especially considering that the '717 application remained in an abandoned state even after the PTO had officially revived it. Still further, Mr. Islam's incorrectly dated Second Preliminary Amendment is further evidence that Mr. Islam's chief motive was to hide his failures from Aristocrat. Once the June 2001 Decision was sent, a decision to deliberately delay reviving the '717 application would not have helped to hide his errors from Aristocrat.

Although Judge Whyte found "Mr. Islam's testimony was disturbingly vague and his lack of memory difficult to believe," the Judge agreed with the notion the delay was entirely explained by Mr. Islam's disorganization and the "out of control" state of his practice at the time. "Even if Mr. Islam failed to properly prosecute the '717 application, 'unintentional' delay does not require that the delay have occurred despite the exercise of due care and diligence (as does 'unavoidable' delay)."

After holding that the delay was not intentional, the court concluded that the statement regarding unintentional delay could not be a material misrepresentation and therefore that the defense of inequitable conduct could not stand.

Expert Opinion: Two leading patent law experts testified at the inequitable conduct hearing: Charles Van Horn for Aristocrat and Paul Gardner for IGT. While the court found the testimony helpful for explaining the prosecution of PCT applications, it found the experts' extensive legal conclusions filled with "blatant advocacy" to be "not helpful." Judge Whyte has been known to speak critically against expert testimony in patent cases. (Credit: www.patentlyo.com)

Ex IGT Exec joins Aristocrat...

Former International Game Technology executive Rich Schneider will join Aristocrat Technologies in July as its chief product officer. Working out of the company American headquarters in Las Vegas, Schneider will oversee slot machine development for Australian-based Aristocrat. Schneider will report directly to Aristocrat CEO Jamie Odell. Schneider served in various executive capacities with IGT, overseeing game design, gaming systems and developing server-based gaming products. Odell said Schneider’s “knowledge of the industry and years of experience will be tremendous assets to our business.” Prior to joining IGT, Schneider held executive positions at Acres Gaming and United Coin Machine.

S&P Revises SKYCITY Outlook To Stable; Rating Affirmed...

May 13, 2011--Standard & Poor's Ratings Services today said that it had revised its outlook on New Zealand-based gaming company SKYCITY Entertainment Group Ltd. (SKYCITY) to stable, from positive, and affirmed its 'BBB-' long-term corporate credit rating on the company. The rating affirmation and stable outlook reflects our view that SKYCITY's financial profile and credit measures--while incorporating some leeway to allow management the flexibility to pursue growth and shareholder-return objectives--will remain commensurate with the 'BBB-' rating over the medium term.

"We believe SKYCITY's strengthened balance sheet and debt-maturity profile, combined with our expectation of relatively stable property-level EBITDA and cash flow generation, will enable the company to undertake debt-funded growth opportunities in a manner that preserves credit quality at the 'BBB-' long-term rating," Standard & Poor's credit analyst Jennifer Wee said.

The rating and outlook incorporates our expectation that SKYCITY will maintain the competitive positioning of its New Zealand and Australian casino assets, underpinned by a supportive licensing environment and measured capital investment. Furthermore, we expect the company to continue its relatively stable cash flow performance and disciplined financial policy, balancing future potential capital projects and dividends with the maintenance of rating-commensurate credit measures over the medium term.


Packer To Spend $281m For Extra Aussie Casino Development....

Packer's Crown Casino is raising its bet on the business, announcing it would spend an extra $281 million upgrading its Australian casinos. It is also making acquisitions that include consolidating its ownership of the Aspinall's Club in London. The new money s on top of $139 million previously earmarked for upgrades of the Crown Casino in Melbourne and Burswood Casino in Perth, signalling the company's confidence in the market and its ability to attract high-rollers to the casinos' VIP gambling service. Crown's buys include the Holiday Inn hotel building and associated assets at Burswood Casino for $79 million. "Burswood will be entitled to a greater share of hotel profits,'' the company said. A further $81 million will be spent upgrading Burswood's gambling floor, catering, convention centre and VIP accommodation services. Crown Casino in Melbourne will enjoy $132 million in upgrades, with a more extensive investment in the gambling floor and catering as well as a new bar and lounge that will feature Shane Warne and the poker champion Joe Hachem as ambassadors. Further upgrades to its VIP facilities were also announced, including refurbishing the casino's jet. Crown and Tabcorp's Star City had announced upgrades to the VIP gambling businesses to meet growing competition from new casinos in Singapore and Macau. In December Mr Packer, Crown's chairman, said Australia would need to work harder to compete with new Asian developments and called on other companies to take up some of the slack. ''Australian investment in large-scale tourism attractions has been relatively modest in recent years. In contrast, Crown has been and continues to be a significant investor in Australian tourism infrastructure." Crown will acquire a 100% interest in Aspinall's Club. The casino was owned by the Aspinall's Group, Crown's joint venture with the Packer family friend Damian Aspinall. The venture will use the $55 million in proceeds to pay debt.

James Packer Says Kangaroos And Clichés Stifling Australian Tourism...

Australian tourism is letting itself down by sticking to outdated clichés, according to one of the country’s richest men. Marketing campaigns promising to “throw a shrimp on the barbie” and asking “where the bloody hell are you?” have been a waste of $500 million of taxpayers' money, says James Packer, son of the late media tycoon Kerry Packer. Tourism’s contribution to the national economy has plummeted from 3.4 percent to 2.6 percent over the last decade. Its world ranking in tourism competitiveness has dived from fourth in 2008 to 13th, according to a World Economic Forum Report. Casino mogul Packer says the latest campaign –- featuring Americans navigating a four-wheel drive through the outback looking for kangaroos –- is geared towards backpackers on “$50 a day," and would do little to change fortunes. In a rare interview with The Saturday Age, a frustrated Packer said tourism was a "lost opportunity." He said a "tired and aging … Sydney has fallen behind not only other Australian cities like Melbourne, but also our regional competitors. And it is a regional market -- we're competing with Singapore, Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur." James Packer, who has an estimated net worth of $3 billion, believes marketing should target the affluent, middle-class Asian market to arrest stagnation in the sector. This comes as the Chinese have emerged as the primary force in Australia's tourism sector. Packer believes Australia needs to market the cities –- and imitate Singapore's and Macau's initiatives -- rather than selling the Great Barrier Reef and the desert. “The majority of tourists want to go to man-made attractions, not the outback," he said.
And Packer, who owns Melbourne’s Crown Casino and another in Macau, believes this is what Asian tourists are after, putting him at odds with a Federal campaign to limit gambling. He believes tourism is being held back by five factors: a strong Australian dollar, antiquated visa applications for Asian visitors, run-down tourist facilities, key inbound tourist markets suffering natural disasters, and fierce competition from our Asian neighbors. Australia’s selling itself short, according to Packer. Hotel owners and tour operators desperate for business agree. Even the chairman of Tourism Australia, Geoff Dixon, believes a lack of investment in tourism infrastructure and protectionist visa regulations are holding Australia back. The premier, Barry O’Farrell, agreed that tourism needs to sell a modern Sydney, rather than outdated clichés, reports Smh.com.au. He said the multicultural hub of Cabramatta was an “extraordinary place to visit on a weekend." "And there are many other places like that across this city," O’Farrell said. "So I think we are dealing with a far more sophisticated tourism trade than simply sausages on barbies and looking for kangaroos."

Australian Shares: Media And Gaming - 13th May 2011

CWN - CROWN LTD - up one cent at $8.51

Casino operator Crown will spend an extra $281 million to buy new properties and further upgrade its flagship casinos in Melbourne and Perth.

FXJ - FAIRFAX MEDIA LTD - down 3.5 cents at $1.09

Fairfax Media has confirmed it will outsource all sub-editing work from its flagship Sydney and Melbourne newspapers, the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance says.

TEN - TEN NETWORK HOLDINGS LTD - up 1.5 cents at $1.275

SVW - SEVEN GROUP HOLDINGS LTD - down 64 cents at $8.96

*Television executive James Warburton will have to wait until January 1, 2012, to start as the boss of Ten Network Holdings, a court has ruled.


Media Man Firm May Sell Some Website Portals...

As Media Man continues to develop and desersify they are apparently looking to sell a few of their website portals. A well placed leak said "Media Man is looking to raise some fast cash to fuel other non gaming ventures. They found that gaming related ventures are down from last years numbers and have decided to get into more online - non gambling related services, following the Packer strategy. It's also rumoured Media Man sold some of their shares in Crown Limited, Ten Holdings and Virgin Blue to also raise extra cash, after apparently over spending as they over invested back in their business". Don't be mistaken however, Media Man still own approximately 30 website portals and remain a well known and established media, publicity brand and internet brand, and are understood to be getting further investor ready.

*Media Man has an online news syndication arrangement with Fairfax Media and The New York Times

*Media Man is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company

*The writer owns shares in Crown Limited

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Australian And New Zealand Gambling News, by Greg Tingle - 10th May 2011



Australia and New Zealand continues to be a hotbed for gambling, casino and political news. Media Man continues to deliver the best...

Aussie Anti Gambling Crusader Victim Of Smear Campaign...

The pokies sector has been accused of mounting a smear campaign against the independent MP spearheading moves to protect problem gamblers. Andrew Wilkie told Parliament some in the industry were desperate to stop "this historic opportunity for federal intervention in problem gambling". Wilkie was tabling a report on a mandatory pre-commitment system for poker machines. The report, whose substance was released last week, calls for a pre-commitment system, in which players can't bet beyond a nominated limit, on all machines that allow a single bet of more than $1. Wilkie, who chairs the committee, said it was unfortunate the Opposition had decided not to support the move. He said the industry had launched a multi-million dollar advertising fear campaign. "Intense political lobbying and a smear campaign against me personally show how desperate some in the industry are to overturn this historic opportunity for federal intervention in problem gambling," he said. Wilkie said many in the industry expressed concern about problem gambling, but others criticised the work of the Productivity Commission and its estimates of problem gambling. There was continual misrepresentation of evidence from pre-commitment trials, exaggeration of compliance costs, complaints about timelines, overstatements of contributions to the community and the blaming of problem gamblers for an addiction caused by a fundamentally unsafe product. Wilkie has made support for poker machine reforms a condition of his backing the Labor government.

Tabcorp Wins Vic Keno licence...

Tabcorp has won the Victorian Keno licence for the next 10 years, which is fully expected to add $20 million per annum to the gambling and gaming company's earnings.
Shares in Tabcorp gained 13 cents, or 1.7%, to $7.89 by 9.15am, their highest level since October 2008. Tabcorp, which is Australia's biggest Keno operator, paid a fee of $60 million in April for the licence, which will operate from April 15, 2012, the Melbourne-based company said in a statement. The Victorian Minister for Gaming tabled the Victorian Keno licence and agreement on May 5. The new Keno licence would require Tabcorp to return at least 75% of the total amount received as prizes to players. Of the remaining player expenditure, the state and Commonwealth Governments would receive a third, including GST. Tabcorp said the Victorian Keno operations would add $20 million per year in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation, assuming the game was rolled out to at least 1,000 venues, as expected. The EBITDA contribution from Keno in NSW and Queensland in the 2010 financial year was $54 million.

Land Based Casinos Set To Look On Pokies Reform...

Slot machine reforms proposed by independent MP Andrew Wilkie would slash up to $280 million from the takings of casino operators in their first year of operation, analysts estimate. James Packer's Crown and Tabcorp's casino group, including Star City, could each see revenue slump by more than $100 million, according to Merrill Lynch analyst Nathan Gee. In a note to clients, Gee said the mandatory commitment scheme proposed by Mr Wilkie would also hurt manufacturer Aristocrat by cutting demand for new machines. But casino operators would see profit "rebound" in later years as players adapted to the new rules, he said. On Friday a parliamentary inquiry into gambling, chaired by Mr Wilkie, gave mandatory commitment the go-ahead over objections from Coalition MPs. The scheme would limit the amount players can lose each day on "high-intensity" machines, which can take in more than $1000 an hour, about the price of an expensive you know what. The prop faces a mean reception from the states, which depend on poker-machine tax revenue, and key independent MPs Tony Windsor, Rob Oakeshott and Bob Katter also have reservations about its effect on smaller clubs. Merrill Lynch estimates the scheme would cut poker machine revenue by between 10 and 20% in its first year, proposed to be 2014.That translates to a revenue hit for Tabcorp's casino arm, Echo Entertainment, of between $53 million and $106 million, which would carve up to 13.1 per cent from its profit. Echo, which is to be spun off from Tabcorp, runs Sydney's Star City as well as casinos in Brisbane, Townsville and the Gold Coast. Crown's revenue is expected to fall by between $72 million and $145 million, cutting profit by up to 8.6%. New Zealand's Sky City Entertainment, which runs casinos in Auckland, Queenstown, Adelaide and Darwin, is predicted to see its revenue fall by between $16 million and $31 million, cutting profit by 4.3%. The gaming industry is deeply opposed to the plan. Tabcorp boss Elmer Funke Kupper described it as akin to building a second Centrelink, and Clubs Australia launched a campaign criticising it as "un-Australian". While Clubs Australia abandoned its campaign after a public backlash, the industry is continuing its heavy lobbying of the government.

SkyCity Adelade Set For Redevelopment...

SkyCity is being urged to proceed with its $250 million redevelopment of the Adelaide Casino to kickstart the city's Riverbank Precinct. Advantage Adelaide chief executive Nikki Seymour-Smith said yesterday the Oval approval should clear the way for SkyCity to take the next step."Many of us thought since the Oval had been given the tick that would mean the Casino redevelopment would be on its way," she said. "Where there are technical difficulties or regulatory procedures they need to overcome, that is a matter for them, but I think the proposal they shared with us is vital for that precinct. "It would be a terrible disappointment if that development did not go ahead." SkyCity previously raised concern about the level of state government taxes and regulation applying to its Adelaide operations. It also said there would be no investment decision on the Adelaide Casino redevelopment until it was clear where federal mandatory pre-commitment laws for poker machines were headed. Business SA chief executive Peter Vaughan said SkyCity needed to lobby the Federal Government directly on issues relating to pre-commitment but believed there were no more impediments to the redevelopment. "The path has been cleared. The (state) taxation regime is the taxation regime," he said. "SkyCity obviously have to deal with the government but the Adelaide Oval redevelopment has been given the big tick and it clears the path for the redevelopment of the Casino." SkyCity managing director Nigel Morrison yesterday said the company was committed to redeveloping the Adelaide Casino and even waived aside concern about proposed federal gambling reforms. He said State Government regulation remained the key question to the project's viability. "There is some concern about the Federal Government but provided it doesn't jeopardise the average punter I have no doubt that will be no impediment," he said. "We think it will be reasonable at the end of the day. "All we are asking for (from the State Government) is for a level playing field with Melbourne and Sydney so we can compete."

SkyCity Shares Down...

SkyCity Entertainment Group, the casino and hotel operator which owns a 50% stake in New Zealand's - South Island's biggest gaming venue, fell 0.5% to $3.71. Chief executive Nigel Morrison said it will be several months before the Christchurch Casino is fully operational again following the February earthquake, although it's likely to reopen on partial basis by the end of the month.

Aussie Rock Gods INXS Play Moncton Casino On July 7...

Australian rock group INXS is going to perform at Casino New Brunswick's Entertainment Centre in Moncton in July. The band, performing in support of new album Original Sin, will start the rock n roller Thursday, July 7 at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7 p.m. Over the span of the band's 30-year career, INXS has sold more than 30 million albums worldwide. They have scored hits on four different continents and have received MTV Awards, World Music Awards, two Grammy nominations, British Music Awards and Gold, Platinum and Diamond sales status on their records. They have also performed over 4,000 live shows for more than 25 million people in almost 50 countries. First as the Farriss Brothers, then as INXS, the band is made up of brothers Tim, Jon and Andrew Farriss, along with Kirk Pengilly and Garry Gary Beers. Original INXS singer Michael Hutchence died in 1997 via a dark and adventurous sexual method and has been replaced at various times by different singers, notably J.D. Fortune who grew up in Nova Scotia. Fortune is fronting the band on stage, but on Original Sin new versions of classic INXS hits were recorded with various vocalists, including Train's Pat Monahan, Rob Thomas and Ben Harper. Tickets for the Moncton INXS show go on sale Thursday at 10 a.m. Casino execs think INXS will boost numbers to the venue and should see more folks trying their luck on casino games. Sounds like something to check out.

Punters, er readers, stay glued to Media Man reports via Gambling911 for more "can't miss" information on Australian pokies and gaming wars.

*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911

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

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