Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Garrett faces pokie restrictions fire - 26th July 2011


Games Gaming Clubs Pokies Gambling Politics Clubs Australia Australia

Club owners and punters gathered in the Sydney electorate of Education Minister Peter Garrett last night to voice their anger over proposed restrictions on poker machines.

More than 200 people turned up to the South Sydney Juniors Rugby League Club at Kingsford last night to protest against mandatory pre-set betting limits for pokies.

Mr Garrett was given a cool reception as he spoke to the crowd in his electorate of Kingsford Smith, but he was not deterred from defending the changes.

"There's nothing un-Australian about thinking about the problems that people face who are problem gamblers, and trying to do something to address that problem," Mr Garrett said.

"I don't think anyone can take away from the legitimacy of the goal, which is to make sure that something which does fall upon your and my fellow Australians and cause them great grief, and their families great grief and suffering, is dealt with."

Peter Newell from Clubs Australia hit back, saying there are already many restrictions on poker machines.

"Clubs Australia does not want one dollar from problem gamblers, and we are completely open to continuing reform that actually helps problem gamblers. But this current proposal is totally misguided in this regard," Mr Newell said.

"Voluntary pre-commitment has already been put in place by quite a number of clubs without having a noose put around their neck."

National Rugby League chief executive David Gallop told the crowd problem gambling is a terrible issue, but the Government is not offering a solution.

"We do however challenge a policy that will not stop problem gamblers, but will simply make it too complicated for the average person to have an occasional punt," Mr Gallop said.

"If Clubs Australia is even half right, this policy will have a devastating affect on many communities, many grassroots rugby league clubs."

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Five questioned over Crown Casino incident - 25th July 2011

Media Man Crown Casino James Packer Tabcorp Holdings Asia Pacific Games


Media Man Crown Casino James Packer Tabcorp Holdings Asia Pacific Games Gambling911 Internet City Of Dreams Macau Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment Australia

Australia remains one of the world's hottest gaming, gambling and igaming meccas. Media Man with a red hot report from down under...

Three people have been questioned over a man's death after an altercation with security staff at Melbourne's Crown Casino, while two others have been charged over the assault of one of his friends.

Homicide squad detectives on Monday interviewed five men, all believed to be security staff from the casino, over the July 3 incident.

Two Werribee men, aged 26 and 23, and a 39-year-old Northcote man were interviewed about the death of Anthony Dunning but police said they were released pending further inquiries.

Police said the investigation into the 40-year-old's death was continuing.

Two others were interviewed about what police described as a separate assault on a patron, believed to be one of Mr Dunning's friends.

A 29-year-old Essendon man and a 25-year-old Highett man were charged with recklessly causing serious injury and were bailed to appear at Melbourne Magistrates Court on October 28.

Mr Dunning died four days after a dispute with bouncers at the casino on July 3.

The Ferntree Gully man had been asked to leave by casino staff and met two friends on his way out.

A woman called Olivia slapped one of the security staff and was put down on the ground and when her partner Matthew came to help her he was also put down on the floor, suffering a broken nose, a fractured arm and some cuts and bruising.

Police have said five to six bouncers pinned Mr Dunning down for six minutes and that video footage shows he did not provoke security staff.

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

*Media Man 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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Monday, July 25, 2011

Monopoly gaming news; New Monopoly online game coming soon


Monopoly Monopoly Slots Monopoly Multiplier MegaJackpots Monopoly City Streets IGT Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment PartyCasino Games New Games New Casino Games

Monopoly is one of the world's most popular board games, casino games and online casino games.

Media Man has heard that a number of online casinos may be soon be getting a new Monopoly game.

Keep checking PartyCasino Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment Virgin Games and IGT for details.

The following was leaked to Media Man overnight...

The Monopoly games we offer on Virgin Games are some of the best performing games we have for acquisition. So you can imagine that the launch of the new IGT slot game next week Monopoly - You're In The Money is getting us so excited it feels like we've won second prize in a beauty contest!!

Monopoly - You're In The Money is brand new to the market and is scheduled to go live on Virgin Casino and Virgin Bingo on Thursday 28th July. This should give you plenty of time to prepare for what we expect to be a bit of a whopper!

The game itself it particularly appealing to players because it has a very high bonus hit frequency and you can win up to 12000x your triggering line bet in the Board Bonus all in a slot game with a brand as powerful as Monopoly!

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Crown Casino News: Police to advise Vic govt on Crown Casino; Australian Gambling News - 24th July 2011


Media Man Crown Casino James Packer Tabcorp Holdings Asia Pacific Games Gambling911 Internet City Of Dreams Macau Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment Australia

Asia Pacific gambling is on fire. Much of today's coverage involved Aussie gambling king James Packer from Crown Limited fame being none to impressed with Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard, and Packer is using the media as a war against the "anti business" and "business unfriendly" PM. In addition Crown is rumoured to be interested in Echo Entertainment owned Star City casino in Sydney, understood to be at risk of having a number of brothel's and other vice related enterprises close by to its city location. Up to Asia, Crown may sell it's stake in Crown Macau to help raise funds for the takeover of Star City... Media Man and James Packer dish it out in spades with today's ace update from down under...

Crown Casino Under Microscope...

The Victorian government has asked police to advise if greater regulation of Crown Casino is needed after a series of violent incidents involving security guards there.

It was reported on Sunday that two off-duty police officers are suing the casino, alleging brutality at the hands of guards, who they allege put them in headlocks and wrestled them to the ground.

It comes just weeks after 40-year-old Andrew Dunning died of a heart attack after guards held him to the ground for eight minutes.

Homicide squad detectives are investigating his death and have said surveillance video shows Mr Dunning did not provoke security staff.

The lawyer for the two off-duty officers told News Ltd that since Mr Dunning's death, her firm had launched investigations into 10 cases of alleged assault by Crown bouncers.

Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu said he would not comment on the latest assault claims as Victoria Police was drawing up a report on ways to improve security at the casino.

"Victoria Police has raised some issues with the government and we've invited them to come back to us with any suggestions in terms of additional action or regulation that needs to take place and we'll wait for them to come back to the government on that," Mr Baillieu told reporters.

"It's one of the biggest tourist drawcards in Australia, quite frankly, and we need to recognise it as such, and obviously a lot of people attend (and) from time to time, people attend there and get themselves into some sort of difficulty.

"We don't want to see that happen and we'll do whatever we can to avoid that and await Victoria Police's response."

Comment was being sought from Crown Casino.

Crown Casino Not Impressed With Taxi's...

Councils, the casino and a CBD police officer have delivered a poor assessment of Melbourne’s taxis to an industry inquiry.

In Crown’s submission to the Allan Fels chaired Victorian Taxi Industry Inquiry, the casino slammed drivers’ language skills, hygiene, Melbourne street knowledge and short fare refusal.

Crown’s submission, from deputy chief executive Greg Hawkins, said Melbourne’s taxi services fell short of interstate and international standards.

It highlighted safety concerns with cab ranks at night, with patrons experiencing antisocial behaviour.

This was also raised by Sen-Constable Dean Anderson, who has worked for ten years in the CBD.

He said less cabs were needed during the day, and more at night to pick up passengers when trains stop.

“The city is full of alcohol fuelled party goers trying to get home quickly, more taxis on the road… would alleviate some of the assaults that occur in the city on these busy nights,” he said.

Crown Limited May Sell Out Macau Casino Investment To Raise Cash For Echo Entertainment Star City Bid...

JP's Crown could fund a $3.6 billion move on casino rival Echo Entertainment next year by exiting its growing Macau venture, analysts say. Crown this week confirmed a 4.9% interest in Echo and Tabcorp Holdings by way of derivatives, which it acquired before Tabcorp's demerger of the casino group this month. Crown talked down its interested in Echo and Star City et al. Despite Crown saying it has no "current" intention of increasing its interest in either, Merrill Lynch analyst Nathan Gee said it could make a move next year on Echo after the relaunch of its Star City casino in Sydney. Echo is also upgrading its three land based casinos in Queensland in a $1.6bn expansion investment. Gee advised Crown acquired a stake in its Burswood casino in Perth in 2003 before its full takeover in 2004. "The Star relaunch in late 2011 will be a critical time for Echo management, so we think it makes sense for bidders to allow management to concentrate," he said. "We can't discount a Crown takeover of Echo, but we think a deal is unlikely until 2012. A combination of Crown and Echo could create about $600m of net present value synergy benefits." Crown is expected to be weighed down by its holding in Echo and yesterday ended down 1.15%at $8.57. Echo dropped 1.7% to $4.10. Takeover speculation has been rife around Echo Entertainment and Tabcorp since its demerger in a similar vein to beer firm Foster's, which this week attracted a $9.5bn offer from brewing giant SAB Miller after it demerged its wine unit. While some analysts have seriously questioned Crown moving on Echo, particularly given its mixed merger and acquisition record, Gee said Crown could pay up to $5.25 per share, or $3.6bn, for Echo and make the deal "valuation neutral". He said Crown could fund a bid without a large equity raising by selling its $2bn or so stake in its Macau venture, Melco Crown Entertainment (MPEL), plus up to $700m of debt. "We can't rule out Crown looking to divest MPEL, particularly if the Australian market continues to discount the value of Macau relative to the Melco Crown share price," Gee went on record with to the press. Crown currently holds a 33.4% stake in Melco Crown, which has signed a $US360m deal to secure the group's third casino resort in Macau. Citi yesterday initiated coverage of Echo at a buy and a $4.70 target price but said private equity was a more likely near-term buyer than Crown. "The numbers are challenging for Crown . . . private equity may have interest, as the casino cashflows facilitate high leverage, and the ultimate exit strategy is clear, through a sell-down of Star to Crown and Queensland casinos to Sky City," analyst Jenny Owen said. On Macquarie's numbers, predators would struggle to offer more than $5 a share for Echo. On Crown's Tabcorp holding, Gee said it could hold in the hope of Tatts making its mooted move on Tabcorp. A Media Man analyst said "The Star City casino opportunity could go either way. It's too early to tell but James Packer keeps downplaying interest in the opportunity for a buy out. Is he bluffing? Only time will tell, but expect to get a clearer picture in the next 6 to 12 months".

Aussie Gambling And Media King James Packer Not Impressed With PM Gillard...

Pokie machine reforms that considerably threaten earnings for casino owner James Packer have prompted Packer to label Prime Minister Julia Gillard as "anti-business", according to leading newspaper, the Australian Financial Review. Packer has expanded his casino holdings by taking a 4.9% stake in Tabcorp Holdings Ltd, which gives him a small stake in Echo Entertainment, which owns Star City casino in Sydney. Packer has engaged ex ALP national secretary Karl Bitar to raise the pressure of lobbying efforts against the government on gambling reforms, which have been led by Tasmanian Independent MP Andrew Wilkie. In recent weeks, many of Gillard's cabinet ministers have been reportedly meeting one-on-one with Packer to discuss the impact of the proposed reforms, according to the AFR. Packer appears to climb in popularity while Gillard's popularity is well... not. She's extremely unpopular in the polls and in the pubs, clubs and casinos!

Australian Economy Not Good; Packer Says Gillard Is Anti Business...

Casino and media magnate James Packer has publicly attacked prime minister Julia Gillard, claiming the corporate world believes her to be anti-business. In an interview with The Australian Financial Review, Packer was quoted" "I think the problem for the prime minister at the moment is that while she keeps saying she’s pro-business, there is a real perception in the corporate world that she’s not. This perception is a real problem which she needs to address soon.".

Star City Casino In Sin City Sydney Getting Surrounded By Brothels?...

The mean and sometimes seedy streets around 'Sin City Sydney's' Star City casino could be overrun by brothels, pawnbrokers and money-lending businesses if Sydney council's draft city plan is not urgently fixed, the government's casino regulator has warned. The Casino Liquor and Gaming Control Authority has written to the City of Sydney, asking it to amend its new draft city plan to continue a longstanding ban on money-lending businesses near the casino and to impose a new ban on brothels within 150 metres of the site. The letter puts the casino regulator in conflict with the Department of Planning, which refused the bans when council proposed them as part of the city plan. The risk of "illegal or undesirable activity" concentrating around Star City was identified as a problem in a series of reports before it opened in 1995. It resulted in a statutory ban on pawnshops and money-lending operations, and government working with council to actively discourage brothels opening nearby. In its submission on the draft city plan, the regulator told council "it is noted that pawnbrokers and money lending businesses will no longer be prohibited from operating in the Pyrmont area, nor have any reasons for the proposed lifting of this long-standing prohibition been articulated. In the circumstances, this proposed arrangement cannot be supported. "The letter from the acting chief executive, David Greenhouse, also said that the regulator and council had worked together many times to prevent brothels operating in the area. The best solution would be for council's draft plan to create a ban on brothels within 150 metres of the casino, Greenhouse wrote. However, the regulator appeared to be unaware the city had proposed the bans to the Department of Planning and been refused permission. A department spokesman said it did not support the proposed bans because they would have constituted a sub-zone, which is not permitted under the government's new standard template for local environment plans. However, the spokesman said the department "is not formally opposed to the general position on this issue put forward by the CLGCA and is keen to work with Council and the CLGCA on an alternative solution." Any ban would impact at least one legal brothel already operating near the casino in Pyrmont Street. It comes as a development application for a new 14-room brothel across the road from the casino in Union Square was withdrawn by the applicant following a community outcry in May. Elizabeth Elenius from the Pyrmont Action group said residents were alarmed about the consequences of standard zoning in the draft city plan, saying it would open the area to undesirable uses. "We don't know on what grounds council can knock back undesirable things like a brothel in Union Square, where we have our Anzac Day ceremonies and carol services, unless they did have [a ban on brothels close to the casino] in place," she said. Council planners are considering more than 1000 submissions on the draft LEP 2011, the document controlling development in central Sydney in the next decade.

Telstra-NBN Broadband Update; What Happens To Gaming?...

The federal government is today expected to unveil an $11 billion deal that will provide the National Broadband Network access to Telstra’s fixed-line network. The deal will involve the NBN renting Telstra’s underground network and taking over its fixed-line customers. The federal opposition has criticised the move, saying it will prove expensive and wipe out any competition to the NBN. What may happen to gaming on the Australian internet remains to be seen, but if PM Gillard is anti business as James Packer says, that's not a great sign of things to come.

Lucky Tasmanian Devils; Thanks James Packer...

Solid efforts to save the Tasmanian Devil have received a boost, with the first joeys arriving in an insurance population of the species at a Hunter Valley property. A year ago 50 devils were released in a free-range enclosure at a property owned by media mogul James Packer, as part of a plan to produce a thousand disease-free little devils by 2021. The Devil Ark program is run by the Australian Reptile Park and spokeswoman Liz Vella says the ambitious plan is paying off. "We have got several mums with babies," she said. "We can't really confirm numbers because the babies are so small. "We try not to interfere with them too much, until they are at a safe size. "So we won't really know numbers until spring time." The Reptile Park says the enormity of the fight to save the Tasmanian Devil population cannot be under-estimated, despite success with the local breeding program. Ms Vella says the situation in Tasmania is dire, with devils across more than 60 per cent of the state affected by a deadly facial tumour. "It's really been a rapid decrease in numbers," she said. "It's horrific the way that they go as well, so the best chance they've got is this insurance population to make sure the species doesn't die out. "So the more work and time that we can put into this program the better." Ms Vella says she could not have hoped for a better start to the program. "The devils arrived in January and they started breeding in February," she said. "We weren't sure if they had enough time to settle in prior to breeding and how they would go in these yards, it's all so new, so to have success in this first year is really amazing. "It just shows how the program is going to go."

Packer's Crown Cools On Echo Entertainment...

Casino operator Crown says it has no current plan to increase its 4.9% stake in Echo Entertainment, a casino owner seen as a ripe takeover target. Echo, the owner of Sydney's Star City casino and three casinos in Queensland, is seen as a potential fit for billionaire James Packer's Crown, but analysts said international casinos group or private equity firms may also have their eye the firm. Crown confirmed today it has a 4.9 per cent in both Echo and gaming firm Tabcorp, acquired before Tabcorp offloaded Echo and the casino assets earlier this month. "Crown has no current intention of increasing its interest in either company," the firm said in a statement today. The statement followed a report in the Australian Financial Review which said Packer had confirmed taking the stake in Tabcorp before the demerger, which automatically gave Crown an equivalent stake in Echo. Analysts are divided on whether a takeover is more likely to happen before or after Echo completes a $960 million renovation at Star City, designed to help it attract Asian high-rollers away from Crown's Melbourne casino. Tabcorp spun Echo off to shareholders after being hit by smoking bans, equine influenza, competition from new casinos in Singapore and Macau. The remaining Tabcorp is seen as ripe for a merger with rival Tatts , but not before the state of Victoria decides later in June whether to award Tabcorp a new wagering license from 2012. Crown shares are currently sitting on $8.570. Echo Entertainment is on $4.10.

Man Charged Over Legendary Lloyd Williams' Robbery...

A man has been charged over a burglary at a property owned by the high-profile business identity, Lloyd Williams. Police say thieves broke into Macedon Lodge, north of Melbourne, earlier this month and stole two vehicles and veterinary equipment, including an X-ray machine worth $40,000. A 21-year-old man from Coburg was arrested yesterday and charged. He will face the Broadmeadows Magistrates' Court next week. Detectives say they believe more people were involved and investigations are continuing. Williams is a prominent horse owner and former boss of Melbourne's Crown Casino, the Australian showcase casino of James Packer.

Constuction Worker Not Getting Ahead At Crown Casino; Banged In Head...

A Melbourne man is in a very serious condition in hospital after an a lift plummeted three storeys and struck him in the head. The 38-year-old was working on a construction site at Crown Casino at Southbank when the lift dropped on him at 8:30am (AEST). Paramedic Christine Edney states the punter suffered serious cuts to his neck and his jaw was fractured. "The man lost blood from injuries to his neck, face and parts of his head," she said. "Our priority was to control the bleeding." She says he was incredibly lucky that he did not sever any major arteries in his neck. "If he had been a few centimetres either way, he may not be with us today," she said.

Casino And Gaming Share Prices...

Symbol Company $AUD

CWN Crown Limited 9.15
EGP Echo Entertainment Group 4.07
RCT Reef Casino Trust 1.70
TAH Tabcorp Holdings Limited 3.28

PLS Paddy Power plc 34.73 EUR

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

*Media Man 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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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Casinos Of The World; Land Based And Online Casinos

Sin City Cleopatra Rambo The Godfather Sinatra The Terminator Thor Saturday Night Fever Unicorn Legend Palladium Slot

Punters, here's 10 of the world's top land based casinos for you to mark down in your travel plans.

Monte Carlo, Monaco: Perched above the Mediterranean and bounded by the French
and Italian coastlines on either side, Monaco provides a spectacular and luxurious setting for the wealthy and the wannabees. Home to the Monaco Grand Prix and the legendary Casino de Monte Carlo, this isn't the place for those on a tight
budget. The magnificent Casino hosts the annual European Poker Tour and was also the scene of several James Bond Films, including the original "Casino Royale" and "Golden Eye".

Paradise Island, Bahamas: Located just off the shore of the city of Nassau, Paradise
Island is best known for its sprawling 'Vegas-by-the-sea' resort, Atlantis. The resort spans seven acres along a lagoon, where guests can soak up the Caribbean sun and choose from a variety of outdoor gaming areas. When in need of a break from
the tables, guests can enjoy the private beach or one of the resorts 20 sunlit pools.

Melbourne, Australia: As Australia's sporting and entertainment capital, Melbourne
offers the perfect option for high rollers looking for a local break. Aussies need look no further than Crown Casino on the southern bank of the Yarra River, which is one of the largest casino complexes in the southern hemisphere. The main gambling
floor stretches more than half a kilometre and the casino was the first to introduce the new game Rapid Roulette, which allows players to place bets on a personal electronic touch screen connected to a central roulette wheel.

Macau, China: Known as the 'Monte Carlo of the Orient,' and the gambling capital of Asia, Macau now rivals Monaco and Las Vegas as one of the premier gambling destinations in the world. With no less than 33 casinos, in addition to local horse and greyhound racing venues, Macau is perfect for the betting junkie. The Wynn Macau
casino is a standout, highlighted by 24-carat gold 'Tree of Prosperity' at the entrance, extravagant water displays and Moon Jellyfish Aquarium at reception.

Baden-Baden, Germany: Situated on the western foothills of the Black Forest and on
the banks of the Oos River, Baden-Baden is not your typical casino town. However, in addition to its hot springs and picturesque countryside, the town is also known for its 200-year-old 'Spielbank' casino - the oldest of its type in Germany. With French chateau-style salons rooms named after historical figures such as Madame Pompadour and Louis XV's mistress, the quirky casino provides visitors with a very unique
gaming experience.

Las Vegas, United States: With over 1700 licensed casinos in operation, Las Vegas
offers the ultimate package for travellers who fancy a flutter. A visit to the famous 'Strip' is a must for any player, whether they're looking for a spin on the roulette table or a game of blackjack - this city has it all. The iconic Caesar's Palace
hotel and casino offers 129,000 square feet of casino space plus an endless smorgasbord of entertainment, shopping and fine dining options, including Cleopatra's barge, a floating lounge perfect for a relaxing drink after a jam-packed night on the
casino floor.

Manila, The Philippines: With a favourable exchange rate, Manila provides great value
for Aussies wanting to live the high-life overseas. The city offers a range of shopping and entertainment options, along with a world-class casino at the Hyatt Hotel. Spread across three levels, the sparkling casino offers the newest in gaming
facilities for both hotel guests and visitors, and is just a short distance from Manila's tourist hub.

Sun City, South Africa: Known as 'Africa's Kingdom of Pleasure,' this luxury resort
and casino complex, just two hours from Johannesburg, boasts two large casinos, two 18-hole golf courses and a wildlife reserve. At the extravagant yet picturesque Palace of the Lost City, guests are treated to stunning valley views from the guestrooms, along with exclusive access to the Grand Pool. The nearby Sun City Casino is the entertainment Mecca of the resort, featuring a myriad of gaming options as well as an indoor jungle of native foliage and water fountains.

Atlantic City, United States: Regarded as the US's 'Las Vegas of the East', Atlantic City in New Jersey is renowned for its gambling, shopping and fine dining. Towering above the banks of the Atlantic Ocean, the Trump Taj Mahal casino is an icon of the city, with an on-site shopping district and an abundance of restaurants and bars. The
157,000 square-foot casino is also hard to miss, with 3,500 slot machines and 200 table games. Unveiled in 1990 by a number of celebrities, including the late Michael Jackson, the casino is the second-largest in Atlantic City and well worth a visit.

Genting Highlands, Malaysia: Nestled on the Titiwangsa mountain range, just an hour's
drive from Kuala Lumpur and 6,000 feet above sea level, the Resorts World Genting offers 360-degree views of the surrounding countryside. This spectacular resort has first-class accommodation, dining and entertainment, while avoiding the hustle and bustle of a capital city. The on-site casino, which covers 200,000 square feet, is Malaysia's sole gaming venue and is divided into separate themed areas, such as Hollywood and Monte Carlo, for the ultimate gambling experience.

Online Casinos: : The world's leading online casino brand and part of Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment. Play for free or play for money at New players get up to $3000 sign up bonus via Media Man. : Virgin Casino is part of Virgin Games. The parent company is Virgin Enterprises Limited, the creation of the world's most famous and celebrated entrepreneur, Sir Richard Branson. Unfortunately the casino does not accept players from many countries due to what is known in legal circles as "grey areas". Most European players can play, but no Americans, Canadians, Australians or New Zealanders.

Captain Cooks Casino : Was once a very popular online casino with Australians and New Zealanders, however we understand these days they can only accept players from a few regions such as Europe, South Africa, Canada and South America.

PKR : Once only a 2D online poker room, they are now more 3D and offer online poker and a good range of online casino games, including classics, Marvel slots and table games.

Media Man's top online casino choice: PartyCasino is a multi-time Media Man 'Online Casino Of The Month' winner and have also won awards from EGR. Earlier this year PartyGaming merged with Bwin to create the worlds leading igaming company, Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment.


Playtech Signs Gala Coral Contract, Acquires Mobile-Bet Company...

Playtech Ltd, the Internet gambling software maker and content developer which has a joint venture with William Hill Plc (WMH), said it signed a long-term contract with Gala Coral Group Ltd., and acquired Mobenga AB, a mobile-phone sports-betting company.

Playtech will pay as much as 15.8 million euros ($22.4 million) for Mobenga, the Isle of Man-based company said in a statement. Playtech also said second-quarter revenue rose 7 percent to 39.6 million euros over the same period a year earlier, led by online casino games.

Gala Coral, which has 2,000 betting shops in the U.K. and Italy, should become one of Playtech’s top three clients within a year after its software is transferred, in 2012, Playtech’s Chief Executive Officer Mor Weizer said in a telephone interview. Mobenga will help Playtech expand in mobile telephone gambling, which generates 30 percent of bets for some companies, he said.

“This is a very important win for us,” Weizer said. “We already have most of the established operators in the U.K., and Gala Coral we were after for a long time.”
Playtech gained 18.25 pence, or 5.4 percent, to 356.75 pence at 8:47 a.m. in London, after earlier rising as much as 6.3 percent. The shares have fallen 16 percent so far this year, giving the company a market value of 866.3 million pounds.

Stockholm-based Mobenga will give Playtech the ability to combine sports-betting, casino and poker games in one mobile- phone application, Weizer said.

Playtech generates more than 10 million pounds ($16.1 million) from its biggest client, Imperial E-Club Ltd., Weizer said.


Most of the company’s clients attract players through sports, though they make most of their money through games, so they’re always seeking to convert sports betters to game players, he said.

Second-quarter casino revenue gained 9 percent to 27.3 million euros, and bingo sales increased 32 percent to 3.6 million euros, the company said.

Poker sales dropped 32 percent to 5 million euros, the company said. The poker business declined even though the U.S. charged founders of online poker companies still accepting games in the country with money laundering in April.

Weizer said the companies still had cash to lure poker players. Poker numbers have been “picking up” since the end of June, when one of the companies stopped play, he said. Full Tilt Poker, then the world’s second-biggest poker site, lost its license from Alderney on June 29.

PartyCasino Gets New Games...

Aztec Gold, Atomic Fruit, Nag's To Riches and Fairies Forest. Check out the new games here.

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Australian Gambling News Update, by Greg Tingle - 18th July 2011


Media Man Crown Casino James Packer Tabcorp Holdings Asia Pacific Games NRL Internet City Of Dreams Macau Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment Australia

Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment's PartyCasino Maintains Stranglehold On Media Man Award...

PartyCasino, the world's leading online casino brand, and part of the Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment family, is once again leading the pack for the prestigious Media Man 'Online Casino Of The Month Award'. Sinatra, Rambo, Cleopatra and Circus continue to be some of the brands most popular games. Latest new releases from the casino include Aztec Gold, Atomic Fruit, Nags To Riches and Fairies Forest. The casino offers punters the opportunity to play for free or play for money, and a great range of slots, table games, skill games and of course, poker games, can be found across the company portfolio offer. Live dealer and PartyPoints remain very popular with online gaming fans. The company has been established for over a decade and has achieved numerous awards including the EGR 'Socially Responsible Operator Of The Year' award. They are listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Crown Casino Security Under Spotlight; Casino Squad Proposal Buzz...

Should Melbourne's Crown Casino get their good old fashioned "casino squad" back on site? Many insiders think Yes, and that's the vibe in mainstream media and internet media forums, blogs and website portals.

Like it or not, Crown Casino, and other Australian land based casinos, have a habit of attracting criminals and undesirables. No wonder online casinos are becoming more popular with Joe Public is it.

Up until June 2006, an on site "casino squad" with detectives and the works was based at the famous James Packer owned casino.

The word on the street is that a number of crims launder cash and engage in drug deals in and around the casino, with even loan shark deals happening now and again.

Criminals who are banned from the casino as undesirables are still going to try their luck despite being on the receiving end of lifetime exclusion orders issued by the Chief Commissioner of Police. Believe it or now, sweeping powers that were given to police command to ban gamblers with serious crime links from the famous casino have not been used for five long years.

It's also understood that in a six years period no one has been charged under a consorting law which, when it was introduced in 2005, was championed as a powerful tool weapon against organised crime and mafia types.

The Police Association have gone public in attacking the decision to pull back resources as ignoring crime and wasting intelligence-gathering opportunities.

Over the years, the land based casino has proved a quite a catchment area for intelligence-gathering by police investigating the activities of organised crime figures.

It's common knowledge that criminal types, often in groups or gangs, are attracted o the casino, where funny money cash can be "washed" clean on the gaming tables, in the slots et al.

The Baillieu Government says its keen to restore law and order to Melbourne, so what's the hold up on the "casino squad"? Sounds like a comic strip or something by Marvel Studios, but this is real life and a real problem folks.

Crown Casino May Get Security Beefed Up With On Site Police Station...

Melbourne coppers would be able to ban undesirables from Crown casino without legal challenge under new powers being considered by the Victorian Government.

Gaming Minister Michael O'Brien advised the Government did not know of a problem with casino exclusion orders until the Murdoch's Herald Sun reported it earlier this week.

"We're very happy to receive advice from the police about concerns they've apparently got about the way the Act is functioning," he said.

"If the police feel they can't use the current powers because they compromise investigations, there would appear to be a need for change and we are open to that."

The Herald Sun revealed that the chief commissioner's power to exclude undesirables from the casino had not been used since June 2006, when the force's casino crime unit was disbanded.

In the two years before that date, 35 gamblers with criminal connections were served with lifetime exclusion orders.

Acting Chief Commissioner Ken Lay advised police chose not to issue further exclusion orders for fear of being forced to disclose confidential sources.

Lay said those concerns prompted a decision not to contest a challenge to an exclusion order by one of the 35 gamblers banned from Crown prior to 2006.

Lay said the force received legal advice it may have had to reveal confidential information if the challenge had gone to the Supreme Court.

"We weren't prepared to take that risk," he said.

Lay said the problem had not been resolved despite the former government proposing amended legislation in 2009.

Several people still excluded under pre-2006 orders are known to frequent the famous casino, which comes compete with a max penalty of $2440 for each breach.

The 35 underworld figures banned from the casino and most racetracks in Victoria included the late Carl Williams and Tony Mokbel.

One Armed Bandit Pokies Warn Players Of Potential Dangers...

Passionate gamblers will be prompted by poker machines to donate some winnings to charity under a new eight-week trial overseen by the State Government.

And in a bid to keep more wins in the pockets of punters, new poker machines trialled in five surf lifesaving clubs will warn gamblers how much time and money they have spent.

Attorney-General Paul Lucas will today reveal the Office of Liquor and Gaming Regulation has approved the trial of the machines at Southport, Coolangatta, Kurrawa, Northcliffe and Tallebudgera surf clubs.

Lucas said gaming company Aristocrat Leisure had developed machines that would include state-defined messages and animations that encourage punters to gamble responsibly, a system that allows players to bank wins, an alarm clock that warns players when they have reached their pre-determined time on the machine and an ability to direct winnings to a registered charity.

During the trial the charity will be the surf club.

"This trial is expected to contribute valuable insights and increase the evidence base available to all stakeholders around the effectiveness of various game features, including a pre-commitment option, in encouraging responsible gaming behaviour," Lucas said.

The trial is being undertaken by Aristocrat and the University of Sydney.

Lucas said Queensland had one of the lowest gambling prevalence rates in the nation.

"But one problem gambler is one too many."

It comes as the Gillard Government is preparing to draft new mandatory pre-commitment laws that would mean gamblers would have to determine how much money they were willing to lose - and be locked out once that amount is reached - or play slower machines that suck down less moolah.

And here's the scoop...South Australian Nick Xenophon and anti-pokies campaigner Tim Costello are suing the South Australian and Victorian governments for not enforcing poker machine regulations. One ponders if that's related to the powerful 'Un Australian' ads been ran by Clubs Australia and friends.

Britain's controversial IVF Lottery Eyes Australia...

The brazen organiser of the world's first IVF lottery that gives ticket-holders a chance to "win" a baby wants to bring the controversial raffle to Australia this year.

No chook raffle, but lucky punters can essentially win a baby.

IVF experts have tackled the competition for preying on desperate infertile couples, and "demeaning human life".

Thousands of £20 (about $30) tickets will go up for grabs on July 30 in the UK, giving the winner £25,000 for fertility treatment.

The competition has the approval of Britain's Gaming Commission.

The prize includes accommodation at a luxury hotel, a chauffeur to take the winner to appointments and a personal assistant.

The winner will choose their own fertility clinic, as well as having fertility drugs and complementary therapies paid for.

If the standard treatment is not successful, the winner can choose another way of fulfilling the deal, such as reproductive surgery, donor eggs or a surrogate birth.

Lottery organiser Camille Strachan, who set up fertility support group To Hatch after her own failed IVF treatment, said the competition would help relieve financial pressures on would-be parents.

"Bringing this to Australia this year is at the forefront of my mind because I do get a lot of members from Australia, and infertility is just as big a problem in Australia as it is in the UK," Ms Strachan said.

"You're not picking up a baby from a shelf to give them. You're giving them an opportunity," she said.

"Some people don't have a choice apart from IVF and they should be given an opportunity just as much as anyone."

Fertility treatments in the UK have long waiting lists and are about double the cost of cycles in Australia, which are subsided by Medicare.

Victorian Assisted Reproductive Treatment Authority chief executive Louise Johnson said although there was no legislation banning the lottery being run here, she found the concept "ethically murky".

What else can we say but good luck to all.

Man Glassed By Mystery Man in Cairns Casino...

Up in Northern Queensland a Cooktown man has been arrested after police said he glassed another man at the popular Cairns casino.

The two blokes were drinking in the smokers section of the Reef Hotel Casino on Wharf Street about 8pm Sunday when the Cooktown man allegedly lunged at a 21-year-old Bayview Heights man and threw a glass at him.

A police spokesman said the victim sustained serious injuries to his face and eye and was taken to Cairns Base Hospital.

The men were not known to each other.

"They were drinking in the same area but not communicating with each other," the spokesman said.

"There was some sort of altercation that has not been determined yet.

"For and unknown reason the suspect lunged at the victim and struck him in the face."

A Cooktown man has been charged with with one count of grievous bodily harm.

He is scheduled to appear in the Cairns Magistrates Court today.

Dancer With Roots To Casino Takes Giant Leap...

WAGGA dancer Monique Savill has been given the opportunity of a lifetime.
Monique, 18, has qualified to represent Australia at the International Dance Organisation Championships, after winning the jazz and modern contemporary sections of the Official Australian Championship and World Championship Selection Competition at Melbourne's Crown Casino earlier this year.

She has been working towards this moment since she first started competing in the Crown Casino competition in 2001.

Monique has been given the choice of representing Australia in the championships in Poland in December or waiting until next year's competition, allowing her to fit her representation in with her other dance commitments.

"I am over the moon. I have been aiming for it so long. I feel so privileged to be given the opportunity," she said.

"Dancing has been a passion of mine for a long time. I am honoured to take part and won't be taking the opportunity for granted."

During the five-day competition, Monique will be asked to compete against dancers from 90 other countries, with each dancer bringing their own style to the competition.

Monique said she would spend the next couple of months training and perfecting her technique to make sure she had the best chance of winning the championships.

Her training routine will involve working on her jazz and contemporary routines, as well as taking classes in other dance styles and continuing her ballroom dancing competitions.

Goldsack 'should have been fined'...

THE $400 payout Tyson Goldsack's mother received after her son kicked the first goal in last year's grand final replay should have led to a fine for the Collingwood player, according to North Melbourne chairman James Brayshaw.

The fallout from the Magpies' betting scandal has continued with the spotlight falling on a $5 bet Wendy Goldsack placed on her son to kick the first goal in the grand final.

The AFL yesterday cleared Goldsack of any wrongdoing, deciding that because he had not passed on any team information to his mother, there had been no breach of AFL rules.

This was in contrast to Magpies defender Heath Shaw who was suspended for eight matches and fined $20,000 after placing a $10 bet on his captain Nick Maxwell to be the first goalscorer in a round 9 match against Adelaide.

Maxwell was also fined $5000 (with another $5000 suspended) for telling family members he was to move from his usual position in defence to an attacking role. Family members then placed $85 worth of bets on him to kick the first goal.

Brayshaw said Goldsack was lucky to escape punishment.

"You've got the captain of the Collingwood Football Club who has been fined heavily for doing something that 17 games earlier a teammate did exactly the same thing and has been absolved of any responsibility," Brayshaw said on Channel Nine yesterday. "How does that work? He (Maxwell) will be sitting back saying . . . 'a bloke did exactly the same as what I've done and you could argue, more importantly, because it was a grand final and it was a collect, and he's got no case to answer while I'm out of pocket'."

Goldsack said after the match he had joked with his mother that he would kick the first goal but had no way of knowing it would pan out that way.

AFL Players' Association chief executive Matt Finnis yesterday admitted players had been caught unawares in the latest scandal and said the increased focus on certain "grey areas" in the rules would benefit his members.

"I think the education provided by the AFL is as good as any in Australian sport, but it does show more focus is needed on grey areas," Finnis said.

He described the Maxwell incident as the first of a "shift in culture of a well-established practice" in which players have traditionally discussed football game plans and team placements with friends and family.

Maxwell said yesterday it was a lesson learned for all players.

Finnis explained that it was the AFL, not the players union, that was responsible for education programs about rules and regulations such as the gambling code and its racial and religious vilification policy.

"We supported the changes to the rules and the standard player contract to uphold the integrity of the game," Finnis said. "But the players will now need to think twice about the information they receive from their clubs."

Maxwell said yesterday he should have been more responsible for knowing the rules.

"All my family have been shocked and embarrassed by it all," he said on Channel Seven's Game Day.

"We never thought any of this would happen and no one had any intentions of it happening."

Players caught on TAB footage...

CCTV footage of Heath Shaw and relatives of Nick Maxwell brought down the Magpie pair.

Sources last night said the AFL started to investigate following a report of suspicious betting on Nick Maxwell in the Herald Sun.

The AFL started the probe and immediately sought the assistance of wagering giant Tabcorp under the same integrity agreement the NRL used to identify key participants in last year's rugby league betting scandal in a Bulldogs-Cowboys match.

"We were just a tool available to the AFL as part of its investigation," a TAB source said.

"We were asked to provide a report on all bets placed on Nick Maxwell to kick the first goal in the round nine AFL match (Collingwood v Adelaide).

"So our first step was to get a printout of all bets placed on Maxwell and identify the time those bets were placed and how they were placed.

"In this case all the bets were placed using cash and through TAB agencies."

Tabcorp keeps CCTV footage from all of its agencies.

"Once we'd identified how, when and where the bets were placed and notified the AFL, we forwarded the relevant CCTV footage to the AFL.

"It wasn't our job to try and identify any of the individuals on the footage, we just provided it all to the AFL for them to investigate."

The source said that Tabcorp was later notified that Shaw, his flatmate and members of Maxwell's family had been identified.

"From the footage the AFL identified Heath Shaw with what was later discovered to have been his flatmate, who placed the bet.

"Review of other CCTV footage showed Maxwell's brother and his wife's mother also placing bets."

The source said last year's NRL scandal and yesterday's revelation about Shaw and Maxwell simply reinforced how significant a step the AFL had taken by signing an integrity agreement with Tabcorp and other betting agencies.

"Betting on AFL, or sport in general, has grown enormously over the past few years and the AFL acted very responsibly in forming formal partnerships with some wagering operators and appointing its own integrity manager."


Mick Malthouse tells defender Nick Maxwell he will start forward in the May 22 Round 9 match against Adelaide. Heath Shaw tells his flatmate and two other people



On May 21, Shaw had $10 in a $20 cash bet with a friend on Maxwell to kick the first goal, at odds of $101. Three bets totalling $25 were placed by people Shaw told. Maxwell family members also placed small wagers after he told them he would start forward.


The unusual bets cut Maxwell's odds to $25. The first goal is kicked by John McCarthy


The AFL started its investigation after the Herald Sun reported on May 25 that a leading betting agency had been approached by punters wanting to back Maxwell to kick the first goal. The AFL asked Tabcorp to provide details of all bets placed of the bet type in question.

CCTV footage of the bets being placed was given to the AFL. Heath Shaw and his flatmate, who placed the bet, were identified, as well as Maxwell's brother and mother-in-law, who had placed three bets totalling $85.



Banned for 14 matches, with six suspended. He won't be able to play before the finals

Fined $20,000


$5000, with a further $5000 suspended for recklessly disclosing inside information

Gold Coast Added to Jackson's Australian Tour...

Janet Jackson is coming to the Gold Coast and fans can expect to get up close and personal with the singing star.

Down Under Australia has been added to the American's worldwide tour, with the Gold Coast Convention and Exhibition Centre in the mix of venues where she will perform during October and November.

The Janet Jackson Number One: Up Close and Personal Tour has been designed so Jackson will be at venues that allow her to perform in a "much more intimate setting".

The announcement is a huge coup for the city and comes just months after Jupiters Hotel & Casino brought Rihanna to the same venue.

Paul Douglass, sales manager for entertainment and special events at the Convention Centre, said A-List class acts liked to visit the city especially because of the "feel of the venue".

"Other venues can get 25,000 or 30,000 people but that intimate experience is lacking," he said.

"We don't want to compete with Brisbane because we're a completely different demographic and completely different venue."

Douglass suggested that this would be the first of a series of big name acts to book the Coast venue.

"Janet Jackson has chosen wisely to come here," he said.

"Securing an act like her creates a great buzz and lifts everyone's spirits."

Jackson will also calling for people to nominate 20 young leaders in each city who will win a tickets to the concert as well as backstage passes.

"There are many young people changing the world and I want them to be recognised during my tour," she told the press.

"This is a love affair between me and those of you who have supported me and my work for all these years."

Tickets for the November 2 concert will go on sale on August 3.

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

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Australian Gambling News, by Greg Tingle - 10th July 2011

Media Man Crown Casino James Packer Tabcorp Holdings Star City Games NRL Internet City Of Dreams Macau Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment Australia

Australian gambling continues to be red hot. We've got political fun and games, casino developments, revamps, and more. Media Man with the latest and greatest from down under...

Violence At Crown Casino; Punters Death Sparks New Claim...

A Melbourne bloke says he was bashed by about eight Crown Casino security guards who chased him out of the casino and left him a crimson mask. The 40-year-old man's case is 1 of at least 5 being handled by Melbourne law firm Arnold Thomas and Becker involving Crown security staff. The punter alleges that after a verbal war of words with security guards late last year, he was chased out of the casino and bashed by the group of guards. He alleges he was then dragged further down the road, possibly to remove him from the view of cameras, where he was again assaulted. A report was made to police, but a spokeswoman said they were unable to comment on the progress of the investigation. Solicitor Michel Margalit said one case currently being handled by the firm involved a security guard who had been allegedly bashed by a patron. "Our firm has been involved in an alarming number of cases involving allegations of violence at Crown Casino," she said. "It is extremely concerning that these incidents appear to continue at one of Melbourne’s major entertainment venues." The revelations come after 40-year-old Anthony Dunning died in The Alfred hospital on Thursday following a dispute with Crown Casino bouncers on Sunday. Dunning was in the casino's Velvet Room about 10.30pm when he was pushed to the ground and pinned to the floor by up to 6 casino bouncers for 6 minutes. The cause of his death has not been determined. Detective Senior Sergeant Ron Iddles, of the homicide squad, said CCTV footage of the encounter shows a clearly intoxicated Dunning being escorted from the crowded casino. "From what I can see on the video footage, I don't think that he has done anything to provoke them [the guards, but] I can't hear what's being said," he said. "Maybe he said something which gave them some belief that he was going to do something, so it's critical to actually ascertain what was being said." He said the footage showed Mr Dunning was not struggling while he was held down, with his legs, arms and head pinned to the floor, for up to six minutes. While he was on the ground Mr Dunning fell unconscious and suffered a cardiac arrest. Crown Casino did not contact police about the incident, despite having what Senior Sergeant Iddles said was a "moral obligation" to do so. Mr Dunning's friend, Matthew, suffered a broken nose and fractured arm during the same scuffle with guards. Matthew alerted police at 10am on Monday, when Dunning was on life support. A post mortem is being carried out on Dunning’s body to determine the cause of death. Punters and guards are urged to respect one another to keep further incidents at a minimum. The recent casino bashings have been damaging for Australian casinos, namely Crown, but insiders say the casino will bounce back and that the investigation appears genuine.

Crown Casino Patron Suing MSS Security; Casino Gets More Bad Press...

A punter ho claims he was knocked for six by a bouncer aka guard at Crown casino is suing a security firm for damages. As police investigate the death of Crown patron Anthony Dunning this week, it can be revealed that Waqas Ali Khan, 23, is suing MSS Security over an unrelated incident. Khan claims he suffered facial injuries, a fractured jaw, and psychological injuries, including stress, anxiety and depression, according to court documents. Khan was out with friends when he ended up at the casino early on August 1 last year. "He goes out on a Saturday night to have a good time with his mates and he ends up in hospital," said his lawyer, Nowicki Carbone partner Nunzio Tartaglia. He said a security guard had been talking to one of Khan's friends because he believed he was taking a video on his phone, and Khan went to his friend's aid. "A lot of it he does not remember, because he was knocked out," Tartaglia said. "Friends told him he was punched. It was totally unprovoked, from our account." Tartaglia said Khan had had four months off work as a result, and was seeking damages. Khan has filed a writ in the County Court against MSS Security, which he alleges was contracted to provide security services at the venue. Another man told the Herald Sun yesterday that about a year ago, security staff at the casino had tackled him and a friend to the ground and started hitting them, after they'd been asked to leave for being too loud. The man, who wanted to be known only as Tom, claims they were put in thumb locks, mocked, and forced to sing Baa Baa Black Sheep. He alleged they were taken into a back area of the casino and thrown against walls.
"I was pretty scared, to be honest," said Tom, now 22. "It was like a movie. I couldn't believe they would take you out the back and beat you up." A criminal lawyer, who did not want to be named, said it was possible that if the security guards involved in the incident with Dunning were found to have caused his death, they could face manslaughter charges. He said reasonable force could be used for protection, but it could not be excessive. "It must be proportionate to the threat faced." Nowicki Carbone partner Tony Carbone said that a "minute of madness" could cost people dearly. Not only could those involved in violence face charges, but they could be sued; any judgment could hang over their heads for 15 years, and in some cases could lead to bankruptcy. MSS Security and Crown Casino are not commenting.

Land Based Casino Robin Hood Blackjack Ace To Give Back In Australia...

Meet the modern day Robin Hood. He spends a lot of his time on the gambling floors of casinos, taking his winnings and donating them to the needy.

Not much is known about the secretive American but we know this...He plays blackjack under the pseudonym Robin Hood 702, and he is excellent at it. A high-stakes player, he wins thousands of dollars at a time.

He gambles in disguise, donning beards, glasses and hats. And he will visit down under next month to "steal" from our land based casinos and give away his winnings. He has asked Australians to visit his website and nominate a person or family in need of help - such as victims of natural disasters, illness or financial hardship.

"I will then pick a family or individual and fly them to the casino for the weekend, all expenses paid, and while they're enjoying the betterments of life I will be down at the casino playing blackjack for them," Hood advised.

He's given away $1 million plus to date. When he loses, the people Hood has chosen to help still get 50% of their bills paid, even if it means digging into his own savings.

He helped one American family wipe away more than $35,000 in debt, which they had accumulated from medical expenses while their three-year-old daughter battled brain cancer. He gave another woman more than $20,000 to care for her elderly parents.

He has also been known to wander around food courts pretending to be homeless, asking people for a bite of their sandwich and giving hundreds of dollars to those who say yes.

Hood's snack for winning big began when he was introduced to blackjack at 16. "First time I played, I won $122," he said. "I thought I broke the bank. Boy, was I wrong."

He practised his game by watching and learning but he does not like to play online.

He speaks of gambling with the likes of the late, great Kerry Packer..."he was a big gambler" - and being inspired by the late media mogul's generosity. But his mother, whom he cared for before she died, is his biggest motivation. "I watched my mother as a child help other people and do kind things and I just want to do the same."

Though he is much discussed on internet gambling websites and forums, he shies away from talking about his personal life with his Maid Marian (who calls herself Lady Greice) and does not show off his wealth.

"I try to keep the focus more on the gift, and not on the person giving it.
I also want to inspire other Robin Hoods, perhaps doctors and lawyers or business executives, who may consider giving to people in need. I would like to see an army of Robin Hoods."

Readers wishing to nominate themselves or someone they know to Robin Hood 702 can do so at Good luck and be merry.

Star City At Sin City To Reach For The Stars, Dolphins And Whales...

Sydney's Star City is to relaunch in September with a brand new look and new name - The Star.

September 15 is set to be the day of the huge happening.

Looking to establish itself as Sydney's must-see tourist destination, owner Echo Entertainment Group has built an entertainment precinct which insiders say rivals that of Melbourne's Crown Casino complex and Perth's Burswood Dome.

"Until now, Star City did not realise its fullest potential as much beyond a casino," The Star's managing director Sid Vaikunta told the press "Our entire goal here is to, just like a star, create multiple reasons for people to be here. The casino is one amenity amongst several. In the past, the casino has been one amenity of one.

"For us, creating multiple reasons to be here, multiple reasons to come back, that is the fundamental shift from where it has been to where we are going."

Echo Entertainment, which de-merged from Tabcorp last month, has spent $860 million to bring The Star up to scratch with the aim of countering the highly competitive gaming market booming in Macau and Singapore.

In May, gambling and media king James Packer, who has controlling interests in Melbourne and Macau's Crown complexes and Perth's Burswood Casino, controversially said Australia's tourism industry was tired and under siege from more competitive Asian countries.

World Economic Forum figures show Australia's ranking in travel and tourism competitiveness dropped from fourth place in 2008 to an unlucky 13th.

"The market Australia should be aiming for is the affluent and rising middle-class Asian market," Packer said. "That is who Australia needs to be aiming for, because we are too far from Europe and too far from America."

Star City in Sydney faced the double problem of having to wrestle with the gaming growth in Asia as well as the strong offerings of Crown and Burswood.

Crown and Burswood will "complement" The Star and hopefully bring more tourists to Australia as a whole, Vaikunta said.

"This country deserves more than one casino that is talked about and no doubt, The Star should be that to Sydney," he said.

The new development will include restaurants from some of the world's top chefs, among them David Chang, Adriano Zumbo and Stefano Manfredi, as well as a raft of entertainment outlets and retail from everyday fashion to high-end stores.

Echo Entertainment will continue to use its 2000-seat Lyric Theatre, hosting Hairspray The Musical, and is planning a much bigger, world class, entertainment centre with a 4000-seat capacity. A five-star hotel will open later this year, adding 171 rooms to the apartment-style and tower hotel offerings already containing 479 rooms.

Architects have "flipped" the building, meaning Pirrama Rd will provide the main entrance to the complex instead of the previously used Pyrmont St.

"In the past we have been introverted and non-inclusive in our architecture but now we're opening up to the harbour and the city of Sydney," Vaikunta said.

While trying to entice more foreign visitors, Vaikunta said it was also vital Sydneysiders embrace the new precinct. For Echo this also meant coming up with a new name.

"What became clear to us is that Star City is in a beautiful city already, the city of Sydney. We are not a city within a city. So it became a very easy job of just eliminating the word city completely," Vaikunta said.

"First and foremost, The Star has to become a destination for Sydney.

"It has to become a place that Sydney is proud of, a place that becomes a part of the landscape of Sydney. If we are able to deliver, it will become a star within the city."

It'll bring new life to entertainment.

Sporting a new 4000-seat theatre in the planning to open next year, The Star aims to establish itself as Australia's top live entertainment venue.

Its owner, Echo Entertainment Group, has set its goal to attract top international performers like Prince and Elton John for several week residencies as well as big-budget stage productions.

"Sydney is hungry for an events centre that is close, that can accommodate 4000 people with high-end bars, not a bad seat in the house, the best acoustics, and to have it all here," The Star's managing director Sid Vaikunta said.

Illustrating the calibre of artists The Star is targeting, Sir Elton will play two nights at the Lyric Theatre in November as part of extended re-launch celebrations.

And multiple Academy Award winner Kevin Spacey will headline the Sam Mendes-directed play Richard III in the Lyric Theatre for 11 performances from December 1.

Complementing the current facilities, a ton of new and exciting offerings are planned for the precinct.

As well as world-class restaurants with top chefs, the new entertainment centre is planned to house major events such as televised award ceremonies (such as the ARIAs) as well as extended runs of shows for big-name artists and performance troupes like Cirque du Soleil.

"Until the events centre and our entertainment centre is built, we don't really get to throw the kind of events we want to throw," Vaikunta said. "We can explore a production or a review show once the event centre is in place.

"But the potential to have a headline artist, much like Celine Dion did in Las Vegas, or Prince or Elton John, for a headline artist to come here to a city like Sydney, which they love, to have hotel suites and penthouses that they can stay in to do three - or four-week shows is an absolute winning formula."

Las Vegas casinos are famous for having high-profile entertainers as resident artists, performing runs that can go for years. For instance, Celine Dion performed for five years from 2002 at Caesars Palace, Barry Manilow played the Las Vegan Hilton for five years until December 2009, while Prince is performing every Friday and Saturday at The Rio.

"We'd be more likely to bring out big stars for, say, a 12-week run over summer than permanently," Mr Vaikunta said.


David Chang - Legendary NY chef will open Momofuku

Teage Ezard - Melbourne favourite will open a contemporary Australian grill

Stefano Manfredi - The famous Italian will treat diners to modern Milanese cuisine

Chase Kojima - To run a contemporary Japanese restaurant in the new five-star hotel

Flying Fish and Chips - Sydney restaurant Flying Fish will operate a fish and chip outlet

Golden Century - An offshoot of the Chinatown institution will open

Adriano Zumbo - MasterChef’s dessert superstar will open a patisserie showcasing his famous treats


More than 20 retail stores, featuring leading luxury brands will be found at The Star

The 5500m2 space, also featuring dining outlets, will connect the hotel, refurbished casino and other entertainment venues


Cherry - A new stylish cocktail bar with views of Sydney Harbour

Rock Lily - A live music bar has opened already, staging Good Charlotte

Lyric Theatre - Currently hosting Hairspray The Musical, seats 2000 people

Concert venue - A 4000-seat entertainment centre to open late 2012

International artists - Elton John and Kevin Spacey begin an influx of OS stars

Halo Bar - showing sport 24/7 on 50 LED big-screen TV


300 gaming tables

High rollers flown in via private jet...a Bombardier Global Express XRS

VIP gaming - New luxury area is under construction on level 17

New five-star hotel - 171 rooms including four high-roller suites with butlers

Other - ask the friendly staff and management

Australian Soft Rockers Air Supply To Perform In Michigan, USA...

Island Resort and Casino - Mark it down. July 22 and 23, Australian soft rockers Air Supply will perform at the casino in Harris in the U.P. Tickets are $25.
Tickets are at

Pullman Cairns First Hotel In Australia To Introduce Optimum Service Standards To Boost Chinese Inbound Market - 15th June...

The Pullman Reef Hotel Casino in Cairns has been announced as the first hotel to be accredited to Accor’s new Optimum Service Standards for Chinese Visitation, paving the way for the hotel to attract greater numbers of Chinese visitors to North Queensland.

The formal accreditation follows this week’s announcement in Cairns by Federal Tourism Minister, Martin Ferguson, of a new 10-year strategic plan aimed at boosting China’s inbound tourism to Australia. He extolled the tourism industry to more actively cater for the Chinese market, which is the fastest growing inbound market for Australia, and already worth over $3 billion a year to the economy.

Earlier this year, Accor - Australia’s largest hotel group with 150 hotels under brands such as Sofitel, Pullman, Novotel and Mercure – announced that it would implement an Optimum Services Standards program for hotels in its group that aimed to attract large-scale visitation from the Chinese and Indian markets. It involved hotels implementing a wide range of services to cater for the specific needs of these two growth markets, and only hotels that met (and maintained) these standards would be accredited to pitch for this business.

Recognising the potential of Chinese inbound for the Cairns and Tropical North Queensland markets, the Pullman has led the way with adopting services to meet the needs of the emerging China market. These include translation of in-room collateral and the Welcome Kit to Mandarin, Mandarin speaking staff available to handle guest queries, all reception staff trained to give basic greetings in Mandarin, Chinese breakfast and mini-bar items, green tea and comfort items such as slippers.

In addition, the Pullman has implemented training for all staff on Chinese cultural practices, so that they can better understand the specific needs and requirements of Chinese travelers.

Commenting on the accreditation, Pullman General Manager, Adrian Williams, said that he was very pleased that his hotel was playing a pioneering role in the national push for more Chinese inbound tourists.

“The growth in Chinese inbound isn’t new, but the pace of the growth highlights the need for the industry to really look at what is being provided for Chinese travelers and to enhance the offer, because this market represents a significant future for our tourism industry,” said Mr Williams.

“Many of the measures under the Optimum Service Standards program are fairly straightforward, but it sends a strong signal to Chinese operators that Australia is not only welcoming their clients, but going out of their way to ensure they feel as comfortable as possible when they are here.

“Cairns and far North Queensland have so much potential for this market. The Great Barrier Reef is the primary draw-card, but Cairns has many other attractions - natural and man-made - that our ideal for Chinese tourists. The climate is appealing, our infrastructure is well developed, there is good shopping and entertainment, high quality restaurants, and our prices are very competitive.

“It was very encouraging that Tourism Minister Ferguson chose Cairns to launch the new China strategy here in Cairns, so it is now up to us operators to translate the strategy into action on the ground.

“The Optimum Service Standards will hopefully lead other North Queensland operators to follow suit and really look at the specific needs of Chinese travelers.”

Pullman Reef Casino Cairns is the largest hotel, tourism and entertainment complex in Far North Queensland, offering 5-star accommodation, the award-winning Tamarind restaurant, the Cairns Wildlife Dome (where visitors can view Australian wildlife icons such as kangaroos, koalas and crocodiles), a range of cafes, bars and shopping, and the Reef Casino.

Casino Slashes Number Of Planned Pokies...

The operators of the Alice Springs casino have reduced the number of extra gaming machines it had planned to install. Earlier this year, Lasseter's Casino started work on a $35 million project that it said would include 100 more poker machines. Shortly after, the Northern Territory Licensing Commission said it had not approved any increase in gaming machine numbers. It said it would take community concerns into account when deciding. Local social welfare groups raised concerns the increase would adversely affect the relatively high proportion of low-income local residents in the central Australian town. The casino released a statement saying the increase is now 30 machines. It said the decision had been made after "community liaising". The extra machines are scheduled to be installed by the end of next year. The casino expansion project is scheduled due to be finished by early 2013.

Former Online Casino A To Head Up Anti Cyber Crime Unit In Australia...

The was the need to create a "hunter" to combat cyber crime in Australia, an expert with a background in online casino design has warned.

Recently appointed Asia-Pacific director of the Global Institute for Cybersecurity + Research, Australian cyber security expert Craig Wright advised there was a lack of fundamental skills in security training.

"Things like .NET have become very sexy. But from a security point of view, assembly language coding has far more relevance," Dr Wright said.

The GICSR is an international non-profit organisation seeking to advance a comprehensive range of cyber security initiatives, cyber innovations and research. It is funded by a range of organisations including the National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security in the US.

"When you are reverse engineering malware, you need to have knowledge right down to the base level first, and there is little being done about it anymore," Dr Wright said.

"We are not going into the depth that is necessary to fight, combat and find where the cyber crime initiates."

Dr Wright, an adjunct lecturer at Charles Sturt University, said there should be a focus on creating security specialists with a deeper knowledge base.

"So when a piece of malware or some other code comes out they can understand it at a fundamental level, they can start reverse engineering it, they can pull it apart and see how it was created," he said.

Dr Wright, who designed the architecture for the world's first online casino, Lasseter's Online (no longer online), in the Northern Territory, will focus on establishing a regional centre of excellence in cyber security for the GICSR.

In the past, Dr Wright has also designed and managed the implementation of a number of the systems that protect the Australian Stock Exchange.

The centre of excellence will involve the region's leading research organisations and universities and will initially focus on establishing doctoral research projects in cyber security priority areas such as cyber extortion, identity theft and money laundering.

"The attacks are becoming more and more sophisticated and we are not banding together to actually fight it yet," he said.

Dr Wright said the GICSR would look to establish similar relationships with regional intelligence agencies, governments and security vendors to those that it has in place with the groups in the United States.

The focus of the relationships would be to assist government, industry and security vendors to be much more aligned to cyber threats.

"Until we start approaching this collaboratively and thinking internationally, we are going to have huge problems and they are just going to get worse."

Casino News Media Website Portal Relaunched; International And Australian Content...

The ultra popular casino and gambling news website portal has been relaunched. The blog is updated daily and it also sports numerous news stories tipped off to friends in the business including at the world famous and Poker News Daily websites. Multimedia can also be found at it's YouTube and don't forget the profiles section where 100s of personalities and brands are showcased. There's even some interviews with the likes of Bwin.Party's Jim Ryan, Virgin's Richard Branson and some Media Man management, of course! Last but not least, don't forget to check out the promotions and advertising sections, but the blog is a must!

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

*Media Man 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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