Saturday, October 29, 2011

Packer upset by suggestions Crown profits from victims - 28th October 2011

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Crown Casino Crown Limited James Packer Politics Melbourne Gaming


Crown Casino chairman James Packers says suggestions his business relies on problem gamblers are upsetting and he is not ignoring the human cost of profits.

Transcript

ALI MOORE, PRESENTER: Crown Casino chairman James Packer says suggestions his casino business relies on problem gamblers is upsetting.

Mr Packer is now publicly attacking the Federal Government's laws to put compulsory betting limits on poker machines.

But he says he's not ignoring the human cost of casino profits.

JAMES PACKER, CROWN CASINO CHAIRMAN (FAIRFAX RADIO): This perception that the only people that come to Crown are helpless victims and we are just sitting there praying on them, you know, I reject that absolutely and that does upset me. And I think that that is, you know, that is a spin line from the latte set, which is completely wrong.

ALI MOORE: Independent Senator Nick Xenophon says James Packer is in as much denial as a problem gambler.

He has challenged the Crown Casino chair to open his gambling books for public scrutiny.

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

James Packer Whacks Poker Machine Reforms - 27th October 2011

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Crown Casino Crown Limited James Packer Politics Melbourne Gaming


James Packer, chairman of casino owner Crown, says proposed poker machine reforms will not tackle problem gambling.

Speaking at Crown’s annual general meeting in Melbourne this morning, Mr Packer said mandatory pre-commitments for high-intensity poker machines was not the right solution.

"We don’t have an issue with the federal government taking action against problem gambling, but it must be the right solution," he said.

"In my view, there is no evidence that introducing mandatory pre-commitment or introducing a one dollar maximum bet will be effective in tackling problem gambling, but it will hurt recreational players, and that will cost jobs and investment across the industry and cost the state government tax revenue used for essential community services.

"It’s not enough to identify the right problem, we need the right solution." Crown, which owns the Crown Casino in Melbourne and Burswood Casino in Perth, is concerned about problem gambling and always has been, Mr Packer said. "I believe no one in this country, or, in fact, in the world-wide casino industry, has done more to address problem gambling," he said.

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Crown Casino Bar Club 23: Shane Warne, Elizabeth Hurley and Tiger Woods Tomorrow Night, by Greg Tingle - 26th October 2011

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Crown Casino Crown Limited James Packer Shane Warne Melbourne Gaming


Australian sporting icon and poker celebrity, Shane Warne, is hosting 50 odd close friends at his new Crown Casino bar Club 23 tomorrow night.

It is believed Shane's fiancee Elizabeth Hurley will attend, but the event is not being promoted as an engagement party.

The rumour mill says its a get together of Warne's family and friends will include Crown Limited top brass James Packer and his lovely wife, Erica.

Ms Hurley jetted into Australia on Monday morning with her son Damian.

Club 23, which Warnie part-owns with poker player and entrepreneur, Joe Hachem, opened on the quite last week. It will enjoy an official launch on November 7.

A few associates of Warne's may also attend, including golf and nightclub lover Tiger Woods.

The club is an initiative to try to keep ahead of the game, with Crown powers that be well aware that Sydney's The Star has been making a lot of noise in the media as of late.

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Al Pacino to visit The Star Sydney with An Evening with Al Pacino, by Greg Tingle - 26th October 2011

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Sydney Australia Hollywood The Star Echo Entertainment Australian Casinos Movies The Godfather


"Fredo, you're my older brother, and I love you. But don't ever take sides with anyone against the Family again. Ever." - The Godfather (1972)

Legendary actor Al Pacino will be bringing his one-man show, An Evening with Al Pacino, to Sydney next month as part of a special happening on the 17th and 18th November at The Lyric Theatre, The Star.

In a unique performance Al Pacino entertains audiences as he revisits his amazing career and most memorable roles.

Part of the gig includes an intimate on stage interview followed by audience members pitching questions to the living legend.

We've heard the night also concludes with an unforgettable acting finale which needs to be witnessed to be believed.

Pacino has performed for over 40 years and some of his best known work includes The Godfather, Dog Day Afternoon, Heat and Scent of a Woman and Scarface.

Tickets are now on sale via Ticketek and range from $109 to $199.

Echo Entertainment and The Star powers that be continue to impress with their entertainment offerings, and Pacino has obviously embraced the opportunity, as have many other showbiz legends such as Russell Crowe and Leonardo DiCaprio.

Crown Casino's top brass including James Packer are watching this space closely, so expect Crown to pull a rabbit or two out of the hat as the battle between The Star and Crown Casino continues.

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The Star

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Melbourne Cup News: Sarah Jessica Parker Mate Kristin Davis Scratched From Cup Trip, by Greg Tingle - 25th October 2011

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Crown Limited Crown Casino Movies Hollywood Racing Melbourne Cup Melbourne Australia


Famous actress Sarah Jessica Parker of 'Sex and the City' fame will soon be in Melbourne to both promote her new film and also to take in Oaks Day as well as perhaps the Melbourne Cup.

We heard Sydney's eastern suburbs are near the top of Parkers' favourite Australian destination, however she is contractually obligated to attend Melbourne.

What's the racing - fashion - celeb news at the races?

Well, Charlotte York (SATC) aka Kristin Davis was originally tipped to be joining Sarah Jessica Parker for Oaks Day at Flemington as a guest of Crown Limited.

It's understood the 'Sex and the City' bombshell had Davis as the one to accompany her during her Melbourne stay, and to help promote her new film, 'I Don't Know How She Does It', and slotted into the Crown marquee in the Elms enclosure, but now we hear Davis is a scratching (to use a horsey term).

Davis has had a lot going on in her life as of late, included just adopting baby Gemma Rose

Parker is confirmed for the movie press conference at Crown Casino on Tuesday 1st November and will be doing the red carpet premiere at Crown following day.

Many a hotel - resort in Melbourne's CBD would love for Parker to be their guest. No prizes for guessing how is most likely in the running.

The flick be released nationally on November 3.

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I Don't Know How She Does It

The Weinstein Company (TWC)

Sex And The City (HBO)

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Melbourne Cup official website

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Sarah Jessica Parker Heading To Melbourne Crown For Movie Premiere, by Greg Tingle - 25th October 2011

Profiles

Crown Limited Crown Casino Movies Hollywood Melbourne Australia


Famous actress Sarah Jessica Parker of 'Sex and the City' fame will soon be in Melbourne to both promote her new film and also to take in Oaks Day as well as the Melbourne Cup.

Don't get us wrong. She just loves Sydney (and its great weather and beaches), but its in Melbourne where she will get to mix business and pleasure.

The American beauty and talented producer will attend the traditional Ladies Day at Flemington in November when she heads to Melbourne for the first time to promote her flick, I Don't Know How She Does It.

We've also been told she's going to be a very guest at the Crown Casino Marquee, one of the most exclusive, as you might have guessed.

Crown Limited PR General Manager Ann Peacock advised they were delighted to welcome the New York fashion icon to Melbourne.

"It's a perfect match on this most traditional of race days," Ms Peacock said.

The new movie, 'I Don't Know How She Does It', also staring Greg Kinnear, Christina Hendricks from Mad Men and Pierce Brosnan, focuses on the life of Parker, a mum-of-two balancing work and family life.

The press conference is to be held on Tuesday 1st November At Crown's complex and the Australian premiere is on Wednesday 2nd November, also at Crown.

It's rumoured that Ms Parker will be staying at the exclusive Crown Towers, where other actors such as Tom Cruise and his actress wife Katie Holmes have also stayed when doing Melbourne. Crown have not confirmed her rumoured stay at this stage.

Crown Limited top dog, James Packer and his world class team continue to impress with their continues successes into the broad entertainment and lifestyle sector. If the entertainment business has elements of being a game, Mr Packer and team sure look like they are winning.

The film be released nationally on November 3.

Websites

I Don't Know How She Does It

The Weinstein Company (TWC)

Sex And The City (HBO)

Crown Casino

Crown Limited

Melbourne Cup official website

Casino News Media

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Monday, October 24, 2011

2011 HM Awards winners announced in front of record audience

In front of a record crowd of 600 hoteliers, industry leaders and major suppliers, the winners of the 2011 HM Awards for Hotel and Accommodation Excellence, presented by Sealy, have been announced.

Held at the prestigious Sydney Town Hall last Friday night (Sep 2) and hosted by television personality Larry Emdur, the HM Awards have, for the 9th time, recognised the accommodation industry’s finest staff, properties, brands and chains across Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific.

Major winners on the night were Pan Pacific’s CEO and President, A Patrick Imbardelli (Asia-Pacific Hotelier of the Year), IHG’s COO for Australasia – Bruce McKenzie (Australian Hotelier of the Year), Accor New Zealand’s Paul Richardson (New Zealand Hotelier of the Year), Accor Hotels (Accommodation Chain), Hilton (Hotel Brand), InterContinental Sydney (Hotel of the Year) and Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa (Environmental Program).

Hamilton Island’s qualia picked up three key awards (Australian Lodge, Resort and Spa), while Hilton Sydney also claimed a trifecta (Hotel Bar – Zeta, Engineer – Craig Cavers and General Manager – Paul Hutton).

Over NZD$60,000 was also raised on the night for the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust in the greatest charity display the accommodation industry has seen for years.

“The accommodation industry’s generosity and desire to help the people of Christchurch was absolutely remarkable,” said HM magazine managing editor James Wilkinson. “I am incredibly proud of the way the accommodation industry dug deep to help our friends and family across the Tasman in what are still such challenging times.”

The 2011 HM Awards were hosted by HM magazine, presented by Sealy, and co-hosted by AHS Hospitality, Intrust Super, ISIS and Philips.

“Once more we were proud to recognise the industry’s finest, particularly the staff that have been doing such an amazing job over the last 12 months,” Wilkinson said. “Sure a hotel can be rewarded for its aesthetics, style, design and comfort, but it is the people who work in hotels that gives the accommodation industry in Australasia its soul.

“This year, our people categories generated the most interest and in the case of Rising Star, held for the first time in 2011, the most nominations out of the 48 categories.

“On behalf of the team at HM magazine and all of our fantastic sponsors this year, congratulations to all of the winners, highly commended recipients and finalists in 2011,” Wilkinson said.

Four Hoteliers were also inducted into the HM Awards Hall of Fame. Former Mirvac CEO Andrew Turner was joined by Fritz Gubler, Max Player and Gavin Faull, with the trio recognised for their services to education, having been responsible for starting the Blue Mountains Hotel School outside Sydney and the Pacific International Hotel Management School in New Zealand.
The 2011 HM Awards saw not just a record crowd, but also a record number of entries with 1600 this year.

2011 HM AWARDS – WINNERS AND HIGHLY COMMENDED RECIPIENTS
AUSTRALIAN PROPERTY AWARDS

1. Serviced Apartment Property
Presented by: AHS Hospitality
Winner: Fraser Suites, Sydney
Highly Commended: Medina Grand Adelaide Treasury

2. Budget Accommodation
Presented by: Intrust Super
Winner: Econolodge Sydney South
Highly Commended: Aarons Hotel, Sydney

3. Economy Hotel
Presented by: AHS Hospitality
Winner: Travelodge Docklands
Highly Commended: Pensione Hotel Melbourne

4. Midscale Hotel
Presented by: Vintech Systems
Winner: Vibe Hotel Rushcutters
Highly Commended: Holiday Inn Burswood

5. Upscale Hotel
Presented by: Philips
Winner: Q Station Retreat
Highly Commended: The Sebel Pier One

6. Upper-upscale Hotel
Presented by: ISIS
Winner: The Byron at Byron Resort and Spa
Highly Commended: Crown Metropol

7. Luxury Hotel
Presented by: HotelHome Australia
Winner: Crown Towers, Melbourne
Highly Commended: The Observatory Hotel, Sydney

8. Australian Lodge
Presented by: Sealy
Winner: qualia
Highly Commended: Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa

9. Business Hotel
Presented by: FOXTEL
Winner: InterContinental Sydney
Highly Commended: Hilton Sydney

10. Resort
Presented by: DALLEN
Winner: qualia
Highly Commended: Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa

11. Hotel Interior Design
Presented by: ISIS
Winner: The Olsen
Highly Commended: Emporium Hotel, Brisbane

12. Boutique Hotel
Presented by: Intrust Super
Winner: Emporium Hotel, Brisbane
Highly Commended: Henry Jones Art Hotel

13. New Hotel
Presented by: Philips
Winner: Peppers Broadbeach
Highly Commended: Wildman Wilderness Lodge

14. MICE property
Presented by: SPICE magazine and spicenews.com.au
Winner: The Langham Melbourne
Highly Commended: Q Station Retreat

15. Regional Property
Presented by: Sealy
Winner: Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa
Highly Commended: Kim’s Beach Hideaway

16. Day Spa
Presented by: ISIS
Winner: Spa qualia, qualia
Highly Commended: Isika Day Spa and Urban Retreat, Crown Metropol

17. Hotel Bar
Presented by: Southtrade International
Winner: Zeta Bar, Hilton Sydney
Highly Commended: Blu Bar on 36, Shangri-La Hotel Sydney

18. Hotel Restaurant
Presented by: San Pellegrino
Winner: Est, Establishment
Highly Commended: Lake House Restraurant, Lake House Daylesford

19. Tech-Hotel
Presented by: DOCOMO interTouch
Winner: Crown Metropol
Highly Commended: Hilton Sydney

NEW ZEALAND & SOUTH PACIFIC PROPERTY AWARDS

20. New Zealand Hotel
Presented by: PHILIPS
Winner: Sofitel Queenstown Hotel and Spa
Highly Commended: Hilton Queenstown

21. New Zealand Regional Property
Presented by: Sealy
Winner: Hilton Lake Taupo
Highly Commended: Millbrook Resort, Queenstown

22. New Zealand Lodge
Presented by: Robert Oatley Vineyards
Winner: Blanket Bay, Glenorchy
Highly Commended: Huka Lodge, Taupo

23. Fijian Property
Presented by: ISIS
Winner: Likuliku Lagoon Resort
Highly Commended: InterContinental Fiji Golf Resort and Spa

24. South Pacific Property
Presented by: Ernst&Young
Winner: InterContinental Bora Bora Resort and Thalasso Spa, French Polynesia
Highly Commended: Sofitel Moorea, French Polynesia

GENERAL AWARDS (ALL COUNTRIES)

25. Marketing Campaign
Presented by: Time Out Sydney and Time Out Melbourne
Winner: Vibe Hotels, Toga Hospitality
Highly Commended: Hilton Melbourne South Wharf

26. Service to the Community
Presented by: Intrust Super
Winner: Mercure Sydney
Highly Commended: Hilton Cairns

PEOPLE AWARDS

27. Concierge
Presented by: Intrust Super
Winner: Steve Ciric, The Westin Melbourne
Highly Commended: Ronald Maskell, Crown Towers Melbourne
Highly Commended: Alex Williams, Sheraton on the Park, Sydney

28. Hotel Chef
Presented by: FRANKE
Winner: Brendon Coffey, Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa
Highly Commended: Anthony Ross, The Langham Melbourne
Highly Commended: Andrew McCrea, The Sebel Suites Brisbane

29. Food and Beverage Associate
Presented by: Coca-Cola Amatil
Winner: Cherie Stubbs-Timbery, Swiss-Grand Resort and Spa, Bondi Beach
Highly Commended: Chris Hough, Sheraton on the Park, Sydney
Highly Commended: Chris Smith, Assistant F&B Services Manager, The Sebel Parramatta

30. Human Resources Associate
Presented by: TMS Asia-Pacific
Winner: Nicole Salonga, Four Seasons Sydney
Highly Commended: Amanda Lutvey, Emporium Hotel Brisbane
Highly Commended: Bronwyn Knutson, Mantra Group, New Zealand

31. Sales and Marketing Associate
Presented by: Vacations & Travel magazine
Winner: Blair Weir, Sofitel Melbourne on Collins
Highly Commended: Ivy Zhang, Sheraton on the Park, Sydney
Highly Commended: Evelyn Page, Best Western Sanctuary Inn, Tamworth

32. Communications Associate
Presented by: Travmedia.com
Winner: Linda Sweeney, Mirvac Hotels and Resorts
Highly Commended: Rebecca Freestun, Sofitel Luxury Hotels
Highly Commended: Tara Bishop, Crown Hotels Melbourne

33. Front Office Associate
Presented by: AHS Hospitality
Winner: Calisha Allsworth, 8Hotels
Highly Commended: Simon Wanstall, Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney
Highly Commended: Joseph Kuchappan, Quest Suva, Fiji

34. Procurement Associate
Presented by: Sealy
Winner: Michael Thomas, Hyatt Hotels and Resorts
Highly Commended: Nicholas Grandioso, Accor Hotels, Australia
Highly Commended: Lori Finglas, Mantra Group

35. Housekeeper
Presented by: AHS Hospitality
Winner: Chona Ogilvie, Four Points by Sheraton Sydney
Highly Commended: Elizabeth York, Chifley Hotel Penrith Panthers
Highly Commended: Karina Gordon, Diamant Hotel Canberra

36. Hotel Engineer
Presented by: Philips
Winner: Craig Cavers, Hilton Sydney
Highly Commended: Sean Smith, The York by Swiss Belhotel, Sydney
Highly Commended: Dieter Spielkamp, Novotel Twin Waters Resort

37. Rising Star
Presented by: TMS Asia-Pacific
Winner: Danielle De Veaux, Establishment Hotel
Highly Commended: Rebecca Patterson, Swiss Grand Resort and Spa, Bondi Beach
Highly Commended: Cory Clark-Goodison, The Sebel Resort and Spa Hawkesbury Valley

MAJOR AWARDS

38. South Pacific General Manager
Presented by: Sealy
Winner: Julian Moore, Pacific Resort Aitutaki, Cook Islands
Highly Commended: Adam Laker, Sofitel Fiji Resort and Spa
Highly Commended: Wayne Milgate, Vomo Island, Fiji

39. New Zealand General Manager
Presented by: Philips
Winner: Bruce Garrett, The George, Christchurch
Highly Commended: Wouter de Graaf, Sofitel Queenstown Hotel and Spa
Highly Commended: Callum Mallett, SkyCity Hotels, Auckland

40. Australian General Manager
Presented by: Intrust Super
Winner: Paul Hutton, Hilton Sydney
Highly Commended: Peter Tudehope, Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney
Highly Commended: Michael Sheridan, The Sebel Pier One Sydney

41. Environmental ProgramPresented by: ISIS
Winner: Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa, Lithgow
Highly Commended: Hilton Sydney

42. Supplier
Presented by: HM magazine and hotelmanagement.com.au
Winner: MICROS-Fidelio
Highly Commended: Sealy

43. Hotel Brand
Presented by: AHS Hospitality
Winner: Hilton
Highly Commended: Sofitel

44. Accommodation Chain
Presented by: Sealy
Winner: Accor Hotels
Highly Commended: Langham Hospitality Group

45. Hotel of the Year
Presented by: Sealy
Winner: InterContinental Sydney
Highly Commended: Crown Towers, Melbourne

46. HM magazine New Zealand Hotelier
Presented by: HM magazine and hotelmanagement.com.au
Winner: Paul Richardson, Accor Hotels

47. HM magazine Australian Hotelier of the Year
Presented by: HM magazine and hotelmanagement.com.au
Winner: Bruce McKenzie, InterContinental Hotels Group

48. HM magazine Asia-Pacific Hotelier of the Year
Presented by: HM magazine and hotelmanagement.com.au
Winner: A. Patrick Imbardelli, Pan Pacific Hotels Group

Website

Hotel Management

2011 HM Awards winners announced in front of record audience

SYDNEY, September 3: In front of a record crowd of 600 hoteliers, industry leaders and major suppliers, the winners of the 2011 HM Awards for Hotel and Accommodation Excellence, presented by Sealy, have been announced.

Held at the prestigious Sydney Town Hall last night (Sep 2) and hosted by television personality Larry Emdur, the HM Awards have, for the 9th time, recognised the accommodation industry's finest staff, properties, brands and chains across Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific.

Major winners on the night were Pan Pacific's CEO and President, A Patrick Imbardelli (Asia-Pacific Hotelier of the Year), IHG's COO for Australasia - Bruce McKenzie (Australian Hotelier of the Year), Accor New Zealand's Paul Richardson (New Zealand Hotelier of the Year), Accor Hotels (Accommodation Chain), Hilton (Hotel Brand), InterContinental Sydney (Hotel of the Year) and Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa (Environmental Program).

Hamilton Island's qualia picked up three key awards (Australian Lodge, Resort and Spa), while Hilton Sydney also claimed a trifecta (Hotel Bar - Zeta, Engineer - Craig Cavers and General Manager - Paul Hutton).

Over NZD$65,000 was also raised on the night for the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal Trust in the greatest charity display the accommodation industry has seen for years.

“The accommodation industry's generosity and desire to help the people of Christchurch was absolutely remarkable,” said HM magazine managing editor James Wilkinson. “I am incredibly proud of the way the accommodation industry dug deep to help our friends and family across the Tasman in what are still such challenging times.”

The 2011 HM Awards were hosted by HM magazine, presented by Sealy, and co-hosted by AHS Hospitality, Intrust Super, ISIS and Philips.

“Once more we were proud to recognise the industry's finest, particularly the staff that have been doing such an amazing job over the last 12 months,” Wilkinson said. “Sure a hotel can be rewarded for its aesthetics, style, design and comfort, but it’s the people who work in hotels that gives the accommodation industry in Australasia its soul.

“This year, our people categories generated the most interest and in the case of Rising Star, held for the first time in 2011, the most nominations out of the 48 categories.

“On behalf of the team at HM magazine and all of our fantastic sponsors this year, congratulations to all of the winners, highly commended recipients and finalists in 2011,” Wilkinson said.

Four Hoteliers were also inducted into the HM Awards Hall of Fame. Former Mirvac CEO Andrew Turner was joined by Fritz Gubler, Max Player and Gavin Faull, with the trio recognised for their services to education, having been responsible for starting the Blue Mountains Hotel School outside Sydney and the Pacific International Hotel Management School in New Zealand.

The 2011 HM Awards saw not just a record crowd, but also a record number of entries with 1600 this year.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Donald Trump says US should legalize Internet betting - 21st October 2011

Profiles

Donald Trump Trump Entertainment Resorts World Casino Directory Global Gaming Directory Games Casino Slots Casinos United States Las Vegas


Donald Trump has witnessed lots of money side slipping him, and he's hoping that situation changes soon.

The real estate, gaming and entertainment tsar, and founder of an Atlantic City casino company says the US should legalize internet gambling. The company that bears his name, Trump Entertainment Resorts, is moving forward with plans to establish an online betting venture... just as soon as it is legal to do so.

The company says it wants to get in on the ground floor of the internet gambling industry, and is close to selecting a joint venture partner to run an online gambling operation. The idea is to be well-placed and ready to go as soon as such activity is legalized in the United States.

"It should be approved here," Trump told news media. "An awful lot of money is leaving the U.S. that should and could stay in this country."

Trump Entertainment, which includes Donald Trump and daughter, Ivanka, and the Avenue Capital hedge fund, would own 10% of the new business venture.

Donald Trump advised the key to success in the online gambling market is having the best brand.

"We think we have the hottest brand there is, the Trump brand, my personal brand," he said. "We think it's going to do phenomenally well."

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Trump Entertainment said it has "determined that such a joint venture represents the most advantageous way for the company to participate in opportunities in online gaming at minimal cost to the company."

No cost estimates were given, and Robert Griffin, the company's CEO, declined to comment Thursday. But in March, after Gov. Chris Christie vetoed a bill passed by New Jersey lawmakers that would have allowed Internet betting solely within New Jersey's borders, Griffin said the money lost to offshore operators should benefit New Jersey.

The new law would seen New Jersey become the first state in the nation to allow Internet betting.

"Currently, millions of Americans engage in online gaming with illegal offshore operators, and do so with no oversight, no regulation or no consumer protections," Griffin said at the time. "It makes sense for the state of New Jersey to regulate this activity, enforce strict standards to ensure games are fair and safe, and in turn be able to collect tax revenue instead of having those dollars and the jobs they support leaving New Jersey and going illegally overseas."

Christie advised he vetoed the law fearing it was unconstitutional and could lead to an explosion of betting parlors throughout the state. By law, gambling in New Jersey is restricted to gaming hotspot Atlantic City.

But a New Jersey lawmaker is asserting that individual states in fact have the legal right to offer in-state Internet gambling within their own borders.

State Sen. Raymond Lesniak, D-Union, wrote in July to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder asserting that New Jersey and all other states can legally offer online betting within their borders.

Lesniak said he will introduce legislation in November to address the prime concerns expressed by Christie.

The filing said the company, Donald and Ivanka Trump, and Avenue Capital have signed an agreement authorizing the joint venture once it becomes legal, and that prohibits any of them from seeking other online gambling ventures through May 2012.

Atlantic City is in the midst of a nearly 5-year revenue slump brought on by increasing competition from casinos in neighboring states, and worsened by the continuing unsteady economy. It's also speculated that many AC businesses have not adapted well to the internet medium.

Just a few online gaming companies that are understood to be interested in coming to business terms with Trump include Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment, Richard Branson's Virgin Games and PKR. Most experts see Bwin.Party as the best bet, as they don't have any outstanding issues with the US Department of Justice, and have been playing by the rules (law) for many years, while other gambling companies continue to go after U.S players.

Internet gambling is legal in many countries, with the U.S being a glaring exception.

Media Man is following up.

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Donald Trump Trump Entertainment Resorts World Casino Directory Global Gaming Directory Games Casino Slots Casinos United States Las Vegas

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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Crown Casino Caught Out By Fake VIP Gambling Whale - 19th October 2011

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Crown Casino Crown Limited James Packer Politics Melbourne Gaming


It took a "high-value" casino whale type gambler snatched by Crown Casino about five minutes to create the paperwork that duped the venue into advancing him $125,000 that he hoped would recoup what he had lost at its tables.

Jung Hwan Choi dropped $200,000 there last year and yesterday a Melbourne court heard how his "inherently simplistic" scam beat the house.

The County Court was told that Choi was flown to Melbourne from Sydney in November last year in a visit organised by a casino marketing executive.

Prosecutor Amanda Ring advised Choi accessed his bank account at an internet cafe to transfer from his mother's account $1 and then copied the screen shot of the receipt's transaction and his balance.

With the images stored on a USB device, Ms Ring said he then imported them onto a PowerPoint program from which he changed his bank balance from $12.87 to $284,000.

Choi also altered the $1 transfer receipt to reflect a transfer of $100,000 from his account to Crown.

Arriving cashless at the casino on November 14, he was greeted by an executive host who sighted Choi's account balance and the transfer receipt and was advanced $100,000.

After gambling "heavily and unsuccessfully" that night, Ms Ring said Choi the next day was advanced $25,000 in gaming chips.

Arrested in February, Choi told police he had been "desperate" and had lost $200,000 at Crown over several months and "I wanted it back".

Defence barrister Geoffrey Steward said Crown's reaction to that "windfall" had been to ring him and invite him to dinner.

Mr Steward said Choi, 38, dined with a casino marketing executive and was gifted a $600 Louis Vuitton wallet.

"The cynical may say, 'Thank you for losing $200,000, you are welcome any time'," Mr Steward said of Choi's VIP status, which included plane trips, accommodation, limousines, food and beverages.

"You feel like a king, but he was more of a pauper than a king," he said.

Mr Steward told Judge Wendy Wilmoth that Crown did not deserve to lose its money, but to his client it was ''like a monolithic piranha dangling carrots'' of seduction, love and luxuries that were "incapable of resisting".

Choi, a married father of two, described himself as a now-reformed "gamblerholic" who had lost more than $2 million at casinos.

He pleaded guilty to two charges of obtaining a financial advantage by deception and one of making a false document.

Judge Wilmoth sentenced Choi to two years and three months jail, the term suspended for three years, with an order he pay compensation of $125,000.

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Monday, October 17, 2011

Smoking rules eased a puff at Crown Casino - 17th October 2011

Profiles

Crown Casino Crown Limited James Packer Politics Melbourne Gaming


Smoking in and around gambling dens in Australia continues to be a hot topic. Media Man investigates...

Crown Casino has been granted exemptions from smoking bans on four separate floors of the casino complex.

Crown Casino has been kindly granted exemptions from smoking bans on four separate floors of the casino complex...despite an election promise by the Baillieu government to review the casino’s special five star treatment.

Health Minister David Davis recently approved smoking in "high roller" or "whale VIP" areas on the ground floor and level one of the casino and on levels 29 and 39 of Crown Towers. Former health minister and now Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews approved similar exemptions for the casino last year.

Crown is the only poker / slot machine venue in Victoria where smoking is allowed.

It also enjoys a more favourable tax rate on its 2500 poker machines, is the only venue allowed to operate 24 hours a day and can make larger cash payments from its machines.

In the lead-up to last year’s election, the Coalition promised to examine "Crown Casino’s exemptions ... to ensure that gambling regulation is as consistent as possible".

"It is an important principle that, insofar as it is appropriate, gambling regulation be consistent across the state and across various modes of gambling. This is particularly so when considering measures that are designed to address problem gambling," the election promise said. Almost 12 months on from the election, the review of Crown’s special treatment is yet to begin.

Premier Ted Baillieu and Gaming Minister Michael O’Brien have also refused to detail discussions they have had with Crown Casino boss James Packer about poker machine reforms proposed by the Tasmanian federal MP, Andrew Wilkie.

The Baillieu government will not rule out a legal challenge to Mr Wilkie’s poker machine reforms, which could include mandatory cards forcing players to pre-set how much they are prepared to lose or low-intensity poker machines. Mr Packer has been actively lobbying federal and state MPs over the proposals.

Mr O’Brien told Fairfax owned The Age the review of Crown’s exemptions would begin "either the second half of this year or early next year".

"There is no doubt that Crown is treated a little differently from other gambling venues; there have been arguments put forward as to why there is good reason for that because of Crown’s mecca as a tourist destination," he said.

"I just think when things have been in place for quite some time it is always useful to have another look at them to see if the reasons you originally introduced them for still apply and if they are still appropriate," he said.

InterChurch Gambling Taskforce’s Mark Zirnsak said it was disappointing the Baillieu government had exempted Crown again from smoking bans.

"I think if employees were to suffer health effects down the track they would be wise to look at their legal options," he said.

He called on the government to review all of Crown’s exemptions.

"It is long overdue to have a review and what’s disappointing here is the same cosy relationship Crown enjoyed with the previous Victorian government appears to continue unabated with the new Baillieu government," he said.

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Saturday, October 15, 2011

Professional wrestler detained over Mexico casino firebomb - 5th October 2011

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A former pro wrestler suspected of helping to mastermind the August firebombing of a land based casino which left 52 people dead has been detained by Mexican authorities.

In Mexico, pro wrestlers are often called luchadores, where as in the US and Australia, they are often referred to as "sports entertainers", as they are in the "sports entertainment" business.

Federal police detained Jose Alberto Loera Rodriguez and two suspected accomplices on a road in northeastern Mexico on Tuesday, said Luis Cardenas Palomino, regional coordinator of the Public Security Ministry.

Police also confiscated drugs and weapons, including 15 AK-47 rifles and two grenade launchers, he added.

Armed men set The Casino Royale in Monterrey ablaze on August 25 in one of the deadliest attacks in nearly five years of shocking drug violence in Mexico. Forty-two women were among the victims.

Authorities last week detained another suspected mastermind of the attack, Roberto Carlos Lopez Castro, in the suburbs of the western city of Guadalajara.

Nine other suspects have been detained, including a police officer and suspected members of the Zetas drug gang.

Authorities blame the Zetas – a gang set up in the 1990s by ex-elite soldiers turned hired killers – for torching the casino because its owners refused to pay protection money.
A surge in violence in Nuevo Leon is blamed on a turf war between the Gulf drug gang and the Zetas, its former enforcers.

More than 41,000 people have been killed across Mexico since the federal government in 2006 launched a crackdown against drug cartels, according to official data and media tallies.

The last time a pro wrestler got a similar amount of negative media reports from a serious crime was in 2007 when Canadian Chris Benoit murdered his wife and son, then committing suicide. Since Benoit's suicide, numerous explanations for his actions have been proposed, including concussions, steroid abuse, and a failing marriage.

On June 25, 2007, police entered Benoit's home on a "welfare check" after several missed appointments, leading to concerns. The officers discovered the bodies of Benoit, his wife Nancy, and their 7-year-old son Daniel at around 2:30 p.m. EDT. Upon investigating, no additional suspects were sought by authorities. It was determined that Benoit had committed the murders. Over a three day period, Benoit had killed his wife and son before he hanged himself. His wife was bound before the killing. Benoit's son was drugged and likely unconscious before Benoit strangled him. Benoit then committed suicide with a weight machine.



Mexico casino attack kills 53 - 26th August 2011

An arson attack on a casino in Mexico has sparked a massive fire and killed at least 53 people.

The attack occurred in the northern Mexican industrial city of Monterrey, the governor of the state of Nuevo Leon said.

Governor Rodrigo Medina announced the grim toll in an interview with the Televisa network, adding that the vast establishment, the Casino Royale, had been set ablaze using some kind of flammable liquid "like gasoline."

President Felipe Calderon condemned the attack, calling it an "abhorrent and barbaric act of terror" in a message on Twitter and expressing his solidarity with the people of Nuevo Leon, of which Monterrey is the capital.

"An unacceptable act of terror has been committed that will not go unpunished," added national security spokesman Alejandro Poire.

Casinos in Monterrey have recently been targeted because some owners have refused to pay protection money demanded by criminal gangs linked to the country's booming drugs trade, local media have reported.

For more than a year Monterrey has been the epicenter of a battle between the Zetas and the Gulf Cartel, two powerful drug smuggling groups vying for control of the lucrative routes north to the United States.

Mr Medina said the attack was carried out by six men who arrived at the casino in two vehicles around 4 pm (2100 GMT) on Thursday local time.

Some men entered the casino "and screamed out 'everyone hit the floor'," a witness who spoke on condition of anonymity told Mexican media.

"I don't know if there was a weapon that makes such a noise, but an impressive explosion followed - I never want to go through something like that again," said the witness, who fled to the rooftop with a friend to escape the flames.

The state head of civil protection, Jorge Camacho, said that the death toll was so high because many people hid in bathrooms and offices when they heard the explosions instead of heading to the emergency exits.

They were trapped by the flames, and many died of smoke inhalation, he said.

It took firefighters four hours to control the flames, and Mr Medina warned that more bodies could be found inside the casino. Firefighters had to knock large holes in the building's wall to reach the second floor.

Mr Calderon ordered interior minister Francisco Blake to Monterrey to head the government probe into the attack.

Only a few years ago, Monterrey had been seen as one of Mexico's safest cities.

But Nuevo Leon state and its capital, which is home to four million people, have seen an increasing amount of drug-related violence, with more than 70 people killed in Monterrey last month alone.

Nearly 850 people were killed in the state in the first half of the year, compared to 278 murder victims for all of 2010, according to a tally by the national newspaper Reforma.

More than 41,000 people have died in violence linked to Mexico's organized crime gangs since Mr Calderon launched a military crackdown on them in December 2006, according to media counts and official figures.


Ex-wrestler accused over casino firebombing - 5th October 2011

Mexican authorities have detained a former wrestler suspected of helping mastermind the August firebombing of a casino in the northern city of Monterrey, which left 52 people dead.

Federal police detained Jose Alberto Loera Rodriguez and two accomplices on a road in north-eastern Mexico on Tuesday, said Luis Cardenas Palomino, regional coordinator of the Public Security Ministry.

Police also confiscated drugs and weapons, including 15 AK-47 rifles and two grenade launchers, he added.

Rodriguez reportedly wrestled under the name of 'El Voltaje' (The Voltage).

Armed men set the Casino Royale ablaze on August 25 in one of the deadliest attacks in nearly five years of shocking drug violence in Mexico. Forty-two women were among the victims.

Authorities last week detained another suspected mastermind of the attack, Roberto Carlos Lopez Castro, in the suburbs of the western city of Guadalajara.

Nine other suspects have been detained, including a police officer and suspected members of the Zetas drug gang.

Authorities blame the Zetas - a gang set up in the 1990s by ex-elite soldiers turned hired killers - for torching the casino because its owners refused to pay protection money.

A surge in violence in Nuevo Leon is blamed on a turf war between the Gulf drug gang and the Zetas, its former enforcers.

More than 41,000 people have been killed across Mexico since the federal government in 2006 launched a crackdown against drug cartels, according to official data and media tallies.

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Friday, October 14, 2011

Pokie proposal a win-win, Greens say - 14th October 2011

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Limiting poker machines to $1 bets and $500 jackpots is a win-win for all sectors of the gambling industry, Greens leader Bob Brown says.

The Greens have put forward an alternative gambling policy that eliminates the need for controversial mandatory pre-commitment on low-intensity poker machines.

Gambling clubs and operators, including James Packer's Crown Casino, have reportedly set up a $40 million war chest to fight mandatory pre-commitment.

Senator Brown described the Greens' policy as a "win, win win", as it would satisfy the pokie operators while dealing with the $5 billion scourge of problem gambling and satisfying anti-gambling campaigners.

Brown said in Melbourne national politicians felt a responsibility to tackle the problem.
"There's no doubt some clubs will, and potentially casinos and state governments will, see a loss in revenue," he said.

"But this is very well targeted, so that loss in revenue is not going to come from the 90 per cent of ordinary gamblers who put a few dollars through the machines each week, but the problem gamblers," he added.

Greens gambling spokesman Senator Richard Di Natale said he had sent the policy to anti-gambling campaigners Andrew Wilkie and Nick Xenophon, the other independents and the Federal Government.

"We think it's really important that in a very toxic debate, particularly with the clubs running a deceptive campaign in the way that they are doing, that we put another option on the table," he said.

"It gives us more chance of success.

He added it won't get rid of problem gambling altogether, but would have a significant impact and would reduce the risks for problem gamblers.

Mr Wilkie said he was pleased the Greens' policy dovetailed with his reforms, which included $1 bets and mandatory pre-commitment on high-intensity machines.

"I'm continuing to work with the Federal Government to implement our reforms, which have not changed in any way," he said.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard said she was committed to helping problem gambling but wanted venues which would allow people "a good night out".

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Star Casino Hosts Leonardo DiCaprio; Casino VIP Super Whale With Models, by Greg Tingle

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Media and insider reports state is dating Sydney model Alyce Crawford, Murdoch's The Daily Tele that Leonardo DiCaprio has been gifted a whole floor at The Star (formally Star City Casino) to live in during his four-month stay.

He's been bunkered down there since passing on his former Vaucluse digs because of privacy issues (unwelcome paps), casino spies have revealed that Echo Entertainment top brass Larry Mullin was so keen to get DiCaprio under their roof that a whole floor was transformed into a luxury super-suite.

"Mountains were moved," said our friend at The Star, who reckons the famous actor has a private entrance to his Astral Tower pad to evade the paparazzi.

"The entire thing was refurbished and rebuilt from scratch. It cost a fortune but the directive was 'spare no expense'."

Asked about the plush situation for 'Our Leo' at Star, Tabcorp: "No comment."

DiCaprio does apparently say G'day on occasion with casino workers and others who cross his path.

"He was spotted in Black By Ezard and kept his cap on and head down and didn't engage with anyone. And a few nights later Hugh "Wolverine" Jackman was in there and couldn't have been nicer," said the deep throat.

"He was chatting to staff and taking pictures and having a great time. It was interesting to see the difference."

His ex-girlfriend Blake Lively has moved on, as has Bar Refaeli, with the model photographed in an embrace with Pierre Sarkozy, 25, the son of French Prez Nicolas Sarkozy, at the Paris nightclub Rasputin.

Stay tuned as Media Man and its ever growing "spy" network. As 'Our Leo' says, 'Catch Me If You Can' (and no, it won't likely be at The Star casino).

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


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Sunday, October 09, 2011

MGM Resorts Online Game to Attract New Customers - 5th October 2011

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MGM Resorts International is moving into social gaming in an effort to attract more gamblers to its casinos, said MGM Chief Executive Jim Murren at casino industry conference last Wednesday.

The firm fully expects to soon announce a new social media game, he said, that would be along the lines of Zynga Inc.'s popular online game FarmVille. It would allow players to pretend to be casino moguls, he said.

The game-playing industry and gambling industries, he said, "are on a collision course."

Murren was speaking at the keynote address Wednesday at a conference entitled the Global Gaming Expo.

Murren didn't provide more details about the plans. Among hospitality companies, Marriott International Inc. has created an online game that allows players to manage a virtual hotel restaurant. Marriott's game is designed to be an employee recruiting tool rather than for acquiring customers.

Murren indicated MGM's game would be for trying to grab new customers.

"The demographics of (online) gamers are really right in the strike zone of the gaming industry," Murren said, pointing to the connection between non-gambling gamers and gamblers.

MGM is also among several large casino companies pushing hard for Internet gambling to become legal in the U.S.

MGM generates most of its revenue from casinos on the Las Vegas Strip and also owns around half of a casino in the robust gambling enclave of Macau. The company's stock price has lost nearly half its value since July on concerns of the U.S. economy and, more recently, concerns about a slowdown in growth in China. The company is still carrying a massive amount of debt.

Murren has consistently been among the most upbeat among gambling operators regarding the future of Las Vegas, even in depths of the recession of a couple years ago. He said he sees a wide gulf between what he thinks the company's stock price is and actual financial results and outlook.

"I turned my Bloomberg off about three weeks ago," Murren quipped.

After a deep downturn, both MGM and Las Vegas as a whole have shown signs of sustained but slow improvement in gambling revenue this year. Still, some observers are concerned by continued bad economic signs.

"We have exceeded our forecast and that of the street the last two quarters and had a nice third quarter as well," he said. "The market is valuing us about where we were three years ago in the teeth of recession and it just doesn't connect with me because we don't see anything inside our business that would suggest that that is accurate."

The company is optimistic about growth in Macau, he said, and has developed designs and plans for a new casino there. MGM and other casinos are awaiting government approval for their new projects.

His comments about Macau echoed those of Michael Leven, president of competitor Las Vegas Sands, who on Saturday said at a conference in Las Vegas that the company doesn't see negative signals there despite investor concerns.

MGM is also working on developing around 20 non-casino projects throughout China, Murren said.

Media Man is following up.

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