Monday, July 30, 2012

NSW govt investigates 'floating casino'

NSW govt investigates 'floating casino'...

The NSW government is investigating whether cruise company P&O operated an illegal floating casino off the NSW coast.

Hospitality Minister George Souris on Wednesday said a government authority was investigating an allegation that passengers could play blackjack, pontoon, poker and roulette on a cruise that left Sydney on Friday night.

The cruise ship also had 40 poker machines onboard and let passengers charge $5000 on their credit cards for gambling, News Ltd reported.

"I've asked the Office of Liquor and Gaming to investigate whether a casino operation was under way in NSW territorial waters or whether gambling operations were under way in commonwealth waters," he told reporters in Sydney.

"It may be that NSW jurisdiction was breached, it may be that the commonwealth jurisdiction was breached. It may be even that both were breached."

He said NSW had no jurisdiction beyond 12 nautical miles from shore.

"Those are international waters," he said.

"In international shipping after the 12-nautical-mile limit it opens boats to gambling but also to duty-free liquor sales."

James Packer to speak at tourism conference in Canberra...

Billionare James Packer will be the drawcard for hoteliers, resort operators and owners attending a tourism conference in Canberra in late October. Mr Packer will open the Tourism & Transport Forum's annual "Leadership 2012" conference.

The gaming tycoon is a major tourism player given his Crown resorts in Perth and Melbourne attract 25 million visitors a year...

Jackman to Begin Filming ‘Wolverine’ in Australia...

Hollywood star Hugh Jackman will begin filming the next installment of his “X-Men” spin-off movies in Sydney next week, even though the female lead is yet to be confirmed.

Jackman, who admitted struggling to get into shape after packing on the pounds to play Jean Valjean in “Les Miserables,” said his role as Wolverine, which he first played 12 years ago, was “the backbone of my career.”

“I love the character. I still love the character,” he said. “I had no choice at the time, I was going to take anything that came along, but I happened to have walked into probably the most interesting and complex of the superhero characters.”

“I’ve always loved playing it and when I stop loving it I’ll stop doing it,” he added.

Melco Crown Project Gets Red Light on Casino...

Macau casino operator Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd. MPEL +2.32% still doesn't have permission to build a casino at its latest project, according to a revised government contract published Wednesday.

The Macao Studio City project, in which Melco Crown has a 60% equity interest, is designated for a five-star hotel and film facilities, indicates the latest government contract detailing various revisions to the agreement. But the document doesn't mention any casino facilities despite the company's earlier statements they hope to open up to 400 gambling tables at the property. It's possible the government could give the green-light on a casino later, but the uncertainty could complicate the company's efforts to finance the project.

Melco Crown, backed by Lawrence Ho and James Packer—the sons of Macau gambling tycoon Stanley Ho and the late Australian casino-and-media magnate Kerry Packer—is one of six casino license holders in Macau, where it already runs two casino-resort properties in the world's largest gambling hub.

A representative for Melco Crown didn't respond to requests for comment.

In June 2011, Melco Crown signed a $360 million deal to gain control over the Macao Studio City project, resolving a bitter dispute between the project's earlier partners that had escalated to the Hong Kong courts, stalling development for years. New Cotai Holdings LLC, an arm of U.S. investment firms Oaktree Capital Management L.P. and Silver Point Capital L.P., retained its 40% stake in the project.

Earlier this month Melco Crown announced plans to enter the burgeoning Philippines market by teaming up with local property developer Belle Corp. BEL.PH -0.20% to partner on a casino resort that will cost at least $1 billion in an area the Philippines hopes will become Manila's version of the Las Vegas Strip. (The Wall Street Journal)

First Second unveils André the Giant comic...

First Second has confirmed its André the Giant biography.

Cartoonist Box Brown is working on the book charting the life of the professional wrestler and actor, reports ICv2.

André Roussimoff was a star and one-time champion of the World Wrestling Federation (now WWE).

He is also known for his role in cult classic movie The Princess Bride.

Roussimoff has the condition acromegaly, which saw him grow to 7'4" in height. He died of heart failure in 1993 at the age of 46.

Box is the author of Xeric grant-funded graphic novel Love Is a Peculiar Type of Thing.

The untitled André the Giant biography is scheduled for release in 2014. (Digital Spy)

The Expendables 2 slapped with R rating for extreme violence...

Action star-laden sequel The Expendables 2 has been given an R rating for its violent and sexual content in the US.

Bruce Willis, Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger and co will even be throwing some bad language into the mix as they bat off hostile attackers in this follow-up to the 2010 action-packed extravaganza.

Lionsgate was rumoured to have been considering a PG-13 rating for the film, which is due for release in the States on August 17th.

Once again, Stallone assembles his hardened team of old-school mercenaries for a special mission - taking revenge after one of their squad is murdered on the job.

Director Simon West was never in any doubt that the film would receive such a high rating, given the 'very hard' violence and language perpetrated by the all-star cast throughout the film.

'I'm sure there were some financial people who wanted it to be PG-13 because they thought it would somehow make more money or have a broader audience, but there was no way,' he told

'When you get these guys on the set, they can't say a line without putting the F-bomb in it, and they can't pick up a gun without blowing several limbs off.' (Metro)


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Friday, July 20, 2012

Virgin Casino to Release Necker Island Slot Game


Virgin Casino Virgin Games IGT Microgaming Casino Slots Richard Branson Necker Island

Virgin Casino have added a ton of new slot games over the past week.


Virgin Casino has announced that it is releasing a new slot game entitled Necker Island this week.

Necker Island is a new 5 reel, 50 pay-line slot game that is being developed by Genesis Gaming Inc. The game has a theme based on the private island hideaway owned by Virgin Casino founder Sir Richard Branson.

The game also includes an additional row of symbols that gives players a greater chance of winning. Players can win free spins and also have the chance to unlock a free wild game. The game will be released on Virgin Casino’s QuickFire platform.

Warren Eloff, Virgin Games Head of Products, said “We wanted to create a game exclusively for our Virgin Games players – something that only we could offer and that truly summed up being part of the Virgin community. As such, we thought it would be ideally fitting to have a game created by Genesis Gaming that was themed around Sir Richard Branson’s luxurious private island."

Eloff added “As an operator, offering our customers seamless game play is crucial, and as a Virgin company maintaining brand integrity is a must. Using Microgaming’s QuickFire platform has delivered on both counts - offering both easy integration and allowing us to give our players a unique Virgin Games experience.”

Steven Meisrich, CEO for Genesis Gaming Inc, stated "It was exciting for our team to build a customized and branded video slot game consistent with the quality and fun users expect from the Virgin brand. We are also pleased that Necker Island will be integrated to the Quickfire platform as we have a successful partnership already in place and are confident that it can maintain the optimal experience for Virgin players.”

QuickFire also released a statement saying “We’re delighted that Virgin Games have chosen the Quickfire platform to host this unique game. It’s always great to be involved in something a bit different, particularly as the involvement of Genesis Gaming Inc. has allowed us to work alongside a company with whom we already have a strong relationship. We’re confident that this exclusive product will please new and existing players alike.”


Virgin Casino Releases Reely Poker Slot Game...

Virgin Casino announced the release of its latest slot game title called Reely Poker this week.
This new game is a 5 reel, 30 pay-line slot game and has a theme based on poker. In fact, the game incorporates both a slot game experience with the opportunity for players to play some poker as well.

The game begins in a slots format. The symbols are represented by the playing cards and the wild symbol is represented by the joker and the scatter symbol is represented by the ace. The maximum payout is 5,000 coins and this is offered by the joker wild symbol.

There is a bonus feature called the Multi-hand Infinite Hold’em Bonus. This is activated when the player hits three or more ace scatter symbols. The number of hands dealt to the player in this bonus depends on how many ace scatter symbols the player hit to activate the bonus. The player then wins a bonus depending on how strong the poker hands they receive are with a bonus of 2 coins being paid out for a pair and a bonus of 500 coins being paid out for a royal flush. The player keeps playing in this bonus round if they hit a two pair or higher.

Players can also activate the Slot Poker aspect of this game. For every spin, a side bet of 10 times the line bet will be automatically taken from the player. The player must then choose one of the horizontal rows. The cards that appear on that chosen row are the given hand for that spin. The player will then win if the hand on that chosen row is better than the hands on the other two rows. The Slot Poker part of the game will continue to function until the player de-activates it.

Reely Poker is available to play at Virgin Casino right now.

If you haven’t got an account at Virgin Casino, now is the time – they offer a 100% welcome bonus up to £100. This means that if you deposit anything up to £100, you will get the same value free. When registering, click on the ‘Select A Bonus’ button and select the ‘Casino’ option – simple.

*Virgin Casino does not accept Australian, U.S or Canadian players. See World Casino Directory.

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Monday, July 09, 2012

Property News Media: Crown Limited puts 25pc limit on Echo Entertainment stake


Casinos Casino Crown Limited Property Sydney Melbourne Australia

Crown Limited puts 25pc limit on Echo Entertainment stake...

The jockeying for position by various stakeholders in casinos operator Echo Entertainment is continuing, with James Packer's Crown Ltd seeking regulatory approval to lift its stake in Echo to 25 per cent.

Casinos operator Crown has added the 25 per cent limit to its application to the NSW Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority and the Queensland government for an increase of its Echo stake to above 10 per cent.

Crown already holds a stake in Echo of 10 per cent.

Echo's constitution restricts a person's voting power to a maximum of 10 per cent unless the written consent of the regulator in NSW and the relevant Queensland minister is obtained.

Crown said on Wednesday that the regulators had accepted the new condition to its application but were yet to decide on whether Crown could exceed the 10 per cent ownership level.

'If Crown is eventually granted approval to increase its ownership in Echo to up to 25 per cent, then Crown would not be able to acquire additional Echo shares such that Crown's ownership interest would increase above 25 per cent without first making another application which would then be subject to further investigation and ultimately a determination by the regulators,' Crown said in a statement.

The changes to Crown's application comes after investment firm Perpetual was granted approval by the NSW Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority and the Queensland government to increase its potential maximum voting power in Echo from 10 per cent to 15 per cent.

However, Perpetual had earlier notified the Australian Securities Exchange, on June 22, that it had ceased to be a substantial shareholder in Echo.

Malaysian gambling group Genting holds a stake of about 9.88 per cent in Echo and has also applied to regulators to lift its stake above 10 per cent.

Fat Prophets analyst Greg Fraser said the fact that Crown had asked to increase its holding up to the figure of 25 per cent was 'interesting'.

If Genting were to aim to acquire 25 per cent also, and both companies did in fact obtain 25 per cent each, Genting and Crown acting in unison would be enough to control Echo without making a takeover bid.

However, there was nothing to indicate yet that Crown and Genting were acting or would act in unison.

Mr Fraser said Crown may not necessarily move to a 25 per cent stake immediately. It could lift its stake to 19.9 per cent - the threshold for making a full takeover bid - and then increase its stake in Echo by three per cent every six months under the 'creep' provisions of the Corporations Act.

'I guess the next step is we wait for Genting to do the same. As the gambling parlance goes: to see your 25 and raise you something',' Mr Fraser said.

Echo operates The Star casino in Sydney, the Treasury casino in Brisbane, Jupiters Townsville and Jupiters Gold Coast.

Crown operates the Crown casino and Melbourne and the Burswood casino in Perth.

Shares in Echo were one cent lower at $4.29 at 1104 AEST on Tuesday.

Crown bouncer pleads not guilty - 6th July 2012...

A Crown Casino bouncer has pleaded not guilty to the manslaughter of a patron who was thrown to the ground 'like a bull'.

Matthew Lawson, 27, was on Friday committed to stand trial over the death of Anthony Dunning during an altercation at the Melbourne casino last July.

Mr Dunning, 40, died in hospital four days later.

After a three-week committal hearing Magistrate Peter Reardon ruled there was enough evidence for Lawson to stand trial.

The court heard during the hearing that casino patrons had warned security staff they were choking Mr Dunning and should let him go.

Two of Mr Dunning's friends were also taken to the ground by bouncers.

Lawson, of Hoppers Crossing, was bailed to appear in the Victorian Supreme Court on July 19 for a directions hearing.

Five other bouncers were also committed to stand trial on lesser charges over the incident involving Mr Dunning or his friends, with each pleading not guilty.

They have been bailed and will appear in the Supreme Court on the same day as Lawson.

Packer in strong position on Barangaroo - 8th July 2012...

Developer Lend Lease says billionaire James Packer would be in a strong position to build a casino at Barangaroo if the NSW government granted a second licence.

The comment by Lend Lease chief executive Steve McCann came as his company secured $2 billion of funding to build the first two commercial towers at the controversial site in Sydney's CBD.

Mr Packer and his Crown Ltd last week sought approval to up its stake in rival Echo Entertainment, which holds the city's sole casino licence.

Mr McCann said Lend Lease was in discussions with several hotel operators and it was talking to the state government about relocating a proposed luxury hotel.

'If you look at Crown's facilities elsewhere in Australia and overseas they're very high quality,' Mr McCann told ABC's Inside Business program on Sunday.

'We're looking for a very high quality hotel and if the opportunity to get a gaming licence puts them in a strong commercial position, which is what you'd expect, then I've no doubt they'd be a competitive proposition.'

Lend Lease had the right to build a hotel on the site but Crown wouldn't automatically win the hotel operation contract if it managed to obtain a casino licence.

'Clearly, if Crown's the best proposition we'll consider that, but we're talking to a number of players,' Mr McCann said.

Crown recently ramped up its move on fellow casinos operator Echo Entertainment, which runs The Star Casino, by seeking regulatory approval to lift its stake from 10 per cent to 25 per cent.

Last month Lend Lease signed agreements with Westpac and financial services firm KPMG to occupy the majority of the first two commercial buildings at Barangaroo from around mid-2015 to early 2016.

Mr McCann said his company had been working on the funding for some time with partners Canada Pension Plan, Australian Prime Property Commercial Fund, Telstra Super and First State Super.

'I'm not sure that of itself it indicates that the market's loosening up but it certainly indicates the quality of the product that we have brought to them,' he said.


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