Thursday, September 20, 2012

Genting sells half its shares in Echo Entertainment - 20th September 2012


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The battle for control of Echo Entertainment Group, the operator of Sydney’s Star casino, has taken a new twist, with Malaysia’s Genting selling down half of its 10 per cent stake.

Genting, which operates casinos in south-east Asia, told the stock exchange last night that it had entered into an agreement with Citigroup Global Markets Australia to dispose of a 4.8 per cent stake in Echo at $3.99 a share, a 2.7 per cent discount to yesterday’s closing price of $4.10. That values the stake at around $158 million.

"This comes after a review by the company to rationalise its investments portfolio," Genting said in a statement. "The disposal is not expected to have any material effect on earnings per share for the current financial year," Shares in Genting rose 2.5 per cent in Singapore trade.

Genting and Crown have been circling Echo for its Sydney Casino, which attracts scores of Asian high rollers and last night’s move may allow Crown to close in on what is Sydney’s only casino operator. Crown, which owns a 10 per cent share in Echo, has sought regulatory approval to boost that holding to 25 per cent. An exit by Genting opens the door for Crown to increase its stake.

"The market, looking at the share price, welcomes this [move]. People didn’t understand what the strategy could be in Australia," said Lucius Chong, an analyst at CIMB Research. "This removes a lot of uncertainty because Genting is good at building casinos, looking at emerging growth, whereas Australia is a mature market," Mr Chong said.

Crown, which operates casinos in Melbourne and Perth, has amassed a 10 per cent stake in Echo, and has sought regulatory approval to go to 25 per cent.

Echo also operates casinos in Brisbane, the Gold Coast and Townsville in Queensland. Echo in August reported a net profit for the 2011/12 financial year of $42.2 million, well down on the previous year’s $226 million. Echo recently spent $870 million redeveloping its main asset, The Star, including a $100 million payment to the New South Wales government for exclusivity.

Crown has been lobbying the NSW government to build another casino in Sydney at the Barangaroo redevelopment near the CBD, just across the harbour from The Star.

Malaysian-based parent Genting Group built its stake through its subsidiaries in Singapore and Hong Kong in June, sparking talk of a potential bidding war. Genting had also sought regulatory approval to increase its holding.

It was not clear whether Genting has withdrawn the application. A spokesman for the regulator was not immediately available to comment on the matter.


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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Zeta Bar Hilton Hotel presents Ms America Bodypaint - 14th September 2012


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The Hilton marquee Hilton reads: "Zeta`s "CONEY ISLAND" is our exciting new Friday Nights concept. Experience evenings of the unexpected, perfectly paradoxical and the weird and wonderful, with extravagant entertainment and a creative mix of classic cocktails with progressive and fun elements."

The Hilton Hotel franchise and our friends at the Zeta Bar were deadly serious and they were back to the Coney Island theme again tonight, with an 'Ms America Bodypaint Girl' (Anastasia) for the evening's entertainment.

The action was all mixed with a specially concocted range of classic cocktails with a twist, like Cosmopolitan Candy Floss, Toffee Apple Martinis and Long Island Iced Tea snow cones and much, much more, with with the 'Ms America Bodypaint' adding addition excitement.

The team at Human Statue Bodyart created the 'Ms America Girl', led by creative artist Eva Rinaldi, and assisted again by bodyart and bodypaint veteran, Vince Cantali, who also shares a fetish for dressing models up and painting on human bodies.

The Coney Island theme was once again a huge hit and Human Statue talent will be continuing to entertain patrons at the Zeta on most Friday nights for at least another month.

Very well done to everyone involved in the success of the Coney Island promotion and we're certain the titillating entertainment will keep patrons coming back for more.

It's all there for the taking at Hilton's little slice of paradise in Sydney's CBD and its you're big chance to see why 'Coney Island' is so popular the world over.


Zeta Bar pushed the boundaries of cabaret, bringing the sexy mystique of 19th century underground back to life in Extreme Cabaret.

Extreme Cabaret was a delicious smorgasbord of fantasy and magic, wit and whimsy served with sides of lunacy and luxe, and very well lubricated with prohibition-style cocktails, mystifying molecular cocktails and delectable morsels.

About Zeta Bar...

As a progressive cocktail bar and exclusive escape in the Sydney CBD, Zeta changed the face of Sydney’s bar culture when it launched as part of Hilton Sydney in 2005. Today, Zeta has won multiple awards year on year for its bartenders, playful drinks, cocktail classics and seasonal, trend setting concepts; the latest of which being ‘Extreme Cabaret’.

Access to Zeta is via glass elevator at the Hilton Sydney entrance on George Street. Zeta boasts a chic, outdoor terrace overlooking the iconic Queen Victoria Building. A VIP lounge and selection of private booths and breakout areas in luxe purple and dark wood interiors underline Zeta as the CBD cocktail bar to be seen in and part of.

An exclusive escape for visiting international celebrities too, Jessica Simpson, Kimberley Stewart, James Blunt, Snoop Dogg and Nicole Ritchie have all partied at Zeta and regular Aussie A-listers include Jennifer Hawkins, Hugh Jackman, Ian Thorpe and Megan Gale.


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Thursday, September 13, 2012

World class entertainment, performers tipped for Crown Melbourne and Sydney 'The Star'

Australia's casinos tipped for more world class performers, bodypainted entertainers, extreme cabaret on the cards and much more: Crown Melbourne VS Sydney's 'The Star' casino...


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The 'Australian Casino Wars' continue, and as you would expect, the creme of Australia's and the world's entertainers and promoters are in the thick of the action... and don't forget the tipped extreme cabaret, bodypainting entertainment, burlesque and Oriental style entertainment.

We've been tipped off that an extreme gold 'Joker Jesture' was seen running around Melbourne's Crown Casino last Friday night as part of the billed entertainment for a cashed up Oriental based technology gig. Some witnesses described the golden Joker as a "living, moving, human statue", and now we learn that other Australian casinos, resorts and hotels are looking to book this mysterious joker that popped out of a house of cards.

Our friends at Human Statue Bodyart seem to know more about the 'Joker Jesture' than the average Joe or Jane and its understood that they have provided services to Crown Casino and The Star off and on for a few years now, and everyone knows the old saying "Where there's smoke, there's fire". Word is bodypaint and extreme cabaret are on the menu for the Australia casino war entertainment for the foreseeable future.

Official Entertainment has included...

Crown Melbourne...

The Australian Bee Gees Show...

The Australian bee gees show is now taking the vegas show back on the road for select dates back home.

After 16 years and over 2,000 performances on the world stage, The Australian Bee Gees Show is now the toast of Las Vegas. The show has been in residence at The Excalibur Casino on the Las Vegas strip since February 2011 and has just celebrated 500 performances in Las Vegas. The Australian Bee Gees Show is now taking the Vegas show back on the road for select dates back home in Australia.

The new show features a chronology of the greatest hits from the wonderful music of the Brothers Gibb. Special guests on stage will be the Stayin' Alive Brass section. The Australian Bee Gees Show have captured the look, the sound and the personality that defines one of the most successful and adored acts in musical history.

7 September 2012

Show Times:
Doors / Pre show bar opens: 7:30pm
Act One: 8:15pm
Interval: 9:05pm
Act Two: 9:25pm
Approx. Finish:10:30pm

Focus on Footy exhibition...

Crown’s annual crowd-pleaser, focus on footy, is on again.

This popular exhibition showcases portraits of legendary players, officials and fans of the AFL and NRL including Ron Barassi, James Hird, Nathan Buckley, Kevin Sheedy, Eddie McGuire, Julia Gillard and Molly Meldrum.

Plus, we're adding some exciting new faces this year. Focus on Footy 2012 will also include new faces Callan Ward, Nic Naitanui, Paddy Ryder and Shane Crawford, as well as NRL favourites from the Melbourne Storm, including Justin O'Neill, Ryan Hinchcliffe, Kevin Proctor and Cameron Smith.

The Focus on Footy exhibition is FREE and open all day, every day. Find it in the Retail precinct on Level 1.

Level 1 Retail Precinct
27 August - 7 October 2012

Theatre De La DanSe presents 'Spirit of Australia'...

The annual showcase of dance students.

Theatre De La DanSe presents 'Spirit of Australia' - the annual showcase of dance students age 5 to 21. This will be a celebration of all things Australian including icons, music, and sport.

The show will incorporate Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Contemporary, Song & Dance, Hip hop, and Broadway.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Damien Leith 'Now and Then' Tour...

Performing hits from roy orbison, the travelling wilbury’s along with his most popular songs.

To celebrate the release of Damien's new studio album 'Now and Then', Damien hits the road in September on his National Theatre Tour of Australia.

Damien's new album 'Now & Then' continues where he left off on his album 'Roy' and celebrates the song writing skills of each member of The Traveling Wilburys (Roy Orbison, George Harrison, Tom Petty, Bob Dylan and Jeff Lynne) along with showcasing songs written by Damien himself. Already this album is being rumoured as Damien's best work to date.

Following the success of his multi date Roy Orbison Tribute' tour last year, this new show will revisit some of your favourite Roy Orbison classics while also treating the audience ears to the songs of 'Now & Then'. Audiences will be wowed by songs like 'Crying' and 'Oh Pretty Woman', 'Here Comes The Sun' and 'Got My Mind Set On You', 'I'll Be Your Baby Tonight' and 'Leah' along with all new originals compositions. If you enjoyed 'The Roy Orbison Tour' - then this concert is one not to be missed! Damien Leith and his four piece band, performing live!

Damien is the ONLY AUSTRALIAN ARTIST that Roy Orbison's estate, via his wife Barbara Orbison, would work with for Damien's hugely successful ROY: A Tribute To Roy Orbison album. The album became the 4th most successful record of 2011 and Damien performed over 23 shows to critical acclaim. ROY: A Tribute to Roy Orbison became the only album released to celebrate the great Roy O's 75th anniversary celebrations.

Friday, 21 September 2012

Show Times
Doors / Pre show bar opens: 7:15pm
Support Act: 8:00pm
Interval: 8:30pm
Main Act: 8:50pm
Approx. Finish: 10:15pm
*Times are approximate and subject to change without notice.

Richard Clapton - Hits & Previews...

Richard clapton’s music is a bona fide soundtrack to a generation.

Richard Clapton, Australia's most prolific and iconic singer-songwriter returns to The Palms for the latest instalment of his story, this time with a twist as he previews new material from his upcoming album scheduled for release in mid-July. A former commercial artist, Richard Clapton, started his musical career in the late 60's but it wasn't until the early 70's that he had his first big hit, Girls on the Avenue, which was originally earmarked as a "B" side. "Girls" went on to reach No. 2 on the national charts and put Richard firmly on the musical map. In 2009, Clapton showcased his pivotal 1977 album Goodbye Tiger with sold out concerts nationally including The Palms at Crown.

Richard Clapton will deliver his hallmark songs like I Am An Island, The Best Years of Our Lives, Capricorn Dancer, Girls on the Avenue, Glory Road, Goodbye Tiger, Trust Somebody, Get Back to the Shelter, Down in the Lucky Country as well as a snippet of songs from his first studio album release in 8 years which will have you singing along from start to finish.

Richard Clapton's music is a bona fide soundtrack to a generation and to see and hear him live is one of the most enjoyable trips down memory lane any music fan can have.

Friday, 5 October 2012

*official event information (Credit: Crown Melbourne)

About Crown...

Crown is one of Australia’s largest entertainment groups. The group’s core businesses and investments are in the integrated resorts sector. Crown wholly owns and operates two of Australia’s leading integrated resorts, Crown Entertainment Complex in Melbourne and Burswood Entertainment Complex in Perth. Overseas, Crown also fully owns and operates the Aspinalls Club in London. Crown holds a significant interest in Melco Crown Entertainment Limited, a NASDAQ and Stock Exchange of Hong Kong (SEHK) listed company operating casino/hotel properties in Macau which include City of Dreams, Altira Macau and Mocha Clubs. Melco Crown also has a 60% interest in Macau Studio City, a new large scale integrated resort project on Cotai.
In addition, Crown owns a portfolio of gaming investments that have been accumulated to complement Crown's existing core businesses. These include interests in:

Betfair Australasia Pty Ltd: an online betting exchange;
Cannery Casino Resorts LLC: operates four casinos in Nevada and Western Pennsylvania in the USA catering to local and regional customers; and
Aspers Holdings (Jersey) Limited: a casino business in the United Kingdom.

The Star, Sydney, Australia...

Sydney Lyric Theatre

Legally Blonde: The Musical

Legally Blonde The Musical is the hilarious story of college sweetheart and homecoming queen, Elle Woods - a girl who doesn't take no for an answer. When her boyfriend dumps her for someone "serious", Elle puts down the credit card, hits the books and heads for Harvard Law School!

War Horse (March 2013)

This award-winning production tells the heart-wrenching story of Joey, the beloved horse of a boy called Albert, who is sold to the cavalry at the outbreak of World War I. With life size puppets created by South Africa's Handspring Puppet Company this will be an unforgettable theatrical experience. Tickets on sale 23 July.​

Rock Lily (Thursdays)

James Walsh...

​Catch international singer-songwriter, James Walsh (Starsailor, UK) every Thursday (6, 13, 20 & 27) in September. Just over a year after putting his band Starsailor on hold, he has toured with Sheryl Crow & songwriter/producer Sacha Skarbek (Duffy, Adele). With his acoustic guitar and raw real tunes, he’ll be sure to impress. No cover, doors open at 6pm.​

Prinnie Stevens...

Check Your Head night is on at Rock Lily on Friday 14 September with headliner Prinnie Stevens. Having been best known as a backing vocalist to Guy Sebastian and Jessica Mauboy, Prinnie rose to fame from The Voice. She has also performed alongside the likes of Mary J Blige and John Legend. Don’t miss out on what will be an epic night. No cover. (14th September)


15 September
10 PM


Sydney-based House music duo FONIKO have become known for their larger than life sets that take their audience on an epic journey through space and time. Their ability to instinctively remix tracks live, is what contributes towards their signature sound: big, raw, spontaneous and unrestrained. An experience not to be missed.


Friday 14 September | From 10pm

24/7 Sports Bar...

It's Game On

For all things sports-related, head to 24/7 Sports Bar. With three mega screens and over 50 LCD TVs you'll never miss a minute of the action, no matter what you're into.

Fuel at 24/7 Sports Bar offers a full menu of pub classics, plus you'll find Australia's first paperless TAB right in the middle of the action.

26 Sept
7 PM

Dine with League Legends...

Celebrate The Men of League’s Great Grand Final Night as Peter Sterling, Andrew Johns, Brad Fittler and host Dan Ginnane take you through 30 years of great grand final memories, whilst enjoying a three-course dinner. $150 pp, $100 of which goes to The Men of League Foundation. Call 1800 700 700 to book.

Rock Lily...

The Voice finalist Prinnie headlines Check Your Head this Friday.

(Credit: The Star / Echo Entertainment)

About The Star...

The Star is in the heart of the city and is Sydney's casino destination. Project Future Star, an $860m refurbishment and expansion plan, will position The Star as the pre-eminent entertainment destination in Australia.

Wrap Up...

It's always good to see Australians taking on the world, be it Crown Melbourne and Sydney's The Star taking on Las Vegas casino - resort heavyweights, so hopefully the trend of world class entertainment including performing arts and creative arts elements continue on at Australia's own intergrated entertainment resorts and casinos.

We hear that a number of world class acts are heading to Sydney's Star and Melbourne's Crown, and there's tipped to be some bodypainting elements, extreme cabaret (not unlike what has appeared at Sydney Hilton Hotel) and much more, so keep checking back here for more details.


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Sunday, September 09, 2012

Steve Wynn seeking $12 million in slander trial - 8th September 2012


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Porn producer Joe Francis should be forced to pay Steve Wynn more than $12 million for claiming that the casino mogul threatened to kill him and bury him in the desert, Wynn's attorney told a jury Friday.

Barry Langberg suggested the multimillion verdict during closing arguments in Wynn's slander case against Francis, who claims the casino creator threatened to hit him over the head with a shovel and have him buried in the desert over a $2 million gambling debt.

Francis claims record producer Quincy Jones showed him a stack of emails purportedly containing the threats, none of which he read or were ever found as evidence.

Wynn has denied Francis' allegations and told jurors they have hurt his reputation and could lead to an expensive investigation by Nevada gambling authorities. Jurors, who will resume deliberations Monday morning, will ultimately decide whether to award Wynn any money and the amount.

Wynn's attorney, Barry Langberg, accused Francis of lying about the threats, pointing out that there was no evidence of any email Wynn had sent and multiple witnesses corroborating the casino mogul's story. He argued Francis was malicious because he repeated the threats last week in an interview on "Good Morning America."

Francis had previously said at a court hearing that Wynn threatened him over a $2 million gambling debt Francis incurred at Wynn's hotel. Celebrity news website TMZ reported on the hearing, and Francis confirmed his allegations to a reporter from the site afterward.

"He committed character assassination," Langberg said. "He did it for a simple reason — he didn't want to pay his debt."

He argued Francis should be forced to pay punitive damages as well. Wynn said he planned to donate any amount he won during the trial, minus attorney's fees, to charities.

Francis' attorney, Aaron Aftergood, contended that both men may be telling the truth and the porn producer may have been misled by Jones. Francis claims he heard about the threats from the Grammy-winner, who is his neighbor, but Jones denies hearing Wynn utter any threats.

Aftergood argued that the dispute was more about the "bruised ego of Mr. Wynn in the schoolyard, sandlot dustup" that erupted between the two men. He also contends Wynn, the CEO of Wynn Resorts Ltd. and designer of major Las Vegas resorts such Bellagio, Wynn and Encore, hasn't shown he has suffered any damages.

Langberg said Francis erred by challenging Wynn, a billionaire who had the resources to fight the case. But he also argued that Wynn had suffered significant damage to his reputation and Francis' allegations could pose trouble for Wynn's casinos.

"At least with the newspaper after a few days, it's gone. They wrap fish in it, they throw it away," Langberg said. "But not anymore. Today, the methods by which Joe Francis used to commit assassination are digital. It's never gone. It's never thrown away. They never wrap fish in it."

He urged jurors to return a verdict against Francis that was so large it would dwarf the Google hits of the porn producer's accusations and land at the top of search results.

"You have to create a headline as big as his," he said. "You have to send a message that will stay on the Internet as long as his lie will."

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Saturday, September 01, 2012

Melbourne Storm NRL team ink sponsorship deal with Packer's Crown Casino; Sydney news - 31st August 2012


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The Melbourne Storm is raking it in, with an extra $1.5 million in with Crown Limited inking as major sponsor for a third year running, while rugby league in Victoria could also benefit significantly.

Thursday's renewal of Crown's only team sponsorship is believed to be valued at $1 million, give or take a few dollars.

The funds boost joins the $500,000 Australian Rugby League Commission chairman John Grant confirmed on Monday would be delivered to all clubs before October 31.

With a back-of-jersey sponsorship still to be sold before the finals, Storm might well collect another payday.

Club chief exec Ron Gauci advised the funds would be used to help expand the code in Victoria, a cause boosted last month with the debut of born-and-bred local Mahe Fonua.

Storm officials aim to fund youth teams down to under-16s and spend up to keep Melbourne "ahead of the pack" with cutting-edge, football-specific technology.

"We'll continue to invest in the organisation. We'll invest both across the football department and administration," Gauci said.

"We want to continue being best practice and continue being ahead of the game. We'll invest in football operations and pathway development.

"We want to extend the Storm brand beyond the under-18s and we've put in a proposal to the Australian Rugby League Commission to facilitate the growth of the game in Victoria and now have the funds to help make that happen.

"For us, any investment needs to have a long-term benefit."

The push from the Government-backed Victorian Major Events Company to secure more State of Origin clashes in Melbourne could reap even more cash for local rugby league.

Plans are in place to establish a youth academy, with only the arrival of sufficient funding needed to make it happen.

Great to see Crown's casino king James Packer sharing the love and funds around to worthy causes.

It's understood that Sydney's South Sydney Rabbitohs management including king bunny, Russell Crowe, are taking an interest in the way The Storm and Crown do things, as you might expect with Rabbitohs also having a sponsorship deal with gaming - entertainment firm - The Star.

Sydney NRL team also has casino deal...

The South Sydney Rabbitohs are continuing to enjoy their sponsorship deal with The Star (formally known as Star City Casino).

NRL top brass has said rugby league has benefitted from its association with betting agencies because it allows better access to information about irregular plunges.

As the Australian and globally economy continue to go through tough times its going to be interesting to see if more NRL teams ink deals with Australian casino or gaming firms. I for would would bet yes.

And what's to become of the Barangaroo 6 star hotel and casino development in Sydney? Could they also become a sponsor of an NRL team? With James Packer in the think of the action one would think so. Keep watching this space.

Media Release...

Exclusive Deal For 6 Star Hotel...

Last week's announcement by Lend Lease and Crown, that they had signed an exclusive agreement to develop a six star hotel at Barangaroo South, has attracted wide ranging media coverage and commentary. Below is a summary of the media releases and media coverage to date.

Following the announcement, the Authority confirmed it will continue to work with Lend Lease, and now their exclusive rights partner Crown, to negotiate a new location for the hotel in Barangaroo South and oversee the appropriate planning applications that must be approved before any concept moves ahead.

Acting Premier Andrew Stoner last week said the development of such a hotel would represent a significant investment in NSW tourism infrastructure, and today’s agreement is a vote of confidence in the NSW economy.

“It is, of course, subject to all the necessary planning and regulatory approvals but Lend Lease already has an existing permit to build a hotel in Barangaroo South and are negotiating with the Barangaroo Delivery Authority to relocate that onshore,” he said.

“The creation of a hotel of this stature would deliver new jobs in construction, off-site manufacturing and the tourism industry, along with hundreds of millions of dollars for the State economy each year.”

Lend Lease Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Steve McCann, said that Lend Lease and Crown would now work towards achieving the necessary development approvals from the NSW Government for the hotel and jointly develop the concept plan for the hotel. Lend Lease is currently in negotiations with the NSW Government to finalise the hotel location.

“Barangaroo South is a major urban regeneration project that provides a unique opportunity to create a world class commercial, residential, entertainment and mixed use destination on Sydney Harbour. A key part of Lend Lease’s vision for Barangaroo South is to have a high quality international hotel,” said Mr McCann.

*the writer is a shareholder in Crown Limited, Virgin Blue and Ten Network Holdings.


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