Tuesday, November 30, 2010

FOXTEL LAP 2010 - SYDNEY TAKES UP THE TREADMILL CHALLENGE

SYDNEY TAKES UP THE TREADMILL CHALLENGE IN THE FOXTEL LAP 2010

Leading Sydney businesses and their staff will swap the boardroom for the treadmill when they begin the FOXTEL Lap 2010 challenge in its new location, First Fleet Park at Circular Quay this Friday, December 3 in support of children’s health.

The FOXTEL Lap corporate treadmill challenge is a one-day staged public event that will see teams run as many 100m ‘laps’ as they can to raise funds for Australia’s largest children’s medical research body the Murdoch Childrens Research Institute (MCRI).

Now in its fourth year, the event will be hosted by Sarah Murdoch and FOXTEL celebrities who will hit the treadmill alongside prominent Sydney CEOs and local business identities.

FOXTEL Lap ambassadors appearing at First Fleet Park include FOX8’s Dating in the Dark host Laura Dundovic, Discovery Channel’s SHARK WEEK presenter Andrew Ettingshausen, Australia’s Next Top Model winner Amanda Ware, finalists Kathryn Lyons, Jessica Moloney, Joanna Broomfield, and judge Charlotte Dawson, MTV presenter Erin McNaught, Commonwealth Games presenters Matt Shirvington and Tiffany Cherry, Olympian Geoff Heugill, Mark Bosnich from FOX SPORTS, Channel [V]’s Billy Russell and Kyle Linahan, and many more.

NOVA 96.9’s popular breakfast show host Merrick Watts will also be running on the NOVA treadmill. Tune in this Friday morning for live crosses to the venue as Merrick attempts to run as many 100m laps as he can in 30 minutes.

The Sydney FOXTEL Lap commences at 8.00am with running teams including FOXTEL, NOVA, Deloitte, MCRI, ACP, Commonwealth Bank, KPMG, Fitness First, FOX SPORTS, Macquarie Bank, M&C Saatchi, NRL, OMD, MCN, St George, Westfield, Westpac, Travelex, Xbox, and many more.

Sydney is the final stop for the annual fundraising event that has also taken place nationally in Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne and Brisbane. More funds have been raised this year than ever before meaning the 2010 FOXTEL Lap is on track to make its largest donation to the MCRI to date.

The successful event – not just for elite athletes – is about participation, having fun and getting fit. Since 2005 the event has raised almost $1.5 million dollars for research to address the big health issues affecting kids today including diabetes, allergies, premature birth, obesity, mental health conditions and cancer.

The FOXTEL Lap is sponsored by NOVA, Deloitte, Commonwealth Bank, Corporate Health Management, Fitness First, AHRI, and SCT Logistics.

It’s not too late to get a team together and sponsor your colleagues or favourite celebrities. For more information or to register, visit www.foxtellap.com.au.

About MCRI

Murdoch Childrens Research Institute (MCRI) discovers ways to prevent and treat conditions affecting babies, children and adolescents. The institute’s 1200 researchers conduct world-class research into heart disease, cancer, brain injury, cerebral palsy, depression, arthritis, asthma, genetic conditions, obesity and infectious diseases. Working side-by-side with the doctors and nurses at The Royal Children's Hospital, the institute has a unique opportunity to translate discoveries into real benefits for children. MCRI ambassador Sarah Murdoch will be taking part in the FOXTEL Lap in Sydney.

About FOXTEL

FOXTEL is Australia's leading subscription television provider and is connected to over 1.63 million homes on cable and satellite through retail and wholesale distribution. FOXTEL strives to ensure subscribers find TV they want to watch every time they switch on through delivery of more than 200 channels covering news, sport, general entertainment, movies, documentaries, music and children’s programming. FOXTEL is owned by Telstra Corporation Ltd (50%), The News Corporation Ltd (25%), and Consolidated Media Holdings Ltd (25%).

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Crown Casino: Sports Performer Awards, by Greg Tingle - 30th November 2010

G'day punters, sports nuts, casino and gambling millionaires and billionaires, poker nuts, politicians, super whales, journalists, ... one and all. Today we dish up sporting feast as Melbourne's Crown Casino plays hosts the annual Sports Performer Awards. Media Man and Gambling911 hunt down the hottest sports stories in the world just for you...

Tonight's the night, at Crown Casino, if your into sports that is, and we don't mean poker.

Very cleverly James Packer owned Crown Casino continues to put on a bush tucker bag of activities, events et al... some gambling related, some not. It's all part of his 'World Of Entertainment' which JP has been selling for a few years now.

Regular G911 and Media Man readers will recall other events that are hosted by Crown included Warnie tapings, 'The Logies', Brownlow Medal awards, and the upcoming 'This Is Your Life'.

Well, tonight (Tuesday) Crown does elite sports.

Let's see... we've got Alicia Coutts (swimmer) and Mark 'No Bull' Webber (F1 ace) in the mix of a world class line up of elite sports men and women.

The winner of the super cool sports performer of the year will get a handy $50,000 payday and a Raymond Weil timepiece valued at $3900. The watch might end up on eBay, but that's another story punters.

The top individual award line up is: Webber, Huegill (swimming), Coutts, Mitchell, Torah Bright (snowboarding), Todd Carney (NRL), Stephanie Gilmore (surfing), Lydia Lassila (aerial skiing), Chris McCormack (ironman), Neil Robertson (snooker), Dane Swan (AFL) and Steve Hooker (athletics).

Who will be Australia's top athlete? We've got Cadel Evans, Matthew Mitcham and Craig Alexander.

F1 legend Webber is a fav of ours and finished third in this year's F1 championship. Webber's performance is amazing when you consider the Red Bull team appeared to treat him as their #2 driver for the season, and you can look up the history on this website.

Collingwood midfielder Swan was a awesome performer all year and significantly assisted the Magpies end a 20-year premiership hiatus.

Snooker ace Robertson grabbed the world championship before going on to top the rankings and win the World Open. Readers will recall some of the history when the favorite got stuck in a sports betting scandal, but enough of that for now.

Aerial skier and Vancouver Olympic gold medallist Lassila went on record that she was was "surprised" and "very grateful to be nominated". Lassila won this year's The Don Award at the Sport Australia Hall of Fame induction ceremony, so she's on a roll.

The nominees for the team performance of the year are the Matildas (soccer), Kookaburras (hockey), St George Illawarra (NRL), Collingwood (AFL), Queensland State of Origin (NRL) and Team Vodafone (V8 Supercars).

How about coach of the year? Ok, we've got Ric Charlesworth (hockey), Gai Waterhouse (horse racing) and Mick Malthouse (AFL) in the field of contenders.

Young performer of the year? Try on for size Melissa Wu (diving) and Jessica Watson (sailing), and swimmer Matthew Cowdrey for the sports performer of the year (with a disability).

Crown Casino Mate To Call And World Class Cricket (And Business) Spinner...

Shane Warne TV News...

Warnie sweetly beat Channel Ten shows The Good Wife and House. Australian TV critics expressed some optimism after viewing the first Warnie. Herald Sun's TV writer Colin Vickery went with the show "a solid first innings". "Warne doesn't have the skills of the famed British interviewer (Michael Parkinson) but the former Aussie spin king has a knockabout charm that brought out the best in his guests," Vickery said. Veteran interviewer and radio host Derryn Hinch told the newspaper he was pleasantly surprised after initially fearing the show "had bogan written all over it". "Take it for what it is, it's entertainment and I think Shane Warne has, what I've seen at this stage, done a pretty good job," Derryn 'The Human Headline' Hinch said. "It's just straight up and down, it's folksy and chatty, it's light and entertaining and it will go quite well." Professional blogger Karl Quinn, from The National Times, a Fairfax Media publication scribed the program as "neither a disaster nor a world-changing event". "It was exactly what you might expect from Shane Warne: affable, blokey, and not to be taken too seriously," Quinn said. Other celebrities to feature on the show include Sting, Pink, Chris Martin and Daniel Radcliffe. Quotes From Warnie And Guests...Warne: "Did you ever think, 'I wish I could be a plumber for a day, or drive a truck and deliver beds or deliver pizzas?'" Packer: "To be honest, not a lot. I sometimes wished I was you, but if I can't be you I'm happy being me." Sam Kekovich: "A life spent making mistakes is more honourable and more useful than a life spent doing nothing," he said. Claiming he was quoting George Bernard Shaw, but everyone knew who he was really talking about. Our rating: 9.5 out of 10. Yep, Warnie hit em for 6, with Packer chipping in being a good sport, making sure it would be a success. Not quite a Packer whacker, but not a puff piece either. Warnie could well be heading for a jackpot next week. Don't change your dial, and always remember to spin to win.

Awards...

It's been a big month for casino awards.

PartyGaming's PartyCasino has also come back with seconds, picking up another Media Man 'Online Casino Of The Month Award' for November, and also the parent company, PartyGaming, picked up the prestigious EGR Slots Operator Of The Year Award ...Some other top picks of ours who picked up awards at the EGR night of nights were:
Virgin Games (Affiliate Programme)
Betfair (Innovation, Mobile Operator and UK Sports Betting Operator)
Bwin (European Sports Betting Operator
PKR (Poker Operator)

Oh, we almost forgot...Media Man and Casino News Media 'Casino Babe Of The Month': Jenny Woo, 'Poker Babe': Kara Scott, 'Gambling Babe Personality': Pamela Anderson.

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Wrap Up...

Readers... er, punters, how did you like our report? Did you enjoy the Crown Casino sporting news? Tell us in the forum.

If you have a bet, please bet with your head, not over it, and for God's sake, have fun.

*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911

*Media Man http://www.mediamanint.com is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. They cover a dozen industry sectors including gaming and offer political commentary and analysis. They also publish Australian Sports Entertainment http://www.australiansportsentertainment.com

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PartyCasino Wins Media Man 'Online Casino Of The Month' Award

PartyCasino.com Wins Media Man Online Casino Award

PartyCasino.com has been awarded the Media Man and Casino News Media "Online Casino Of The Month".

PartyGaming's igaming suite has grown a custom to winning awards since they first opened for business in 1997.

The competition for the coveted award was intense again this month with massive bids from both WPTCasino.com, Captain Cooks Casino, Virgin Casino, Betfair, PKR and Noble Casino however there can only be one winner... ladies and gentlemen, that's PartyCasino.com

The award follows PartyPoker's EGR Poker Operator Of The Year and PartyGaming also made the shortlist for EGR Operator Of The Year. Recently PartyGaming's PartyPoker.com also won the Casino News Media "Online Poker Website Of The Month".

The Media Man - Casino News Media accolade is based on a combination of elements including user experience, innovation, trustworthiness, customer service, gameplay, affiliate program offerings, newsworthiness and company values.

PartyCasino.com is one of a number of PartyGaming brands.

The most popular PartyCasino.com games of late include Heist, Circus, Rambo, Palladium Slot, The Godfather, Sinatra, Slotbox, Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Mission: Impossible, The Terminator, Cleopatra, Sinatra, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, The Amazing Spider-Man, Monopoly, Resident Evil, Melon Madness, Wheel Of Fortune and Mega Fortune Wheel.

The PartyCasino.com jackpot is currently approaching the $2 million mark. Players can also compete for The Big One and Marvel Hero Jackpot, playing the Marvel super hero themed online slot games.

PartyCasino's most recent game releases include Shaaark! SuperBet, Crocodopolis, Alice's Wonderland, Glamour Puss, Super Cubes, Heist, Palladium Slot and Circus Slot.

PartyGaming CEO Jim Ryan has gone on record advising PartyCasino will soon feature more Hollywood blockbuster themed slots. A few in the know journalists and media agents have been recently tipped off that an all time classic movie adaption will be showcased in the PartyCasino portfolio within 1 month. PartyCasino has the world's most impressive line up of Hollywood themed games, and more are just around the corner.

PartyCasino.com and PartyPoker.com customers can also benefit from rewards and bonuses via PartyPoints and the Palladium Lounge. Be certain to check out the PartyCasino exclusive "Cash Machine" that is being championed as one of the greatest online casino promos ever.

Media Man, Casino News Media and Global Gaming Directory do have a b2b relationship with PartyGaming, as they do with dozens of other companies in the gaming, igaming, media and entertainment industry.

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Monday, November 29, 2010

Aussiewood - Hollywood Entertainment News, by Greg Tingle - 29th November 2010

G'day punters, entertainment news junkies, casino and gambling millionaires and billionaires, politicians, super whales, journalists, one and all. Today we have a special Aussiewood - Hollywood entertainment news round up for you. From the golden sands of Bondi Beach, the Opera House in Sydney, over to Perth, all the way up to our friends in Hollywood, you will be sure to get stars in your eyes today. Media Man and Gambling911 continue to bring you some of the most interesting and news on the planet. Lights, camera, action...

Sylvester Stallone Sex Film 'The Party at Kitty and Stud's' Sells For $400K on eBay...

Sly, The Italian Stallion himself, is back in action…erotic action, sort of... The rights to a soft-porn film starring Sylvester Stallone four decades ago, was sold on e-Bay for $412,100. The then strapped-for-cash star made his on-screen debut in the 1970 film "The Party at Kitty and Stud's." Stallone played Stud, a young man who, along with his oversexed lover Kitty, enjoys inviting various women into their bed. The 71-minute movie was eventually renamed "The Italian Stallion" by Bryanston Distributors after the actor became famous in "Rocky." Now that the rights have been purchased (the owner has not yet been identified), it's likely the film will be re-released, The Sun reported. In an interview in the 1970s, Stallone, now 64, told Playboy that he was so poor that he had to take the role. "It was either do that movie or rob someone because I was at the end—at the very end—of my rope. Instead of doing something desperate, I worked two days for $200." After filming "Rocky," the erotic filmmakers tried to sell the movie back to Stallone for $100,000, but the actor said he "wouldn't pay two bucks for it," according to AOL's Moviefone. Last year MGM unsuccessfully tried to buy the flick. Sly, you've cum a long way since then.

U2 legend Bono Waits For Table At Australian Bondi Beaches' Icebergs...

Bono snuck into 'Sin City' Sydney on Saturday. He headed for a eat and a drink as he often does when down under. The renowned Irish rock singer, who spent two weeks at Sydney's Bungan Beach with his family in 2006 completely undetected, casually strolled into Rose Bay nosherie Catalina on Sunday for a seafood feed with guitarist The Edge (David Evans) and the eatery's owner, Michael McMahon. On Saturday night he arrived unannounced at Icebergs Dining Room and Bar at Bondi Beach and like a normal person waited or a table at the "no reservations" restaurant. "He was having a red cocktail but didn't finish it because a table became available," advised a deepthroat. No, not a Stallone type of deepthroat you rascals. The U2 360 tour begins in Melbourne this Wednesday night.

Avatar Michelle Rodriguez Star Teams Up With Sea Shepherd In Perth...

Hollywood babe actress Michelle Rodriguez, star of Avatar, was in Fremantle supporting anti-whaling activist group Sea Shepherd. Rodriguez has been aboard Sea Shepherd’s flagship vessel MY Steve Irwin. The crew are replenishing supplies before heading to the Southern Ocean in December. The trip, dubbed 'Operation No Compromise', will be Sea Shepherd’s seventh mission into the frigid waters of Antarctica to attempt to stop the slaughter of whales by Japanese "scientific researchers". Among the crew are three Perth residents including former Labor Attorney General Jim McGinty’s brother Kevin McGinty, Steven Bennett and Georgie Dicks. Captain Locky MacLean said the crew are looking forward to having Rodriguez on board. The group, which uses rather militant art of war tactics in its fight against whaling, made headlines early this year when their stealth vessel the Ady Gill was "cut in half" by Japanese whalers. This year, a new monohull fast vessel called the Ocean Adventurer will replace the Ady Gill. SS are currently seeking a large sponsor which would give them the naming rights to use 'Godzilla'. Something like that. Sea Shepherd’s Australian Director Jeff Hansen said: "It is great to see high profile people like Miss Rodriguez giving up their spare time to help promote our fight to defend the whales being illegally targeted in New Zealand and Australian waters". Media Man lost good mate Peter Carrette this past weekend, approximately 48 hours after doing photography at the Bondi Beach 'No Compromise' gig at Bondi Beach last Friday. R.I.P Peter. We miss you mate.

Darren Aronofsky Explains 'The Wolverine' Aussie Hugh Jackman...

If you're wondering why "Black Swan" director Darren Aronofsky was hired to tackle "The Wolverine" for 20th Century Fox, wonder no more. Aronofsky himself has broken his silence on the "Wolverine" front in an extensive interview with Movie City News. According to the filmmaker, his reasons for choosing the "Wolverine" non-sequel as his next project are quite simple: in the end, he just wanted to have a good time. "I'm just trying to have fun," he said. "I think, for the first time in my life, you know, every single film that I've done so far I've been the only person in the room who wants to make the movie. And, I kind of am excited about doing a film where actually everyone wants to make it just to see what the experience is like and to see if I can do what I do in that world." It's not like I'm going to change my process," he added. "I'm going to be working with the same team, and making, you know, really trying to do something very, very different and see what happens." During the interview, Aronofsky said that he's received a large amount of support both from franchise lead Hugh Jackman and Fox Studios head Tom Rothman, joking that Rothman "doesn't even know how gutsy it is" that he hired the outside-the-box filmmaker for "The Wolverine." "I've been looking for a situation where everything lines up really well. This just makes sense; I think I'm being hired because of who I am. I'm not being hired to turn into someone. I'm being hired to do what I do. I don't know if (Rothman) knows exactly what he's bought, but we're definitely going to make something great, you know, but it will be very different, and that's what I do. We're going to try and have a great time with it."

John Travolta and Kelly Preston 'Overjoyed' With New Baby Benjamin; Travolata Not Gay...

Living legend and iconic star of Saturday Night Fever (the movies and the online slot game), is delighted with his new baby, but very unhappy about the gay rumours. Actors John Travolta and Kelly Preston took to Travolta's website earlier this week to announce the birth of their 8-pound, 3-ounce son, Benjamin Travolta. "We are overjoyed to announce the arrival of our son, Ella's baby brother, Benjamin Travolta. Born November23, 2010 in Florida, Benjamin is healthy and doing beautifully. Thank you for the congratulations messages and wishes...we are beyond happy about the newest addition to our family," the family said in the message. Travolta, 56, and Preston, 48, announced the pregnancy earlier this year, celebrating with a dozen close friends at a shower held at their Los Angeles-area home. "This baby is such a healing baby," a family friend told People magazine. The pregnancy was the first bit of good news they had shared in a long time. "It's impossible to keep a secret," they wrote in a statement on Travolta's website in May, "especially one as wonderful as this." We want to be the first to share this great news with everyone that we are expecting a new addition to our family," the online statement continued and like this week's update, was signed "Love, John, Kelly and Ella." John Travolta's family has been dealt another blow as reports emerge that he has been allegedly cheating on his wife...engaging in "lewd sex acts with other men" as part of a "secret gay spa subculture." Perez Hilton posted the story on his website along with a cover of the National Enquirer, carrying the headline "John Travolta Caught In Cheating Scandal! "John Travolta has been cheating on Kelly for years!" said Robert Randolph, author of the memoir, You'll Never Spa in This Town Again. "And when the details emerge, he's gonna make Tiger Woods look like a boy scout." John has been married to Kelly Preston for 19 years, with the pair expecting their third child this year. They lost their eldest son Jett in 2009 to an autism-related seizure.

WWE Studios Films Flop At Box Office; Perform Well In DVD Rental Market...

Entertainment trade publication Variety published a report today on WWE Studios's new films strategy "flopping" at the box office, but perhaps finding a market on home video. Variety followed up on WWE's third quarter earnings report last Thursday by noting WWE reported $3.8 million in revenue related to "Legendary," despite the movie drawing a measly $200,000 at the box office. WWE executive Jim Connelly told Variety that WWE is banking on strong storefront marketing at retail locations such as Walmart to help boost DVD and Blu-ray sales of their movies. Variety also reported on WWE pushing their slate of movies to theaters simply for marketing purposes before pulling the movies and releasing them on DVDs. That was apparent with WWE Studios's theatrical release schedule for "Legendary" and "Knucklehead." Related to the planned launch of the WWE TV Network potentially in 2011, Variety reports that WWE is looking to their slate of movies to serve as "more high-profile programming" on the new cable tele channel. Going forward, Jim Connelly told Variety that WWE will be re-evaluating their movie release schedule for 2011 as they begin to roll out the next slate of low-budget movies in theaters with an eye on home video. Variety concluded: "For now, it appears as if the future of WWE Studios will play out on the smallscreen."

Aussie's Nicole Kidman, Keith Urban To Appear On Oprah Winfrey Show Tomorrow; Australia Catches Oprah - Oprah House Mania...

Australian actress Nicole Kidman and huby singer Keith Urban will be on The Oprah Winfrey Show tomorrow. Urban has earlier confirmed that he would be performing in the shows Ultimate Australian Adventure episodes to be filmed later this year. "Tomorrow, two of the hottest Aussies are here! Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban! The countdown to Oprah's Ultimate Australian Adventure starts now!," says a post on the official Facebook page for The Oprah Winfrey Show. Keith Urban was in The Oprah Winfrey Show earlier this November where he confirmed his performance at the much anticipated episodes set to be shot in Sydney this December. Urban promoted his sixth studio album Get Closer to in the United States. However, the Australia singer did not comment on rumours that his wife Nicole Kidman will also be on Oprah's Australian show. Tomorrow's episode might just confirm if Nicole Kidman will indeed be a guest on December 14 and 15 at the Sydney Opera "Oprah" House.

Mad Max Revamped Movie #4 Will Happen Says Aussiewood Insiders; Fury Road?!...

Remember the Aussie cult film classic that went on to mainstream...Max Max. They got to #3, always with Aussie tough guy Mel Gibson in the lead as 'Max Rockatansky' aka 'The Road Warrior'. Filming will take place near Broken Hill, New South Wales. Gibson will not be reprising his old role in Mad Max 4: Fury Road which will star British actor Tom Hardy alongside Charlize Theron. In November 2006, George Miller had stated that he still had full intentions to make Fury Road, telling the press that he was considering doing the film without Mel Gibson, saying, “There's a real hope. The last thing I wanted to do is another Mad Max, but this script came along, and I'm completely carried away with it." The film's screenplay was co-written with cult British comic creator Brendan McCarthy, who also designed many of the new characters and vehicles. Miller again confirmed his desire to make another Mad Max at the 2007 Aurora film maker initiative. However, he did say he thought Mel Gibson would not be interested in the film because he is too old (not too nuts!)

Billionaire Branson To Launch Apple iPad Lifestyle Mag...

Aussie's live Branson and Virgin, so you'll love this...Word of Sir Dick's plans to publish "Project" for delivery on iPads came shortly after media mogul Rupert Murdoch hinted that his News Corp empire will soon publish a digital newspaper for the hot Apple gadgets. News Corp, owner of The Australian, has been tight-lipped about the project but 79-year-old mogul Murdoch acknowledged in an interview last week that "The Daily" is in the works. Sir Richard said in invitations to the press that "Project" themes will include entertainment, travel, business, design, and international culture. The event in New York City on Wednesday did not indicate whether "Project" would be provided as passenger reading on flights. Billionaire entrepreneur Sir Richard owns about half of Virgin Atlantic airline with its aircraft that boast internet-age amenities such as power outlets at seats and wireless connections to the web. He recently said that his Virgin Galactic enterprise is on track to offer commercial space travel within 18 months, and that space hotels are next on the drawing board. Yeah, we know, Branson has appeared in films such as Casino Royale, Around The World in 80 days, and a good spread of other movies and TV specials. If your going to be a media tart, you might as well be very good at it.

Lachlan Murdoch Acquires Ten Network Stake, Joins Shareholder Aussie James Packer...

Lachlan Murdoch, son of News Corp. Chairman Rupert, has recently acquired a little over half of James Packer’s stake in Ten Network Holdings Ltd. Packer bought a 17.88% stake, or 172.2 million shares, in the media group last month through Cavalane Holdings Ltd. Murdoch, through Illyria Nominees Television Pty Ltd. has agreed to buy 93.4 million shares for A$128.2 million, according to a regulatory filing to the ASX (Australian Stock Exchange). The two gents will act in concert in relation to the exercise of their votes, the statement said. Packer and Murdoch agreed to join the board of Australia’s third-ranked television broadcaster last month. Gina Rinehart, Australia’s richest woman, lifted her stake in the company to 10%. Packer also owns 49% of Consolidated Media Holdings Ltd. which in turn has 25% of Foxtel, down under's largest pay television operator.

Media Man Showcases Movies; Reviews...

Want more? Check out Media Man Movies here and Media Man Movie Reviews here.
Try not to get square eyes. We're told PartyGaming still has the best movie blockbuster themed slot games on the planet, but you be the judge, jury and executioner. The Media Man has left the building.

Awards...

It's been a big month for casino awards.

PartyGaming's PartyCasino has also come back with seconds, picking up another Media Man 'Online Casino Of The Month Award' for November, and also the parent company, PartyGaming, picked up the prestigious EGR Slots Operator Of The Year Award ...Some other top picks of ours who picked up awards at the EGR night of nights were:
Virgin Games (Affiliate Programme)
Betfair (Innovation, Mobile Operator and UK Sports Betting Operator)
Bwin (European Sports Betting Operator
PKR (Poker Operator)

Oh, we almost forgot...Media Man and Casino News Media 'Casino Babe Of The Month': Jenny Woo, 'Poker Babe': Kara Scott, 'Gambling Babe Personality': Pamela Anderson.

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Wrap Up...

Readers... er, punters, how did you like our special Aussiewood - Hollywood report? Did you get stars in your eyes? Tell us in the forum.

If you have a bet, please bet with your head, not over it, and for God's sake, have fun.

*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911

*Media Man http://www.mediamanint.com is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. They cover a dozen industry sectors including gaming and offer media, entertainment industry and political commentary and analysis. They also publish Australian Sports Entertainment http://www.australiansportsentertainment.com and Hollywood Slot Games

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Centrebet appoints new MD - 25th November 2010

Wagering and gaming firm Centrebet Ltd has promoted Michael McRitchie to managing director.

Mr McRitchie, who is currently deputy managing director, will commence in his new role in January, Centrebet chairman Graham Kelly told shareholders during the company's annual general meeting in Sydney on Thursday.

Centrebet unveiled a five-year plan earlier this month that aimed to double the company's market share of Australian corporate bookmaking from the current 10 per cent.

Dr Kelly said Mr McRitchie, who has been deputy managing director since December 2008, was a key contributor to the new strategic plan.

"Michael is extremely well qualified to lead the business through its next phase of growth," Dr Kelly said in prepared remarks.

Con Kafataris will remain as executive director, reporting to the board, for a transition period of between six and 12 months before becoming a non-executive director, Dr Kelly said.

Dr Kelly said current trading conditions were strong, with the growth in the Australian market driving gains in total underlying revenues.

He said that based on the continued strength of the Australian trading performance, local earnings would form a greater proportion of earnings in fiscal 2011, compared with the prior year.

In fiscal 2010, Australian standalone underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) made up 80 per cent of total underlying EBITDA, he said.

Centrebet closed up one cent at $1.475. (Credit: Wires, AAP, Google News)

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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Casino Cheat Gang In Court: Australia, Italy, UK, USA..., by Greg Tingle - 28th November 2010

G'day punters, casino and gambling millionaires and billionaires, poker nuts, politicians, super whales, journalists, politicians... (and cheats!) one and all. Two of the world's most successful casino cheats have been stopped in their tracks, sort of, having had their day in court. They hit Australia, Britain, China, Italy and god knows where else, cheating casinos across the globe out of millions of dollars. Media Man and Gambling911 play Pink Panther, and Cluedo and Heist with this special report...

Two of the world's most successful international casino cheats have had their day in court.

The rumour mill says the duo, understood to be part of a larger casino crime group, enjoyed time down under in Australia, having a soft spot for both Crown Casino in Melbourne and Star City Casino in 'Sin City' Sydney.

Last Friday they faced court and admitted they possessed hell of a lot of fake IDs, which they used in land based casinos they were banned from across the world. It's understood they didn't target online casinos.

Using a clever global strategy, the pro active gang upper ranked Francesco Baioni, 64, and Frank Camilleri, 61, travelled the world cheating casinos out of a bucket load of money.

Police and other law enforcement had described them as "notorious" and "professional". The crooks have served time in America after cheating their way to "vast" amounts of cash.

Baioni, of Rackstraw House, Primrose Hill, was handed down a 12-month sentence suspended for 18 months. Camilleri, of Derrick Road, Beckenham, was sentenced to nine months suspended for the same duration.

Both were also issued with an 18-month curfew between 11pm and 6am and were barred from all premises regulated by the Gambling Commission for 18 months.

Police would not discuss the tactics that landed the Italian duo so much money over the years but did reveal they had operated in countries including China, Australia America and Britain.

Roulette is understood to be a favorite of the duo, and industry talk is one of them would distract the dealer, and the other would move chips on the table into winning positions.

Both were busted on CCTV cameras at various central London casinos conducting reconnaissance visits, testing the water, and attempting to sign up for membership, using false identities. In one case, Baioni was filmed being refused membership at a casino after the false identity he was attempting to use was flagged up on the operator's computer system as "barred".

The daring pair were caught following an intelligence-led operation by officers from the Metropolitan Police Service's Human Exploitation and Organised Crime Command. On August 9 search warrants were executed at their homes and Baioni was arrested.

Detectives discovered "a large quantity" of fake Italian identity papers containing pictures of Baioni and Camilleri. All had false names.

There were also tons of false identities awaiting pictures and individual passport photographs of both fellas prepared to be attached to the documentation. On August 23 Camilleri was arrested at Gatwick Airport when he flew back from Malta.

Casino crooks and shady figures in the gambling industry have often come unstuck at airports, and this helps explain why some casino tycoons in the likes of Malta, Cyprus and Antigua do not travel on commercial airliner. Sometimes their private aircraft have also been intercepted.

Both crooks were charged and just last month Baioni admitted 9 counts of possessing false documents with intent, possessing articles for use in fraud, and making articles for use in fraud. Camilleri admitted 8 counts of possessing false ID documents with intent.

Remember, crime doesn't pay, unless you're very good at it. You're throw of the dice.

Awards...

It's been a big month for casino awards. Ok, as you read earlier, Macau's Altira Macau was awarded the prestigious Forbes Five Star Ratings for the second year in a row, so Packer and the Ho family continue to work their magic.

PartyGaming's PartyCasino has also come back with seconds, picking up another Media Man 'Online Casino Of The Month Award' for November, and also the parent company, PartyGaming, picked up the prestigious EGR Slots Operator Of The Year Award ...Some other top picks of ours who picked up awards at the EGR night of nights were:
Virgin Games (Affiliate Programme)
Betfair (Innovation, Mobile Operator and UK Sports Betting Operator)
Bwin (European Sports Betting Operator
PKR (Poker Operator)

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Readers... er, punters, how did you like our report? Did you enjoy learning all about the international casino fraudsters? Tell us in the forum.

If you have a bet, please bet with your head, not over it, and for God's sake, have fun.

*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911

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

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Friday, November 26, 2010

Casino News Media: Win A Dream Holiday And Guaranteed Entry Into WPT Celebrity Invitational; PartyCasino Big One Near $3 Million

Win A Dream Holiday And Guaranteed Entry Into WPT Celebrity Invitational; PartyCasino Big One Near $3 Million

‘The Big One’ at PartyCasino.com is nearing $3,000,000 while the accumulated jackpots on the world’s largest online casino are nearing $4,000,000! ‘The Big One’ is structured as a five tiered pool. The highest tier - Colossal Cash - seeds at $1.5 million, the biggest online jackpot seed in the industry, and currently stands at $2,840,000. Customers can play for ‘The Big One’ through traditional slot Melon Madness and the recently introduced Snow Business. Somebody is going to win very big!

PartyPoker.com recently introduced anonymous heads-up tables. How does that change your game? We asked Kara Scott et all for their views.

Win A Dream Holiday And Guaranteed Entry Into WPT Celebrity Invitational

Gibraltar – 16th November 2010 -- PartyPoker.com is offering customers the opportunity to indulge themselves in the world of the rich and famous by winning a four-day dream holiday to Los Angeles, including a seat in the prestigious WPT Celebrity Invitational at the Commerce.

A PartyPoker.com spokesman said: “Win one of our amazing prize packages and we’ll make sure you live it up in one of the coolest cities on the planet. Last year we took package winners on a tour of Hollywood and Beverley Hills as well as organising a fun-filled day at the world-famous Universal Studios – and this time it could be you experiencing the A-list lifestyle. As well as the sightseeing you’ll also get a seat at the exclusive WPT Celebrity Invitational. This event is packed full of celebrities and big names from poker but we’ve made sure our winners will have their place among the elite for a chance to win a major slice of the $200,000 prize pool.”

"These packages are sure to be popular. We don’t know how many of the 14 packages we’ll give away in each weekly satellite so remember, once they’re gone they’re gone and the promotion will be over."

PartyPoker.com’s Los Angeles packages include:

Four nights’ hotel accommodation
$2,000 spending money
Our world-renowned hospitality throughout your stay in Los Angeles
Guaranteed entry to the WPT Celebrity Invitational

There are a wide range of daily qualifiers that run until the 19th December or until 14 packages are given away. Daily freerolls mean there is the chance to win the trip to LA for free!

The WPT Celebrity Invitational is the curtain raiser for the LA Poker Classic and takes place on the 18th – 19th February 2011 – the event is overseen by WPT Executive Tour Director Matt Savage. The event is strictly invite only. Amongst the celebrities spotted in the field in 2010 were Ricki Lake and Terri Hatcher, with reality star Trishella Cannatella and poker pro Thor Hansen making the final table. Amateur Leron Washington took the $100,000 first prize.

Full information can be found at: PartyPoker.com

Please note that players have to be 21 to take part in the WPT Celebrity Invitational.

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Online gaming companies in for huge 2011, by Greg Tingle - 23rd November 2010

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Could online gaming firms be in the mix of the top stockmarket investments to make in 2011?

The listing of Betfair (BET) at the conclusion of October on a fancy multiple and the $3.3 billion megamerger between PartyGaming and Bwin (PRTY), due to complete in the first quarter of 2011, appears to have added spark to the industry of late.

Then there is the prospect, albeit slight, of the liberalisation of the US igaming market which has put the industry firmly on investors' watch list, including ours, for next year.

It is understandable, as even a snapshot look at the stockmarket gains of the world’s biggest online gaming companies between circa 2004-2006 reveals just how quickly fortunes were made and lost.

The iGaming Global Top 30 Index, an index of the stockmarket performance of the biggest 30 online gaming companies, surged 40% between July 2004 and August 2005. This was followed by 12 months of extreme volatility before sinking thanks to a controversial piece of legislation in the US.

Since 2006, online gaming’s real story has been dominated by America’s Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA).

The multibillion-pound global industry virtually collapsed in a heap after its biggest market - the US - was closed down overnight when Congress introduced a surprise clause to legislation in September 2006, in effect making internet betting illegal. Not only was that a blow for investors - it was a hugely expensive one.

British-based companies were among the biggest casualties.

As soon as the London Stock Exchange opened the following Monday morning, shares in PartyGaming - then a FTSE 100 member - dived by 58%, while rivals 888 Holdings (888) and Sportingbet saw their shares slide by 26% and 64% respectively, wiping an estimated £4 billion off the sector's value.

The companies were forced to focus on opportunities in other parts of the world, but the businesses have never fully recovered from the impact of losing their most lucrative market. Last year, online gambling was worth an estimated $5.4 billion (£3.5 billion) overall, a figure that could rise to $12-$16 billion if the market was opened up, analysts say.

Despite the recent loss of a sympathetic Democrat majority in Congress last month, there is renewed hope of floated gambling companies being dealt a good hand on both sides of the Pond.

The new Republican chairman of the House financial services committee is likely to be an old-style Alabaman named Spencer Bachus.

Yet he is likely to listen to the prospects of a reinvigorated gambling sector for the ailing US economy. The Federal government’s non-partisan accountants, the Joint Committee on Taxation, have estimated online gambling could generate between $10 billion and $42 billion in new revenue by 2019, depending on the number of states that opt into a federal regulatory programme.

Yet he is likely to listen to the prospects of a reinvigorated gambling sector for the ailing US economy.

The Federal government’s non-partisan accountants, the Joint Committee on Taxation, have estimated online gambling could generate between $10 billion and $42 billion in new revenue by 2019, depending on the number of states that opt into a Federal regulatory programme.

And you can see why if you glance at the forecast numbers.

With the US nationwide unemployment rate at 10%, 48 of 50 states facing budget shortfalls and a Federal deficit approaching $1.3 trillion, the economic backdrop against which to promote regulation and taxation of internet gambling has arguably never been more favourable.

Yet those companies poised to get a real boost should America legalise online gambling, such as the impressive PartyGaming/Bwin combine, are getting excited about the future.

"We are seeing things from a legislative perspective that are quite exciting for us," says Jim Ryan, chief executive of PartyGaming, whose comments undoubtedly reflect the mood of a growing contingent of gambling operators on both sides of the Atlantic.

There has been speculation that PartyGaming and Bwin have decided to merge at this time precisely because they will be better placed than any other operator to seize a huge market share should the US decide to legalise online gambling. You only have to look at the market share that Party was able to capture by becoming one of the first operators into the online poker market back in 2001.

Analysts agree the enlarged company is in a strong position to exploit the opening up of the US market.

In a note to investors recently, the Morgan Stanley leisure analyst Vaughan Lewis said: "The overall political tide is moving firmly in favour of regulation, rather than prohibition.

"With its expertise... market-leading technology, strong marketing capability and good brands, we think the combined entity of PartyGaming and Bwin would be extremely well positioned to benefit from any market opening in the US. We include nothing in our forecasts for the US, so any new market here is pure upside."

And in a recent Barclays Capital research note, the investment bank said: "In the event of Federal regulation, we believe PartyGaming would be the likely key beneficiary.

"Under this hypothetical scenario, we estimate the potential [underlying profits] uplift could be 94% for PartyGaming and 58% for Bwin and 888. On a state-by-state hypothetical scenario, we estimate the uplift for the group would be considerably lower, but still meaningful."

Meanwhile, at the end of October analysts at Numis published a note saying there is 50% upside potential at Party when the merger with Bwin completes in March 2011. With the shares trading at around 230p at the beginning of November Numis have put a price target of 400p on the stock.

The PartyGaming/Bwin merger has got the other big companies in the sector scurrying around to do similar deals. They don't want to be left behind in what will become a gold rush should the US legalise online gaming.

888 and Sportingbet are also possible future takeover targets as the industry consolidates, but only once their legal liabilities in the US market are cleared. Serious negotiations in the PartyGaming/Bwin merger were only concluded once Party had secured a $105 million settlement with US authorities.

Analysts say a resolution would clear the way for 888 and Sportingbet to re-enter the lucrative US market should moves to overturn the 2006 legislation succeed.

Sportingbet has already acted telling shareholders at its latest results meeting that it had made a £22.8 million settlement with the US Department of Justice over an investigation into illegal internet gambling. The agreement means the firm will avoid being prosecuted in the US for accepting online bets made by Americans between 1998 and 2006.

Sportingbet would hold the most appeal to potential bidders, analysts reckon, pointing to its very strong market positioning in Australia and commenting that Ladbrokes (LAD) and William Hill (WMH) could be interested in a takeover.

Liberum Capital analyst Richard Taylor recently highlighted the strength of Sportingbet’s sports betting business, which he said had one of the best gross margins in the sector at around 10%. In addition, he said Sportingbet’s management was open to a bid, having previously stated up to 55% of their cost base could be removed.

Another former giant of the sector, now somewhat depleted thanks to the UIGEA, is 888.

Analysts say 888's attraction would be the potential for cost savings in a tie-up with a rival online gaming operator, and that Party/Bwin might be a possible buyer. What would make it attractive is that both Party and Bwin use 888 as a supplier.

However, the Shaked family who founded the company, and who control over 50% of the shares, would be looking for a price significantly above the 40p at which the company currently trades.

There have been whispers among London traders in the last few weeks that a £262 million, or 76p a share, cash bid from a much bigger industry player, possibly US entertainment giant Harrah's, which already has close business links with 888 could be on the cards.

Certainly 888 chief executive Gigi Levy has said recently that he looks at consolidation as one of the possible routes to realising shareholder value.

Another giant of the industry looking to become bigger still is the mighty Betfair. Having listed on the LSE at the end of October at 1,300p, the shares soon touched 1,600p-plus, as tracker funds piled in confident it will canter into the FTSE 250 index at the December review with a market value above £1.6 billion.

If things are hotting up at the Federal level for the online gaming industry there are also some exciting developments at state level.

So far in 2010, four states have considered whether or not to legalise some combination of online poker, casino gaming and sports betting: Iowa, Florida, California and New Jersey.

The state making most headway is New Jersey, where internet gambling has been under consideration by lawmakers since 2001. It is finally receiving serious consideration in the state Senate where two bills, which would legalise internet sports betting and casino gaming respectively, have already passed the committee stage this year.

From California to New Jersey to Florida, more state and federal congressmen are taking the reality of a legal online gambling regime a lot more seriously.

Whoever wins the race, state or federal, one thing is clear: more and more stakeholders in the US are finally coming around to understand the risks and implication of a ‘do nothing’ strategy. This is an opportunity cost and gambling companies are getting their bets on regardless.

But ongoing political deadlock clearly poses a real threat to regulatory efforts at all levels of American government. But even as gambling industry stakeholders duke it out in the halls of legislatures around the country, as well as on Capitol Hill in Washington, the very fact that the conflict between them is intensifying signals that interest and investment in pushing for online gaming regulation is rising.

With billions of dollars out there to harvest and market share to win, the entire online gaming sector looks ripe for an upturn in coming months. Investing in online gaming companies has always been a white knuckle ride - and there looks to be every sign this particular circus is once again rolling back into town.

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Australian Charity Worker Gambling Addict Stole 1 Million + by Greg Tingle - 25th November 2010

Readers, punters, politicians, casino millionaires, billionaires, sports nuts, one and all. Problem gambling continues to hit the news headlines down under in Australia. We look at a situation where a Queensland based charity worker stole 1.5 million dollars to feed their habit. As a public service and in the spirit of being fair and balanced in our coverage of gaming and gambling we offer the facts Media Man and Gambling911 with the news you need to know, not necessarily what you want to hear...

More safeguards to protect consumers from the danger of being a gambling addict are likely required down under in Australia, if the recent trend of gambling over one's head continues.

Gambling is supposed to be an enjoyable activity, that provides entertainment, excitement, and a change to win big, but for an ever increasing amount of people it is bringing misery and negatives for their friends, associates and society.

This publication likes the idea of having a punt, but it needs to stay enjoyable. Please hear us dear readers.

An charity worker in Queensland nicked more than $1.5 million from a charity so he could feed his gambling addiction, a court heard.

Dinesh Enoka Abeysuriya, 29, stole the money over a 1 year duration from March 2009 while working in the finance department of Uniting Care Queensland, which was trading as Blue Care at the time.

The Brisbane District Court on Wednesday heard that Abeysuriya abused his position with the health-care charity to falsely inflate invoices, thus committing fraud and theft, from suppliers so he could skim large sums of money.

He also went on to process a number of invoices twice, legitimately paying the first lot to the supplier, making things look like business as usual, and pocketing the duplicated amount to feed his habit.

Prosecutor Jacob Robson advised by the time Abeysuriya's fraud was discovered he had stolen $1.53 million from the charity. That may be some kind of record in Australia.

The court was told Abeysuriya spent the money on internet sports gambling, his favorite, which also saw him overdraw his very own credit card by about $223,000.

Abeysuriya pleaded guilty on Wednesday to one count of aggravated fraud as an employee and one count of aggravated fraud.

He was remanded in custody until next week, when he will be sentenced.

The court was told he will return home to his native Sri Lanka after serving his sentence.

Other than charity workers, other type of occupations in Australia which reports conclude to have more problem gamblers than the average include people who work in casinos or places where one can gamble and professional sports people, usually NRL, AFL or cricket players Sports betting does involve some skill, such as knowing form, having inside tips and the like, but its a gamble none the less, where the outcome is unknown, and don't even get us started on sports betting scandals where some outcomes are understood to be fixed or "rigged". Life is a gamble, but don't take risks that you can not afford to lose.

Internet gambling - sports betting, poker, bingo and slots are all growth areas of e-commerce and gambling that continue to enjoy strong growth in Australia.

If gambling is becoming a problem for you please seek assistance.

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Wrap Up...

Readers... er, punters, how did you like our report? Do you think you or a friend might have a problem with gambling? Tell us in the forum.

If you have a bet, please bet with your head, not over it, and for God's sake, have fun.

*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911

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

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Online gaming companies in for huge 2011, by Greg Tingle - 23rd November 2010

Online gaming companies in for huge 2011

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Could online gaming firms be in the mix of the top stockmarket investments to make in 2011?

The listing of Betfair (BET) at the conclusion of October on a fancy multiple and the $3.3 billion megamerger between PartyGaming and Bwin (PRTY), due to complete in the first quarter of 2011, appears to have added spark to the industry of late.

Then there is the prospect, albeit slight, of the liberalisation of the US igaming market which has put the industry firmly on investors' watch list, including ours, for next year.

It is understandable, as even a snapshot look at the stockmarket gains of the world’s biggest online gaming companies between circa 2004-2006 reveals just how quickly fortunes were made and lost.

The iGaming Global Top 30 Index, an index of the stockmarket performance of the biggest 30 online gaming companies, surged 40% between July 2004 and August 2005. This was followed by 12 months of extreme volatility before sinking thanks to a controversial piece of legislation in the US.

Since 2006, online gaming’s real story has been dominated by America’s Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA).

The multibillion-pound global industry virtually collapsed in a heap after its biggest market - the US - was closed down overnight when Congress introduced a surprise clause to legislation in September 2006, in effect making internet betting illegal. Not only was that a blow for investors - it was a hugely expensive one.

British-based companies were among the biggest casualties.

As soon as the London Stock Exchange opened the following Monday morning, shares in PartyGaming - then a FTSE 100 member - dived by 58%, while rivals 888 Holdings (888) and Sportingbet saw their shares slide by 26% and 64% respectively, wiping an estimated £4 billion off the sector's value.

The companies were forced to focus on opportunities in other parts of the world, but the businesses have never fully recovered from the impact of losing their most lucrative market. Last year, online gambling was worth an estimated $5.4 billion (£3.5 billion) overall, a figure that could rise to $12-$16 billion if the market was opened up, analysts say.

Despite the recent loss of a sympathetic Democrat majority in Congress last month, there is renewed hope of floated gambling companies being dealt a good hand on both sides of the Pond.

The new Republican chairman of the House financial services committee is likely to be an old-style Alabaman named Spencer Bachus.

Yet he is likely to listen to the prospects of a reinvigorated gambling sector for the ailing US economy. The Federal government’s non-partisan accountants, the Joint Committee on Taxation, have estimated online gambling could generate between $10 billion and $42 billion in new revenue by 2019, depending on the number of states that opt into a federal regulatory programme.

Yet he is likely to listen to the prospects of a reinvigorated gambling sector for the ailing US economy.

The Federal government’s non-partisan accountants, the Joint Committee on Taxation, have estimated online gambling could generate between $10 billion and $42 billion in new revenue by 2019, depending on the number of states that opt into a Federal regulatory programme.

And you can see why if you glance at the forecast numbers.

With the US nationwide unemployment rate at 10%, 48 of 50 states facing budget shortfalls and a Federal deficit approaching $1.3 trillion, the economic backdrop against which to promote regulation and taxation of internet gambling has arguably never been more favourable.

Yet those companies poised to get a real boost should America legalise online gambling, such as the impressive PartyGaming/Bwin combine, are getting excited about the future.

"We are seeing things from a legislative perspective that are quite exciting for us," says Jim Ryan, chief executive of PartyGaming, whose comments undoubtedly reflect the mood of a growing contingent of gambling operators on both sides of the Atlantic.

There has been speculation that PartyGaming and Bwin have decided to merge at this time precisely because they will be better placed than any other operator to seize a huge market share should the US decide to legalise online gambling. You only have to look at the market share that Party was able to capture by becoming one of the first operators into the online poker market back in 2001.

Analysts agree the enlarged company is in a strong position to exploit the opening up of the US market.

In a note to investors recently, the Morgan Stanley leisure analyst Vaughan Lewis said: "The overall political tide is moving firmly in favour of regulation, rather than prohibition.

"With its expertise... market-leading technology, strong marketing capability and good brands, we think the combined entity of PartyGaming and Bwin would be extremely well positioned to benefit from any market opening in the US. We include nothing in our forecasts for the US, so any new market here is pure upside."

And in a recent Barclays Capital research note, the investment bank said: "In the event of Federal regulation, we believe PartyGaming would be the likely key beneficiary.

"Under this hypothetical scenario, we estimate the potential [underlying profits] uplift could be 94% for PartyGaming and 58% for Bwin and 888. On a state-by-state hypothetical scenario, we estimate the uplift for the group would be considerably lower, but still meaningful."

Meanwhile, at the end of October analysts at Numis published a note saying there is 50% upside potential at Party when the merger with Bwin completes in March 2011. With the shares trading at around 230p at the beginning of November Numis have put a price target of 400p on the stock.

The PartyGaming/Bwin merger has got the other big companies in the sector scurrying around to do similar deals. They don't want to be left behind in what will become a gold rush should the US legalise online gaming.

888 and Sportingbet are also possible future takeover targets as the industry consolidates, but only once their legal liabilities in the US market are cleared. Serious negotiations in the PartyGaming/Bwin merger were only concluded once Party had secured a $105 million settlement with US authorities.

Analysts say a resolution would clear the way for 888 and Sportingbet to re-enter the lucrative US market should moves to overturn the 2006 legislation succeed.

Sportingbet has already acted telling shareholders at its latest results meeting that it had made a £22.8 million settlement with the US Department of Justice over an investigation into illegal internet gambling. The agreement means the firm will avoid being prosecuted in the US for accepting online bets made by Americans between 1998 and 2006.

Sportingbet would hold the most appeal to potential bidders, analysts reckon, pointing to its very strong market positioning in Australia and commenting that Ladbrokes (LAD) and William Hill (WMH) could be interested in a takeover.

Liberum Capital analyst Richard Taylor recently highlighted the strength of Sportingbet’s sports betting business, which he said had one of the best gross margins in the sector at around 10%. In addition, he said Sportingbet’s management was open to a bid, having previously stated up to 55% of their cost base could be removed.

Another former giant of the sector, now somewhat depleted thanks to the UIGEA, is 888.

Analysts say 888's attraction would be the potential for cost savings in a tie-up with a rival online gaming operator, and that Party/Bwin might be a possible buyer. What would make it attractive is that both Party and Bwin use 888 as a supplier.

However, the Shaked family who founded the company, and who control over 50% of the shares, would be looking for a price significantly above the 40p at which the company currently trades.

There have been whispers among London traders in the last few weeks that a £262 million, or 76p a share, cash bid from a much bigger industry player, possibly US entertainment giant Harrah's, which already has close business links with 888 could be on the cards.

Certainly 888 chief executive Gigi Levy has said recently that he looks at consolidation as one of the possible routes to realising shareholder value.

Another giant of the industry looking to become bigger still is the mighty Betfair. Having listed on the LSE at the end of October at 1,300p, the shares soon touched 1,600p-plus, as tracker funds piled in confident it will canter into the FTSE 250 index at the December review with a market value above £1.6 billion.

If things are hotting up at the Federal level for the online gaming industry there are also some exciting developments at state level.

So far in 2010, four states have considered whether or not to legalise some combination of online poker, casino gaming and sports betting: Iowa, Florida, California and New Jersey.

The state making most headway is New Jersey, where internet gambling has been under consideration by lawmakers since 2001. It is finally receiving serious consideration in the state Senate where two bills, which would legalise internet sports betting and casino gaming respectively, have already passed the committee stage this year.

From California to New Jersey to Florida, more state and federal congressmen are taking the reality of a legal online gambling regime a lot more seriously.

Whoever wins the race, state or federal, one thing is clear: more and more stakeholders in the US are finally coming around to understand the risks and implication of a ‘do nothing’ strategy. This is an opportunity cost and gambling companies are getting their bets on regardless.

But ongoing political deadlock clearly poses a real threat to regulatory efforts at all levels of American government. But even as gambling industry stakeholders duke it out in the halls of legislatures around the country, as well as on Capitol Hill in Washington, the very fact that the conflict between them is intensifying signals that interest and investment in pushing for online gaming regulation is rising.

With billions of dollars out there to harvest and market share to win, the entire online gaming sector looks ripe for an upturn in coming months. Investing in online gaming companies has always been a white knuckle ride - and there looks to be every sign this particular circus is once again rolling back into town.

Profiles

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Wednesday, November 24, 2010

AFL Star David Schwarz: Gambling, Mafia Warnings, by Greg Tingle - 24th November 2010

Readers, punters, politicians, casino millionaires, billionaires, sports nuts, one and all. We know that only a small percentage of people develop a gambling problem, where it starts to become a real problem and negative in their lives. As a public service and in the spirit of being fair and balanced in our coverage of gaming and gambling we offer the story on an Aussie sporting champion who survived his problem, and today he shares it with us. Media Man and Gambling911 with the news you need to know, not necessarily what you want to hear...

AFL footy star David Schwarz knows what it's like to battle with a gambling addiction.

His addition has been compared to the one that Brendan "Punter Fev" Fevola once was known for.

He gambled the better part of $4 million bucks over a decade while playing with the Melbourne Demons AFL team between 1991 and 2001.

In a revealing and candid speech at a gambler's help launch at Victoria's Latrobe Community Health Service last Monday, Schwarz disclosed he made it out of his gambling addition only because of the help of other people.

Schwarz lived in Morwell and Traralgon as a child before moving to Beechworth and then Sunbury.

He's good memories of growing up are overshadowed by bad. When he was 8 years old he said he saw his father shot dead in front of him, leaving the family with gambling debts of almost $40,000, then the value of 3 houses in the town.

When he was 14 he placed his first bet and scored a winner, pocketing about $50.

Schwarz said when he told his mother how he got the money he "saw the fear in her eyes straight away".

The only days of the year he didn't gamble were Christmas Day and Good Friday, because the betting companies were closed.

When the AFL hit the "boom time" in the 1990s Schwarz said his income jumped from about $30,000 a year to $1.28 million for a 4 year deal.

"Most people would think 'I can set myself up for life here', I thought 'I can do some damage at the track'," Schwarz said.

His gambling spiralled out of control and the rising footy star blew his earnings and the equity on his Camberwell home, and his personal and work relationships began to suffer greatly.

"I was hanging out with d**kheads in the Mafia...all of a sudden I'm the person who's letting my team down...no one trusts me," he said.

"(But) I don't care, I'm punting, that's my life."

He told the group that punters made selfish choices and lied to family and friends.

Schwarz said he didn't believe the gaming industry was "evil", but some punters were vulnerable to becoming problem gamblers and those people needed to be protected.

Average electronic gaming machine expenditure in the Latrobe Valley is about $4 million a month. You read correctly.

Latrobe Community Health community support executive director Anne-Maree Kaser said the Venue Support Workers program helped gaming venue staff identify and respond to people showing signs of problem gambling behaviours.

Two Venue Support Workers are now in Gippsland working with gaming venues and gambler's help organisations to support responsible gambling practices and environments.

Hat's off to Schwarz, gaming companies and community support groups doing the right thing.

If gambling is becoming a problem for you please seek assistance.

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Readers... er, punters, how did you like our report? Do you think you or a friend might have a problem with gambling? Tell us in the forum.

If you have a bet, please bet with your head, not over it, and for God's sake, have fun.

*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911

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

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Australian Gambling And Entertainment News, by Greg Tingle - 24th November 2010

Welcome to another jam packed news update from down under in Australia. We're got pro casino and gaming VS the haters, news media players, politic, entertainment goss and lots more. Media Man and Gambling911 take bring you the best in Aussie gambling and entertainment news. Lights, camera, action...

Biggest Police Raid In Victorian History; Gambling And Pokies Connection; Real Life Underbelly...

34 people, mainly Aussies and some Chinese and Taiwani are locked up after the biggest drug operation in Victoria's history sent 650 police storming into scores of properties allegedly linked to a $400 million cannabis-farms syndicate. Police raided 68 properties all allegedly connected to a cannabis cartel producing indoor hydroponic crops – each worth $80,000. Deputy Commissioner Sir Ken Jones revealed the raids would have happened sooner but US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's visit to Melbourne had diverted too many resources. But Sir Ken said suggestions the raids had been timed to benefit the State Government days before the election were "absolute rubbish". "We're not going to threaten our operations to suit any political cycle," he said. Today's raids are part of a long-term police investigation codenamed Entity.
Many of the properties raided today were used as hydroponic "farms’’. As part of the investigation police have previously raided 50 properties in Victoria and New Zealand, seizing more than $20 million in assets. The investigation involves Victoria Police, Australian Federal Police, customs, tax and immigration officials. Investigators say the main targets are members of the Vietnamese community. Police say some of the funds reaped from the marijuana crops have been used to buy heroin in Vietnam, which has been imported into Australia. Detective Superintendent Gerry Ryan said early reports were the operation was going well. Police have long maintained there is a direct link between Vietnamese syndicates trafficking in both cannabis and heroin. Police have identified seven major heroin syndicates, which have recruited more than 100 Melbourne-based couriers. Police were ready to raid the houses two weeks ago, however the operation had to be delayed because of US Secretary of State Hillary Ms Clinton's visit. Drug Taskforce investigators say the syndicates target members of the Vietnamese community with gambling debts who are susceptible to pressure from loan sharks. Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade figures show 25 Australian nationals are in Vietnamese jails on drug charges. Since 2003, seven Australians sentenced to death in Vietnam have had their penalty commuted after pleas for clemency from the Australian Government. A police taskforce of drug taskforce detectives, Customs and Border Protection officers, the Australian Crime Commission and Australian Federal Police has been set up to investigate the syndicates. Operation Ripsaw has resulted in the arrest of more than 30 suspects in Australia and Vietnam in the past two years. In August police seized commercial and residential properties valued at $20 million they allege had been purchased through laundered funds made by the syndicates through heroin trafficking. More than 20 suspects have been arrested and $3 million in cash seized during the raids in Fitzroy, Brunswick, St Albans, Maribyrnong, Footscray, Sunshine and Collingwood. Detectives say heroin couriers fly into Melbourne from Vietnam every week and some have made several trips.
They have identified one female syndicate leader in her 30s, who bet $3.7 million at Crown Casino in six months and regularly wagered $50,000 a hand. Another key figure bet $12 million in Australian casinos in just over five years. Couriers are paid up to $24,000 to import four 70-gram heroin pellets (80 percent pure). Syndicates can net more than $700,000 from the drugs sold on Melbourne streets. On June 4, 2006, Australian Federal Police arrested Vietnam Airlines pilot Van Dang Tranas at Sydney International Airport with more than $540,000 concealed in his cabin luggage. The Australian Crime Commission money-laundering Taskforce Gordian found that he had smuggled $6.5 million out of Australia in less than 12 months. He pleaded guilty and in 2007 was sentenced to a minimum of two years' jail. It is alleged that crime syndicates used the Long Thanh Money Transfer Company in Footscray to launder more than $93 million.

Shane Warne Has Nerves About New TV Show...

Warne has he and Aussie gambling and media king, James Packer, were nervous before his interview before new show, Warnie. The interview is Packer's first one-on-one TV interview in 20 years and a real coup for Warne. Speaking at Channel 9's Ashes launch this week, Warne said the two had been friends for two decades, which contributed to the nerves. "Not many people know James Packer that well," he said. "He is a wonderful guy. He's been a good friend to me for 20 years." Warne's interview subjects for his new show include Dannii Minogue, Coldplay's Chris Martin and Sting. He said he just tried to be himself when interviewing the big names. "I think the one thing about this show is, when I'm doing the interview, I'm not one of those guys who ask those silly questions about the past and that sort of crap. "I want to know how you spend your life away from this, how you relax and have a bit of a laugh. "I think people will see a good side to so many different people." Joining Warne on the show is his old mate Merv Hughes, who will be a reporter on the street, and Nine's rising star in the world of news, Today reporter Alicia Gorey. The first episode of Warnie airs on Wednesday - that's tonight on Channel 9, of course! Ok, it could of been Network Ten, but 10 out of 10 for 9, for putting this show together.

Poker Machined Banned From Shopping Centre...

Electronic gaming machines have been banned from the Mansfield strip shopping centre. The amendment to the Mansfield Planning Scheme banning the machines has been approved by the Victorian Department of Planning and Community Development. A survey conducted by the shire found 87 per cent of respondents did not want gaming machines in the Mansfield Shopping Centre. The CEO of Mansfield Shire, David Roff, says the shire's research shows the amendment is in line with community beliefs. "Effectively, what the amendment does is it identifies the Mansfield strip shopping centre as an area where gaming machines are prohibited but it recognises that gaming is a legitimate activity but for areas not so close to the centre of town," he said.

Candidates’ Each Way Bet On Casino; Says National Party...

All of the data used by Mildura accounting academic Larry O’Connor in his report Gambling With Mildura’s Future was sourced from publicly available information material. “The pro-casino Independent candidate claims that I used statistics from Mr O’Connor’s report in the week before it was released,” says Member for Mildura Peter Crisp. “Actually, I’ve been using facts and figures on casino operations for much longer, because they’ve been available in documents produced by the Productivity Commission and in a report produced for the Australasian Casino Association by the Allen Consulting Group. “For example, I said via a news release on October 26 that: “More than 80% of customers of casinos in Australia are drawn from the city/state in which the casino is located, according to a 2009 report to the Australasian Casino Association by the Allen Consulting Group”. “I was making the point that a casino would drag patrons away from local community-owned clubs, which I reiterated throughout the campaign. “The Workers Club made the same point in a full-page advertisement in the Sunraysia Daily in early November. “Had the pro-casino Independent candidate done even a scrap of research he would know that a casino in Mildura would bankrupt a number of existing community-owned clubs.

Murdoch Media Power; Sarah Murdoch Fires Production Company After Model Mistake...

If you stuff up big time at work, the firm you work for decide to sack you: that's how it usually works. Not if you're Sarah Murdoch, part of the powerful media family dynasty it doesn't. If you're Sarah Murdoch, you fire the company. Foxtel, which is partially owned by the Murdoch family, had, at her insistence, dumped Granada Media Australia, the production company behind the past 6 series of Australia's Next Top Model...which Murdoch presents and executive-produces...to slide in with a new production company for the show's 11th series. Media Man has been hitting the phones... AAP, Fairfax Media, News Limited, and this amazing news is confirmed. Exactly what new production company will get the gig now open is not known at this time, but the favourite was Shine, which is owned by sister-in-law Elisabeth Murdoch. When called Granada, where a spokesperson couldn't confirm that it had lost the show. Calls were also placed to to Foxtel, explaining the nature of the enquiry, but no one called back. Then Murdoch went on record, confirming the change in production company and gave the following: "Granada produced Australia's Top Model for six years. I worked with them for two years. They are a very talented and hard working crew. But after what happened this year I thought very hard about it and decided it was probably time for a change." The readerership might recall that on the final live episode of the show, Murdoch momentarily panicked after a breakdown in communication with the backstage production team, and announced the wrong model as the series winner. It was a simple, embarrassing and pretty exciting misunderstanding that had everyone in a bit of a fluster, but also generated extra publicity. Murdoch is understood to be a driving force to firing Granada. So Sarah's stirred up things, and husband Lachlan now involved with Network Ten, Elisabeth at Shine and old man Rupert still plugging away, there's a Murdoch's everywhere. We expect James Packer to enjoy much smoother sailing with his Lachlan Murdoch and Network Nine dealings, and even Shane Warne wouldn't likely get a gaffe as rough as this one.

'Grandfather' Of Australian Paparazzi Peter Carrette Dies At 63...

Good friend of Bondi Beach's Media Man, Peter Carrette, and friend to many, died on the weekend we are sad to report. Veteran paparazzo Peter Carrette, who infamously fired a water pistol at Heath Ledger, has died in his Bondi Beach office. The man dubbed the "grandfather of Australian paparazzi" was discovered by a friend slumped at his desk at his home at Bondi Beach in Sydney's eastern suburbs. "They found him this morning - he was still at his computer," said his friend of 11 years, journalist Natalie O'Brien. The 63-year-old Carrette had worked around the world, including Paris and New York, and is survived by a son and a daughter. "He was just a beautiful guy," O'Brien told AAP. "In a dog-eat-dog world, he was a very kind man." Asked about the key to his success and long career, O'Brien said: "He knew everybody and everybody trusted him. They would come to him with information and he did the right thing by people. Everyone who knew him loved him."

Man Man Tribute To Peter...

RIP Peter Carrette. Peter, you were an angel among us. I feel blessed to have known you. Glad we caught up at the Bondi Beach Sea Shepherd on Friday. It was strange how we first met at Kerry Packer's funeral in 2005, at the Sydney Opera House, on a day which was more a celebration of life, rather than a focus on his death. When I moved to Bondi Beach in 2008 our friendship blossomed, and you were always an attentive ear, and a wonderful source of information and humor. Your Packer and nightlife stories were fantastic and music to my years. Being able to make modest donations to your orphanage in Cambodia was and always will occupy a special place in my heart and memory, as it will for our dear friend, Eva, who also just loved your presence, generosity of heart and sprit, and your photos of course. Eva and I just loved the gifts we got from you at the beach on the weekend, having been sent over from your orphanage in Cambodia. Your Tony Abbott costume you wore to the Sea Shepherd No Compromise! event on Friday night was a classic, just as you were. Knowing you enriched my life, and that of so many of my friends and acquaintances. You were one of the Australian media's great guys, and I think you knew that I saw you as a bit of a father figure or uncle also, even though I never said those words. You were smart enough to know. The visits to the "best office in the world' at the pad at Bondi Beach were also a fun and memorable experience. Your beautify energy, passion and warmth will always be remembered. You made me, and others, probably look so much better than we actually were, thanks to your artistic and creative gifts. Your colorful shoes will be hard to fill. Always in my mind, and whenever I walk down the hill to the beach I will continue to think of you fondly. You were way too good, in too many ways, to only be remembered as a great photographer. You were a wonderful human being. Another legend has been lost, but will never be forgotten
Greg Tingle, Founder and Director, Media Man

Australian Media and Photographer Legend Dies, by Greg Tingle

One of Australia's most colorful and successful photographers Peter Carrette has died of a heart attack this past weekend. Regarded as one of the good guys in the pap and photography biz, London born Carrette first came to prominence when he photographed a sick Marianne Faithful in a drug coma in her hospital bed circa 1969. Faithful had tripped to Australia with musician Mick Jagger who was to star in a film about Ned Kelly. She had over-dosed after, it was claimed in the British press, she had discovered Jagger in bed as it were, with another woman. Carrette donned a white doctor's coat and stethoscope and sneaked into Faithful's room, snapped the photo that was flashed around the world as one of the first examples of intrusive photography. Earlier this year when Faithful was in town for the Sydney Festival, she advised new media outlet 'The Shuttle' she'd still like to give the snapper a "quick boot in the backside". However she later revealed she had forgiven him. After a stint of studying photography in London, Carrette traveled to Sydney and picked up gig as Sir Frank Packer's copy boy when the media baron owned Daily Mirror newspaper. Once established he worked for various publications photographing news. He ambushed the US invasion of Grenada by hiring a smuggler's boat while the world's news media waited for official transport in downtown Barbados. He also did well in New York for 6 years and photographed for leading fashion title Vogue in Paris for 2 years. A few years back here in Sydney he and another pap squirted the actor Heath Ledger with water pistols at a Sydney film premiere. The images of a startled and wet Ledger was flashed around the world. He was ever so briefly banned by film companies from movie premieres and the like, but later made peace with Ledger shortly before he died in New York. Carrette also supported an orphanage in Cambodia by donating the fees received from his exclusive candid photos of celebrities often taken around Bondi Beach. He ran his own studio and photo biz from a Bondi Beach flat, "The greatest office in the world" he said, where he had lived for the past 20 years. The flat is owned by his good mate, Jack Thompson. Carrette was well liked in the industry, a keen philanthropist, and gave a lot back to the industry. He attended the Sea Shepherd Bondi No Compromise! event at the beach on Friday night at the invitation of Media Man, who has collaborated closely with Peter over the past 3 years, usually at Bondi Beach and often on community based projects. It's understood he passed away on Sunday evening from heart failure while working at his computer.

James Packer Likely Inspired Australia's Richest Woman Share Raid On Network Ten...

It all happened at the event to celebrate Alan Jones's 25 years in radio. Gina Rinehart witnesses history, and decided to play a big part in it. Australia's richest woman was in the mix of the 1100 media and political in crowd who gathered at Sydney's Darling Harbour on November 5 to toast Jones and witness tributes from the likes of former prime minister John Howard, Liberal powerbroker Michael Kroger, opposition Treasury spokesman Joe Hockey, NSW Premier Kristina Keneally and British conservative icon Jeffrey Archer. An emotional address from gaming and media mogul James Packer clearly made an impression. In a rare public display, Packer opened up about Jones. "Alan, no one will ever take your place," he said. "You are without peer, my friend." Packer had just raised his already considerable public profile by grabbing 18% of Ten Network Holdings in a shock sharemarket raid. Here was confirmation he was back in town after some moments of severe doubt during the global financial crisis. Rinehart was paying attention. It is understood the mining heiress wrote to her fellow billionaire afterwards, congratulating him on his speech, expressing her support for Jones and wishing Packer luck with his $280 million Ten investment. Within days, traders noticed that Morgan Stanley Smith Barney...a retail brokerage that accounts for less than 1% of Ten trading on an average day...was responsible for a whopping 24.3% of turnover. That was November 10. The brokerage continued to soak up stock in the following days. Seek co-founder Paul Bassat, adman John Singleton and media company News Limited (publisher of The Australian) were all rumoured to be behind the trades. But this week the mystery buyer was revealed as power woman Rinehart. Nobody could have guessed, except perhaps Packer, who received another letter from Rinehart yesterday, telling him she had spent more than $150m on 10 per cent of Ten. Without being too specific, Rinehart indicated broad support for the Ten shake-up and said she liked the look of the new board. Here was confirmation that Georgina Hope Rinehart was not content to confine her $4.5 billion fortune to the mining sector. Rinehart is said to resent the description "mining heiress", believing she deserves credit for building on her father's legacy. She also does not want to be remembered as the person who took Porteous to court. Some associates believe she wants to make her mark on a bigger stage, much as fellow iron ore magnate Andrew "Twiggy" Forrest has in championing the cause of indigenous Australians in recent years. She hinted at issues of national interest in the short statement released on late Monday. "Our company group is interested in making an investment towards the media business, given its importance to the nation's future, and has selected Channel 10 for this investment," it said. So notions of legacy and influence perhaps explain why Rinehart jumped on the truck to help lead the big crowd in a chant of "axe the tax". She used a megaphone to do it that day. Others have found owning part of a media company is another way to open doors in Canberra. Media Man will be following up the fun, games and media power plays of Australia's Richest women and think she might be the source of more major news for media friends and partners across the global, especially for the good folks at the always hard hitting and switched on Gambling911.

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Readers... er, punters, how did you like our report? Tell us in the forum.

If you have a bet, please bet with your head, not over it, and for God's sake, have fun.

*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911

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

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