Friday, December 31, 2010

Australian Media Piracy; News Info Wars, by Greg Tingle - 31st December 2010

Season's Greetings punters, casino and gambling millionaires, billionaires, media tycoons, entertainment news junkies, insiders, outsiders, politicians, thought police, journalists and everyone else. The news just keeps coming as the speed of news, which is just about as quick as the speed of sound. Media Man and Gambling911 with a special New Year's Eve edition of Aussie news to celebrate...

Aussie Pay TV Foxtel Top Dog Highlights Piracy Concerns With Hi Tech...

Foxtel big cheese (chief executive) Kim Williams has issued a public warning that the upcoming NBN (National Broadband Network) down under in Oz could quite likely increase video piracy. Williams, along a legal eagle, has encouraged Canberra members of Parliament and media companies, big and small, to campaign against the theft of intellectual property. Maybe KW say have effective the 'Get Up' and 'Internet Blackout' days were, where driven forward using media and people power. Williams advised that a co-ordinated effort of the TV industry, the government and the NBN Co as well as new laws were badly needed to prevent greater rates of piracy in a high-speed digital world. Readers, I think we know he's telling the truth, as apposed to some of the porkies coming out of the Labor government recently. "We need an allied plan in terms of appropriate legal adjustments, otherwise you are creating the equivalent of the largest road train in the world backing up to rob the world's largest jewellery store without the police force to stop them. Copyright theft and privacy are very serious crimes. Companies like Foxtel and other media companies that are dependent on the sanctity of intellectual property need to become much more effective advocates in working with government to find appropriate remedies." News Corp leaks have been spreading the message to other small and mediums size media outlets such as Media Man, in a way an insider described as "a kind of Wikileaks way". Copyright reform is high on the must do list for many media firms A "convergence review" of broadcast media policy announced by your friend and ours (satire) Communications Minister Stephen Conroy earlier this month is set to consider copyright issues, of which there are quite a few. "I think you'd have to be short-sighted not to be concerned about piracy," said another leaker from Australian free TV. "What we have had in our favour is the large file size of a TV show or movie which makes it harder to download, but clearly as technology gets better, you reduce the complexity of piracy." Foxtel regards the NBN as an "opportunity" and has embraced online distribution, getting a deal in place to broadcast channels online through Microsoft's Xbox console and offering sub customers a comprehensive movie download service. The FTA (free to air) networks are also offering catch-up TV services such as the ABC's iView player and James Packer's Network Ten has plenty on offer too, with Bondi Rescue understood to be the most popular over the past few years. TV execs reckon that their large audiences give them the scale to outbid new internet broadcasters for quality content. "Of all the media organisations in Australia, in television and electronic media at least, we are the most adaptive and most innovative and have the longest record of investing in innovation so it's business as usual for us," Williams said. Stay tuned for more on Aussie piracy (and privacy) wars.

Channel Nine: Nine Entertainment Co Poised For A Great 2011...

A fresh Channel Nine will be the one to watch next year as everyone awaits the forecast relisting on the ASX of the television network in the first half of 2011. Private equity owner CVC Asia Pacific looks about ready to launch an estimated $5 billion initial public offer after an improved ratings performance in 2010. Even better, improved advertising conditions for free-to-air television are in swing and likely to continue for many months, if not over a year. The owners have rebranded the network as Nine Entertainment, scrapping the PBL brand that had been associated with the television station, and revamped the management team headed up by David 'Gyng' Gyngell. A Media Man insider said "The smart money says this will work out well for Nine. We are ready to buy in. Network Ten was give a fresh life with Packer, we bought shares, and will do the same with Nine in a heartbeat. The support is there, and Network Nine has the richest history in Australian TV, not to mention the highest ratings when you look at the landscape over a few decades. They didn't get the tag 'The One' for nothing". Another insider on the funds side of things said a float was an "odds on" chance in 2011. CVC currently owns 99.3% of Nine Entertainment, which holds assets including Nine, ACP Magazines, ticketing firm Ticketek and half stakes in the NineMSN and carsales website portals. Then known as PBL Media, the company was formed when James Packer's Publishing and Broadcasting Ltd split its media and gaming assets circa 2006. 'Our James' held onto the gaming assets, such as Melbourne's famous tourism landmark, Crown Casino, and formed a JV with CVC on the media assets. CVC initially held 50% of Nine Entertainment, but increased its holding to 99.3% in 2008. Nine has roughly $4 billion of debt due to mature in 2013 and 2014. Gyngell told fund managers Nine Entertainment was expected to post a 35% increase in earnings in 2010/11, according to numerous news media reports. Nine is able to consider an IPO due in large part to the strong bounce in advertising in 2010, with most media companies reversing the savage declines experienced in 2009. Free-to-air television, which was one of the main beneficiaries of the lift in advertising, also received a boost thanks to a few government decisions. Communications Minister Stephen Conroy quickly cut TV licence fees by 33% in 2010 and 50% next year. Then, an updated anti-siphoning list gave pay-television the right to bid directly for some AFL and NRL footy games, thus also permitting the free-to-air stations to broadcast certain first-run events on their digital channels instead of their main channel. The latter concession could likely be good news for Ten Network Holdings Ltd's all-sport digital channel One. Ten's share registry was raided late in 2010, resulting in 3 new board members, the "forced" departure of executive chairman Nick Falloon and left a few folks up in the air about Ten's future. Packer returned to free-to-air television alongside mate Lachlan Murdoch in October, spending $280 million to buy 18% of the company and securing 2 seats on the board. The transaction is being investigated by the competition watchdog (ACCC) because Consolidated Media Holdings Ltd, chaired by Packer, and News Corp, of which LM is a director, both hold interests in ONE rival and pay-tv station Fox Sports. Some speculate that Packer is keen to shut down One, but we hope not, as we love the wrestling and UFC, as does much of the Aussie public.
Ten's latest shareholder and director, mining tycoon and Australia's most well to do woman, Gina Rinehart, has also made next to no comment about why she bought 10% of the television network in November. While the ratings of ONE are smaller than the digital offerings from the other free-to-air digital channels such as GO! and 7Mate, the all-sport is profitable and drawing in viewers and advertisers.

Aussie Pay TV Operators Foxtel And Optus Get Cosy In Bed Together; Will Boost Subs...

Optus will commence marketing Foxtel to its customers again after the two companies inked a new deal on subscribers. The smart move comes around two years since Optus stopped actively promoting Fox. Foxtel is facing up to increased competition from the new free to air digital channels and Internet-delivered TV services. The new deal will see Optus customers offered Foxtel’s HD services for the first time via the iQ HD settop box. At present, Foxtel is offering 20 HD channels...a major point of difference to free to air, which has seen the main channels available only in standard definition since the launch of the secondary digital channels. Optus will also be able for the first time to sell Foxtel via satellite where it does not have a cable network, in order to build bundled offerings to customers. Foxtel CEO Kim Williams went on record, "The audio visual entertainment market is increasingly competitive with the arrival of terrestrial multichannels and new IPTV providers, and we welcome these agreements as they provide solid incentives for Optus to offer the full suite of Foxtel subscription services into the future." Optus CEO Paul O’Sullivan was prepared to say "Foxtel has been a strategic partner and customer of Optus for many years and we’re pleased to be able to extend the breadth of Foxtel services we sell to our customers." Come February the deals will be promoted to the public.

One HD; Network Ten: Be Prepared For Games and iGaming in 2011

With the likes of media and gambling tycoon joining a board of directors come numerous benefits and unique opportunities, and Ten is learning quickly. Have you already spotted the gaming promos being ramped up? More mentions of Crown Casino on TV? How about the coverage of The Poker Star last year, and the appearance of Packer mates Shane Warne and Joe Hachem on The 7PM Project earlier this year, and all of the gaming related fundraisers. Coincidence? No, of course not. Insides tell Media Man to expect a lot more gaming, gambling and sports betting on the network next year, and maybe even some 2 way TV stuff, along with gaming related reality TV. Stay tuned to this dial for more on this developing news story.

Media Man Awards - December 2010. Let's have a look...

PartyGaming's PartyCasino has done it again, picking up another Media Man 'Online Casino Of The Month Award' for December, 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': Paris Hilton.

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News

Wrap Up...

Readers... er, punters, how did you like our report? What have you got planned for New Years Eve? 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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Thursday, December 30, 2010

CasinoNewsMedia.com Website Network Updated

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Aussie Celeb News; James Bond Casino Icon Connection by Greg Tingle - 29th December 2010

Season's Greetings punters, entertainment news junkies, one and all. Today we have a look at the latest from Aussiewood and Hollywood powerhouses James Bond, with a Bondi Beach twist, Marvel Entertainment (go Wolverine)..we love you Hugh, Spider-Man, Underbelly and more.. Media Man and Gambling911 with your celebrity and entertainment news fix, just in time for the New Year. Ho Ho Ho!...

MGM Emerging from Bankruptcy; Wants To Produce James Bond 23...

MGM Studios is emerging from bankruptcy with a $500 million line of credit, and its first Xmas wish is to produce James Bond #23, rumoured to be directed by Sam Mendes and starring Daniel Craig (again), despite many leaks saying that means it will be a gay Bond (for real), if you follow.

The James Bond franchise has long been a fav of casino and gambling lovers, with Casino Royale being the top pick for most punters.

MGM Studios has been going through the wars as of late, with the filing of bankruptcy hanging around their neck. Their massive financial troubles led to the delay of not only The Hobbit, directed by New Zealander Peter Jackson, but also James Bond 23 starring the Daniel Craig.

The studio just underwent a giant restructuring and was able to acquire $500 million worth of credit from financial powerhouse JP Morgan, a good lot of which will likely be spent on the sequel to Quantum of Solace. MGM is expected to partner with Sony for co-financing, as it has done a few times previously with Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace.

Bond fans, did you know that 2012 marks the fiftieth anniversary of Dr. No (1962), the very first James Bond movie ever, which makes it bloody good timing to release a new Bond movie. The studio will be attempting to secure and shore up its cast, director, and screenplay for the new movie in very short order.

The studio had previously announced that Peter Morgan, and frequent Bond collaborators Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, would be penning a draft of Bond 23. Purvis and Wade have worked on every James Bond flick since The World Is Not Enough, and that includes Die Another Day, Casino Royale, and Quantum of Solace - the last two of which were rewritten, to some extent, by Paul Haggis.

Rumors have been flying for months have indicated that Sam Mendes (American Beauty, Revolutionary Road) is leading the pack to direct the new movie. Now, Mendes is not a filmmaker known for his action style skills. He did however direct Road to Perdition, co-starring none other than Daniel Craig.

As of press, James Bond will not be film in 3D. Oh, did we mention Media Man is the agent and manager for John Seru who played bad guy Gabor in Bond's 'The World Is Not Enough'. In Nine's 'Underbelly' Seru placed Kiwi Steve in the following episodes:
Alpha and Omega, The Good Lieutenant, Hurt on Duty (2010), Saving Face and Women in Uniform.

MGM is still technically under bankruptcy protection for a couple more months.

Marvel Entertainment's The Avengers: New Mexico Connection...

Marvel Entertainment's biggest film project of all time is is now New Mexico’s biggest film production ever as 'The Avengers' confirms its 2011 shooting locations.

Thor not only hits off the summer movie season of 2011, but it sets up events that will culminate in the Marvel superhero team-up epic, The Avengers, the following year. With story elements of Thor taking place in New Mexico, and the production shooting in Santa Fe and Galisteo, it’s of little surprise to see Marvel Studios returning once again for their biggest project ever.

New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson and Marvel Studios officially announced the agreement making The Avengers the single largest film production in the state’s history. The current schedule has Joss Whedon’s The Avengers shooting in New Mexico between April and September of next year, using both Albuquerque Studios and of course, the beautiful and vast surrounding locations that so many other major Hollywood flicks have used.

The Avengers also is set to shoot action in Michigan and New York but production will primarily take place in New Mexico’s largest city Albuquerque.

Governor Richardson talks to local economic benefits to New Mexico: "In addition to being our biggest production to date, The Avengers will be the most technologically advanced and will provide cutting-edge training opportunities for our crew… I’m announcing this as a Christmas present of sorts to the people of New Mexico. This is a perfect example of the incredible job creation, economic impact and global visibility this industry has brought our state over the past eight years, and of the need to keep it moving forward."

So Marvel heroes fans, be looking out for Chris Evans, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Jeremy Renner, Scarlett Johansson, Clark Gregg and Samuel L. Jackson.

Thor opens May 5, 2011; The First Avenger: Captain America hits July 22, 2011 and The Avengers is scheduled to debut May 4, 2012.

Spider-Man: Broadway No Match For Movie; Spidy Fans Disappointed; Would Rather Play Spider-Man Games And Play Dress Up...

The new and much talked about Spider-Man musical has another problem stuck in its web. Sick to death of waiting for the problemetic Broadway show to officially open, critics for two mainstream news companies released early and negative reviews of the $65 million musical, which won't officially open until February 7.

Writing for Bloomberg News, the influential financial news wire service, veteran critic John Simon slammed the show as "an unfocused hodge-podge of story-telling, myth-making and spectacle that comes up short in every department. A few good songs would help, in which department the show is sorely lacking," Simon wrote in the review late Sunday night. Like most rock stars, Bono and The Edge haven’t a clue about writing for the theatre."

The U2 legends wrote the score for the show, which was directed by Lion King helmer Julie Taymor.

Both Simon and Newsday's Linda Winer defended their premature reviews on the grounds that the show was charging full ticket prices in some cases more than $200 a seat for the performances, and that the opening date had been pushed back twice.

Winer called the show's infamous high-flying acrobatics "exciting and scary, in a circus way" but dismissed the second act as "weak."

Simon was also impressed with the flying scenes: "An hour of anticipation for about 90 seconds of exhilaration," he wrote.

Would you believe four actors have been injured during the show's rehearsals, including a horrible injury to lead aerialist Chris Tierney last week.

Critics almost never publish their reviews of productions before the official opening night. Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark has pushed back its debut twice.

The New York Times said in a posting to its arts blog that it would not review the show until the official opening.

Media Man loves Marvel Entertainment, Spider-Man and U2, but this project does not sound good. Sorry guys.

Underbelly TV Movie Legal Problems...

Network Nine may be forced to shelve forever one of its Underbelly telemovies because of legal action in the state of New South Wales.

Tell Them Lucifer Was Here, the first of 3vtelemovies being made under the Underbelly Files title, tells the story of the 1998 murders of Victoria cops Rod Miller and Gary Silk.

After a probing investigation by the Lorimer Task Force, Bandali Debs and Jason Roberts were found guilty of the double murder in 2003. Debs was sentenced to life in prison, Roberts to 35 years.

The subject seemed relatively safe... for true crime. Reader may recall the first Underbelly could not be screened in Victoria.

However, anything that identifies "Debs" could be a bit no go zone in NSW.

On September 24, the Victorian Government Solicitor applied to the Melbourne Magistrates Court to have Debs transferred to a NSW prison for questioning over the death of a Sydney prostitute 15 years ago.

Debs's lawyer, Michael De Young, did not oppose the application, saying his client maintained his innocence and was confident of being acquitted and returned to Victoria.

New South Wales Police have been trying for 2 years to question Debs...also was convicted in 2007 of the 1997 murder of 18-year-old sex worker Kristy Harty...and reckon they have enough evidence to link him to the killing.

The transfer order was granted by the court, but Debs had 14 days to appeal the decision.

Channel Nine has 3 options: rush the Silk-Miller telemovie out before NSW police have laid any charges that might arise from the interview; release the telemovie in all states bar NSW if charges are laid; or hold off for a national release until any case has been heard.

Nine has has yet to comment on this matter.

Underbelly #4 To Hit Aussie TV...

A 4th Underbelly series to screen in 2011 promises to showcase the birth of organised crime in Australia.

Based in Sydney in the roaring 1920s, Underbelly Razor tells the story of the bloody battle between "vice queens" Tilly Devine and her rival Kate Leigh.

The Nine Network are calling it their most "ambitious and daring" Underbelly series yet.

It will be joined by 3 Underbelly telemovies - Tell Them Lucifer was Here, Infiltration and The Man Who Got Away...which were announced earlier in the year.

Aussie Poker Celeb King Shane Warnie Tag Team With Wolverine Hugh Jackman In Cricket Nets; Jackman Hit In Balls (Almost) In Lead Up To Boxing Day Ashes Test...

The tag team led the celebrity contingent to the Melbourne Cricket Group for the prestigious Boxing Day Test. 'Our Hugh' got hit in the balls by a Warnie spinner, so it seemed, but he had a cup on, perhaps taking safeguards, after getting hit in the eye with a foreign object at his Oprah Winfrey grand entrance via way of flying fox a couple of weeks ago. Wolverine Jackman joined other famous mugs in the crowd, including Opposition Leader Tony 'The Bruiser' Abbott and veteran English talk show king Sir Michael Parkinson aka 'Parkie'. Premier Ted Baillieu and wife Robyn also tagged along, as did Eddie "Everywhere" McGuire, Cathy Freeman and Molly Meldrum. In a smart and rather cunning move, just outside the MCG sports stars and entertainment biz celebs tag teamed a game of cricket which raised money for the McGrath Foundation. The foundation ambassador Lee Furlong joined ex-cricketers Justin Langer and Michael Slater, Glen Moriarty, Kris Smith and Guy Sebastian at the friendly game. Earlier, Shane Warne made one of his very first public appearances since the "Hurley-burley", acting as host for his fav Shane Warne Foundation's annual Boxing Day breakfast at Crown. Warne mate, James Packer, attended, along with wife Erica in a show of support. Singer Leo Sayer also entertained to an appreciative crowd that included Glenn Robbins, Mark Taylor, Ian Healy, Aaron Hamill and Bill Brownless. A great day was had by all, as best we can tell.

Aussie Poker Celeb Shane Warne And UK Sort Liz Hurley: Come Down Under And Come In Spinner?...

Is Liz Hurley coming to Australia? Getting spotted at Heathrow Airport sent press into a frenzy and created munch speculation she will keep her date with Warnie. Friends of Hurley told the Pommie press she had dumped the cricket spin legend after learning he had sent more than 100 sexy text messages to another woman behind her back. Warnie is known for his ability to sent sexy texts that can get the right response. Now it appears Liz may have reconsidered after attempts to stop an imminent divorce and rekindle her relationship with husband Arun Nayar reportedly failed. During her public flirtation with the spinner on Twitter, Hurley wrote that she was keen to attend the January 3 "Pink Test," which supports the Jane McGrath Foundation. Talk about a play on words "Pink Test", got to love her form. Liz also told Warnie she would "definitely" make an appearance on his Channel Nine chat show if she made it to Sydney. Sources close to the Aussie spinner have said the cricketer was devastated after being apparently dropped by Hurley, having previously confided his desire to marry her. Both Hurley and Warne announced on Twitter that they had split from their respective partners shortly after spending 2 delightful, fun filled nights together at a luxury London hotel earlier this month and being papped kissing outside a restaurant. Warne was last week caught in the outfield sending erotic texts, including, "I want to see you riding me" to middle-aged Melbourne mum Adele Angeleri. In an apparent attempt to win Hurley back after the messages were published in the British tabloids he logged back on to Twitter to pen "No matter what anyone says if you know in your heart… who cares what people think / say !!!" Hurley was snatched in the airport mess at Heathrow, where snowy conditions caused widespread cancellations from Saturday, leaving over 100,000 punters stranded, having their patience tested. A fellow traveler said the swimwear model and well loved celeb babe "looked nervous" as she attempted to blend in with the crowd, wearing large sunglasses and dressing down. "She'd dressed down and it was clear she wanted to be left alone," the witness told The Sun. "She looked like a woman with a lot on her mind." Liz’s office refused to comment on her travel plans. Whatever the case, we wish Liz (and Warnie) well on any of their upcoming travel plans.

Betting For Aussies On TV And Film Success: Not Yet...

Many Australia's remain pissed that they are not able to bet on financial outcomes of upcoming TV shows and motion pictures. Passionate Aussies has been reading reports filed by Media Man and Gambling911 on Box Office betting exchanges, but none of the action has come to Australia, so us Aussies can't be on it. We're not sure any Yankees of Canooks got to bet on outcomes either. Sly, Arnie and Wall Street - when you read this, give us an update please. We want to bet on movie and TV outcomes. PartyGaming and Virgin were rumoured to have some interest in the concept, but nothing has eventuated from our probe as yet. Oh, if you want to see the way Hollywood used to work, do yourself a favor and rent or buy 'The Last Mogul', which told the career story of the late Lew Wasserman. Oh, we heard you want a review, so here it is mates...

The Last Mogul: The Life And Times Of Lew Wasserman...

For the second half of the 20th century, Lew Wasserman was without question the most powerful money man in show business, even if most people had no idea who he was. Born in Cleveland, OH, in 1913, Wasserman started out booking music gigs for mob-controlled clubs, and quickly became an agent for Music Corporation of America, which became the most lucrative music agency in America. Funny that. As Wasserman rose through the ranks at MCA, he established such innovative business practices as "packaging" talent i.e: booking hot acts and artists only in a package deal with other artists who were not as talented, to put it politely, and took the company into managing acting talent in Hollywood, where he re invented the film industry forever by negotiating a ground-breaking deal for James Stewart on the film Winchester '73, which reduced the actor's up-front salary in favor of a cut of the movie's profits, earning the actor a mint in the process. Under Wasserman's lead at MCA, the company took over Universal Pictures, established the studio's television branch and made it the most important production outlet in the business), created the hugely successful Universal City studio tours, and expanded MCA's recording branch into one of the biggest record companies in the world. Wasserman was also politically well connected. Ronald Reagan was one of his early clients when MCA want Hollywood), and was reputed to have some handy connections to organized crime. Wasserman was a secretive fellow who did not give interviews or commit anything to writing if it could be avoided, but he knew nearly everyone in show business. The Last Mogul: The Life and Times of Lew Wasserman is a documentary that through interviews with his friends and business associates beautifully showcases his remarkable career, from his childhood in Ohio to his death in 2002. Yep, there's mob ties and such, but hey, that's show business.

Awards...

Last month was a big month for casino awards also. Let's have a look...

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.

Media Man Profiles

Australia

Australia Casinos

Cricket

Movies

Crown Casino

Jupiters Hotel and Casino

Tabcorp Holdings

SkyCity Entertainment Group

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News

Casino News

Entertainment News

Media News

Technology News

Sports News

News

Wrap Up...

Readers... er, punters, how did you like our report? What films and celebs take your liking? As Shane Warne says, 'How goo was that?!". Have you been naughty or nice? Did Santa give you what you had hoped for? What have you got planned for New Year's Eve? 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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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Casino News Media: 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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Profiles

PartyGaming PartyCasino PartyPoker PartyBingo Circus PartyCasino Marvel Slots The Big One Melon Madness Casino World Poker Tour PartyCasino Promotions

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Australian Sports Entertainment: PartyGaming and bwin to Retain Brands Following Merger

Profiles

PartyGaming PartyCasino.com PartyPoker.com Bwin PartyBingo.com World Poker Tour

Websites

PartyCasino.com PartyPoker.com PartyBingo.com PartyGammon.com World Poker Tour

In recent days, PartyGaming and bwin announced merger plans to form a giant gambling group that could become effective toward the end of the first quarter of 2011. The merger, which had long been rumored before the companies signed an implementation agreement in July, is expected to create the world’s largest listed online gambling business.

The new company will operate worldwide with its existing brands under the name of bwin.party Digital Entertainment plc in which current bwin shareholders will hold a 51.6% stake, while current PartyGaming shareholders will hold 48.4%. Both bwin and PartyGaming will retain most of the core of their brands, but will be operated under the new umbrella company, which will be based in Gibraltar and listed on the London Stock Exchange. PartyGaming will keep its main headquarters in Gibraltar, while bwin will continue to operate from Austria.

The companies issued a 478-page document to shareholders on Thursday giving a detailed outline of the planned merger. Shareholders will vote on the merger at a joint annual general meeting on January 28th. Should the general meetings of both bwin and PartyGaming approve the merger, all shareholders holding bwin stock when the merger is effective will receive 12.23 PartyGaming shares denominated in GBP for each bwin share.

“The online gaming industry is going through a phase of consolidation, making market players’ size and geographic diversification more crucial than ever,” said Norbert Teufelberger, Co-CEO of bwin. “Our products and target markets complement one another perfectly, and we can continue to expand our technology lead in all key product segments: sports betting, poker, casino, bingo, and games.”

According to the document, the merger would create a business with unaudited net revenues of €696.2 million, unaudited clean EBITDA of €193.7 million, unaudited profit after tax of €99.4 million, and unaudited net assets of €1.27 billion after consolidation adjustments for the year 2009.

Jim Ryan, Chief Executive Office of Party Gaming, will join Teufelberger to become Co-Chief Executives of the merged company. Current bwin Co-Chief Executive Manfred Bodner will become a Non-Executive Director on the Board of the enlarged group. Said Ryan, “This is a transformational opportunity for both our companies to create the world’s largest listed online gaming business. With market-leading positions in poker, sports betting, casino, and games, the enlarged group will have a winning formula to exploit the growing online gaming market, supported by a strong balance sheet, significant cash flow generation, and a highly experienced management team.”

The merged company will continue to focus on business-to-consumer products, an area in which it enjoys considerable strength. However, because of the financial gains added through the merger, the company will also encroach into business-to-business and business-to-government endeavors. Teufelberger explained, “Our many years of online know-how, healthy balance sheet, and one of the largest pools of poker liquidity in any regulated market will make us an attractive business partner.”

There will also be focus on regulated and newly opened markets, as the company intends to make plans to enter the U.S. market if and when the current situation changes for the better. In 2006, bwin stopped taking bets from U.S. residents due to the passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA). PartyGaming, which operates the popular online poker room PartyPoker, followed shortly thereafter. (Credit: Poker News Daily)

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Monday, December 27, 2010

Australian Casino, Gambling And Media News, by Greg Tingle - 27th December 2010

Season's Greetings punters, casino and gambling millionaires, billionaires, entertainment news junkies, insiders, outsiders, politicians, journalists and everyone else. The new year may be about to hit but there's no sign of the best in Aussie news slowing down. No sir, its full speed ahead on Santa's sleigh. Media Man and Gambling911 with yet more Aussie news to help keep your Santa's stocking full. Ho Ho Ho!...

Aussie Casino King James Packer, Shane Warne And Michael Clark Have A Feed And Chat At Crown Casino...

Warnie made one of his first public appearances since the Liz Hurley affair in the UK, playing host to his Shane Warne Foundation's annual Boxing Day breakfast at Packer's Crown Casino. JP attended with wife Erica in support of the event, which raises considerable financials for children who are unwell. Cricket greats Michael Clarke and Phil Hughes also attended in for a spot of breaky before heading to the Melbourne Cricket Group, where they ended up getting analysed in possibly Australia's worse performance in The Ashes Cricket series in 100 years! Performing artist Leo Sayer pumped out a few great numbers to keep the punters entertained.

Ainsworth JR From Aussie Dynasty Enjoys 13th Race In Sydney To Hobart...

Quizzed about being nervous racing in his 13th Sydney to Hobart, Stephen Ainsworth tries to convince you he's not concerned.

"I am not superstitious. Not religious", Ainsworth, from the Aristocrat pokies family, says grinning. "Thirteen … doesn't worry me. I have used that as an excuse to say that I will have to do at least one other race. I won't stop at 13." Maybe they should make a slot games called 'Lucky 13' if they haven't already.

James Packer's Consolidated Media Taxing Situation...

Packer's Consolidated Media Holdings are taking the fight to the Australian Taxation Office. They are following the other high profile case of man VS ATO - Paul "Hoges" Hogan. The firm has been fighting in the Federal Court over the tax treatment of a $1 billion share buyback transaction some 8 years back, and just last week it filed more legal claims covering the 6 years to 2008. It ended up in court after the Tax Office rejected its argument that it should be able to shift tax losses. Circa 2004 the late Kerry Packer emerged victorious in the Federal Court, and guess what - the main question in that particular case was the "legitimacy" of shifting losses between financial years. Getting you up to speed, it was October 29 last year the firm, which owns stakes in the Foxtel, Fox Sports and Premier Media Group, and employment website Seek, was issued a revised tax assessment for each of the 6 years to 2008. It's curious timing...exactly 1 year after the company was handed a revised tax assessment for the 2002 year, the year of the buyback. Back to the present, Wednesday arvo CMH filed 10 separate lawsuits against the ATO in its latest chess - art of war manoeuvre to sidestep paying a tax bill of a cool $22 million. Consolidated Media is also wrestling to avoid having to pay a fine imposed for "non-payment." The latest legal battle came after a 13-month exchange of formal notices, a procedure used to help find a mutual understanding of sorts and keep the case out of court. The ATO has already had plenty of bad PR this year, after Hogan getting the best of them. For those of you who don't know, Consolidated Media was created out of the split of Publishing and Broadcasting Ltd aka PBL into separate media and gambling companies in 2007. The vast majority of the tax bill dates back to when the company was trading as PBL. Details of the latest dispute were contained in documents Consolidated Media filed with the Federal Court in Sydney on Wednesday. The case is due in court for directions before Federal Court judge Richard Edmonds on February 24. It is unclear if Crown king of the castle, James Packer will make an appearance. The associated dispute over the $1 billion buyback is due to be heard by a different law man over a 3 day duration commencing on March 7. In that case the court is to decide whether the proceeds received by PBL from Crown via the buyback in June 2002 were in face dividends or a capital gain. Crown Limited bought back 840 million ordinary shares held by PBL for a total of $1 billion to repay funding previously provided by PBL to Crown. PBL bean counters, some of the best in Australia as you might expect, recorded the payment as a dividend, which is tax-effective because franking credits can be used to offset tax. It's a legal tax minimization tactic. The ATO advised it should not have been recorded as a dividend and billed the company for capital gains tax. Packer owns about 50% of Consolidated Media's shares and his mate and associate, Kerry Stokes owns 24% these days. So folks, looks like a new type of Australian casino and gambling war is brewing - one against Australia's tax department.

Casino Canberra Wants Bigger and Better Pokie Deal...

Casino Canberra is making more noise about wanting its Xmas wish of 200 poker machines, with their marketing director Peter Cursley going on record with the region top getting "hung up" on numbers. The ACT has more one armed bandits per head of population than any other Australian state or territory. They are king! A report by the Gambling and Racing Commish found the number of ACT adults participating in gambling had dropped from 72.9% in 2001 to 69.8% in 2009. The number who played pokies dropped from 38.1p% in 2001 to 30.2%. Pokies remain a game of preference for punters young and old, both in land based venues and online. When Casino Canberra opened for business two decades ago, it apparently did so on the understanding that it operate no machines, and be the only casino in Australia not to operate them. Cursley advised this provision became "redundant from day one". We are yet to get to the bottom of this but are investigating further. In its submission to the ACT Government's tax review, the casino said it desired to utilize machine licences held by the Government in surplus. Now, just 3 weeks back, Gaming and Racing Minister Andrew Barr announced he would remove those licences from circulation in a bid to further curb problem gambling. "The bottom line is we want 200 machines and we're prepared to pay," Cursley said. "We don't care where they come from." He said valuable business opportunities were being lost by the long-term ban on poker machines at the venue. It's a move and public stance bound to add fuel to the fire re anti-gambling groups, the casino says the arrangement would benefit the community, contributing $10 million in one-off licence fee revenue to the Government. It would in addition contribute 30% in gross gaming revenue tax, which would deliver an annual revenue stream of about $4 million to the ACT Government. The casino was also prepared to go on record that it would employ 20 new staff members which would contribute roughly $60,000 in payroll tax to the Government's account each year. Will money talk, as the AC/DC song goes? Cleopatra, Sinatra, Monopoly Black Rhino, Where's The Gold, Top Gun and Mission: Impossible are understood to be some of the pokie titles Casino Canberra is keen to get its hands on.

Awards...

Last month was a big month for casino awards also. Let's have a look...

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? Have you been naughty or nice? Did Santa give you what you had hoped for? 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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Casino News Media: 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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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Australian Gambling, Casino And Entertainment News, by Greg Tingle - 26th December 2010

Season's Greetings punters, casino and gambling millionaires, billionaires, entertainment news junkies, insiders, outsiders, politicians, journalists and everyone else. The festivities continue to roll on, just as the news continues to be pumped out via our worldwide network. Media Man and Gambling911 with yet more Aussie news to help keep your Santa's stocking full. Ho Ho Ho!...

NSW Smoking Up The ACT For Pub Pokies; Australian Gambling Smoking Wars...

The ACT's dolphin and whale size gambling firms tell us that they're losing cold hard cash to "cross-border alfresco" pokies and they demand a bigger tax cut to compensate their loss! Canberra's clubs, once thought to be a bit part of 'Sin City', taken over by Sydney, are hard at work lobbying the Government for a tax cut of upwards to $4.2 million a year, saying they are losing punters across the border to Queanbeyan where gamblers can smoke cigarettes while playing outdoor poker machines. It's well known that many gamblers like to smoke, and they are loving doing so in an outdoors environment. Got to keep the smoking gamblers happy we guess? Anti gambling and anti smokers are none to impressed, as the battle for minds on the gambling subjects continues to be red hot fodder down under. The ACT gambling operators put forward that regulatory changes to the industry in the ACT, including bans on outdoor smoking areas that rule out "alfresco pokies" on the ACT side of the border, make a tax cut of more than $4 million bucks "seem more than reasonable." The clubs desire to be able to establish a market to allow rich clubs to buy machines from smaller operators, a move that would overturn years of ACT out of date Government policy. Clubs ACT's hard line type list of "I Wants) to the Quinlan review of the territory's tax system states that the industry's revenue base has been declining for years and is now taking another a dive, news that pokie and gambling haters are relishing in. Gaming Minister Andrew Barr has been unavailable to respond on the industry's wish list as we go live to news. The clubs state that the present taxation system, which nets the Treasury close to $36 million annually, hits the big earners in the industry extremely hard, with well to do clubs contributing about 98% of the total tax take. The industry peak body has now suggested 2 business models for restructuring the tax arrangements, one that would result in a tax cut of $3.2 million and another that would result in a cut of $4.2 million. The apparent inability to compete with "all-weather poker machines" in NSW is cited in the submission as a key disadvantage. A Media Man spokesperson said "The ACT based clubs appear to have a case for a large tax break in this case. The situation may get worse before it gets better, as heavy rain is also forecast for much of Australia's east coast as we head towards the new year."

Pommie Paddy Power Scoops Up £86m For Aussie Sportsbet...

Just two days before Christmas Paddy Power increased the size of its bet that Aussies will keep gambling no matter how the cricketers get on. The Irish based company bought out the remaining 39% of Sportsbet, snatching total control of one of the biggest bookies Down Under. Paddy Power is paying A$132 million in cash and shares to secure the deal which is worth roughly £86 million. The UK gambling and spread betting industry has been expanding down under for a few years in the firm belief that the market can be better "exploited", more more softly, better serviced. UK mobs want a bigger slice of the Australia pie. Paddy Power purchased 51% of Sportsbet last year and negotiated options to increase its stake over time. Chief executive Patrick Kennedy described Sportsbet as "a cracking business". “The team has made great strides in marrying the best of both Sportsbet and Paddy Power,” he said. "This is a good deal to acquire the remaining shares early, which will allow us to drive development and investment and secure full participation in the upside of the business." Paddy is funding most of the deal from cash in its large bank account and issuing about £12 million worth of new shares. A special dividend of A$8.5 million will be paid to Sportsbet shareholders. A Media Man spokesperson said "So, the pommies are doing more deals with the Aussies thanks to Paddy and it might be time for the Aussies to do more deals with the Yankees and Canooks, just to settle the score."

Cricket WAGS (Wives And Girlfriends) Get Blame For On Field Performance; Too Much Sex And Party Time?

Pommie captain Andrew Strauss was Scrooge like telling his team keep keep their minds on the game. Strauss' attitude came as he told his team to focus on breaking the Aussies in Melbourne's Boxing Day blockbuster cricket match. Stung by criticism that the arrival of players' wives and girlfriends soiled their "killer instinct" and contributed to Australia's series-levelling win in Perth, WA, Strauss demanded a full-on training day at the Melbourne Cricket Ground broken only by a short lunch at the team hotel. England's mindset was very different to Australia's jovial session followed by a lunch with their families inc WAG's at Crown casino. "In the past, the Christmas Day practice has been very light. We specifically made sure this was a normal day before Test match practice, and rightly so," hardliner Strauss said. "It is a big Test, our heads have to be firmly on the cricket. We will have a couple of hours off with our families and have a nice lunch, but we don't want to have any regrets thinking, 'Oh we should have prepared better for this Test match'. Was he meaning for players not to have too much sex or something? "I think we have ticked this one off the list. The guys are very determined, there is a good, steely atmosphere about the lads and we need to transfer that on to the pitch. We really want to make up for our performance in Perth and I am confident we will do that." Anderson followed a quick trip to Lancashire for the birth of his second daughter by delivering 46 overs in the Perth Test loss. "He had a bit of a niggle, but seems to have got over that. He's 100% fit and available for selection," Strauss said. Strauss revealed the in-form batsman Ian Bell, who has 213 runs at 71 this series, would stay at #6 while Paul Collingwood would be retained despite contributing only 61 runs at 15.5 this summer. "Paul is an experienced fighter and these sort of scraps bring out the best in him," Strauss said. He said patience would be the key to success on an MCG pitch with early moisture and dealing with a possible record crowd exceeding 90,000. "The general consensus is at the MCG that if you go too hard a bit too early you're going to be back in the hut, so we need to be able to adapt quickly to the conditions we encounter," Strauss said. "It's one of the highlights of your career, being able to play at the MCG in a Boxing Day Test. We intend to take the most of that." Gambling911 and Media Man wish both teams the best as today's game is set to kick off.

Tabcorp Jupiters Boss Quits Sunny Gold Coast For Auckland Casino Gig; Headhunted On Merit...

The mastermind who considerably helped snatch a $350 million revamp at Tabcorp owned and operated Jupiters Hotel and Casino has recently resigned. Stuart Wing, the MD at the Gold Coast gambling hub, has been appointed chief operating officer of SkyCity Casino Auckland, in the land of sheep - New Zealand. Industry and media buzz is that he was headhunted, after successfully securing revamps at both the Tabcorp owned Gold Coast and Jupiters Townsville and working in the tourism sector for more than a decade. In a statement sent to staff a few days ago Jupiters Casino parent Tabcorp said it would conduct an international search to find a replacement when Wing departed in 3 short months. Wing declined to comment as we go to press, but it is understood his transfer will also coincide with his wife having their first child. Sky City Entertainment Group's annual report states its Auckland operation has 2810 employees, 20 restaurants, bars and cafes, 660 hotel rooms, 1647 gaming machines and 110 gaming tables. It also owns other casinos in New Zealand, and in the Aussie cities of Darwin and Adelaide. The Jupiters website says it has 15 restaurants and bars, 593 guest rooms and more than 70 gaming tables and 1300 gaming machines aka "pokies". Wing was appointed to the Gold Coast in February 2008 and was previously the Jupiters Townsville GM and earlier headed up Tabcorp's international rebate business. This past October, Tabcorp announced an investment of $175 million at Jupiters Gold Coast but this month it said the investment would be increased to $350 million after it struck a deal with the QLD State Government. The investment includes a 200-room 5-star boutique hotel, 8 new restaurants and bars, 2 new night-life venues, new spa facilities, a beach club, a refurbished ballroom, an expanded main gaming floor and new private gaming room and VIP gaming facilities. We wish Wing the best with his new appointment. A Media Man insider joked "This Wing guy is amazing. Jesus, he would be a an awesome wingman to have on your team wouldn't he. Should add more fuel to the fire of the Australian and New Zealand casino wars".

Awards...

Last month was a big month for casino awards also. Let's have a look...

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.

Media Man Profiles

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Cricket

Movies

Crown Casino

Jupiters Hotel and Casino

Tabcorp Holdings

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Broadcasting

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Casino News

Entertainment News

Media News

Technology News

Sports News

News

Wrap Up...

Readers... er, punters, how did you like our report? Have you been naughty or nice? Did Santa give you what you had hoped for? 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 Casino, Gambling And Entertainment News: 2010 Highlights, by Greg Tingle - 25th December 2010

G'day and Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year (if your ahead of us) punters, casino and gambling millionaires, billionaires, entertainment news junkies, sports nuts, insiders, outsiders, politicians, journalists and everyone else. What a year it's been. We've put together a showcase featuring some of the hottest (strangest and most popular) Australian gambling, entertainment and media news stories of the year. What stories were the most important is subjective and certainly debatable, but we sure covered a huge spread of news from down under this year and the Aussies and Yanks have sure been reacting passionately to our call on reader feedback. Media Man and Gambling911 with the good, the bad, the mad, the funny and the most popular Aussie news - the year that was...Ho Ho Ho!...

January

Aussie Millions Champion, Australia Election Odds...

Aussie Millions Champion Crowned

The 2010 Aussie Millions Main Event has a champion. Tyron Krost is keeping the title in Australia for the second straight year. The 23-year-old battled 746 players over five days to take the title home to Sydney, along with the $2 million AUD first-place prize.

James Packer's City Of Dreams Macau Potential Share Buy In By Harrah's Entertainment...

Packer-controlled Crown could get an offer for its $US600 million ($675 million) stake in its Macau gambling joint venture, a US-based analyst report says. Mr David Bain, a gambling and gaming analyst with the Southern California arm of the broking firm Sterne Agee, said in a memo to clients that the world's biggest casino operator, Harrah's Entertainment, was "acutely interested" in buying the 32 per cent stake in Mr. Packer's Melco Crown Entertainment.

Politics - Aussie Election Odds...

Australia's political campaigning has began. In the blue corner Tony "Liberal Lout" Abbot and in the red corner (seconded by Stephen "The Blacklist" Conroy ), it's Kevin "Bloody" Rudd. Political pundits predict the federal election will be held after July but before November this year. A regular election can be called between August 7 and April 16 2011. What do the bookies say? Labor is a $1.19 short-priced favourite, with the coalition at $4.40. Centrebet's media chief Neil Evans says there's $150,000 in the pool so far, with 75 per cent for Labor and just 25 per cent for the coalition. "There was a bit of a rush when Abbott took over but, by and large, it's been pretty strong for Labor for the last 12 months," he said. There is no doubt Mr Abbott is a totally different political animal to Mr Turnbull - and a more bruising campaigner.

Productivity Report on Australian Gaming...

Folks, we won't have to wait much longer for the long awaited report. It gets released this month!

Aussie Renee Mate Wins iGB Affiliate Award

Renee Mate of Sydney, Australia has won the title of Best Casino Affiliate Manager Renee Mate, Rewards Affiliates. Rewards Affiliates flagship brand is Microgaming powered Captain Cooks Casino.

Australia Day Sees Massive Police Numbers At Beaches Following Internet Filter Protests...

An unprecedented number of police offers on foot, in "paddy wagon" and on horseback ("mounted police") were present at many Aussie beaches this past Australia Day. Bondi Beach, Cronulla and Manly says a total of multiple hundreds of police. Strong rumours indicated rioting was expected. Tensions remain high with a number of racial hate attacks in the headlines along with Aussies protesting the upcoming Australia Blacklist aka as "The Great Australian Firewall". Over 1000 websites including 3 in the Media Man stable participated in the online Great Australian Internet Blackout.

UFC Australia Sports Betting Interest Red Hot...

The Ultimate Fighting Championship is to finally hold an event in Australia this month on the 21st February. The fights will be held at Sydney's Acer Arena. All 16,500 tickets sold out on the first day of sale, technically within 10 minutes! Other than the obvious fights (in the cage) another battle is brewing... the battle for the sports betting dollar on the upcoming UFC Australia fights. The smart money says BetUS.com and PartyBets are in the running, with another 1 or 2 sports betting firms expected to join the fight.

Australia surges into the top 10 of global gambling...

With one poker machine for every 110 people, Australia is now in the top 10 international gambling centres, alongside Monaco and Macau. Australia also has the ninth-highest number of gaming machines: 186,344 lined up in pubs, clubs and hotels, according to industry figures.

Betfair Gets Major Worldwide Publicity Via Australian Open Tennis...

As if the brand wasn't strong enough already, recent controversy over Betfair's sponsorship of the Australian Open tennis tournament, along with an investigation into a number of matches tipped to have been fixed, has seen Betfair get major national and international news media coverage. Make no mistake, Betfair now is the major sports betting brand in Australia, at least as far as exposure goes, if they weren't already. Ok, maybe not including the TAB that has a decade head start, via the Australian government's TAB on the horse racing and the doggies, but you get the point. Betfair is bringing the fight to the TAB, and may even throw their hat in the right for the UFC sports betting dollar we're told.

PartyPoker / PartyGaming VS PokerStars VS Pacific Poker battle for punters and sponsored players...

PartyGaming continue to ramp up their poker and casino offerings in the Asia Pacific, with Australia being target #1. PartyPoker is almost 6 months into their sponsorship agreement with Aussie Millions 2009 winner Stewart Scott. Last week Party signed Aussie Tony G for their Noble Poker brand for starters, and now Party are rumored to be in serious closed door negotiations with 2010 Aussie Millions winner Tyron Krost (who learned to play online poker with Party), along with fellow Aussie and PartyPoker trained, Frederik Jensen. PokerStars face and 2005 WSOP champion Joe Hachem is said to be keen to see PokerStars secure addition sponsored players for the Australian market, and in the meantime Pacific Poker's Shane Warne and Jeff Fenech appear to have lost a lot of shine and exposure of their once dominant presence in the Australian poker landscape. Our picks... PartyGaming's PartyPoker on top, trailed by PokerStars, with Pacific in 3rd place.

iGB Down Under Earmarked For Sydney In March...

The iGB Down Under igaming conference is pencilled in to occur in Sydney this March. The event formally known as CAP Down Under, saw close to 500 people attend last year, obviously enough to see event organiser Alex Pratt give the all clear to come back down under for seconds. The rumour mill says sponsorship enquires have been strong with the likes of Party, Betfair and PokerStars all looking to secure major billing.

Casino Canberra In Nation's Capital Not Happy...

Casino Canberra in the nations capital is being denied entry to the gaming sector as the ACT Labor Government's Labor Clubs grabbed the majority of the almost $100 million profit made by pokies in the ACT last financial year.

The situation is leading to claims of a conflict of interest since Labor club poker machines made $14.21 million profit in 2008-09, just one-seventh of the $98.6 million profit made by all pokies in the ACT over the 12 months.

'Casino Jack' Has Aussie Politicians Buzzing (and worried)...

Cannes Film Festival standout documentary 'Casino Jack And The United States Of Money' has a number of Australian Labor Party folks worried, to say the last. The ALP has a long and colourful history of deals with Australian / Asia Pacific gambling and gaming entities. Australia's political parties have received substantial donations from the Aussie gaming industry over the years and major Australian news media outlets have questioned the relationship more than once. This is one to watch. The official 'Casino Jack' website ishttp://www.takepart.com/casinojack (don't type CasinoJack.com, as it will take you to a porn site!)

Australian Horse Racing Industry To Get Major Overhaul...

Leading Australian racing figures and business leaders agree that the Australian horse racing industry is in dire need of a major fix (no, not that kind of fix). Leading the charge are John Singleton, Gerry Harvey and Alan Jones. A number of get togethers have occurred to talk shop, with firms entities such as Betfair, TAB and Racing NSW all seen to play a major role in the revamp. The AJC (Australian Jockey Club) is concerned about what the changes may mean to them as they have been struggling in recent years, as the gamblers dollars continues to been engulfed by internet betting, something that the AJC has not incorporated well into their business model, as that's putting it likely. Some parallels can be drawn towards that way most Las Vegas casinos did not, and still haven't, adapted to the animal that is the internet.

Media Man Global Expansion Continues...

Not content with last months launch of www.mediamanaustralia.com to coincide with The Great Australian Internet Blackout week, Media Man starts this month with the launch of http://www.americangamingnews.com in preparation for expected major happenings in the U.S market this year, much of which will be driven a mix of political campaigns, the PPA (Poker Players Alliance), with no doubt Harrah's Entertainment, World Series of Poker and PartyGaming's World Poker Tour in the thick of the action.

February

Underbelly Cops a Beating at Crown Casino Logies...

Australia's night of nights, The Logies, took centre stage last night at James Packer owned Crown Casino, down under in Melbourne, Australia.

Ever wondered if the Logies were "rigged"? We didn't, but know it crossed the mind of some, given the strong history between Crown Casino owner, Packer, Network Nine and ACP Magazines (publisher of TV Week). This weekend should have answered that question without a doubt.

Beloved 'Underbelly', Network Nine darling and dear friend to the Gambling911 copped an absolute flogging, failing to win a single award... that's right a donut (0). Belly up you might say, but the show returns to TV next Sunday night, expected to once again draw in huge audience numbers.

Underbelly had five nominations across the popular and outstanding categories and was expected to dominate!

Ray Meagher picked up the Gold Logie.

The veteran Home And Away actor triumphed over Packed To The Rafters actress Rebecca Gibney to take the coveted award.

He also beat his Home And Away co-star Esther Anderson, Talkin' 'Bout Your Generation's Shaun Micallef, Good News Week's Paul McDermott, Rove McManus and the ABC's Wil Anderson and Adam Hills.

"In 1965 at the Regatta Hotel in Brisbane I won a chook raffle," a beaming Meagher said as he took to the stage.

"It's been a long time between drinks".

Host Bert Newton could not hide his feelings about Meagher's big win.

"I have had the opportunity over the years to present many Gold Logies," he said.

"None have given me more joy than to present this to Ray Meagher."

Bert's son Matthew (Mr Asia in Underbelly: A Tale Of Two Cities) is currently in rehab.

'Underbelly' star Firass Diriani (plays John Ibrahim) was in attendance, and was very well behaved we understand. Dirani recently picked up that Cleo 'Bachelor Of The Year' award.

Sigrid Thornton who plays a hardened federal officer in Underbelly: The Golden Mile was also in attendance and also enjoy the gala evening incident free.

Nine Network won only one Logie for the NRL Footy Show.

"Well Channel Nine is certainly cleaning up this year, aren't they?", joked host Bert Newton.

Bragging rights of the corporate variety remain in full swing...Packer's Crown Casino certainly won its "casino war" last night against Sydney's Tabcorp owned Star City Casino, but Star City is planning a counter attack, so don't change your dial!

Media Man spies advise no plastic handcuffs were needed last night for footballers, cricketers, or any other guests.

Loyal readers, we're sorry that 'Underbelly' with its strong gambling themes and all got shot down, at Crown Casino to add salt into the wound. None the less, here's the winners list to help ease the pain...

2010 LOGIE AWARD WINNERS

GOLD LOGIE - Ray Meagher, Home and Away (Seven)

SILVER LOGIE (Popular Awards)

Most Popular Actor - Hugh Sheridan, Packed to the Rafters (Seven)

Most Popular Actress - Rebecca Gibney, Packed to the Rafters (Seven)

Most Popular Drama - Packed to the Rafters (Seven)

Most Popular Presenter - Shaun Micallef, Talkin' ‘Bout Your Generation (Ten)

Most Popular Reality Program - MasterChef Australia (Ten)

Most Popular Lifestyle Program - Better Homes and Gardens (Seven)

Most Popular Light Entertainment - Talkin' ‘Bout Your Generation (Ten)

Most Popular Sports Program - The Footy Show NRL (Nine)

Most Popular Factual Program - Bondi Rescue (Ten)

Most Popular New Male Talent - Luke Mitchell, Home and Away (Seven)

Most Popular New Female Talent - Carrie Bickmore, The 7pm Project (Ten)

SILVER LOGIE (Outstanding Awards)

Outstanding Children's Program - My Place (ABC)

Outstanding Factual Program - Law and Disorder (SBS)

Graham Kennedy Award for Outstanding New Talent - Matt Preston, MasterChef Australia (Ten)

Outstanding News Coverage - Victorian Bushfires (Seven)

Outstanding Public Affairs Report - Code of Silence, Four Corners (ABC)

Outstanding Sports Coverage - V8 Supercars: Supercheap Auto Bathurst (Seven)

Outstanding Light Entertainment - Talkin' ‘Bout Your Generation (Ten)

Outstanding Drama Series, Mini-series or Telemovie - East West 101 (SBS)

Outstanding Actress - Claudia Karvan, Saved (SBS)

Outstanding Actor - Don Hany, East West 101 (SBS)

Network Shows By The Numbers

Seven Network - 8 awards

Network Ten - 7 awards

ABC - 2 awards

Nine Network - 1 award

Which shows did best?

Talkin' 'Bout Your Generation - 3 awards

Packed to the Rafters - 3 awards

East West 101 - 2 awards

MasterChef - 2 awards

Home and Away - 2 awards

Underbelly fans, you can play catch up with 'Underbelly' on the official website.

March

Billionaire Inc Connection...

James Packer's Burswood Casino aka Burswood Entertainment Complex, based in Perth, Western Australia, is on a roll. Poker and online poker continue to do massive numbers, and Crown Limited (Crown Casino and Burswood Casino etc al), PartyGaming's PartyPoker, Media Man and Gambling911 are in the thick of the action.

Must be magic that Packer and Perth mining magnate, Andrew "Twiggy" Forrest are weaving. "Twiggy" have brought his infectious can-do attitude, work ethic and Aussie humour in spades to Sydney. Yep, the Billionaire, understood to now be Australia's Richest Man, still has the common touch.

Packer and Forrest were in Sydney last night, at the Overseas Passenger Terminal, joined by 500 power players in the Australian business, political and entertainment arena to officially welcome in GenerationOne. For the record, Media Man had to report from the sidelines as the event was jam packed, but did have the pleasure to speaking to some execs very close to the powers that be...and they were pleased to hear of our assistance to groups such as Githabul people, Yuggera tribe, Deadly Awards, Friends of Malabar Headland and Virgin Unite, and mentioning that we owned shares in Crown Casino didn't seem to hurt the cause!

Movie stars Cate Blanchett and Russell Crowe attended last night, where movers and shakers exchanged ideas (plus gossip) and saw their palms projected onto the sails of the Opera House in a show of support. Us Aussies are likely giving the Las Vegas Strip and Atlantic City a few free ideas!

The story that Media Man and Gambling911 collaborated on and broke worldwide, has dominated Google and Google News for the past 24 hours or so, and shows no sign on slowing down for the weekend... a favorite time for punters, both in Australia and around the globe.

The GenerationOne movement has also triggered us to open up negotiations with the state and federal government to see how we here at Media Man may qualify to take on a couple of suitable indigenous peoples as contract staff to assist our business endeavors... could be for photography, video, graphic arts or internet portal development.

April

Newspaper Industry Looks to Online Gambling to Boost Profits...

Mainstream newspapers in Australia and the United States are starting to plug into the streets paved with gold - online gambling, following the lead from our United Kingdom based media mates.

Media Man and Gambling911 probe the situation in an Aussie - Yankee double investigation, with earlier indicators showing that newspapers are seeing the "green", following the money trail to gambling, be it in AUD, USD, GBP or monetary other denominations.

New York based media baron Mort Zuckerman, top brass at The New York Daily News, US News and World Report, last year publicly advised that online b2b and advertising deals in the gambling - gaming sector could be a way for mainstream newspapers to loose their sinking feeling - diminished revues, and in extreme cases, some newspapers going out of business, unable to compete with their online counterparts. Zuckerman was largely referring to sports betting (which can also include a sub group in what's commonly known as "Fantasy Betting").

Let's face it, Media Man and Gambling911 don't have the overheads of The Sydney Morning Herald (Fairfax Media), The Daily Telegraphy (News Limited), The Sun or The New York Times for that matter.

Let's take a look at the landscape of the land...

Google - a few years ago headlines like "Google follows the money trail to gambling' were the order of the day, however the business model is getting more complex, as Google deals with both technical and legal considerations.

Though Google CEO Eric Schmidt and seemingly everyone else is telling publishers they should place some bets on potential new business models, The Philadelphia Inquirer venture may not be exactly what they had in mind. Google is also working on some gaming and igaming models for its YouTube platform and top ten website, so maybe Google is working a deal with The Philly behind the scenes. Stranger things have happened.

Philly.com, the online arm of the Inquirer and "sister" newspaper the Philadelphia Daily News, has recently launched an apparently legal online betting service called Instant Fantasy Games. The firm advised last week that they are the first in their industry to make a foray into online betting, according to a report in Editor & Publisher, a newspaper trade journal. Gambling 911 and Media Man thinks this may be correct for the U.S sector, but certainly not taking into account the U.K newspaper industry, who appear to be light years ahead, with bingo, poker, sports, fantasy and more.

"We're trying to serve two goals," said Yoni Greenbaum, VP of Product Development at Philly.com. "Those are content differentiation and revenue. If you're looking at the sports sites out there, a lot of them have the same stuff...The challenge that this creates is we need to offer more. In this day and age, sports fans have insatiable appetites."

FanDuel, a British wagering company helped Philly.com launch Instant Fantasy. Part fantasy league and part sports book, the service enables bettors to pick groups of players from professional baseball, hockey, or basketball leagues. It operates much like the fantasy leagues from Yahoo.com, CBSSports.com (parent company of CNET), and ESPN--except those games are just for fun.

With Instant Fantasy, players pay $5 to $50 a game with the chance to win as much as $90, Greenbaum said. It's one-on-one, and players can compete with a friend or family member. If they don't have anyone they want to play against, the game's system will match them up with someone five minutes before competition begins. Games are held daily.

Internet gambling is current illegal in the United States (depending who you want to believe as opinions vary, even from legal eagles) but in 2006, the government made some exceptions involving fantasy sports leagues, Editor & Publisher reported.

Last Sunday evening, Google's Schmidt addressed a group of newspaper execs in Washington D.C. at the American Society of News Editors. "We have a business model problem," Schmidt told the crowd. "We don't have a news problem."

Schmidt said newspapers are "fundamental" to democracy and predicted they would find a new business model based on advertising and subscription revenue. Maybe he should have included creating a sports book.

Our friend Mort seems to share a few similar thoughts on the newspaper - gambling model as Schmidt.

Zuckerman goes on record with "There is something that can be done, and the federal government ought to do it: allow sports betting on newspaper Websites. That would save every newspaper in America. The New York Times.com could do it. Plenty of British papers do this; for them it's a crucial part of their net revenue stream. I know a major newspaper in London that makes $15 million a year from sports betting alone".

Australia Update

New Limited newspapers (hard copy and online) continue to ramp up with both advertising a range of sports betting brands, in the past 2 months pushing their own in-house brands which look to be white label and things are strongly featured next to online sports news and on the world famous Fox Sports (Australian version) website.

'Fantasy NRL' looks to be their prime white label brand and they are also accepting a number of online sports betting adds, with Packer 50% share Betfair featuring prominently. Packer is also a huge fan of Premier Media Group, which has also has an investment in as we understand.

Fairfax Media (inc The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age) newspapers websites, along with their online only sites including Brisbane Times and WA Today. 'Pro Tipping' by all accounts is the Fairfax Media white label sports betting branding.

Media Man remains independent, despite having grown to over 20 website portals. The group has previously declined offers to by all or part of the company, still riding a wave of growth. The company is considering "white label" deals, but has enjoyed excellent results "teaming up" with a handful of the world's leading igaming brands, mixed in with some traditional and new media publicity campaigns, so has stuck to the a global based business model that is working well on a marketing, branding, legal, financial and overall basis. Media Man sees Google, PartyGaming, Betfair, Crown Limited, Virgin (and maybe Tabcorp and NextGen Gaming) being a big part of its further development in the gaming and igaming sector, with Crown and Tabcorp moving forward casino travel and tourism ventures. Media Man remains in close liaison with GenerationOne, the Indigenous Australian employment initiative championed by Andrew "Twiggy" Forrest and James Packer, as to how to best collaborate, grow the business, and employ a few more hard working Australians in the progress.

Summary

The business model of newspapers (and other media companies) has changed... it had to, just to see its survival, with owners and editors even advising their journalists that they are to adapt their style for the internet, and some who failed to change have indeed lost their jobs. Some high up in the Murdoch and Fairfax Media empires even refer to their journalists and "content writers" or "content producers"... so much for the good old days when Clark Kent "Superman" types paved the pavements in search of a good story!

The bottom line is what counts to owners, bean counters and investors, and while media purists have a case to be "Not Happy Jan", it is part of the evolution of media, for better of worse.

One of the main dangers to the credibility of print newspapers is when too much focus is given to the bottom line and advertisers, and not enough on hard nosed journalism.

For these reasons and more Gambling911 readers can be assured that more hard nosed articles are on the way, sourced from the worldwide "freelance" contacts and relationships formed over many years. Freelance and independent generally means less PR spin jobs (as often found in some mainstream press) and a more gutsy, in your face style... the sort of stuff that sometimes sees legal eagles writing in trying to save face for their clients! (when the truth gets out). Media Man recently dealt with a couple of these sorts of scenarios, hard news being the catalyst, so we knew were were doing a great job.

We foresee a continuation of mainstream media companies plugging into the gaming and igaming sector, just at PartyGaming top brass Jim Ryan has rightly predicted would happen almost 2 years ago... that's why Ryan takes home (and secures for Party) the big bucks... the man is a visionary. Ryan has also smartly got in place a number of strategic alliances and purchased solid businesses such as the World Poker Tour. The combination of these things has made PartyGaming very appealing to Government departments, be it in France (hello our friends at PMU), Canada (poker tour on the radar) and Australia. The Party deals with Marvel Entertainment and Paramount Pictures also continue to serve the company, partners and affiliates well. Strong branding and even stronger financials, see PartyGaming stand head and shoulders about the rest in the igaming sector on a global scale. Virgin (Games) has the potential to be a real challenge to PartyGaming, in our opinion, as Richard Branson and his group have developed such a strong a loyal Virgin following over the years. When Virgin expand into new markets they automatically pick up new customers who were waiting for them. Virgin thinks this may be the case with their AWOMO (A World Of My Own) platform, a deal they have with Game Domain International, however Virgin is seeking more investors before taking the project ballistic and entering new markets. Rupert Murdoch's Sky (Vegas and family) is strong in the UK but is hardly on the radar in Australia (or anywhere else) from what we can make out. Sega and Sony have the potential to be major top ten players in the igaming space, but as of this writing, PartyGaming is our top pick, on a global scale, with Betfair sitting pretty for strong growth down under in Australia.

Readers may recall that earlier in the week that Australia media entrepreneur and and racing horse owner, Alan Jones, spoke at the Asian Racing Conference in Sydney. Jones called for united, as his certainly smart enough to see the potential threat from overseas based companies "invading" Australia, and doing it better. Australia's TAB isn't exactly known for having world class efficiencies, however they had previously enjoyed an almost monopoly and stranglehold in the Australian sector, however its no longer the case. TAB legal eagles are going to remain busy in the months ahead and Betfair is well prepared for a lengthy and expensive war, Betfair pink pigeon birdies have told us.

For dynamic media - new media enterprises such as Gambling911 and Media Man, the future continues to look bright. Low staff overheads, quick turnaround on articles, and business relationships in place with some of the world's top gaming, igaming, poker and sports betting brands. Just as important, the websites are Google and Google News friendly, and they don't discriminate against Yahoo! or Bing either, as well as being referenced in "bible" and top ten sites like Wikipedia. Social media brands such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter continue to be a benefit to the agile business models, and mobile / WAP looks to be a logic area to develop in the months ahead... can't wait for that Google mobile phone, that looks likely to take a huge bite out of Apple. Google is clearly the internet giant in the prime position to best capitalise on the growth of the gaming and gambling sector, at least by Media Man estimations (sorry Richard Branson, Yahoo and Wikipedia).

If good business is about adapting to the times and spreading risk, we think a number of American newspapers like The Philly and Aussie titles such as The Tele and The Herald, are doing a mighty find job... we're pretty happy with our own efforts also.

Wild cards that may potentially develop a significant gaming business down under include Network Nine Australia (perhaps with a Hey Hey It's Saturday 'Pluka Duck' tie in along with the possibility of a rumored 'Underbelly' online and offline slot machine offering which punters are crying out for). The late Big Tim Bristow and George Freeman would have loved to see what's come of the igaming and gambling business now, we're certain.


The Rise and Fall of Daniel Tzvetkoff...

Greg Tingle of Gambling911.com breaks down online gambling payment processor Daniel Tzvetkoff's meteoric rise and fall as outlined by the Australian. Tzvetkoff was arrested in Las Vegas this past week while attending a payment processing conference.

Online gambling websites allege the Intabill founder scammed them out of millions of dollars after he shut his firm down without notice.

AUGUST 2001: BT Projects founded

FEBRUARY 2007: Online payment company Intabill registered

MARCH 2008: Tzvetkoff buys Hedges Avenue mansion for $28 million. Has additional property portfolio of more than $21 million

AUGUST 2008: Features on Sunday Mail Rich List worth $82 million

MARCH 2009: Buys V8 supercar team, Inta Racing

APRIL 2009: Sacks 96 staff at his Intabill office

JULY 2009: BT Projects placed in liquidation with debts of $80 million

JULY 2009: Business partner Sam Sciacca sues Tzvetkoff for $100 million

JULY 2009: Online poker house Kolyma sues for $52 million

JULY 2009: Sells partnership in Zuri nightclub

AUGUST 2009: Sells 30m superyacht Maximus

NOVEMBER 2009: Hedges Ave mansion sold for $17 million

JANUARY 2010: Files for bankruptcy

APRIL 2010: Charged by US authorities with money laundering. Faces 75 years in jail

May

Underbelly in 3D: Crime Show Looks to Take Things Up a Notch...

Underbelly is still super popular with national audiences, advertisers - sponsors and Gambling911 readers, despite getting killed (donut award - nil) at the Logies held at James Packer's Crown Casino last night.

Media Man and Gambling911 dig for dirt, er, information, as we go undercover and get embedded into Australia's 'Underbelly' landscape.

Such is the confidence show by 'Underbelly' producers and powers that be bean counters, they are to expand into 3D.

Mind you, going 3D is apparently easier said than done, with experts pointing to major challenges (tech and financial), as experienced with the James Bond and Iron-Man franchises. Iron-Man already has a happy ending as far as return on investment goes, but Bond has ended up on the scrap heap due to cash flow, if you believe the news media reports.

Nine Network Australia has ambitious plans to film the next 'Underbelly' series in 3D, hoping that it will help keep positive buzz, audiences and the bottom line looking good. Underbelly has already been heralded as one of the great Australian TV success stories, as far as drawing people in, fostering talent, getting top dollars from advertisers and catapulting Aussie's up on the international radar.

"It's helped employ 100s of Australians, if you count in the flow on factors", said a Media Man insider.

The tech revolution brought on by James Cameron's Avatar is already hitting the lounge room thanks in part to the launch of 3D TV sets! Network Nine boss David Gyngell (currently out of the country but in touch with casino king James Packer) says he is blown away by the potential.

"It's an amazing experience. Next year we can go out and shoot Underbelly in 3D," he told News Limited in "Sin City" (Sydney).

Gyng's positive energy, vision and deep pockets, sees Nine say they will carry Rugby League's 'State of Origin' clash in 3D on 26th May. It's forecast to cost the network $10 million to broadcast, and nine will be flying over tech from the United States to make it happen.

Underbelly continues to drive forward the crime genre, and not just on TV. Wires are reporting that at least 3 Australian crime shows are due to be released over the next 12 months, quite likely soon, such is the current appetite of Australian audiences.

Media Man visited Sydney's 'Sin City' Expo at the Justice & Police Museum this past weekend and it was totally packed. Audio visual highlights dominated, with punters been able to view rare documentary and film footage on Sydney's underworld history and there was plenty of gaming and gambling themes and info to be seen including Sydney's famous 33 Club. Some old coin operated slot machines were only on display that you could even pull the handle on. One of the highlights was an unidentified man who kept complaining to our crew that the media was to blame for all the crime, violence and gambling on TV. Media Man pointed out that gambling and crime have been in the movies for a long time. When asked what his interest was in the expo the mystery man refused to answer the question, and left in a huff.

The Media Man crew also shot footage from the expo, some of contains rare and unique Australian casino and gambling content which is likely to hit YouTube within a week.

The rumor mill says that now not only are talks going on about an 'Underbelly' online and offline slot game, but also a board game. Loads of fun for the whole family... not sure, but it may depend on the type of family. Classification guidelines are being considered, as Australia looks to overhaul its gaming industry laws following the long awaited Productivity Commission report.

Australia was settled by convicts, many of whom enjoyed a punt n wager, depending upon what set of history books you tend to believe.

One things for sure... Underbelly has helped put Australia's long history with gambling and the underworld on the map, and the buzz doesn't look like its doing to die anytime soon.

June

FIFA World Cup Attacked By Ambush Marketing...

FIFA's World Cup was "attacked" by an alleged swarm of brazen ambush marketers, adding to the annoyance of those infamous vuvuzelas.

Yep, not even the World Cup is safe from what some sports folks, media giants and official sponsors have called "parasites" aka "parasite marketing". Media Man and Gambling911 go undercover with this special report, and learn that a stunt not unlike the World Cup ambush is on the cards for Sydney, Australia...a gamble that the powers that be are prepared to make, with or without buxom beer babes, casino babes or poker babes...

Babes, Beer, Miniskirts, High Stakes and an Ambush Marketing attack on FIFA! Have we got your attention punters? Yep, that's what we thought.

As part of the scandal hatched by ambushing of a World Cup match, a British - Pom TV commentator has been "boned" (thanks Eddie McGuire) ... sacked after he was discovered to have passed on tickets, which were allegedly "used and abused" by a group of red hot sexy young women, mainly blonde's, as part of a strategic ambush marketing attack.

We think maybe they have been reading up on Media Man's "partner in crime" Kym Illman, founder of Messages On Hold, arguable the world's most successful (and notorious) "ambushers". At last count our mate Illman claims to attracted about 2 million dollars worse of free exposure via way of his ambushers, but the world cup team have given Illman a run for his money in a 1 Hit Wonder, unlike Illman's dozens executed over the years.

TV hound Robbie Earle lost his gig with ITV, but got short term massive fame in the process, after the network advised a substantial number of tickets allocated to him for the Netherlands-Denmark game were used and abused by beer outfit Bavaria Beer.

The world famous Budweiser (official sponsor), is the only beer company permitted to advertise (note the word "advertise") within the stadium grounds at the World Cup. FIFA protects its marketing interests in a lion like aggressive fashion, which are a serious money spinner for the organisation.

Speaking of money, check out Illman's 'Money Girl', dressed in nothing but $20 and $50 bills

Kill Illman and Money Girl

http://www.mediamanint.com/profiles/illman.html

Messages On Hold

http://www.mediamanint.com/profiles/messages_on.html

Markson Sparks! - Show Me The Money!

http://www.mediamanint.com/profiles/markson.html

Media Man Ambush Collaboration With Maxx G And Aquasun At Bondi Beach

http://www.mediamanint.com/profiles/aquasun.html

FIFA Legal Eagles Take Aim!...

FIFA lawyers are probing the women er... situation ...wear about 36 buxom babes, mainly blondes we rated 9s and 10s, wore orange miniskirts. Oh My God!!! The Crime.

"We will be consulting our lawyers to check if such action falls under ambush marketing," FIFA spokesman Nicolas Maingot told press.

Research conducted is showing about 40 tickets allocated to former TV man Earle found their way into the hot hands of the marketing co understood to have supremely orchestrated the ambush marketing effort on behalf of the beer brand Bavaria via a third party, thus generated international news media coverage. Pommie newspaper reported, backed by wires, and Media Man spies, back up the history of events.

Not content with just reporting on the story, Media Man International, the Asia Pacific arm, is said to be planning an ambush marketing stunt in Sydney some time soon...a birdie Tweeked. Recently Media Man did a Tweet reply to Australian Shane Warne, poker and cricket player, and yet another business mate of Illman's. Warne is also understood to be good mates with Aussie - Asia Pacific casino and lifestyle king, James Packer. Illman also shares a number of mutual business mates and associates with Media Man, including Max Markson (Markson Sparks!), who formed part of the Media Man - Messages On Hold - Warne - Bessie Bardot ambush marketing stunts over the years. Illman is so skilled in ambush marketing, he go one up on Virgin's Richard Branson at an Aussie airport a number of years ago, a accomplishment Illman still rates highly. Years later Media Man "ambushed" both Branson and Markson, but in friendly and mutually beneficial ways. Basically, no product placement, but the photos were used to considerable advantage and exposure on websites and some newspaper stories. A Media Man spokesperson said "Ambush marketing is still one of the best ways for a brand or even a person, to stand out from the pack and get noticed. Australia's Kim Illman is considered the worldwide leader. Brands and persons can attract huge exposure from stunts... photos and visuals, when executed correctly. Usually the money flows on after a successful stunt. On occasion a stunt can be mutually attractive, like a book promo for Markson's 'Show Me The Money'.

Earle, quite the sports nut and a former Wimbledon and Jamaica midfielder, has denied doing anything wrong, saying he was just naive.

"Call me naive but I didn't think I was doing anything wrong. I hope when people hear the full story they will see me in a different light." Mate, choose your words carefully. An Aussie sports identify used a word related to "Native" recently, "Cannibals", and its landed him in all sorts of hot water.

The hot and sexy soccer babes aka buxom and leggy beer babes, were detained for a number of hours and probed after they were spotted in the stands at Soccer City stadium.

The dresses were originally sold with Bavaria Beer packs in the Netherlands in the run-up to the World Cup, to the best of our knowledge. We enjoyed the blondes nether regions... their legs, just to clarify.

"We were sitting near the front, making a lot of noise, and the cameras kept focusing on us," babe Barbara Kastein told a South African broadsheet ala rag.

"In the second half, about 40 stewards surrounded us and forced us to leave the stadium," she complained.

They were escorted (no pun intended) to a FIFA back office where police probed them about their sexy dresses and asked if they worked for Bavaria Beer.

Some 3 hours later, the babes were released and back on the prowl, kittens and 1 or 2 cougar's, and police said they would continue investigating, The Star reported. For the record, milk and honey, nor cookies, were not offered to the litter.

The Dutch embassy in Pretoria in the past 24 hours (Eastern Standard Cougar Town Time) "made inquiries this morning with South African authorities about the grounds on which our citizens were held", foreign ministry spokesman Mr Aad Meijer proclaimed in The Hague.

Three of the women were Dutch, he mouthed, also stating that no explanation had been forthcoming by Tuesday afternoon.

"We are not aware of any South African legislation that allows people to be detained for wearing an orange dress."

FIFA said the women were "used by a large Dutch brewery as an instrument for an ambush marketing campaign", (but smartly for what is understood to mainly legal reasons, the dresses had no branding on them). Media Man understands that planners realised that they wouldn't need massive 'Messages On Hold' type branding for the stunt to be a worldwide success, such was the positioning of the brand and the existing market awareness, especially in relation to colours associated with beers in the region.

Punters make not mistake, their is an art of sorts in executing successful ambush marketing stunts.

Ambush Marketing Definition; Public Thank You To Jimmy Wales At Wikipedia...

Ambush marketing is a marketing campaign that takes place around an event but does not involve payment of a sponsorship fee to the event. For most events of any significance, one brand will pay to become the exclusive and official sponsor of the event in a particular category or categories, and this exclusivity creates a problem for one or more other brands. Those other brands then find ways to promote themselves in connection with the same event, without paying the sponsorship fee and without breaking any laws.

Ambush Marketing Notable Events

1984 Olympics; Kodak sponsors TV broadcasts of the Games as well as the US track team despite Fujifilm being the official sponsor.

1988 Summer Olympics; Fujifilm sponsors the Games despite Kodak being the official sponsor.

1992 Summer Olympics in Barcelona; Nike sponsors press conferences with the US basketball team despite Reebok being the official sponsor. During ceremonies, the players covered their Reebok logos.

1994 Winter Olympics; American Express sponsors the Games despite Visa being the official sponsor.

1996 Atlanta Olympics; sprinter Linford Christie wore contact lenses embossed with the Puma logo at the press conference preceding the 100 metres final, despite Reebok being the official sponsor.

1996 Atlanta Olympics; Messages On Hold strategically placed a banner within the camera frame as US runner Jon Drummond prepares for the opening leg of 4x100 relay final. The moment is broadcast live across the world.

1996 Cricket World Cup; Pepsi ran a series of advertisements titled "nothing official about it" targeting the official sponsor Coca Cola.

1998 FIFA World Cup; Nike sponsored a number of teams competing in the Cup despite Adidas being the official sponsor.

2000 Sydney Olympics; Qantas Airlines' slogan "The Spirit of Australia" sounds strikingly similar to the Games' slogan "Share the Spirit." despite Ansett Air being the official sponsor.

2003 Cricket World Cup; Indian players threatened to strike over concerns that the anti-ambush marketing rules were too strict. Of particular concern was the length of time before and after the cup that players were not allowed to endorse a rival to one of the official sponsors. Players argued that if they had pre-existing contracts that they would be in breach of them if they were to accept the ICC's rules.

2006 FIFA World Cup; fans of the Netherlands were made to remove Bavaria Brewery's leeuwenhosen because Budweiser was the official beer sponsor.

2008 Beijing Olympics; entire countries were tuned into the Opening Ceremonies, and worldwide, millions more saw former Olympic gymnast Li Ning light the torch and learned that he owns a shoe company with the same name, a direct rival of Adidas and quite famous in China, but not an official Olympic sponsor.

2010 Super Bowl XLIV; Canadian gay dating site ManCrunch was accused of ambush marketing when it submitted a controversial advertisement to CBS for air during the game. The theory is that ManCrunch produced the ad knowing that it would never be accepted and hoped the controversy would drum up the intended attention without having to pay the nearly US$3,000,000 price for an advertisement during the game.

2010 Winter Olympics; Team USA ice hockey goaltender Ryan Miller was ordered to remove the catchphrase "Miller Time" from his helmet under the IOC's ambush marketing rules, due to it also being the slogan of Miller Lite beer (though Miller Lite did not pay for the slogan). Likewise, the U.S. bobsled team was forced to remove their catchphrase, "Night Train," due to it being the name of a low-end fortified wine (again, the usage of the phrase was coincidental).

2010 FIFA World Cup;

A South African budget airline pulled back its ambush ad after a FIFA complaint that it infringed its trademark during the 2010 World Cup. Kulula.com's ad described the firm as the "Unofficial National Carrier of the You-Know-What". It also had pictures of stadiums, vuvuzelas and national flags. But FIFA said the airline could not use the symbols - even the word "South Africa", kulula.com's spokeswoman said. FIFA, however, said the images taken together were "ambush marketing".

Also during the tournament, 2 Dutch women were arrested for ambush advertising and 36 women ejected from the stadium when they were spotted wearing short orange dresses made by the Dutch brewery Bavaria on 14th June 2010. Anheuser Busch's Budweiser is the official beer of the event. ITV media pundit Robbie Earle was sacked from his role when it was claimed by FIFA that he had sold tickets meant for family and friends on to the Dutch beer company.

The Last Word...

Punters, as always please obey the laws in your applicable states, cities and counties. It's a calculated risk us teaching you cunning sports betting and casino punter types about ambush marketing, but one we are prepared to take for our ever loyal readership.

PS: we just received some packages containing what one may call ambush marketing materials from Perth based 'Messages On Hold' (the audio - visual communications company that Aussie cricket legend has fronted on occasion for our business mate, Kym "Mr Ambush Marketing King" Illman). Bondi Beach, Fox Studios - Moore Park, ANZ Stadium, and Acer Arena are a just a couple of rumoured venues for an upcoming attack. You heard it hear first!

July

World Cup Refereeing Decisions: History Shows Link Against Aussies!...

3 successive World Cup matches. 3 massive refereeing decisions. Every one against Australia. Conspiracy!!!

a. Fabio Grosso's infamous "dive" over Lucas Neill, which gave 10-man Italy a hotly disputed last-minute penalty to sink Australia's 2006 campaign.

b. The 2010 game opened with Australia's most influential player, Tim Cahill, sent off against Germany for a late but far from malicious challenge, which even the player on the receiving end, Bastian Schweinsteiger, said shouldn't have warranted a red card.

c. Australia's best man on the field, Harry Kewell, is dismissed and suspended for a match after a ball blasted from close range hit him on the upper arm on the goal line in the 1-1 draw against Ghana.

The resultant penalty meant the difference between victory and a draw. The guy has killed my World Cup," said Kewell. "He is the referee, he's the judge, jury and executioner. "Unless I detach my arm and put it somewhere else, there's no other way I can move my arm." Defender Craig Moore said: "I didn't think it was a red card and I didn't think it was a penalty." Captain Lucas Neill said: "When the ball goes 100 miles an hour at you and you're standing on the line, it's got to hit you somewhere, and it happened to hit Harry on the upper arm/shoulder." Coach Pim Verbeek said: "It was a mistake. What can you do with your arm? You cannot cut it off. As far as I know in the rules it has to be intentional to send a player off." The Aussies are pissed that Kewell received a red card for an unintentional act while Serbian defender Nemanja Vidic got off with a yellow against Germany for a deliberate handball. "Serbia has conceded two hand-to-ball penalties," said Neill, "but this could only be interpreted as ball-to-hand." Kewell asked: "Why's is this one different?" "It's confusing because one minute they (the referees) are saying this and next minute they're saying that." Neill said refereeing decisions usually evened out like "swings and roundabouts". Word on the streets down under is that Aussie's "smell a rat" (of the FIFA variety). A Media Man insider was heard at a cafe frequented by sports, entertainment and media types "Suspicion is one thing, proof is another. I think we know why human refs still remain and the video umpire method is not used. The human element is a way for rorting, rigging and the like to more easily exist in the environment... largely going undetected". The cafe patrons largely agreed. Punters, what do you think? Tell us in the Gambling911 forums. Can't wait for Tony Clifton's submission.

Lasseters Casino Refutes “Racist” Ban of Best Price...

Australia's multi cultural values and sensitives have once again come under the spotlight following an incident at Lasseters Casino in the Northern Territory on New Years Day.

Patron Bess Price was refused entry to the premise and claims racism and mistreatment.

The incident comes off the back of yet another week of what is being reported as racist related killing of an Indian student in Melbourne, Victoria.

For the uninitiated, unfortunately Australia has a terrible history of what is known as "black deaths in custody" (Indigenous Australian dying, sometimes bashed to death, while in Australian police custody).

Rupert Murdoch's media company, News Limited, including his Darwin based Northern Territory News in Australia's "top end", has been doing an excellent job of providing fair and balanced coverage of Indigenous Australia. What some readers may not know is that it was a young Murdoch who helped cement his media business reputation in 1959 as editor of The News by covering the trial of Max Stuart (Ngoombujarra), a young aboriginal man who was sentenced to death after being found guilty of the murder of a nice year old girl on what was considered extremely questionable evidence. An Australian film entitled Black and White covers that story.

It seems that every time there is a serious incident on Australian soil everyone (press included so I'm "guilty" too) is looking to see if there are "racist" elements to it. Mind you, when a new story breaks a good journalist will always look deeper in order to help find the real story and to add meat and substance. It is not unusual for there often to be more to a story that what is first though and reported, so I think it is the duty of the press to see if there are potential racist elements to breaking news.

On a side note, Lasseters closed down their online casino operation via Income Access circa 2008, however the incident may potential see more punters having a hit at various other online casinos rather that risk altercations at bricks and mortar establishments.

Australia's most recent race related incidents are going to keep the Australian government busy, and the rumor mill says that at least one film producer is looking to do a 'Casino Jack' style production and between the Labor Party, Crown Casino, Star City Casino and Lasseters they have some bloody good fodder to work with.

This morning I personally called The Northern Territory Times and spoke to journalist "Matt" and he basically said that patron Bess Price is naming the casino as racist and that the casino is calling her drunk. We have also called Lasseters Casino and spoke with Lasseters Group Chief Operating Officer, Brad Morgan. Mr Morgan advised us of no further comment at this time. Should further details emerge Media Man will pass them on to the readership.

In the meantime Australia's undisputed casino king, James Packer, continues to do his modest bit to assist in positive Australian community and multi cultural relations. James and Erica Packer are supporters of UNICEF. Mrs Packer recently bought James a water pump at Christmas for an impoverished community, reports Fairfax Media. The gift is being referred to as the "gift that gives". Mr Packer has also collaborated with Australian mining Magnate, Andrew Forrest in recent years by a special project helping find sustainable employment opportunities for Indigenous Australians. In other Australian multi cultural related matters allegations continue to fly back and forward between Sea Shepherd and Japanese whalers. Australian racing, gaming and advertising gurus, John Singleton and son, Jack Singleton, are long time supporters of Sea Shepherd and just one of their well known brands and stunts is known as "Whale Safe Beer". The Singleton's, Alan Jones and other notable Australian racing identities are currently looking at ways to bring Australian racing and gaming to the internet in an improved fashion. The news comes as the industry awaits updates on the Australian Productivity Report into the gaming industry. Unlike Vegas' "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas", what happened down under in Australia, doesn't stay "down under". Cheers me maties from a multi cultural Bondi Beach.

*The writer is the founder and director of Media Man, primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company.

*The writer has worked with, represented and collaborated with various Indigenous Australian tribes such as Githabul People and Yuggera tribe and is a pro active member of Virgin Unite

August

Crown Casino Shaft Man Probed and Charged...

Australian land based casino and pubs, clubs and hotels keep up their reputation as not exactly totally safe places to hang out. Some one should have told the 'Tool Man' er 'Shaft Man' who recently played fun and games at Crown Casino. Some of the dangers of land based casinos in Australia were touched on in the Productivity Report into gaming, but 'Shaft Man' stooped to a new level getting stuck, hot under the collar and escaping with his life. Media Man and Gambling911 bring in the ambulance chasers, plastic handcuffs and media pack with this special report...

Australia's casinos are not exactly safe places to hang out, whether your a good guy or good girl, or a baddie.

Jupiters Hotel and Casino on the Gold Coast may be now considered one of the world's most dangerous according to numerous Media Man informers who don't wish to be named (funny that), but James Packer's Crown is no doubt the most colourful... you know, footballers run a muck, patrons Ferrari stolen, naked model runs wild at party, Sexpo patron party fun and games (count us in), and now the case of the 'Crown Shaft Man' who may have watched too many repeats of Pink Panther or The Godfather.

Only last week the Star City Casino gunman went to trail in what is viewed as attempted murder of the girlfriend, at the casino gym no less.

Crown Casino Shaft Man Greased Up, Probed And Charged - Shafted?...

A Melbourne man (or a mouse) who was rescued from a greased up ventilation shaft at James Packer owned Crown Casino last week has now charged with both trespass and criminal damage.

Should the man had of made more progress with his shaft and cavity activity its possible more series charges may have been laid, but he escaped without the 'lead treatment' and 'back room consultation' (see Casino film with Robert De Niro) but the situation is considered pretty anal none the less.

The 25-year-old from Sydenham 'shaft man' was questioned by police and charged this past Saturday, two days after paramedics and firefighters pulled him out, covered in grease and fat, from a duct above the curiously named Automatic Cafe. Out of the frying pan, into the fire, hey young buck.

Melbourne emergency services teams were called by restaurant staff about 10am on Friday after they heard noises and cries of HELP from above a pizza oven. Papaguisepi, Mama Mia. It was almost a case of International Rescue, without the Thunderbirds 2 and 4, but we got a FAB Virgil and Brains.

A paramedic dressed in special disposable overalls and a safety harness slid like a grass snake along the duct to assess the man's condition before firefighters aka 'Firies' extracted him, more than 11 hours after the mouse er man, climbed into the tiny confined space

The 'shaft man' was taken to The Alfred hospital after the colourful incident.

He was bailed to appear at the Melbourne Magistrates' Court on October 7, and news media is hoping he might wear colourful attire to this appointment, to help further slip slide along the story and ongoing saga of SHAFT MAN, no relation to DANGER-MAN. Marvel Entertainment icon, Stan Lee, would not comment on the 'Shaft Man'. We think the story has Excelsior! type merit.

Speculation (pub and casino talk) remains as to if the 'Shaft Man' seeks to become a brand ambassador for KY Jelly and / or an Australian jelly wrestling promotion! The Pink Panther nor The Naked Gun franchise are not interested in his services.

The Network Nine rumour mill says producers are interested to obtain footage of the 'shaft man' for their 'World's Dumbest Criminals' television feature.

What casino is the most dangerous? There are a number of criteria to judge by... bashings and assaults, deaths and injuries, theft, guns and / or knives and so it goes on. Tell us in the forum.

Punters, er readers, stay glued to Media Man reports via Gambling911 for more "can't miss" information on Australian and global casino wars, land based and online.

So, whether you prefer land based casinos or online, please take precautions and don't get shafted. As always, know the odds, bet with your head, not over it, and have fun. Good luck.

September

Crown Casino Workers Tipped To Go On Strike; May Cause Flow On Effect At Aussie Casinos...

Workers at Melbourne's Crown Casino may go on strike during Melbourne's popular Spring racing carnival. The Liquor Hospitality and Miscellaneous Union (LHMU) has accused the casino workers' bosses of failing to offer a fair pay increase and bringing in changes to conditions that could cost experienced dealers almost $5000 a year. At a hearing late on Wednesday, Fair Work Australia cleared the way for Crown staff to vote on rolling stoppages and an indefinite strike. Crown spokesman Gary 'Over Limit' (Media Man tag) O'Neill said the casino was offering a fair deal that had been "enthusiastically" taken up by Burswood Casino employees in Perth, while a smaller offer had been accepted at Star City in Sydney. Union members have rejected Crown's wage offer of about 3.5 per cent per year, and changes that it says would produce wage cuts for dealers of about $2.40 an hour. Crown's plans will force experienced, properly-trained frontline staff to quit, increasing the risk of alcohol-fuelled violence and problem gambling at Melbourne's mega-casino, said LHMU Victorian secretary Jess Walsh. "Experienced, properly-trained staff are vital to ensuring gaming and alcohol are served responsibly at Crown," she said in a statement. "But Crown has sent a clear message it does not value the loyalty, dedication and experience of its staff. It only cares about one thing: making more money, whatever the cost to the community or its own staff. "It has told staff it cannot afford a fair wage increase and needs to make changes that could cost experienced dealers almost $5000 a year, despite its $300 million profit." This month's vote will require a majority of more than 50 per cent of 4000 employees to vote to strike, with the union preparing to take industrial action during the Spring Racing Carnival, says the LHMU. O'Neill said Crown management were disappointed with the union's "blunt" statements and were still open to negotiating. "We are disappointed with the response, we thought negotiations were ongoing and that progress had been made," he told press. "A majority of the union membership has to vote to strike in two ballots, so there is still a way to go yet in the process. There are a number of issues on the table and we are still open to negotiating. We are confident we have the resources to keep the casino and other parts of the complex operating if they do vote to strike." The LHMU says a majority of the casino's employees are union members but Mr O'Neill disputed that and said only about a one-third of its roughly 5500 workers were members. Crown is the largest casino in the southern hemisphere with 30 bars, 1600 hotel rooms, 2500 poker machines, 350 tables and plans already started to expand.

Tasmania - Tassie Devils Concerned Over Gambling Changes...

The Tasmania government is worried about how much it may be out of pocket, thanks to forecast changes. It's political forces and the like at play. In return for Mr Wilkie's support, Ms Gillard has pledged to introduce mandatory pre- commitment technology on all poker machines by 2014 to crack down on problem gambling. It means pokie players will have to set time and money limits on their own "smart card" before they gamble. To be inserted into poker machines, the smart card would lock out the player from gambling once the limits are reached. The deal has left the gaming industry reeling, with some estimating it will cost state governments up to $1 billion in revenue shortfall. Treasurer Michael Aird yesterday would not put a figure on how much the Tasmanian Government could lose. "It is very difficult to measure the impact on state tax revenue following the implementation of smart card technology," Aird said. "The Tasmanian government is committed to ongoing reform in this area and is looking forward to being part of a national solution to problem gambling, through the newly established high-level Council of Australian Governments select council of ministers on gambling reform." In 2009-10, the government received an estimated $60.5 million from Tasmania's 3680 gaming machines, equating to 1.4 per cent of the total general government revenue or 6.9 per cent of total state tax revenue. Hotel giant Federal Group is also yet to crunch the numbers to see how the reform would impact its bottom line. Clubs Australia has said it could cost up to $3000 a machine to install the smart card technology. "It's very early days here," Federal spokesman Brendan Blomeley said yesterday. "We are keen to be a part of the national process." Bass Greens MHA Kim Booth yesterday said the introduction of smart card technology did not make redundant his bid to introduce a $1 maximum betting limit on pokies. "There's no reason why you can't have both," Booth said.

October

James Packer 'Very Clever' TV Raid Says Sen Stephen Conroy...

G'day punters, casino and media billions, those who aspire to be, journalists, politics and one and all. Australian and Asia Pacific gambling and lifestyle king, James Packer, is gaining powerful support in his expanding his empire, with a Network Ten share raid appearing to be a key focus. The move continues to have the attention of the world's casino and media billionaires, and even the Australian Communications Minister Sen Stephen Conroy has been drawn into the excitement, with a rare public comment on friend of sorts, Packer, and no, it didn't take a spot of golf this time around to get the senator to go on record with "Very Clever". Media Man http://www.mediamanint.com and Gambling911 reach out to you, the loyal and passionate readership with our "very clever" report...

Australian gambling and lifestyle 'king of the castle', James Packer is officially "very clever", at least that's the word from Australian Communications Minister, out friend and yours (satire), Senator Stephen Conroy. The Packer leap sets him up to be one of Australia's, if not the world's, kings of mainstream media. Packer has jumped on (in a smart and friendly fashion) Network Ten in a massive $245 million share raid that also sets him up for next year's AFL broadcast rights, and much more. The move is an exciting return for Packer as one of the Australian media's heavyweights some 4 years after he started selling off his family's famous share in PBL Media, including the main event attraction, the prestigious Nine Network. Analysts now expect the move will spark more maneuvering and "fun and games" in the industry by competitors ahead of key changes to Australian sports broadcast laws, notably the anti-siphoning regime that restricts pay-TV's shadow. Communications Minister, you're friend and ours (satire) Stephen Conroy previously said the purchase of Ten shares was a matter for Packer. Media and gaming insiders have noted its great to see Conroy stop attacking the gaming and media sector, and be balanced and non confrontational once again. Just maybe Conroy may like the fact that Australian television is easier to censors and "filter" than the internet, but that's only speculation.

Ok, we know Packer is a smart cookie and made a "very clever move", but let's dig a little deeper shall we.

'Our James', son of the late gambling and media mogul Kerry Packer, has been named as the mystery buyer of a A$250 million (S$318 million), 18% in Ten Network, one of Australia's 3 major commercial stations. Currently before the famed antitrust watchdog...Woof, Conroy said the investment posed "some issues around competition and concentration".

"But I think James is a very, very savvy businessman and this is a very clever move," Conroy told ABC TV. "I think he's got a foot in all the camps and he likes to have all the bases covered.".

Conroy declined to comment on whether he regarded Packer's stake as constituting a controlling interest in Ten, but said it was "clear... (he) has got more support than just his own holding from all indications." Regulators faced a 'real challenge' in deciding whether or not the move was anti-competitive, he added.

Packer has casino and gaming - gambling - sports betting interests in Australia and Macau but his company Consolidated Media Holdings also holds a 25% stake in pay-TV provider Foxtel and also owns 50% of the Fox Sports cable network. Fox Sports is also tied in with Premier Media Group, where some Media Man top brass once did some work experience. He effectively walked from commercial television 2 years back with the sale of most of his stake in rival Network Nine, an empire founded by his grandfather, Sir Frank Packer, and built up by his late father, Kerry. Packer said he had been lured back to the industry by the surprise success of extra free-to-air channels launched on the new digital spectrum by the major networks, saying he was "happy to be back".

"It's a vote of confidence for free-to-air television," Packer told News Limited - Rupert Murdoch owned The Sunday Telegraph newspaper, in his first public - on the record bit about the Ten share raid. "Multi-channels have surprised everybody with their outstanding success to take advertising dollars from other mediums while pay-TV stays strong."

Since the announcement of Packer's raid on Ten, both Network Ten and Crown Limited shares have continued an upward rise.

Media Man top brass added "James Packer surprises a few folks with his move back into television, Mind you, he surprised a few with his massive bounce back in the casino and gaming sector in Australia and Macau also, as well as his solid exit strategy from the mayhem Las Vegas. Watch for Packer to also ramp up in the online area, with Betfair maintaining a strong position. More online casino game content to hit Betfairs, and I would be totally surprised to see the likes of a Packer do a deal with other leaders like PartyGaming or Richard Branson's Virgin. Packer is friendly with Tom Cruise, featured in a PartyGaming release, and has also been spotted and photographed with Richard Branson over the years, so nothing is impossible for JP - James Packer at this stage of the game. He appears to have the killer instinct and is virtually unstoppable. You really have to give the devil his due. At the same time he is main tainting his friendship with Network Nine boss David Gyngell, so good on his for taking care of the work - life balance, something many media and gaming tycoons struggle with. Packer is starting to turn into a living legend, and we are not talking that up. The record speaks for itself. For anyone that wants to try to step in Packer's way, its game on.!

The Packer camp is expected to make more information available to the press in the coming days, and rest assured Media Man and Gambling911 are onto it.

More details on the Packer - Network Ten Raid...

Packer's Consolidated Media Holdings purchased the 15.6% stake in the network through investment bank UBS, a favorite of JP. A block of some 163.3 million Ten shares was traded in a single transaction at $1.50 a piece, according to the Australian Securities Exchange. Packer mate, David Gyngell, recently purchasing a modest $100,000 or so worth of Crown Limited shares. Numerous in the know sources, leaks et al continued to confirm Packer's company was indeed behind the sale.

The move also comes amid heavy speculation Packer is planning to privatise his gaming empire, Crown Limited, in which he has also recently increased his stake, leading by example, say the Packer supporters. Packer and Kerry Stokes began wrestling for Consolidated Media, which holds online and pay television assets in the middle of last year. The move got people talking about Packer moving into position ahead of the next round of AFL television rights that are up for grabs in 2011. They do say the early bird catches the worm, so Packer might be feeling a like a very confident worm as of late. CMH currently also owns a 25% stake at pay TV operator Foxtel.

BBY media analyst Mark McDonnell was prepared to go on record and advised the purchase put Fox Sports into a strategic position for the AFL rights. "It's very interesting, particularly with the AFL rights coming up again next year and, of course, Ten teamed up with Seven and Fox Sports the last time the contract was being renewed. Packer effectively owns Fox Sports and the AFL rights are going to be one of the big stories over the next 12 months." McDonnell said CMH may have also "simply" thought Ten's shares were going for a good price and Packer may have seen potential in the network's future. However he also said every free to air channel wanted the football broadcasting rights and the move positioned Ten into a strong position to again team up with Foxtel.

The purchase also coincides with the Gillard Government's review of anti-siphoning laws governing sports broadcasting on Australian television. Both Foxtel and the AFL have been lobbying for changes to the anti-siphoning legislation so pay-TV stations can bid for a minimum of 4 home-and-away matches a week. Packer is surrounded by media and sports on the home front, owning a pad overlooking Bondi Beach, world class pro surfers, favorite of NRL Sydney Roosters, mate Gyngell, the Bondi Rescue (Network Ten inked lads), and much much more. Yeah, Media Man has a pad there too, and Bondi Beach is constantly becoming home to Australia's best entertainment and sporting talent. Warnie, are you here yet mate? Poker in the beach park perhaps or a few slots at Bondi Icebergs Bergs Gaming? Changes to the anti-siphoning legislation could allow the 3 big free-to-air networks to broadcast AFL matches on their digital channels and AFL games on their secondary digital channels.

Senator Conroy's spokesman said the anti-siphoning review would be released "shortly". Network Ten declined to comment, while Media Man said "coincidences don't normally happen, be it in gambling, media or the internet business. Packer is smart and clearly his relationship and lines of communication with Sen Conroy are excellent, so you have to give the devil his due." A number of high profile media and gaming commentators also think its a smart move by Packer ramping up his TV interests, and industry talks says of Packer...fire in the belly, and his passion for news media has certainly bounced back. Insiders also tipped he enjoys seeing the balanced and positive coverage of his Crown Casino empire on Ten News and The 7PM Project, giving him a fair go, when some other Australian media companies choose to go more down the "attack journalism" path.

Packer also has plans to offer Australian's a full online casino offering via his 50% owned Betfair, which have noted the success of other online gambling operators servicing down under such as PartyGaming. Interestingly, PartyGaming's PartyPoker last year in a b2b type arrangement directed a number of their online poker players to Packer's poker tournament, Aussie Millions. Packer mate, Shane Warne, is also tipped to have a poker room and / or tourney named after him at Crown Casino, and its speculated other deals are on the radar with even some tipping Media Man, Casino News Media, Richard Branson - Virgin b2b and website portals in the mix. PartyGaming and NextGen Gaming are expected to also pitch to Packer and his team on the new media - internet front, and the brands 'Underbelly', 'Kerry Packer' and 'Casino Jack' keep coming up. Yep, Packer is a busy man and taking on the world and winning by all accounts.

A Media Man spokesperson added "James Packer's latest business plays have been brilliant. It's risk management, brand building, convergent media, relationship leveraging and more all in one. He's also buying entities at the right price, and has a global business model which helps ride out the world's financial storm, while also having an Australian - Asia Pacific focus, which is one of the strongest markets in the world at the moment, away from the chaos of sorts in Las Vegas and Atlantic City. From here on up it should be pretty smooth sailing for Packer and Billionaire Inc. Punters should likely expect some gambling or gaming reality TV shows, as Packer's passion for both having a punt and news media is pretty contagious. Packer is making exciting and smart business moves and has a world class team of advisers around him. He's also spending millions upgrading Crown and Burswood casinos, to help further cement them as the leaders, while Tabcorp tries to chase him with their Star City. Packer once again proves the knockers wrong, and we can't wait to get back down to Crown Casino to congratulate the Packer powers that be in person. From Bondi Beach to Palm Beach, Macau, Perth, the internet, to TV land - the world is his oyster. Watch this space".

Wrap Up...

Readers... er, punters, what's your view on the latest? Keep checking daily for updates. If you have a bet, please bet with your head, not over it, and for God's sake, have fun.

Crown Limited Share Price: $8.530

Network Ten Holdings Limited Price: $1.61

November

James Packer And Shane Warne Casino Deal...

What sort of business deals might an Aussie cricket legends and Australian casino king James Packer get up to? How about a Warnie branded poker room, and opening a bar or two, and plenty more win - wins in the works say those in the know. Warnie and Packer have also taken a liking to Tiger Woods, and some more good business is understood to be on the horizon for the daily double, soon to become a trio. Media Man http://www.mediamanint.com and Gambling911 take a swing with the bats and balls and sink a cold one with this special report...

Shane Warne Expands Business Empire...

Aussie cricket living legend Shane Warne is further expanding his business.

He's the face of a poker brand, might have a poker room named after him, has a hair care endorsement, a venue music deal with Media Man mate Kym Illman, and now word leaks of both a Warnie talk show coming up on Network Nine, and perhaps a drinking bar - watering hole at Crown too. What a party animal, (with brains, and friends in all of the right places).

The champion spinner is coming back from more business deals offered to him from good mate and self appointed mentor, James Packer. Get this, the Crown Casino rooftop bar might also offer cigars and be smoker friendly, but details are a tad sketchy at the moment.

Warne was happy to confirm he and Packer were looking at a joint venture deal but wasn't able to, or willing, to discuss details at this stage of the game.

"Myself and James Packer are going into business and doing something at Crown," he said. "There might be something happening at Crown in the next 12 months."

Quizzed if it would be on the rooftop, cheeky Warne replied with "It should be very good views."

Both Packer and Warnie are smokers and the former cricketer is known to enjoy a good cigar. Warnie new mate, golfer, Tiger Woods, is understood to be keen to spend more time with the spinner, but if he will brave the night air and a ciggy on the roof at Crown Casino is unclear.

A Crown spokesperson yesterday said Crown had "no comment on this matter at this stage".

Warne is also strongly rumoured to have a hamburger business deal in the worlds. We got a report he was seen eating a McDonald's burger, that might have been branded as his own. How hot or not the burger might be is the talk of cafes and bars in Melbourne. On the burger he's understood to have said "I don't do spicy stuff. Too many years in India."

He also said he had no problem endorsing Maccas, noting they offered many healthy options.

"We did a bit of due diligence on McDonalds," he said.

Warne even went as far to say his three kids don't mind a bit of Maccas.

"Once a week I say, 'What would you like to have?' ... eight out of 10 times, it's McDonald's."

Shane Warne Talk Show; May Mention Poker, Gambling...

It's going to be called Warne’s World, the chat show is scheduled to air on Thursdays at 9.30pm once the Ashes series kicks off next month. "We’ve secured two or three big-name guests at this stage so things are going well," Warne said. The hunt is on for potential co-hosts. It will also feature a slew of international mates. A production source said, "Warnie knows so many people – there are many closet cricket fans out there – so we’re expecting anyone who’s in town, whether it be a superstar singer or a Hollywood actor, to be called on by Shane." Maybe it possibly work as a summer cricketing counterpart to The Footy Show? Warne also recently appeared Top Gear Australia, the show he was heavily rumoured to be hosting, but the host gig didn't come off, of course. Warne's World sounds like a better fit for the former spinner.

Warnie Mate Tiger Woods Also Likes His Twitter...

Tiger Woods is now on Twitter. In his first tweet , the world's former No.1 golfer said, "What s up everyone. Finally decided to try out twitter!" In a second tweet, TigerWoods said, "Yep, it’s me. I think I like this twitter thing. You guys are awesome. Thanks for all the love." Woods' public image has taken a beating since last November, when a car accident outside his Florida home triggered reports of numerous extramarital affairs. Woods and ex-wife Elin Nordegren finalised their divorce in August. Woods has also struggled on the golf course in 2010, failing to win a tournament for the first time in his professional career. He lost the world No.1 ranking to Lee Westwood on October 31. Woods, currently "down under" in Australia, is understood to have a let chance of winning the Australian Masters, and insiders reckon his time with Aussie cricket legend and lady lover, Shane Warne, are helping the Tiger mindset. At the Masters - Crown Casino press conference their similar nocturnal habits were brought up, which got a smile and laugh from the "dream team". Granted, with the ladies or the press, Tiger is no Shane Warne, but he doesn't need to be. Go get 'em Tiger.

Warnie Did Not Have Facelift; Hair Treatment Works!...

Warne has denied having plastic surgery after a spat of rumours and innuendo about his appearance. The famous cricketer was finally forced to use his Twitter account to set the record straight after a picture of him at an event in Melbourne sparked a whirl of speculation. "No have not had facelift or any work done to face, training hard and lost 5kg. Yes have had teeth whitened," he tweeted. He later added: "NO have not had hair transplant, have re-grown my own hair with laser therapy!! It works and happy with results!!"

December

Aussie Rat-Pack Vice King Dies At 82; Secrets Of Australia Vice Dies With Da Man...

Former senior detective Tony Murphy, a king of Australian vice including the gambling and prostitution biz has died. Legend has is that he was once one of the most feared fit it and can do men in Sydney. By circa 2000 however has had assumed the position as the licensed operator of the TAB betting facility at Dunwich on Stradbroke Island, north east of Brisbane. Journey back to 70's as he was the law man now to cross, striking fear in the hearts of those who dared crossed him, and who, according to many who knew him, was the boss of corruption in a Queensland police force that was as rotten you could get. It was the landmark inquiry into police and political corruption headed by Tony Fitzgerald QC began in 1987 and concluded in July 1989, that resulting in the locking up of 4 National Party ministers as well as police commissioner Terry Lewis, and the charging of more than 250 other people, of whom 139 were found guilty. That's lot of heads, crooked cops et al. All told, 30 coppers were charged with crimes, 36 charges of official corruption laid and 10 indemnities granted to corrupt senior police who were involved in protecting illegal casino dens, brothels and unlicensed bookmakers. Yep, crooks and cops has finger in all sorts of pie. One against whom a bush tucked bag of allegations were made but who was never charged after the Fitzgerald inquiry was 'Our Murphy', who retired from his position of assistant commissioner in 1983 after a "smashing" 38-year career. The Fitzgerald inquiry was told that Murphy headed what was known as "The Rat Pack": a trio of crooked cops who organised the standover and the "creaming off" of organised crime in Queensland. The Rat Pack comprised Murphy who was the tough as shoe leather boss man, detective Glen Hallahan and Terry Lewis. Some insider say they were basically the creme and puppet masters of the brothels, gambling dens and a range of other popular vice industries. Yet another chapter of Queensland's love affair with vice and corruption has been put to rest.

Aussie Gambling And Media King James Packer And Mining King Andrew Forrest Tag Team On Resources Investment...

It's not quite the bright lights of the Las Vegas Strip, or even Packer's Crown Casino, but Packer and good friend "Twiggy" Forrest have teamed up again, the last known tag match being our favorite GenerationOne indigenous employment initiative. Australian-listed Medical Corporation saw its shares surge 342.86% to 16c yesterday, after it announced it was to buy Amphion International, a private company backed by Packer and Forrest, along with a $2.8 million share placement. Packer is also understood to be a shareholder in the Twig Meister's Fortescue Metals Group and as a vocal supporter of the mining king's Generation One program. Mining vet Miles Kennedy, the head of Amphion, will head up the new project, along with Medical Corp chairman Simon Lee, who has vast experience in the gold sector. Packer, Forrest, along with ex Multiplex director Tim Roberts, have supported the power play and will take up their full entitlement in the share placement, in a vote of confidence in the team finding a resource project. It is understood Medical Corp will soon change its name to reflect its new focus on the business of mining. The purchase of Amphion and the share placement would leave Medical Corp with about $12m in cash and listed shares to seek out a "suitable investment" in the resources sector. We wish the tag team will in their hunt for their next jackpot, and we might even pick up a shares soon, in yet another show of support in the Packer - Forrest dream team.

Wikileaks: Aussie Protests In Streets; May Riot?...

Wikileaks continues to draw national and international attention with its ongoing bombshells on diplomatic scandals, war strategy secrets and the like. You may recall that Gambling911.com was among the first websites to begin reporting on Wikileaks several months ago when a “black list” of Internet websites were released as part of a proposed “filtering” program. The effort, while supposedly in the name of protecting the nation’s youth from pornography, included legal gambling sites and even the web page for a local dentist.

The arrest of its founder, Julian Assang, two days ago on rape charges has many Aussies up in arms and they have taken their voice to the streets with a series of public protests. The buzz in 'Sin City' Sydney is that riots may follow! Readers will recall us forecasting great public disappointment in the way Australia was being run, with cover ups and political scandal been a key reason for Aussies getting severely pissed off. It's the Wikipedia lovers VS the Wiki haters (mainly some politicians and diplomatics). Media Man http://www.mediamanint.com and Gambling911 with the latest from the mean streets of 'Sin City' down under...

Most journalists, newsrooms, and Australians in general (plus gamers and gamblers) are with Assange. Why? How about because its about freedom of information and Wikileaks itself has not broken any laws, however at least a couple of its informers - leakers have.

The free flow of information (and ideas) is a human right under United Nations law. It's this free flow of data, often published by Wikileaks, that has made the Aussie government look like a pile of crap (that may long suspected, but couldn't prove)... now the proof is out there kids.

We and most newsrooms think that Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard has royally screwed up with her public comment on Wikileaks: "I absolutely condemn the placement of this information on the WikiLeaks website. It is a grossly irresponsible thing to do and an illegal thing to do.". What the hell was Gillard thinking. Perhaps she was just pandering to the United States government. Why? They don't have much or any credibility left, so why the heck bother.

Western governments continue to panic at red face level, are increasingly demanding for Assange's animal to be halted or "killed" as WikiLeaks continues to publish more than 250,000 confidential documents from the United States State Department, but its easier said than done. 'Our Julian' and his world class team have dozens of mirror websites on a number of domain names, so the .com is gone, but the other octopus tentacles are swimming the world's oceans like nobodies business. If they Chinese are staying pretty quite on the matter, despite being named and shamed in a number of wires. Ex Aussie PM Rudd mid week stayed on political message with a reply to the harsh comments a number of U.S diplomatics made about him. "Water off a ducks back". Ruddy, are you sure you the duck, are not known as the royal goose. You were running this country a few years ago, or so Australia's were led to believe. Did you lead as astray? That's right. It's the Labor Government, riddled with scandal, so of course you were!

Now, the guts and balls of the latest is protests, that may turn to riots!

Hundreds of pissed on Australians gathered in 3 cities yesterday to protest against the arrest of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Roughly 500 people gathered in Melbourne, 400 or so in 'Sin City' Sydney and 200 approx in Brisbane for the rallies which coincided perfectly with International Human Rights Day.

Our friend in the UK, Richard Branson, is big on human rights, as his community arm, Virgin Unite, along with 'Every Human Has Rights', and Media Man has previously tipped them off on a number of scandals in the Aussie Labor government, and now strong evidence has surfaced on some of the allegations that Media Man put forward. Yep, it look Like P.M Gillard will be going down for the count.

Some protesters wore face masks as they marched, knowing 'Big Brother' was watching with video cameras on just about every street corner, plus satellite eyes in the sky. The protesters were chanting and waving banners calling for the release of Assange.

'Mr Wikipedia' is being held in custody in London, wanted in Sweden for alleged sexual assault. Note it's a big "alleged".

"The reason why Julian Assange is facing a sex assault charge... is to de-mobilise public support," a protester cared to share.

"Julian Assange is a contemporary hero and we must all rally for him and for the cause."

Another protester said she was a survivor of sexual abuse.

"I know what it is to not be listened to and not be believed. I am standing here today and I am saying free Julian Assange," she said.

"Feminists for free speech are saying loud and clear they will not use our struggle against sexual assault in their struggle against freedom of speech."

Among the speakers to address the Melbourne rally was Assange's Melbourne-based legal eagle Rob Stary, who said the Federal Government should be ashamed of its approach to the matter at hand.

"What we need to do is continue to agitate publicly, we need to agitate with our so-called political representatives, to expose the sham of all this, to support WikiLeaks, to support Julian Assange, to show greater transparency and greater accountability," he said.

Up north in Bris Vegas - Brisbane, Peter Russo, the legal eagle for Dr Mohammad Haneef who was accused of supporting terrorism while working at a Gold Coast hospital, addressed the wild eyed rally.

He was adamant that freedom of society was at stake and called for due process to be followed in court.

"It's an important occasion because it's important that we understand that really what's at stake here is freedom, and it's not only the freedom of the individual, it's the freedom of all of us," he said.

Former Democrats senator and Greens candidate Andrew Bartlett told the fired up rally the Aussie public needs to send a strong message to governments across the globe about what he said was the persecution of 'Mr Wikileaks' Assange.

"We do not accept and we do not support governments using their power to persecute individuals, using corporate power, abusing and misusing the law, calling publicly for individuals who've not even been accused of any crime to be assassinated, to be called a terrorist," he said.

Greens party Upper House MP Lee Rhiannon, well known to Bondi Beach based social and community entrepreneurs, was in the mix at the Sydney rally to bash the Federal Government's stance against WikiLeaks.

"Now we have seen over the years from successive Coalition and Labor governments doing whatever the US administration wants. So right now Prime Minister Julia Gillard and Attorney-General Robert McClelland have really gone too far. Ms Gillard, shame. Absolute shame."

Australian shadow communications minister, Malcolm Turnbull, member for Wentworth (and political king of Bondi Beach), a former internet entrepreneur himself has a lot to say (and write) on the Wikileaks matter, and his relent history in these type of things, and we thank MT for allowing up to republish part of with full credit to the man himself...

There are many reactions to the wikileaks disclosures. More than twenty years ago in the Spycatcher litigation I successfully argued for a former MI5 officer’s right to publish his memoirs, and, in part, on the basis that their disclosure showed the British Government had engaged in criminal activities.

However it is fair to say that we also argued that there was no current operational material in the book, that we had offered it to the British Government to be blue-pencilled (to remove any such material) and in any event almost all of it was no longer confidential having been previously published (with the connivance of MI6).

So this material is very different from Peter Wright’s memoirs and in many respects is quite unique; the only comparable disclosure being Daniel Ellsberg’s Pentagon Papers. Mr Assange is being denounced just about everywhere and has gone so far as to claim that Australia has abandoned them. That is not, and should not, be the case.

I note that my colleague Senator George Brandis has described Mr Assange’s actions as morally reprehensible but not legally actionable, and I am sure that is right. I cannot see how he could be said to have breached any Australian law and I understand that it is not alleged he has broken any American law.

Mr Assange is free to return to Australia and if he is charged with a crime overseas then he would be entitled to consular assistance.

So his claims of being "abandoned" by Australia seem rather melodramatic. On the other hand the Prime Minister’s clumsy accusations of criminal activity on the part of Mr Assange just reinforce the impression that in this, as in so many other areas, she is way out of her depth.

So, having said that, what are we to make of Mr Assange’s conduct?

Governments will always seek to suppress leaks of information, especially if they contain embarrassing information. There is a public interest in shedding more light on the activities of Government. (Turnbull's full article is located on his official website for interested readers).

Assange, an Australian citizen, recently published an opinion piece in Rupert Murdoch's The Australian newspaper. An excerpt from a preview begins, "In 1958, a young Rupert Murdoch, then owner and editor of Adelaide's The News, wrote: "In the race between secrecy and truth, it seems inevitable that truth will always win."

Media Man also tips that Murdoch and / or Assange fans (or anti fans) should check out the movies 'They Live', 'The Net', 'The Running Man', 'Black & White', 'Citizen Kane' and 'The Shawshank Redemption' for further insight into the media and legal systems. Social media fans will also enjoy 'The Social Network' which focuses on 'Facebook', who has also also seen a lot of legal and media action since they first hit the web, even before the world caught the internet bug, with most getting hooked into the information pandoras box.

Wikileaks: Wonderful or wicked? You be the judge, jury and executioner.


So folks, that was the year that was. How did we do? It would have been just about impossible to list all of the Aussie highlights this year, but we wanted to remind the loyal readership of what a mega year it was for news from "down under".

Awards...

Last month was a big month for casino awards. Let's have a look...

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? Have you been naughty or nice, and what sort of Xmas present are you gambling on? 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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