Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Crown Casino - Crown Limited punts $1.5bn to fend off competition, by Greg Tingle - 26th August 2011


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Crown is counting on on a $1.5 billion capital expenditure program at its Australian land based casinos to help lift earnings in the second half of 2012 and beyond to help offset the impact of increased competition on Australian soil and offshore.

The James Packer-backed company reported a 15 per cent increase in annual net profit to $335.9 million, struck on a 3 per cent increase in revenue to $2.41bn.

It declared a final dividend of 19c a share, 50 per cent franked.

However, the profit increase was largely underpinned by a better-than-expected result from the Macau-based Melco Crown Entertainment (MPEL) joint venture, in which Crown holds a 33.4 per cent stake.

Crown's actual share of MPEL's bumper earnings was $34.9m for 2011, normalised to $19.2m when taking into account the win rate on VIP program play, compared with Crown's $69.5m share of MPEL's loss last year.

Macau's year-on-year gaming revenue growth in the seven months to July was 45.2 per cent.

But results at Crown's Australian casinos - Crown in Melbourne and Burswood in Perth - were largely flat in 2011 as they battled increased competition from new casinos in Singapore, softening consumer sentiment and refurbishment disruptions.

"We expect the impact of Singapore, we will continue to feel that, and obviously it is a question of how we can replace that business with new business out of China and new business out of Singapore," Crown chief executive Rowen Craigie said yesterday.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation at Burswood was $176.2m in 2011, down from $183.5m a year earlier. Mr Craigie said Burswood's earnings would remain under pressure until the completion of the refurbishment program of the casino's VIP facilities, which is due by Christmas. "Burswood is playing in this game with one hand tied behind its back, given Macau and Singapore have largely completed their cap-ex programs. Burswood is yet to complete theirs," Mr Craigie said.

Analysts yesterday were generally happy with the group's result.

"We view Crown's FY11 slightly ahead of consensus result as sound," Deutsche Bank told clients. However, Crown shares closed 2.7 per cent lower at $7.87.

Mr Craigie said main gaming floor revenue growth for the start of the new financial year to date in the group's Australian casinos was 3.8 per cent, and non-gaming revenue was up 7.4 per cent.

This is in contrast to Echo Entertainment, owner of Sydney's Star City casino and Jupiters casino on the Gold Coast, which last week reported revenue growth of 8 per cent in the year to date. Echo is confident a landmark $1bn facelift for Star City will significantly boost revenues in the second half of next year, but Mr Craigie played down the competitive threat to Crown.

Crown also revealed it would buy back up to 30 million shares or 4 per cent of its issued equity.

The buyback is expected to lift Mr Packer's 43 per cent stake in Crown.

Crown continues to hold a 4.9 per cent stake in both Echo Entertainment and Tabcorp.

The stakes were acquired before the Tabcorp demerger.

Analysts said the announcement of a buyback indicated Crown had no intention to move on either company.

"Crown has stated it has no intention of increasing its holding in either, and the announcement on the buyback would seem to confirm this," Citi analysts said.

Crown says it intends to appoint former Howard government minister Helen Coonan as an additional independent non-executive director.

Crown feels heat from Singapore...

Casinos operator Crown Ltd says it is feeling the effect of competition from new casinos in Singapore.

But the company may be in a better position when extensive refurbishments of its Melbourne and Perth casinos are completed.

"We expect to continue to feel the impact of Singapore, and it's a question as to how we can replace that business with new business out of China and also new business out of Singapore,'' Crown chief executive Rowen Craigie said yesterday.

"We have programs in place to pursue both those objectives."

Crown yesterday reported a 14.9 per cent rise in annual net profit to $335.9 million for the 12 months to June 30, boosted by a $34.9 million gain from its 33 per cent stake in casino operator Melco Crown Entertainment in Macau.

The Crown casino in Melbourne and Burswood casino in Perth had a mixed performance as operations continued to be disrupted by renovations.

Crown has spent about $1.5 billion in capital expenditure from 2007 to 2011 and will spend about $540 million on Crown and Burswood in the 2012 financial year.

Crown also said that in the second half of the 2010-11 financial year, a few areas of its Australian operations had been affected by a softening in consumer sentiment.

Both casinos were affected by competition from two new casino-resorts that opened in Singapore.

Burswood casino experienced a 32.3 per cent fall in revenue from VIP gamblers as Burswood's new VIP facilities were not yet finished, and Asian high-rollers decided to carry out their betting in Singapore.

Mr Craigie said Singaporean gamblers now had options of close-to-home casinos and did not have to travel to Macau or Australia to gamble.

"That needs to be factored into the business, going forward, but the good news is the VIP market continues to grow strongly, courtesy of China," Mr Craigie said.

He said that it had to borne in mind that the refurbishments in Melbourne and Perth were still to be completed.

"So Perth is playing in this game with one hand tied behind its back," Mr Craigie said.

He declined to provide estimates of Burswood's future VIP revenue but said: "I think you could say we're looking forward to the Burswood VIP (refurbishment) program to be completed.

"If the Burswood VIP assets are completed by Christmas, and we think they will be, I probably wouldn't have to be Einstein to suggest that Burswood, going forward, is probably going to do better than Burswood has in the last 12 months."

Mr Craigie said the 2011 results reflected a "reasonable" performance from the Australian casinos in the non-VIP businesses.

Main-floor gaming generated revenue growth of 5.6 per cent.

Non-gaming revenue grew by 10.6 per cent, benefiting from the first full year of operation if the Crown Metropol hotel in Melbourne.

Mr Craigie said the Melco Crown Entertainment joint venture in Macau continued to improve its performance and was the major contributor to the profit growth of the group.

Crown said that in trading across both its casinos from July 1 to August 18, main-floor gaming revenue had grown by 3.8 per cent and non-gaming revenue was up 7.4 per cent.

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Sydney Reveals Its New Darling: The Star


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The Darling, Sydney's newest hotel, will breathe new life into the Sydney hotel landscape when it opens in October 2011. Nestled on the edge of Sydney harbour, The Darling will exemplify attention to detail, making this imaginative gem an indulgent and relaxing experience. The boutique accommodation will boast panoramic views of the city skyline, Harbour Bridge and out to the Blue Mountains.

The Darling will include 171 stylish rooms and suites, with the top floors dedicated to the ultimate in luxury, featuring two bedroom penthouse suites. The suites, uniquely designed by renowned LA designer, Lawrence Lee, feature floor-to-ceiling Sydney harbour views, bespoke furniture, fireplaces, media rooms, butler service and a private VIP arrival.

The Darling is a key feature in the $860 million refurbishment and extension of The Star, transforming it into a one-of-a-kind entertainment destination and a strong addition to Sydney’s overall leisure landscape. The entire complex will be re-orientated to face Darling Harbour, plus will introduce over 20 new bars, cafes and restaurants, a shopping area and a fully refurbished casino when it re-opens towards the end of the year.

The Darling has been designed as a stand-alone hotel, with its own arrival experience, amenities and alluring personality. It is the first five-star new build hotel in Sydney since the 2000 Olympic Games. Built in addition to the existing hotel and apartments, The Darling will bring the total rooms and suites at The Star to over 650 across three towers.

Introducing Drew Schlesinger

The new hotel General Manager, Drew Schlesinger, was hand-picked to manage the new hotel, based on his experience and success of opening and managing landmark hotels around the globe including the InterContinental at New York Times Square, The Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa and The Water Club in Atlantic City and the Mondrian Hotel Los Angeles.

“Our philosophy of The Darling is to take every aspect, whether it is a water glass or a coat hanger, and pay close attention to its form and function. From the coloured, soft coat hangers, to the hand-made drinking glasses in guest rooms. From the Egyptian cotton thread count bed sheets to the quality of the mattresses,” Drew explained.

“The architecture and design is sleek with subdued hues, yet the ambiance is warm and inviting – and there's certainly nothing modest about our plush comforts. The spa will round out the experience and be a welcome addition to Sydney,” he added.

Spa and Restaurant

A luxurious day spa with 16 private rooms is set to deliver pampering to the highest levels. An extensive array of Asian and European inspired treatments will feature at the spa, including an indulgent hamam, which is a Turkish variant of a steam bath, sauna or Russian Bath, distinguished by a focus on water.

The spa will be run by experienced international spa operator, Jeanette Haua. Jeanette’s experience includes managing Shangri La CHI spas in Mactan, Boracay and Manila in the Phillipines, plus spa experience in Fiji and Turkey.

The hotel will also be home to a stunning, contemporary Japanese restaurant called Sokyo, from Chase Kojima, formerly with Nobu restaurants, delivering an exciting and unexpected menu.

Luxury Retail Offering

A sophisticated new retail area will feature some of the leading luxury brands, including Chanel Fragrance and Beauty Boutique, Gucci and Bottega Veneta. Boasting 5,500m2 of floor space, the upscale retail space will be conveniently located between the hotel, refurbished casino, restaurants and entertainment venues.

Other features of The Darling include:

· An outdoor custom designed pool area with a deck, cabanas and bar.
· Access to the 20 new restaurants, bars and cafes featuring renowned Australian and international chefs including David Chang, Teage Ezard, Stefano Manfredi, Adriano Zumbo, Flying Fish & Chips and Golden Century.
· Access to the new retail collection including the following brands:
o G Star Raw, Calvin Klein Jeans, IM lingerie, Chanel Fragrance and Beauty Boutique, Salvatore Ferragamo , LK Jewellery, Gucci, Bottega Veneta , Moda Emporio

Reservations for The Darling will start from August 2011, on 1800 800 830. The Star will open its new bars, restaurants and retail collection from September whilst The Darling opens in late October 2011.

For further information, please visit

Notes to Editors

Room features:
- King and double/double size beds plus pillows designed exclusively for The Darling
- Kitchens located in penthouse suites and spa tubs in selected suites
- Sheets – 400 thread count Egyptian long-staple cotton throughout
- High Definition HD LED TVs and cable TV with on demand features
- Latest in-room entertainment centre (iPod, radio etc)
- State of the art telecommunications systems with conference and speaker capability with fibre optics and IP TV’s.
- Private/direct line access availability to specific rooms and data port connections for modem/fax hook ups

Drew Schlesinger- Bio

With 34 years of experience, Drew has served as General Manager and Director of Operations in major metropolitan cities, including New York City, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Atlanta. Most recently he was the General Manager for the InterContinental at New York Times Square.

Drew has also managed operations of the The Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa and The Water Club in Atlantic City; managed the pre-opening and grand opening of 70 Park Avenue Hotel, The Kimpton Hotels & Resorts’ first hotel in New York City; and served as General Manager of Mondrian Hotel Los Angeles, an Ian Schrager Hotel.

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Casinos Of The World: Land Based And Online, Casino Awards By Media Man And Casino News Media

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Media Man And Casino News Media Awards - August 2011

Media Man and Casino News Media have awarded their casino award winners and finalists for August 2011.

Land Based Australian Casino Of The Month: Crown Casino, 2nd The Star (formally Star City Casino), 3rd Burswood Casino, 4th The Reef Hotel Casino (Cairns)

Online Casino Of The Month: 2nd Virgin Casino 3rd Grand Reef Online Casino 4th Paddy Power Online Casino 5th PKR Casino

*Online casino awards are based on a combination of gameplay, trustworthiness, ethics, customer feedback, affiliate program offerings, word of mouth, customer experience and overall offerings

*Media Man and Casino News Media have been awarding the 'Casino Of The Month' accolade for the land based and online sector since 2009.

Punters, here's 10 of the world's top land based casinos for you to mark down in your travel plans.

Monte Carlo, Monaco: Perched above the Mediterranean and bounded by the French
and Italian coastlines on either side, Monaco provides a spectacular and luxurious setting for the wealthy and the wannabees. Home to the Monaco Grand Prix and the legendary Casino de Monte Carlo, this isn't the place for those on a tight
budget. The magnificent Casino hosts the annual European Poker Tour and was also the scene of several James Bond Films, including the original "Casino Royale" and "Golden Eye".

Paradise Island, Bahamas: Located just off the shore of the city of Nassau, Paradise
Island is best known for its sprawling 'Vegas-by-the-sea' resort, Atlantis. The resort spans seven acres along a lagoon, where guests can soak up the Caribbean sun and choose from a variety of outdoor gaming areas. When in need of a break from
the tables, guests can enjoy the private beach or one of the resorts 20 sunlit pools.

Melbourne, Australia: As Australia's sporting and entertainment capital, Melbourne
offers the perfect option for high rollers looking for a local break. Aussies need look no further than Crown Casino on the southern bank of the Yarra River, which is one of the largest casino complexes in the southern hemisphere. The main gambling
floor stretches more than half a kilometre and the casino was the first to introduce the new game Rapid Roulette, which allows players to place bets on a personal electronic touch screen connected to a central roulette wheel.

Macau, China: Known as the 'Monte Carlo of the Orient,' and the gambling capital of Asia, Macau now rivals Monaco and Las Vegas as one of the premier gambling destinations in the world. With no less than 33 casinos, in addition to local horse and greyhound racing venues, Macau is perfect for the betting junkie. The Wynn Macau
casino is a standout, highlighted by 24-carat gold 'Tree of Prosperity' at the entrance, extravagant water displays and Moon Jellyfish Aquarium at reception.

Baden-Baden, Germany: Situated on the western foothills of the Black Forest and on
the banks of the Oos River, Baden-Baden is not your typical casino town. However, in addition to its hot springs and picturesque countryside, the town is also known for its 200-year-old 'Spielbank' casino - the oldest of its type in Germany. With French chateau-style salons rooms named after historical figures such as Madame Pompadour and Louis XV's mistress, the quirky casino provides visitors with a very unique
gaming experience.

Las Vegas, United States: With over 1700 licensed casinos in operation, Las Vegas
offers the ultimate package for travellers who fancy a flutter. A visit to the famous 'Strip' is a must for any player, whether they're looking for a spin on the roulette table or a game of blackjack - this city has it all. The iconic Caesar's Palace
hotel and casino offers 129,000 square feet of casino space plus an endless smorgasbord of entertainment, shopping and fine dining options, including Cleopatra's barge, a floating lounge perfect for a relaxing drink after a jam-packed night on the
casino floor.

Manila, The Philippines: With a favourable exchange rate, Manila provides great value
for Aussies wanting to live the high-life overseas. The city offers a range of shopping and entertainment options, along with a world-class casino at the Hyatt Hotel. Spread across three levels, the sparkling casino offers the newest in gaming
facilities for both hotel guests and visitors, and is just a short distance from Manila's tourist hub.

Sun City, South Africa: Known as 'Africa's Kingdom of Pleasure,' this luxury resort
and casino complex, just two hours from Johannesburg, boasts two large casinos, two 18-hole golf courses and a wildlife reserve. At the extravagant yet picturesque Palace of the Lost City, guests are treated to stunning valley views from the guestrooms, along with exclusive access to the Grand Pool. The nearby Sun City Casino is the entertainment Mecca of the resort, featuring a myriad of gaming options as well as an indoor jungle of native foliage and water fountains.

Atlantic City, United States: Regarded as the US's 'Las Vegas of the East', Atlantic City in New Jersey is renowned for its gambling, shopping and fine dining. Towering above the banks of the Atlantic Ocean, the Trump Taj Mahal casino is an icon of the city, with an on-site shopping district and an abundance of restaurants and bars. The
157,000 square-foot casino is also hard to miss, with 3,500 slot machines and 200 table games. Unveiled in 1990 by a number of celebrities, including the late Michael Jackson, the casino is the second-largest in Atlantic City and well worth a visit.

Genting Highlands, Malaysia: Nestled on the Titiwangsa mountain range, just an hour's
drive from Kuala Lumpur and 6,000 feet above sea level, the Resorts World Genting offers 360-degree views of the surrounding countryside. This spectacular resort has first-class accommodation, dining and entertainment, while avoiding the hustle and bustle of a capital city. The on-site casino, which covers 200,000 square feet, is Malaysia's sole gaming venue and is divided into separate themed areas, such as Hollywood and Monte Carlo, for the ultimate gambling experience.

Online Casinos: : The world's leading online casino brand and part of Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment. Play for free or play for money at New players get up to $3000 sign up bonus via Media Man. : Virgin Casino is part of Virgin Games. The parent company is Virgin Enterprises Limited, the creation of the world's most famous and celebrated entrepreneur, Sir Richard Branson. Unfortunately the casino does not accept players from many countries due to what is known in legal circles as "grey areas". Most European players can play, but no Americans, Canadians, Australians or New Zealanders.

Captain Cooks Casino : Was once a very popular online casino with Australians and New Zealanders, however we understand these days they can only accept players from a few regions such as Europe, South Africa, Canada and South America.

PKR : Once only a 2D online poker room, they are now more 3D and offer online poker and a good range of online casino games, including classics, Marvel slots and table games.

Media Man's top online casino choice: PartyCasino is a multi-time Media Man 'Online Casino Of The Month' winner and have also won awards from EGR. Earlier this year PartyGaming merged with Bwin to create the worlds leading igaming company, Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment.


Wagering firms take fee case to High Court...

A legal battle between two wagering firms and NSW racing authorities has begun in the High Court.

Betfair says a 1.5 per cent turnover fee levied by Racing NSW reduces competition and discriminates against interstate operators.

Counsel for Betfair, Neil Young QC, on Tuesday told the court the fee was not uniform but in fact was discriminatory.

He said Betfair participated in a national market.

Betfair argues the turnover fee will affect its ability to operate because the company is a low-margin operation that matches punters against each other.

The company then takes its commission from winning bets.

In March, both Betfair and Sportsbet were granted leave to appeal against a decision by the Federal Court that they tender the fee as legislated.

Both firms say paying the fee on gross profit is a fairer way to operate.

Overseas based firms such as Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment, Paddy Power and PMU are watching the case closely.

Paddy Power Active Customers Already Exceeds All of 2010 Figures...

Ireland’s biggest online bookmaker, Paddy Power, is attributing mobile gaming to its massive surge in active customers. This year’s numbers already exceed that of the entire 2010.

Just over a third of its active customers made transactions via mobile devices. Online products are now contributing 81% of the group’s operating profit, according to the Financial Times of London.

Paddy Power CEO Patrick Kennedy told the Financial Times: "We invested in a very good product and backed it up with TV advertising and online marketing."

The online business generated €45.3m in operating profit, a rise of 25% compared to the same period in 2010. Its land-based shops continue to suffer, however.

Playtech Signs Gala Coral Contract, Acquires Mobile-Bet Company...

Playtech Ltd, the Internet gambling software maker and content developer which has a joint venture with William Hill Plc (WMH), said it signed a long-term contract with Gala Coral Group Ltd., and acquired Mobenga AB, a mobile-phone sports-betting company.

Playtech will pay as much as 15.8 million euros ($22.4 million) for Mobenga, the Isle of Man-based company said in a statement. Playtech also said second-quarter revenue rose 7 percent to 39.6 million euros over the same period a year earlier, led by online casino games.

Gala Coral, which has 2,000 betting shops in the U.K. and Italy, should become one of Playtech’s top three clients within a year after its software is transferred, in 2012, Playtech’s Chief Executive Officer Mor Weizer said in a telephone interview. Mobenga will help Playtech expand in mobile telephone gambling, which generates 30 percent of bets for some companies, he said.

“This is a very important win for us,” Weizer said. “We already have most of the established operators in the U.K., and Gala Coral we were after for a long time.”
Playtech gained 18.25 pence, or 5.4 percent, to 356.75 pence at 8:47 a.m. in London, after earlier rising as much as 6.3 percent. The shares have fallen 16 percent so far this year, giving the company a market value of 866.3 million pounds.

Stockholm-based Mobenga will give Playtech the ability to combine sports-betting, casino and poker games in one mobile- phone application, Weizer said.

Playtech generates more than 10 million pounds ($16.1 million) from its biggest client, Imperial E-Club Ltd., Weizer said.


Most of the company’s clients attract players through sports, though they make most of their money through games, so they’re always seeking to convert sports betters to game players, he said.

Second-quarter casino revenue gained 9 percent to 27.3 million euros, and bingo sales increased 32 percent to 3.6 million euros, the company said.

Poker sales dropped 32 percent to 5 million euros, the company said. The poker business declined even though the U.S. charged founders of online poker companies still accepting games in the country with money laundering in April.

Weizer said the companies still had cash to lure poker players. Poker numbers have been “picking up” since the end of June, when one of the companies stopped play, he said. Full Tilt Poker, then the world’s second-biggest poker site, lost its license from Alderney on June 29.

PartyCasino Gets New Games...

Aztec Gold, Atomic Fruit, Nag's To Riches and Fairies Forest. Check out the new games here.

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Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Marvel Entertainment: Don't just read the comics and watch the movies; Play the games!

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Wrestling News Media: Dwayne Johnson aka "The Rock" Bringing Hulk Hogan And Roddy Piper’s Legendary Stories To TV / Movies; NBC Talk, by Greg Tingle

Scoop: By Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment To Get Andre The Giant Online Slot Game


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Dwayne Johnson and Jerry Bruckheimer are teaming up for a new TV project, set in the world of competitive wrestling in the ’80s. The NBC offering hails from Jerry Bruckheimer Television in association with Warner Bros. Television; Johnson (“Fast Five”) will be an EP on the project but no word on whether he’ll actually appear in the series. Deadline says it will be written by Brent Fletcher and Seamus Kevin Fahey (”Spartacus: Gods of the Arena”), who will co-executive produce alongside KristieAnne Reed. Johnson will next be seen in the Uni tentpole “G.I Joe : Retalliation”.

NBC Buys Dwayne Johnson-Bruckheimer Wrestling Drama Set In 1980s...

NBC is getting in the ring with a put pilot commitment to a drama about the 1980s professional wrestling boom that is executive produced by one of the biggest ’90s wrestling stars, Dwayne Johnson, aka The Rock. The fictional drama set in the world of wrestling in the ’80s hails from Bruckheimer TV, marking a departure from the company’s signature brand of procedurals. It will be written by Brent Fletcher and Seamus Kevin Fahey (Spartacus: Gods of the Arena), who will co-executive produce alongside KristieAnne Reed. Johnson, Bruckheimer and Jonathan Littman are executive producing.

The ’80s, often called “the golden age of wrestling”, marked a surge in the popularity of professional wrestling in the U.S. fueled by the growth of cable television and pay-per-view and the efforts of hot-shot promoters like Vince McMahon. During that period, pro wrestling shifted from a system controlled by numerous regional companies to a system dominated by two nationwide companies: Ted Turner’s World Championship Wrestling and McMahon’s World Wrestling Federation. It featured the launch of WrestleMania and the emergence of wrestling’s first crop of superstars led by Hulk Hugan. The project extends the popularity of period dramas among the broadcast networks, which have two such series, the 1960s-set Pan Am on ABC and The Playboy Club on NBC, premiering this fall. It also expands wrestling’s presence at NBCUniversal. NBC’s sibling network USA carries WWE Raw as well as the revival of WWE Tough Enough. This is the third sale and third put pilot commitment for Bruckheimer TV so far this development season. The company recently set up a Navy SEALs drama at ABC and a procedural about a mom-turned-New York State Trooper at CBS. Fahey, repped by UTA and Underground Films & Management, previously worked with Bruckheimer TV as a writer on the ABC series The Forgotten. Fletcher is with CAA.

Bruce Willis is on board for New Orleans-shot 'G.I. Joe 2,' co-star Dwayne Johnson confirms...

Rumors have been swirling for weeks involving Bruce Willis' reported negotiations to join the New Orleans cast of Paramount Pictures' big-budget, high-octane "G.I. Joe" sequel. This weekend, confirmation finally came -- from none other than "G.I. Joe: Retaliation" co-star Dwayne Johnson.

Johnson, who has been generous with the Twitter updates since arriving in town last month to begin prepping for the film, let the cat out of the bag Saturday (Aug. 20) with the following tweet:

"Welcome brother Bruce Willis to the cast of GI Joe! What an honor. #HeavyArtillery."

Paramount hasn't issued an official announcement yet, but Willis reportedly had been in talks to play Gen. Joe Colton, the character who started the G.I. strike team in the 1980s comic books and who is referred to by many as the "original" G.I. Joe.

He joins a cast that includes Johnson, as Roadblock; Adrienne Palicki, as Lady Jaye; and Channing Tatum, reprising his role as Capt. Duke Hauser from 2009's "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra."

Jon M. Chu ("Step Up 3D," "Justin Bieber: Never Say Never") is directing.

It's only the latest in a string of recent New Orleans-shot projects for Willis, including "RED," "Looper," "Lay the Favorite" and "Fire with Fire."

The big-budget "G.I. Joe 2: Retaliation" started filming last week as part of an extended shoot that is expected to see it continue to Thanksgiving. The film is scheduled for a July 29, 2012, release.

Andre The Giant Slot Game Developed By NextGen Gaming

Legendary wrestler Andre The Giant now has his own slot game. The game was developed by developer NextGen Gaming. The slot game is expected to go live before the conclusion of this year and is tipped to be added to the portfolio of Media Man reports.

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Monday, August 29, 2011

Leonardo DiCaprio to Star in The Gambler Remake, by Greg Tingle - 28th August 2011


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Paramount Pictures are revisiting the 1974 movie with Martin Scorsese in the director's chair and recently landed Leonardo DiCaprio in the leading role. The script about a literature professor with a gambling addiction is being written by William Monahan, who also wrote The Departed, another Scorsese-DiCaprio film. It wouldn't even be the first remake DiCaprio will have worked on this year — he recently finished work on Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby. Nor would it be the first or even second time he'll have worked with Scorsese. In fact, this would be the fifth time, with their joint titles including last year's Shutter Island and the Howard Hughes biopic The Aviator, for which DiCaprio won a Golden Globe in 2004.

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Saturday, August 27, 2011

Sydney Hilton Hotel Zeta Bar titillates and tantalises again with ‘extreme cabaret’ - 26th August 2011


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Hilton Sydney’s Zeta Bar is continuing to take guests back to the sexy mystique of the nineteenth century underworld, or Underbelly if you will, every Friday night until the end of September.

Management, staff and guests are having a who ha of a time as the boundaries of traditional cabaret continue to be pushed, such is the is the titillating and tantalising nature of the
experience at Zeta’s brand new ‘Extreme Cabaret’, now into its 5th fantasy - devilish week.

It's world famous Zeta Bar was once again transformed into a theatrical era gone by. It's Moulin Rouge meets Burlesque, plus a dash of Underbelly, with live sensual themes to tantalise and titillate you naughty little guys and girls, and then of course you have the addictive cocktails to keep things kicking along. Don't drink too much please or you might end up dreaming about 'Eyes Wide Shut' and it's version of adult style fantasy fun and games. Oh, you must give 'Green Fairy' absinthe a go. It's the hip drink to have when being titillatated by the ‘Extreme Cabaret’ were hear.

Zeta’s very own in-house ‘ringmaster’ of cocktails and international expert bar consultant, Grant Collins, is the mastermind behind Extreme Cabaret at Zeta.

“To mirror the unique and vibrant event concept, I have developed a menu of cocktails with the same theatre and ‘shock factor’ as the dramatic d├ęcor and extraordinary acts,” Collins said. “Be prepared to expect the unexpected at Extreme Cabaret! I have no doubt that the acts, atmosphere and cocktails will amaze everyone who experiences them and keep them coming back for more.”

Be there every funky and flirty Friday night, live entertainment will transport you to a lurid fantasy world, including pretty extreme burlesque performers, juggling little people, fire acts, complete with shock-humour and Ringmaster, and maybe even one or two unspeakables, but you will just have to get your body to turn up and find out for yourself you curious souls.

Last night it was one of the Human Statue models Anastasiya Bakss performing in a wonderful yellow and red 2 piece peacock feathered styled number, and believe me, there was more skin than feathers darlings.

Anastasiya was just wonderful once the performance got on the way. What the public didn't see was all of the hard work that went into the costume and make-up, backstage in the green room, as artists worked to ultra stiff deadlines. The models were transformed them into Extreme Cabaret superstars with the unique Human Statue look and style.

Network Nine 'Underbelly' stars were back in attendance tonight, but we've been asked not to name names. You'll see some of them back on Channel Nine this Sunday night as 'Underbelly Razor' enters its second week back on the box.

Special thanks to Grant, Manual, Dave and Karina at the Hilton for keeping things running so beautifully for us, and partygoers might like to also add themselves to the Hilton Hotel Honours Club like my friend and I did.

If you desire to be titillated and tantalised to your hearts content, this is your opportunity to snatch and seize the night.

*photography by Eva Rinaldi Photography

*artistic creations by Human Statue Bodyart


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Media Man Gaming, Casino And Entertainment News Report, by Greg Tingle - 27th August 2011


Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment Playtech IGT Wrestling Marvel Entertainment Movies World Poker Tour United States Australia Casinos Politics Gaming World Directory Brands Media Man

Media Man 'Online Casino Of The Month Award'... has once again won the Media Man 'Online Casino Of The Month' Award. Richard Branson's picked up 2nd place, while new entrant into the Asia Pacific Region, Grand Reef Online Casino picks up 3rd. Well done to all brands.

Coonan offered position on Crown Limited board...

Former Liberal Party senator Helen Coonan has a new job offer, just days after resigning from Parliament.

Crown Casino has announced its intention to appoint the former communications minister to its board.

The gaming regulator has to sign off on the appointment, but Crown hopes to have her on the board before Christmas.

Independent Senator Nick Xenophon says he is saddened by the appointment.

"Helen Coonan's had a distinguished career and public life," she said.

"She's been a senior minister in the Howard government and to take a position on the board of a company, Crown Casino, where we know they peddle a product - poker machines, gambling - that causes so much misery to so many, is pretty sad."

Echo Entertainment $226m Casinos Profit...

Sin City Sydney's Star City casino redevelopment is on track, according owners Echo Entertainment.

Echo, which holds a portfolio of casinos including Star City and Jupiters on the Gold Coast, yesterday reported a maiden profit of $226 million after spinning off from gaming group Tabcorp in June.

While its profit result reflects a rise in casino earnings of 33 per cent, most of the money will flow through to Tabcorp shareholders as it was reaped before the demerger.

The company said revenue from its Queensland casinos, Jupiters and Treasury in Brisbane, rose despite the impact of deadly flooding from cyclone Yasi in February. Chief executive Larry Mullin said Echo was about to reap the benefits of its $870 million redevelopment of Star City.

The casino would be fully operational by the second quarter of the current financial year, he said.

Echo shares rose 1.8 per cent to close at $2.883. The company will not pay a dividend for the 12 months to the end of June.

Marvel Studios' Lackluster Inaugural Performance at the 2011 D23...

It’s important to note that the Marvel Universe, on the big screen, is a much more complicated place than it is on print

Prior to 2008, the movies based on many of Marvel’s marquee characters (household names like Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, and X-Men) were produced via licensing agreements with a variety of studios – and as long as the studios continue to produce movies based on these characters, they maintain the licenses. That is to say that, though Marvel Entertainment still has a hand in the movies based on certain characters, they share the decision making (and profits) with companies like Sony Pictures (Spider-Man) and 20th Century Fox (X-Men). The end result of Marvel Studios becoming its own production entity has been overwhelmingly positive, as evidenced by the Disney Corporation’s interest in, and eventual acquisition of, Marvel Entertainment.

Marvel Studios’ underwhelming performance at the D23 Expo is pretty sad, especially with Disney’s resources behind them, they could have, and should have, done much, much better. Somebody dropped the ball. Either Marvel didn’t have enough to present, or Disney wouldn’t let them present what they had – and even if it was unintentional, either possibility is a bit of a snub to the fans who endured D23’s horrifyingly long lines in hopes of seeing Marvel deliver.

Disney Pixar not only brought in trailers and footage from works in progress and upcoming releases (Brave, Planes, and Monsters University), they brought in writers and directors of two projects that have recently been given the green light, but didn’t have titles, and won’t even begin production until sometime circa 2013.

Since late 2004 – when, in order to produce movies based on their characters independently, Marvel entered into a non-recourse deal with Merrill Lynch Commercial Finance Corp. to produce ten movies with Paramount as distributor – and as recently as last year, Marvel has said that they intended to develop films based on lesser-known characters such as Black Panther, Doctor Strange, and even more obscure characters like Shang Chi: Master of Kung-Fu and Guardians of the Galaxy. This spring, Marvel Studios’ President of Production, Kevin Feige, told D23 Magazine by way of IGN that the roster of films for the immediate future was heavy on Avengers-related titles [Captain America, Thor, and Iron Man sequels; plus possible Ant-Man, Black Widow and Nick Fury/S.H.I.E.L.D. projects] and even provided basic ideas of what the second Captain America and Thor movies would be like.

Perhaps a better, more tangible example is the Ant-Man film: for a couple years now [Shaun of the Dead and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World writer/director] Edgar Wright, and Joe Cornish [Wright’s frequent collaborator, and director of this summer’s cult smash Attack the Block] have been attached to the project. Though the project hasn’t been fast-tracked, it’s got an IMDb page, and a proposed release year (2014). Wright is still listed as director; and Wright and Cornish are still listed as writers. The only speculation surrounding the project is whether or not Wright’s favorite leading man, and collaborator, actor Simon Pegg (Star Trek), will still play the titular tiny titan. Even without an official release date and leading man, let alone a date to begin production, there was plenty to talk about – especially for an audience that may or may not know anything about Marvel, let alone their movies.

Bottom line: Marvel and Disney - the powers that be can and must do better than this. It's a critical time in the industry and Marvel Entertainment needs to pull out all the stops to remain at the very top of the industry. Too many more stuff ups like D23, and the empire may take a great fall, one that even Marvel icon and living legend Stan Lee could not imagine.

For everyone's sake, we hope that Marvel Entertainment and other brains at Disney will soon excite us and restore the faith.

Martin Scorsese, William Monahan Teaming for 'The Gambler' at Paramount (The Hollywood Reporter)...

The duo are developing a remake of the 1974 movie starring James Caan as an English professor with a gambling addiction. They want Leo DiCaprio to star.

Paramount is going all-in on The Gambler, a remake of the 1974 James Caan addiction drama.

The studio has set Martin Scorsese to direct and William Monahan to write. Irwin Winkler, who produced the original, will again act as producer of the new film. They are interested in having Leonardo DiCaprio star, but no deal is in place for the actor.

The 1974 movie, an adaptation of the short novel The Gambler by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, detailed a New York English professor who inspires his students but suffers from a secret gambling addiction. The affliction causes him to extort money from his mother and convince one of his students to shave points in a basketball game.

Caan received a Golden Globe nomination for best actor for his performance in the original. Lauren Hutton and Paul Sorvino co-starred for director Karel Reisz. (The project is not related to the series of Gambler TV movies that starred Kenny Rogers in the 1980s and 90s.)

The gritty New York setting of the original seems a perfect match for Scorsese, who teamed with Monahan on 2006 best picture Oscar winner The Departed.

The director has been especially active lately. He has his first family film, Hugo, slated for a Thanksgiving release, and he’s preparing to direct Silence, an adaptation of the Shusaku Endo novel. He’s also attached to The Wolf of Wall Street, an adaptation of the Jordan Belfort memoir that has attached DiCaprio, with whom Scorsese collaborated on Shutter Island.

Scorsese is repped by WME and Rick Yorn. Monahan is repped by WME and Anonymous.

Paramount declined to comment. (Credit: The Hollywood Reporter)

Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment's and to Merge - 29th July 2011...

Given the challenging regulatory and fiscal regime that currently prevails in France and in order to drive greater value for both parties, and Amaury Group have decided to merge their bwin France and SAjOO online gaming businesses.

While the terms of the merger are not being disclosed, the combination will deliver real financial benefits in a number of areas including marketing and shared resources and as a result, the combined entity will be much better placed to deliver attractive financial returns.

Both Amaury and bwin France share a common objective of delivering an exciting and competitive online offer, and have been working together since 2008. With an estimated 9% share of the French online betting market, has already surpassed the goals set at its launch back in 2010.

Commenting on today’s announcement, Norbert Teufelberger, Co-CEO of, said:

“Combining the resources of SAjOO and bwin France makes perfect sense and will only enhance our already strong position in the French market. With the prospect of a more commercial regulatory framework in 2012, we look forward to building a market leading enterprise with our long-standing partner.”

Philippe Carli, Amaury Group’s Chief Executive Officer, said:

“This merger creates a new force in the French market, one that we expect will prosper over the months and years to come. We remain optimistic that the current review of the existing regulatory framework being conducted by the French Government will result in significant improvements to the legal and regulatory framework. In this context, Amaury group is strengthening its involvement with bwin France, one of the sector’s leading operators.”

Scratchie case loss a picture of pain...

Lotto lovers have been warned the odds might be even more stacked against them than they thought after a Sydney couple were ordered to hand back their $100,000 scratchie ticket winnings.

A lawyer for the couple says they are considering whether to take the matter further.

The Federal Court of Appeal ruled yesterday in favour of New South Wales Lotteries after the couple had won an earlier case over what looked like a winning ticket.

Elizabeth Kuzmanovski bought the Pictionary-themed ticket for her husband as a birthday present in July 2007.

Bale Kuzmanovski was elated when he scratched to reveal an image of a swimmer alongside the word "bathe".

NSW Lotteries refused to pay out, arguing the picture and word did not match.

But it was not on that basis that the appeal was won.

The appeals court accepted the lottery body's argument that a code on the bottom of the scratchie determined whether it was a winning ticket, not the pictures.

Mr Kuzmanovski's lawyer, Peter Ives, says they are considering a further appeal.

"Bill is extremely disappointed at what happened. He feels cheated. He has a feeling that he could never buy another Lotto ticket, knowing that he'll never know if he's won or not, even if it looks like he has won," Mr Ives said.

Christopher Zinn from Choice says the case shows consumers are vulnerable to fine print.

"What I take away from it is you can read the back of a ticket, you can read the back of a scratchie, but if there's going to be a dispute they can often pull various small print rabbits out of a hat, which are actually going to jinx any chance you might have of getting your hands on the money," Mr Zinn said.

"There are so many terms and conditions applying to the simplest things now, they're not always on the back of airline tickets or scratchie tickets or anything else.

"So it seems to be saying that you know you have to avail yourself of the maximum amount of information, certainly if you're going to take a challenge onto them."

IGT Wins Again with Sex And The City Big Diamonds!™...

The sequel to record-breaking Sex And The City™slot debuts

LAS VEGAS, Aug. 17, 2011 - It's a blockbuster summer for International Game Technology with the debut of Sex And The City Big Diamonds!™ Reel MultiPLAY Slots, the sequel to the award-winning Sex And The City™ slot machine.

This new slot game is appearing in casinos worldwide where it is sure to be equally as fantastic as the original.

"The original Sex And The City™ Slots remain one of the most popular games on casino floors throughout the world," said Tom Mikulich, IGT senior vice president of MegaJackpots. "And if early reviews are any indication, we expect the new Sex And The City Big Diamonds!™ title to be just as popular with players. The combination of unique game play and interactive bonuses will entertain fans of the original game and new players alike."

Players will experience even more glitz and glamour on the casino floor as Sex And The City Big Diamonds!™ joins the award-winning, player-favorite original, Sex And The City™ Slots. And not only have players fallen in love with the smash-hit Sex And The City™ slot theme, it's also a favorite with the casino industry. According to the Roth Fantini Quarterly Slot Survey of January 2011, the original Sex And The City™ title, introduced in 2009, continues its lead as the top performing premium leased game in North America.

"It's hard to imagine a tougher act to follow than the original Sex And The City(TM) slot game, but with Sex And The City Big Diamonds!(TM), IGT clearly has another big winner," said Robert Allen, corporate vice president of Casino Operations at Pinnacle Entertainment.

Adorned with a diamond-lit cabinet, the Sex And The City Big Diamonds!™ game is the perfect sequel. Along with its sophisticated presentation, Sex And The City Big Diamonds!™ Reel MultiPLAY interface comes with all new bonus content and features five progressive pick bonus levels, one for each of the five characters of the hit series.

Mr. Big is back and his winning charm is bigger than ever. He steals players' hearts with a random wilds diamond shower feature in the base game.

Carrie's bonus is called The Right to Shoes, and in this version, players will experience a marvelous new twist using the "accept or reject" bonus feature. Charlotte's bonus is the Glamorous Gifts bonus, which awards the player a virtual wheel spin. In Miranda's Retail Therapy bonus, players touch the screen to spin the wheel to award shopping bags filled with credits, multipliers and maybe an additional spin. And in Samantha's Glimmer Ring bonus, players can populate gems in the top box display while a diamond ring moves back and forth, highlighting the potential for big wins.

Sex And The City Big Diamonds!™ will be available throughout the U.S. Visit to find out where you can play the game now.

About IGT

International Game Technology (NYSE: IGT) is a global leader in the design, development and manufacture of gaming machines and systems products, as well as online and mobile gaming solutions for regulated markets. More information about IGT is available at or follow IGT on Twitter at @IGTNews or Facebook at

Official HBO Licensed Product. © 2011 Home Box Office, Inc. All Rights Reserved. HBO and related trademarks are the property of Home Box Office, Inc.

Ric Flair: Boozing Has Not Damaged My Heart...

Wrestling icon Ric Flair is furious over an article which claims the Nature Boy is suffering from a serious medical condition caused by years of hardcore boozing ... because Ric claims it's not true and now he's threatening to sue.

The unflattering article -- which paints Flair as a troubled, irresponsible mess of a person -- ran on an ESPN affiliated website called ... and the report is mostly based on court documents.

But Flair is particularly pissed about the reporter's claim that he suffers from Alcoholic Cardiomyopathy -- a disease caused by years of alcohol abuse which often leads to heart failure.

A rep for Flair whose real name is Richard Fliehr - tells TMZ, "While the information gleaned from courthouse records may be credible, Mr. Fliehr is currently evaluating his legal options with respect to falsehoods in the story, specifically the untrue statement that he suffers from alcoholic cardiomyopathy."

The rep adds, "Our client understands that these allegations are part of the territory when you are not only famous, but a living legend."

Hulk Hogan And Friends Tours American Casinos And Arenas; Gamble Paying Off...

Hulk and Friends, the live show that has been touring the country with stops at casinos, fairgrounds, arenas and other venues, announced that fans will have the chance to meet their favorite wrestlers in a unique and up-close setting on Saturday, October 8, 2011 at 7:30 P.M. at the famous AG Hall, now known as the Agri-Plex within the Allentown Fairgrounds, in Allentown PA.

"I'm really looking forward to meeting all my fans in the Allentown area on October 8th" Hulk Hogan said. "We are having a great time doing this show. Meeting the fans, telling jokes, and brother, everybody's laughing more than we have in years" he continued. Not only will all the fan favorites be there but Hulk Hogan promises to bring some very special guests along with him. "You never know who is going to show up at a Hulk and Friends Show" he added.

Tickets will be going on sale August 5th through Ticketmaster. A limited number of ringside seats (which include a VIP Meet and Greet) are also available. For those interested in sponsorship opportunities, please go to the official website

Coke's game plan...

Coca Cola is turning to gaming technology and ideas to market itself.

Coke is soon to roll out new marketing strategies using gaming for several key products, including Fanta, which is targeted at a teenage market.

David Elsworth, Coke's vice-president for creative excellence, said gaming offered untold opportunities for marketing a brand

''Gaming is as ancient as storytelling but it was never able to be used in marketing on a mass scale because we didn't have the tools to do that before.''

Mr Elsworth said gaming in marketing was not about using the games, but using the rules and approach of games to create a different relationship between consumers and the brand.

''Gaming is about getting people to move from passive receivers of a message to active collaborators … interacting and participating.''

Mr Elsworth said gaming offered a richer level of engagement with consumers. He said gaming was no longer the domain of ''pimply teenagers in their bedrooms playing Xbox'', but a massive industry worth more than the film and music industries put together.

Pokie kings have slots to be happy about - 26th August 2011

Poker machine maker Ainsworth Game Technology pipped its cross-town rival, Aristocrat Leisure, yesterday with its second profit upgrade this year.

After a 17 per cent share price jump on Wednesday, Ainsworth yesterday announced an unaudited $23.1 million net profit for the financial year ending June 30, compared with a $2.7 million loss for the previous year.

More details will be available next Wednesday when the audited results are released.

Excluding the benefit of tax losses, Ainsworth's net profit was $14.6 million. In May the company upgraded its earnings forecast to a range of $11 million to $13 million.

''This positive financial performance reflected further strong domestic and international demand for the company's range of products in the last two months of the financial year and a more favourable currency position as at the reporting date,'' Ainsworth said.

Aristocrat reported that its profit forecast for the year ending December 31 this year remains intact, although this relies on the Australian dollar remaining at parity with its US counterpart for the current half year.

The strong dollar and high interest costs - the latter a result of Aristocrat taking on debt to settle its long-running dispute over its convertible bonds last year - dragged down its results for the six months to June 30.

The company reported a net profit after tax of $24.9 million down from $49.3 million for the previous half year while revenues dropped to $312.7 million from $340.5 million.

The company declared a 2.5¢ unfranked dividend payable on September 30 and also announced a dividend reinvestment plan.

As with its smaller rival, Aristocrat reported strong results from the Australian market as well as promising signs from the US despite forecasts that this market will continue to shrink this year.

The company's chief executive, Jamie Odell, described the result as an important milestone in its five-year turnaround strategy with the company delivering on guidance of a 10 to 20 per cent improvement on last year's $55.2 million profit as well as demonstrating improved underlying performance in its core business.

Media Man Website Network Attracting Close To 6 Million Hits Per Month...

The well known Media Man website network, the online arm of Media Man, is attracting close to 6 million hits per month. The company was established in 2001 and coverage over a dozen different business sectors. Some of the Media Man website portals are listed in the Hitwise Australia top ten (entertainment - personalities category). Media Man is currently focused on the celebrity, film and television, technology, gaming and community sector. They plan to further ramp up their Casino News Media, Property News Media and Wrestling News Media brands.

*The writer has conducted b2 with Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment and Betfair.

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Friday, August 26, 2011

PartyCasino gets new games; Want to get your hands on King Tut’s legendary treasure?; Atomic Fruit


Profiles Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment Casino new players get up to $3000 sign up bonus via Media Man and Casino News Media

Loot’en-khamun Online Slot Game

If you thought the ancient Egyptian’s riches had already been looted, sphinx again! Our action-packed new slot, Loot’en-khamun, gives you to chance to play for the epic $1.5 million seeded The Big One jackpot!

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Catch up on all the promotions and offers we’ve got in store for you with the easy-to-use casino calendar. Take a look so you don’t miss a trick.

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VIP Summer Sizzlers...

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Pack your bags full of cash this summer:

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Watch the temperature and your account rise this month at the casino!

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We are digital entertainment plc , the world’s largest listed online gaming business created by the merger of bwin and PartyGaming in March 2011. We have market leading positions in each of our four product verticals: sports betting, poker, casino and bingo. Our leading brands include bwin,, and Foxy Bingo. Our mantra is to ‘Let the World Play for Real’ – and our mission is ‘to be a leading digital entertainment company that anticipates market demands and delights our consumers by offering smart, safe and fun real money games’.

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Licensed by the Government of Gibraltar and regulated by the Gibraltar Gambling Commissioner under the Gambling Act 2005, our games are powered by the systems which are independently tested to ensure that our games operate correctly, are fair, their outcomes are not predictable and that the system is reliable, resilient and otherwise up to the highest standards of software integrity, including access control, change control recording, fingerprinting of the executables and regular monitoring of all critical components of our systems.

Game fairness and responsible gaming
We see online gambling as a legitimate form of entertainment that is enjoyed by millions of adults worldwide. We advertise and operate responsibly in order to protect minors, and we assist those that may have problems to help identify their issues and, if appropriate, seek counselling. For more information, see game fairness and responsible gaming.

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We understand that your time is valuable and that you want to have fun, free from hassles or problems. That's why our five-star Customer Care Team is available to help you, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In addition, we assign dedicated hosts to our regular players to ensure the highest level of support and the best comps and bonuses. At, we believe our rewards programme is second to none.


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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Australasian Gaming Expo Report, by Greg Tingle - 23rd August 2011


Gaming Sydney Australia Asia Pacific Darling Harbour Casino Promotions Events IGT Media Man

Today was a important day on the Australian gaming industry calendar. It's the third and final day of the 2011 Australasian Gaming Expo, held at Darling Harbour in 'Sin City' Sydney, Australia. The event comes at a time where the spotlight on the Australian gambling industry may have never been brighter or so politically red hot. My company, Human Statue Bodyart, was delighted to be in the thick of the action. Enter the events world of the Gaming Technologies Association...

'Sex And The City' slot game by IGT: Styling by Human Statue Bodyart

Australasian Gaming Expo Open Day In Sydney...

Over 150 gaming - gambling exhibitors enjoyed day three at the Australasian Gaming Expo Open at Sydney's Darling Harbour. Dozens of big name brands were there including IGT (and its new 'Sex And The City' slot game), Aristocrat Technologies Australia, Ainsworth, Konami, WMS, ShuffleMaster and Bally.

Most of the exhibitors were making a return appearance from last year. It appeared they're were more exhibitors than "punters".

It's a huge production, with over 15,000 square meters decked out in gambling gear.

While big name companies like IGT somewhat dominated the event, it was impossible not to also recognise some of the smaller operations, as well as a few of IGT's competitors of sorts, thanks to their considerable branding and marketing efforts.

Here's the list of all of entities I was blessed to be able to speak with and photograph:

Aristocrat Technologies Australia
Paynter Dixon Hospitality
Tenrod Australia
Choice Paper & Imaging
Allpride Signs & Marketing
Paltronics Australasia
Maximun Light

As you can see from our photographs showcased on our Flickr, a great time was had by all, and the event was largely a success for all involved.

For the record, some of my personal favorite games are 'Sex And The City', 'The Phantom', 'Queen Of The Nile', 'Aussie Gold', 'Rose Tattoo', 'Jaws', 'Wheel Of Fortune' and Keno.

It's going to be interesting to see what poker machine manufacture is the one that will step up to battle with the red hot IGT slot - 'Sex And The City'. Will it be Australia's own Aristocrat or an international entrant.

Good on the organisers for also having coffee and bites on hand. 4.5 stars out of 5 for an excellent event, and we'll look forward to being on hand next year for more of the fun and games that is the Australasian Gaming Expo.

Photography Portfolio...

Aristocrat Technologies Australia





Paynter Dixon Hospitality

Tenrod Australia


Choice Paper & Imaging

Allpride Signs & Marketing

Paltronics Australasia

Maximun Light


Australasian Gaming Expo

Gaming Technologies Association

Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre Darling Harbour

Eva Rinaldi Photography Flickr

Eva Rinaldi Photography

Human Statue Bodyart

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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Australian Gaming And Casino News; Australasian Gaming Expo Opens, by Greg Tingle - 21st August 2011

Today was a significant day on the Australian gaming industry calendar. It's opening day of the 2011 Australasian Gaming Expo, held at Darling Harbour in 'Sin City' Sydney, Australia. The event comes at a time where the spotlight on the Australian gambling industry may have never been stronger or so politically charged. Media Man and Gambling911 man down under with that and much more...

Australasian Gaming Expo Open Day In Sydney...

Over 150 gaming - gambling exhibitors enjoyed day one at the Australasian Gaming Expo Open Day at Sydney's Darling Harbour. Dozens of big name brands were there including IGT (and its new 'Sex And The City' slot game), Aristocrat Technologies Australia, Ainsworth, Konami, WMS, ShuffleMaster and Bally. Most of the exhibitors were making a return appearance from last year. They were more exhibitors than "punters", however this may change tomorrow (Monday), as the working week down under kicks off. It's a biggie, with over 15,000 square meters decked out in gambling gear. Tomorrow (Monday) and Tuesday are expected to be bigger, with the working week getting on the way. Website: Australasian Gaming Expo

Casino News Media Website Portal Rises In Rankings; On Set To Get Hitwise Listed...

The popular Casino News Media website portal continues to rise in popularity, now attracting almost 2 million hits per month. It's been submitted to Hitwise for an award, following the path of its parent company, Media Man (that's us), who has made the Hitwise finals in the entertainment - personalities category for 6 years in a row.

Aussie Gambling And Sporting Icon Shane Warne To Attend Melbourne Cup Race With Liz Hurley...

Shane Warne aka "Warnie" will be heading to the Melbourne Cup with his women Liz Hurley. It's understood Warne is due to open his themed poker room at Crown Casino during the Spring Racing Carnival, with the likes of Tiger Woods, James and Erica Packer and a bush tucker bag of of local celebrities joining in the fun.

Shuffle Master, Inc. Gears Up for Australasian Gaming Expo with Game-Changing Innovations...

Exhibit Features Impressive Array of Slot Machine Titles, New e-Table Enhancements, the Latest Specialty Game Titles, and Productivity-Enhancing Utility Products...

LAS VEGAS, Aug 17, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Shuffle Master, Inc. (nasdaq global select market:SHFL) announced today that it will display an impressive range of game titles and diverse product innovations at the 2011 Australasian Gaming Expo ("AGE") on August 21- 23, 2011 at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Center, located in Darling Harbour, NSW, Australia.

"The new Equinox cabinet is firing on all cylinders and we are confident that Shuffle Master's AGE lineup has never been better. With a multitude of new games on display, AGE provides a great opportunity to flaunt the strength of our themes and the innovative features our game designers have built into them," stated Adrian Halpenny, President of Shuffle Master Australasia. "We believe that this year's show will be one of the most exciting in our history and will underscore Shuffle Master's deep commitment to making gaming more fun for players and more profitable for operators."

The exhibit will highlight key innovations from Shuffle Master's five product categories:

High-Performance Games for the Equinox(TM) Cabinet

Housed in the stylish new Equinox cabinet, Shuffle Master will showcase its wide variety of slot machine titles that feature stunning graphics, enticing progressive jackpots and rewarding free game features. This year's lineup includes such standalone progressives as: The Pink Panther(R)(1) Returns, Potion Power(TM), and Fortune games; all Fortune games feature a unique active symbol function known as All Up(TM). With the All Up bet, players can select to activate 5 symbols per game from the button panel. The symbols change from various colors to gold and offer greater wins for the amount of gold symbols played.

Players will have a witchingly good time with Shuffle Master's new two-level stand-alone progressive Cats, Hats & Bats(TM), one of the most popular low denomination games of 2011. Players will have the chance to win up to 13 free games and the screen-trembling Bat Splat(TM) feature awards prizes up to 16 times. Players who enjoy Cats, Hats & Bats will no doubt be "ribbeted" by Hubble, Bubble & Trubble(TM). This standalone progressive combines all of the action of Cats, Hats & Bats but centers on berserk frogs.

Shuffle Master will also unveil a new link for the Queensland market, Pirates Revenge(TM), a 50 line 4-level progressive with entertainment galore in the alluring Medallion(TM) feature. Following on from the success of King of Babylon(TM) released in March this year, look out for Wolf Mountain(TM), another 50 cent three-level progressive destined to be a hit.

New e-Table Offerings

Rapid Select(TM) for Rapid Table Games(R) will be front and center at the exhibit and offers anticipated superior flexibility needed in Australasia's busy casinos. Combining a live dealer and a touch-screen electronic betting interface, the Rapid line of electronic table systems is anticipated to dramatically increase game security and productivity by automating the wagering process. Rapid Select is the latest enhancement to the Rapid platform and includes a multigame feature which gives players the flexibility to choose which Rapid game -- Baccarat, Roulette, or Sic Bo -- they would like to play on their terminal, without ever having to leave their seat. Enhanced live statistics are available at the touch of a button and seamless betting can be conducted across multiple games. Operators are expected to benefit from increased reporting functions that enable betting traffic to be monitored by zones. With the capability to accommodate over 300 terminals per table and up to 6 tables of each game type, betting limits can be easily configured to suit each betting position.

"We consistently aim to improve the player experience and Rapid Select's multigame feature empowers the player to conveniently choose what action they wish to partake in," continued Halpenny.

Also highlighted at the show will be Vegas Star(R) Grand Baccarat(TM), a fully electronic baccarat table that combines a virtual dealer on a central plasma screen with individual touch-screen betting terminals and features the enticing Grand Tie(TM) jackpot side bet. The Grand Tie side bet is triggered by tied 8's and 9's. Up to 10 gold cards are dealt with each gold card awarding either a major or mini jackpot, or a bonus credit prize.

The Latest Specialty Table Games

This year's exhibit will feature progressives for some of Shuffle Master's most popular specialty table games such as Ultimate Texas Hold'em(R), Mississippi Stud(R) and Crazy 4 Poker(R). Chip sensors embedded in the table allow players to place an optional jackpot wager to potentially win fixed prizes or a continuously incrementing progressive jackpot. Progressives enhance specialty games by creating additional action, excitement and volatility, therefore increasing profitability for the casino. In addition to showcasing its proven, popular titles, Shuffle Master will also present two new "up-and-comers", Rabbit Hunter(TM) with Bad Beat Bonus and Face-Up Three Card Poker 6 Card Bonus(TM).

"Australian players have an appetite for the excitement that live table games provide and they are adaptive to new games," Halpenny added. "We are confident that our new specialty games and progressives will meet that market niche of players looking for something different."

The Latest Innovation in Shuffling Technology: Intuitive Card Shufflers

World-renowned for their exceptional engineering and unparalleled performance, Shuffle Master's card shufflers are designed to increase table game productivity, profitability and security. The new MD2CR(TM) shuffler will be prominently featured at the show, demonstrating the advanced capabilities of the latest shuffling technology. Utilizing the same optical card-reading technology that has been so successful on the Company's i-Deal(R) shuffler, the MD2CR scans and verifies pre-shuffled blackjack and baccarat decks right at the table. Featuring an innovative platform and gripper system, the MD2CR counts and shuffles up to eight decks of cards quickly and quietly, and significantly reduces wear and tear, making cards last longer.

Key Utility Offerings: Easy Chipper(R) D and i-Verify(TM)

With improved chip handling, better safety features and less moving parts, the new Easy Chipper D provides quick and accurate chip sorting, which increases the number of spins per hour. The Easy Chipper D is also enhanced with an easy to use touch-screen interface that makes it easier than ever to set the machine's features.

The i-Verify, an LCD touch-screen display that is embedded into a felt table, provides increased security and reduces dealer training for "house way" games like Fortune Pai Gow Poker(R) and Fortune San Lo Poker(TM). When used in conjunction with an i-Deal shuffler, the i-Verify tells the dealer exactly how to set his or her hand, according to the prescribed house procedure.

"I am very proud of what the Australasian team has accomplished over the past year, introducing the Equinox cabinet to the market, and further strengthening our market leadership in high-denomination games," commented Shuffle Master's Chief Executive Officer, Gavin Isaacs. "I look forward to what I believe will be very positive reception of our exciting new titles and multiple product innovations at AGE."

Live updates and pictures from Shuffle Master's booth at the show will be available on and .

About Shuffle Master, Inc.

Shuffle Master, Inc. (the "Company" or "Shuffle Master") is a leading global gaming supplier specializing in providing its casino customers with improved profitability, productivity and security, as well as popular and cutting-edge gaming entertainment content, through value-add products in five distinct categories: Utility products, which include automatic card shufflers and roulette chip sorters; Proprietary Table Games, which includes live games, side bets and progressives; Electronic Table Systems, which include various e-Table game platforms; Electronic Gaming Machines, which include video slot machines; and newly introduced i-Gaming, which features online versions of Shuffle Master's table games, social gaming, and mobile applications. The Company is included in the S&P Smallcap 600 Index. Information about the Company and its products can be found on the Internet at , or on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

(1) The Pink Panther is a registered trademark owned by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Inc.

Underbelly Razor Hits Channel Nine TV Tonight...

One of the leading ladies ruled Sydney's brothels. One ruled its sly grog shops. The other was the one every gangster wanted on his arm. Tilly Devine, Kate Leigh and Nellie Cameron were the brash, sharp-tongued, quick-thinking and ruthless women who ruled Sydney’s underworld in the “roaring” 1920s. Devine and Leigh were the queens of vice. Now they are characters brought to life by Chelsie Preston Crayford, Danielle Cormack and Anna McGahan in the latest and most colourful 13-chapter mini-series of Nine’s dramatised crime franchise, Underbelly. Underbelly: Razor is the cinematic recreation of the book Razor, by Larry Writer, on the beginnings of organised crime in Australia. It took six years to research as Writer delved into the history of the “razor gangs” that battled for control of Sydney’s underworld. Set in one of Sydney’s most colourful eras, the 1920s, Underbelly: Razor tells the story of Devine and Leigh’s battle to reign supreme in a world built on sly grog, prostitution, illegal drugs, extortion and gambling. That battle turned to pure menace when an interloper from Melbourne (Norman Bruhn, played by Jeremy Lindsay Taylor) decided to take the town from the girls. Knowing you could hang for murder and be jailed for possession of a gun, he brought a new weapon – the cut-throat razor. Judging by the movie-length opening episode, the 13-part series will deliver everything viewers have come to expect from the Nine Network’s flagship drama: nudity, sex, violence, drugs, blood, biff, guns and gore – all handsomely packaged in sepia tones and period clobber. The show begins with a naked woman in a bathtub. But the flesh that has become Underbelly’s trademark won’t test tolerance levels this time as much as the bursts of unflinching brutality, especially against women. Viewers aren’t spared the callous beating of a pregnant prostitute, a vicious catfight between Leigh (played by Danielle Cormack) and Devine (Chelsie Preston-Crayford) and the grisly aftermath of a back alley razor attack. The violence is mostly implied, rather than explicit, but vivid enough to have you wincing in revulsion as blades slice through flesh and blood splatters to the ground. Rated ‘‘M’’ for it violence, coarse language, sex scenes and drug use, Underbelly Razor is the most compelling Underbelly since the original series delved into Melbourne’s gangland wars of the 1990s.

Tabcorp's The Star And Friends Get New Future Star Website Teasing What's In Store...

Check out the new website: Also check out the website of Echo Entertainment Echo Entertainment is the casino arm of Tabcorp you've likely been reading about for the past few months.


Crown Casino Spells Out Responsible Gambling On Website...

The clear message reads...

Crown's commitment to Responsible Gaming

Crown is committed to providing and promoting gaming in a responsible manner. A number of responsible gaming initiatives have been introduced. These include:

The Responsible Gaming Support Centre
Referral to a range of support services
The Play Safe limits Program (pre-commitment)
A Self-Exclusion Program
The Chaplaincy Support Service for anyone seeking Spiritual support
Responsible Gambling Code of Conduct
Responsible gaming occurs in a regulated environment where the potential for harm associated with gambling is minimised as customers are informed and can therefore make sensible and rational choices based on their individual circumstances.

The responsible gambler
Is in control
Sees gambling as entertainment, not a job
Doesn't take gambling too seriously
Only gambles with the money set aside for entertainment, not for household essentials
Never borrows money to gamble
Sets limits on the amount of time and money they will spend
Sticks to these limits and walks away when they are reached
Doesn't chase losses
Takes frequent breaks

(tips adapted from "Follow these tips before you gamble" brochure, Responsible Gambling Awareness Week 2010)

Mainstream Gaming Firms Ramp Up Online...

IGT, Aristocrat, Wynn Resorts... you name it. All are diving in deeper into the online gambling spectrum. IGT has dropped the 'WagerWorks' tag, and is now simply known as IGT, pushing along new games such as 'Monopoly You're In The Money'. Aristocrat is to push titles into online casinos, and Steve Wynn's Wynn Resorts is rumoured to be interested in purchasing Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment, however the Wynn - Bwin.Party talk is not confirmed, but has sure been talked about a great amount across the globe over the last week. Watch this space.

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