Friday, April 29, 2011

Crown Casino Braces For TV Week Logies; Katy Perry On Despite Lawsuit, by Greg Tingle - 29th April 2011

Australia's night of nights - the TV Week Logie Awards are to hit James Packer's Crown Casino - The Palladium to be exact, and security is to be on high alert as Katy Perry is to perform despite a lawsuit against ACP Magazines for story she says is not true. And, security and Crown Casino powers that be have banned mobile devices in response to last years Twitter-Gate, where one writer was fired for inappropriate Tweets. Will plastic handcuffs be required and will any footballer players or guests run a muck? Media Man and Gambling911 with the calm before the storm that is forecast to hit the TV Week Logies at James Packer's most famous casino...

Crown Casino Expects Huge TV Week Logies Night; Show Must Go On Despite Katy Perry Lawsuit...

James Packer, Australian gambling and media king loves this event - certainly the positives it brings his world famous Crown Casino in Melbourne - home of the original real life and TV Underbelly (in with a slight chance of a Logie we hear).

On the 1st of May Australia and the world will know who the Logies winners will be, and there's going to be plenty of news and gossip stemming from the prestigious event also.

'The Teenage Dream'... call her what you will (but we are not sure on the Russell Brand statue these days before you ask us), has her scheduled performance confirmed at the Logies On Sunday evening. Not even her lawsuit against ACP Magazines...publishers of TV Week is going to slow down this runaway train.

Perry who arrived in about 56 hours ago in Melbourne for her down under tour, has fired off a lawsuit to ACP's women's gossip mag NW claiming it falsely reported that Perry married for six months to Russell Brand (star of Arthur and all round bloody funny chap)... has been having an affair with record producer Benny Blanco. It's implied it was more than a fling.

Her writ, lodged in the Victoria Supreme Court against ACP Magazines, said: "By reason of the publication of the article, the plaintiff (Perry) has been gravely injured in her reputation and feelings (and) has suffered distress, embarrassment and humiliation."

The suit, lodged on Wednesday, has put a shadow over the Logies Awards since ACP - the main partner of the event - is reportedly remunerating Perry in the region of $300,000 to perform on the big night.

The publishing firm may even have to more if Perry's suit is successful. Her label EMI Music yesterday confirmed the pop singer was still due to perform.

ACP spokesman Peter Holder said: "ACP or Nine Entertainment Co have not been served with any court documents as yet and have no comment to make."

It's understood NW executive editor Corrine Barraclough flew to Melbourne yesterday to consult with lawyers.

FOXTEL Stars To Invade Logies; Tipped To Win Big...

FOXTEL TO SHOWCASE ITS BIGGEST EVER LINEUP OF STARS AT THE 2011 TV WEEK LOGIE AWARDS

FOXTEL stars will light up the stage and red carpet at the 2011 TV Week Logie Awards, to be held at the Crown Palladium in Melbourne this weekend. The cast of the much-anticipated Tim Winton’s cloudstreet (showcase) will be in attendance, including Stephen Curry – also presenting an award on the night – Todd Lasance, Essie Davis, Geoff Morrell and Huge Johnstone-Burt. cloudstreet will premiere on Sunday, May 22. Justine Clarke, Silver Logie nominated actress and star of Tangle (showcase) will also attend TV’s night-of-nights, as she prepares to commence production on the third season of the hit drama series in Melbourne. Host and Executive Producer of Australia’s Next Top Model (FOX8), Sarah Murdoch, will present an award at the ceremony and will be joined on the red carpet by Australia’s Next Top Model judge, Charlotte Dawson, as production commences on Series 7 of FOXTEL’s most-watched series. Gorgeous model Tahnee Atkinson, winner of Series 5 of Australia’s Next Top Model returns to the Logies stage for the second year in a row to present the winners with their Awards. Megan Gale, the new host of Project Runway Australia (Arena), will grace the red carpet in a custom-made gown by Project Runway mentor and red carpet divo Alex Perry. The fashion reality series recently wrapped production in Melbourne and will premiere on FOXTEL’s Arena channel in July. Megan will also take the stage to present an award on the night. Nominated for Most Outstanding Sports Coverage, FOXTEL’s own Matt Shirvington, Tiffany Cherry and James Bracey will represent the team from FOXTEL’s coverage of the XIX Delhi Commonwealth Games and will be joined by superstar athletes Geoff Huegill and Liesel Jones. In 2011, one of the most tumultuous years in political history, SKY NEWS has received a nomination for its coverage of Election 2010 in the Most Outstanding News Coverage category – and representing Australia’s News Channel will be Political Editor, David Speers, Senior Political Reporter, Kieran Gilbert and Political Reporter Ashleigh Gillon. One of the biggest ratings hits of 2010, Grand Designs Australia (The LifeStyle Channel), has received a nomination in the viewer voted Most Popular Lifestyle category. Host Peter Maddison will attend the 52nd annual Awards, alongside LifeStyle stable mate Sarah Wilson. For the second year in a row, the hosts of Nickelodeon’s Camp Orange: Castle Mountain, Luke Joseph Ryan and Wyatt Nixon-Lloyd will rock the red carpet in celebration of their nomination for Most Outstanding Children’s Program. Three of the most photographed and beautiful woman on Australian TV – host of Cricket Superstar (FOX8) Lee Furlong, host of Dating in the Dark (FOX8) Laura Dundovic and MTV’s Erin McNaught – will add some glamour to the red carpet. From the new Movie Extra series Small Time Gangster, lead star Steve Le Marquand and Sacha Horler are also on the guest list this Sunday night. Rounding out the guest list are the stars of FOX8’s hot new reality series WAG Nation, who are leaving their ball-playing men at home for a night of glitz and glamour. Shoe designer Terry Biviano, fiancée of NRL Sydney Roosters player Anthony Minichiello; event planner Lynette Bolton, wife of AFL Sydney Swans player Jude Bolton; fashion boutique owner Jackie Spong, fiancée of AFL Carlton Blues player Jarrad Waite; promotions manager Jana Peterson, long-term girlfriend of NRL Cronulla Sharks player John Williams; and flight attendant Chantelle Raleigh, girlfriend of NBL Gold Coast Blaze player Adam Gibson will all attend the Logies.

TV Week 2011 Logie Awards...

And the nominations are:

TV WEEK GOLD LOGIE – Most Popular Personality on Television
Adam Hills (Spicks And Specks, ABC1)
Asher Keddie (Offspring, Network Ten)
Chrissie Swan (The Circle, Network Ten)
Jessica Marais (Packed To The Rafters, Channel Seven)
Karl Stefanovic (Today, Nine Network)
Rebecca Gibney (Packed To The Rafters, Channel Seven)

TV WEEK SILVER LOGIE -- Most Popular Actor
Callan Mulvey (Rush, Network Ten)
Don Hany (Offspring, Network Ten / Tangle, Foxtel [Showcase])
Erik Thomson (Packed To The Rafters, Channel Seven)
Hugh Sheridan (Packed To The Rafters, Channel Seven)
Michael Caton (Packed To The Rafters, Channel Seven)

TV WEEK SILVER LOGIE -- Most Popular Actress
Asher Keddie (Offspring, Network Ten)
Jessica Marais (Packed To The Rafters, Channel Seven)
Margot Robbie (Neighbours, Network Ten)
Rebecca Gibney (Packed To The Rafters, Channel Seven)
Zoe Ventoura (Packed To The Rafters, Channel Seven)

TV WEEK SILVER LOGIE -- Most Popular Presenter
Adam Hills (Spicks And Specks, ABC1)
Chrissie Swan (The Circle, Network Ten)
Hamish Blake (Hamish & Andy 'Specials', Network Ten)
Karl Stefanovic (Today, Nine Network)
Shaun Micallef (Talkin' 'Bout Your Generation, Network Ten)

MOST POPULAR NEW MALE TALENT
Charles Cottier (Home And Away, Channel Seven)
Eddie Perfect (Offspring, Network Ten)
Firass Dirani (Underbelly: The Golden Mile, Nine Network)
Manu Feildel (My Kitchen Rules, Channel Seven)
Ryan Corr (Packed To The Rafters, Channel Seven)

MOST POPULAR NEW FEMALE TALENT
Chrissie Swan (The Circle, Network Ten)
Emma Booth (Underbelly: The Golden Mile, Nine Network)
Hannah Marshall (Packed To The Rafters, Channel Seven)
Julie Goodwin (Home Cooked! With Julie Goodwin, Nine Network)
Poh Ling Yeow (Poh's Kitchen, ABC1)

MOST POPULAR DRAMA SERIES
Home And Away (Channel Seven)
Neighbours (Network Ten)
Offspring (Network Ten)
Packed To The Rafters (Channel Seven)
Rush (Network Ten)
Underbelly: The Golden Mile (Nine Network)

MOST POPULAR LIGHT ENTERTAINMENT PROGRAM
Good News Week (Network Ten)
Hey Hey It's Saturday (Nine Network)
Sunrise (Channel Seven)
Talkin' 'Bout Your Generation (Network Ten)
The Circle (Network Ten)

MOST POPULAR LIFESTYLE PROGRAM
Better Homes And Gardens (Channel Seven)
Domestic Blitz (Nine Network)
Getaway (Nine Network)
Grand Designs Australia (Foxtel [The Lifestyle Channel])
Ready Steady Cook (Network Ten)

MOST POPULAR SPORTS PROGRAM
Before The Game (Network Ten)
The Footy Show (AFL) (Nine Network)
The Footy Show (NRL) (Nine Network)
The Matty Johns Show (Channel Seven)
Wide World Of Sports (Nine Network)

MOST POPULAR REALITY PROGRAM
Dancing With The Stars (Channel Seven)
MasterChef Australia (Network Ten)
The Biggest Loser Australia (Network Ten)
The Farmer Wants A Wife (Nine Network)
The X Factor (Channel Seven)

MOST POPULAR FACTUAL PROGRAM
Bondi Rescue (Network Ten)
Bondi Vet (Network Ten)
RPA (Nine Network)
Undercover Boss Australia (Network Ten)
Who Do You Think You Are? (SBS)

Most Outstanding Nominees

TV WEEK SILVER LOGIE -- Most Outstanding Drama Series, Miniseries or Telemovie
Hawke (Network Ten)
Packed To The Rafters (Channel Seven)
Rake (ABC1)
Rush (Network Ten)
Sisters Of War (ABC1)
Underbelly: The Golden Mile (Nine Network)

TV WEEK SILVER LOGIE -- Most Outstanding Actor
Erik Thomson (Packed To The Rafters, Channel Seven)
Hugh Sheridan (Packed To The Rafters, Channel Seven)
Jason Gann (Wilfred, SBS)
Richard Roxburgh (Hawke, Network Ten)
Richard Roxburgh (Rake, ABC1)

TV WEEK SILVER LOGIE -- Most Outstanding Actress
Asher Keddie (Offspring, Network Ten)
Catherine McClements (Rush, Network Ten)
Claire van der Boom (Sisters Of War, ABC1)
Justine Clarke (Tangle, Foxtel [Showcase])
Kat Stewart (Offspring, Network Ten)

GRAHAM KENNEDY AWARD FOR MOST OUTSTANDING NEW TALENT
Emma Booth (Underbelly: The Golden Mile, Nine Network)
Firass Dirani (Underbelly: The Golden Mile, Nine Network)
Richard Davies (Offspring, Network Ten)
Ryan Corr (Packed To The Rafters, Channel Seven)
Sarah Snook (Sisters Of War, ABC1)

MOST OUTSTANDING NEWS COVERAGE
"Afghanistan Rocket Attack" (Ten News)
"Election 2010" (Sky News)
"Laurie Oakes Election Leaks" (Nine News)
"New Zealand Mine Disaster" (Seven News)
"Pakistan Floods" (ABC News)

MOST OUTSTANDING PUBLIC AFFAIRS REPORT
"Brothers In Arms" (Sunday Night, Channel Seven)
"Hey Dad..! Scandal" (A Current Affair, Nine Network)
"Iraq's Deadly Legacy" (Dateline, SBS)
"Smugglers' Paradise" (Four Corners, ABC1)
"The Condemned" (Dateline, SBS)

MOST OUTSTANDING LIGHT ENTERTAINMENT PROGRAM
Hamish & Andy's Caravan of Courage: Great Britain & Ireland (Network Ten)
Luke Nguyen's Vietnam (SBS)
Spicks And Specks (ABC1)
Talkin' 'Bout Your Generation (Network Ten)
Yes We Canberra! (ABC1)

MOST OUTSTANDING SPORTS COVERAGE
2010 AFL Grand Final (Channel Seven)
2010 Melbourne Cup (Channel Seven)
Rugby League - 2010 State Of Origin - Game One (Nine Network)
The Ashes 2010 First Test - Day One at the Gabba (Nine Network)
XIX Commonwealth Games 2010 Delhi (Foxtel)

MOST OUTSTANDING CHILDREN'S PROGRAM
Camp Orange: Castle Mountain (Foxtel [Nickelodeon])
Dance Academy (ABC3)
Dead Gorgeous (ABC3)
Hi-5 (Nine Network)
Prank Patrol (ABC3)

MOST OUTSTANDING FACTUAL PROGRAM
Bondi Rescue (Network Ten)
Miracle in the Storm (ABC1)
RPA (Nine Network)
Such Is Life: The Troubled Times Of Ben Cousins (Channel Seven)
Trishna & Krishna: The Quest For Separate Lives (Channel Seven)


Shane Bourne To Host Logie Awards...

TV actor Shane Bourne will host the 2011 Logie Awards. In a statement announcing who would be the host, TV Week said Bourne "promises to deliver what he does best" at the 53rd Annual Logie Awards on May 1 at Melbourne's Crown Entertainment Complex. "I am genuinely thrilled to be involved in TV's night of nights," Bourne said. "It's an honour to be following in the footsteps of such television luminaries as Bert Newton et al - and the timing couldn't be better. "I've always enjoyed myself immensely at the Logies, and since the chances of a nomination coming my way this year look pretty slim, I figure it's not a bad way of making sure I score an invitation." Bourne currently stars in the Seven Network drama series City Homicide, but is also known for his comedic roles. Most recently, he hosted the popular show Thank God You're Here and was a regular on Hey Hey It's Saturday for many years. Thank God You're Here won a Silver Logie for most outstanding comedy in 2007. Bourne was also nominated for the most outstanding actor Logie in 2003 for his leading role in medical drama MDA. This year's Logie nominees will be revealed on April 3. Critics are at the read to praise or pan Bourne. Will Twitter-Gate strike again at Crown Casino. Don't blink!

Crown Casino Gorilla's Will Have Plastic Handcuffs; Last Resort To To Use On Patrons Or Special Guests...

We've confirmed that Crown Casino security will have plastic handcuffs (and other measures) at the ready for patrons or special guests who get out of hand. We are not certain if someone attempting a Tweet on a mobile device falls into that category, but punters, don't tell us we didn't warn you. Spin or tap your thingo to win or lose. Enjoy the Logies and don't do anything we wouldn't do. Good luck to all.

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

*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. Media Man also publishes Media Man News

*The writer owns shares in Crown Limited

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FOXTEL'S STAR-STUDDED LINEUP AT TV WEEK LOGIES

Media Release: Friday, April 29, 2011

FOXTEL TO SHOWCASE ITS BIGGEST EVER LINEUP OF STARS AT THE 2011 TV WEEK LOGIE AWARDS

FOXTEL stars will light up the stage and red carpet at the 2011 TV Week Logie Awards, to be held at the Crown Palladium in Melbourne this weekend.

The cast of the much-anticipated Tim Winton’s cloudstreet (showcase) will be in attendance, including Stephen Curry – also presenting an award on the night – Todd Lasance, Essie Davis, Geoff Morrell and Huge Johnstone-Burt. cloudstreet will premiere on Sunday, May 22.

Justine Clarke, Silver Logie nominated actress and star of Tangle (showcase) will also attend TV’s night-of-nights, as she prepares to commence production on the third season of the hit drama series in Melbourne.

Host and Executive Producer of Australia’s Next Top Model (FOX8), Sarah Murdoch, will present an award at the ceremony and will be joined on the red carpet by Australia’s Next Top Model judge, Charlotte Dawson, as production commences on Series 7 of FOXTEL’s most-watched series.

Gorgeous model Tahnee Atkinson, winner of Series 5 of Australia’s Next Top Model returns to the Logies stage for the second year in a row to present the winners with their Awards.

Megan Gale, the new host of Project Runway Australia (Arena), will grace the red carpet in a custom-made gown by Project Runway mentor and red carpet divo Alex Perry. The fashion reality series recently wrapped production in Melbourne and will premiere on FOXTEL’s Arena channel in July. Megan will also take the stage to present an award on the night.

Nominated for Most Outstanding Sports Coverage, FOXTEL’s own Matt Shirvington, Tiffany Cherry and James Bracey will represent the team from FOXTEL’s coverage of the XIX Delhi Commonwealth Games and will be joined by superstar athletes Geoff Huegill and Liesel Jones.

In 2011, one of the most tumultuous years in political history, SKY NEWS has received a nomination for its coverage of Election 2010 in the Most Outstanding News Coverage category – and representing Australia’s News Channel will be Political Editor, David Speers, Senior Political Reporter, Kieran Gilbert and Political Reporter Ashleigh Gillon.

One of the biggest ratings hits of 2010, Grand Designs Australia (The LifeStyle Channel), has received a nomination in the viewer voted Most Popular Lifestyle category. Host Peter Maddison will attend the 52nd annual Awards, alongside LifeStyle stable mate Sarah Wilson.

For the second year in a row, the hosts of Nickelodeon’s Camp Orange: Castle Mountain, Luke Joseph Ryan and Wyatt Nixon-Lloyd will rock the red carpet in celebration of their nomination for Most Outstanding Children’s Program.

Three of the most photographed and beautiful woman on Australian TV – host of Cricket Superstar (FOX8) Lee Furlong, host of Dating in the Dark (FOX8) Laura Dundovic and MTV’s Erin McNaught – will add some glamour to the red carpet.

From the new Movie Extra series Small Time Gangster, lead star Steve Le Marquand and Sacha Horler are also on the guest list this Sunday night.

Rounding out the guest list are the stars of FOX8’s hot new reality series WAG Nation, who are leaving their ball-playing men at home for a night of glitz and glamour. Shoe designer Terry Biviano, fiancée of NRL Sydney Roosters player Anthony Minichiello; event planner Lynette Bolton, wife of AFL Sydney Swans player Jude Bolton; fashion boutique owner Jackie Spong, fiancée of AFL Carlton Blues player Jarrad Waite; promotions manager Jana Peterson, long-term girlfriend of NRL Cronulla Sharks player John Williams; and flight attendant Chantelle Raleigh, girlfriend of NBL Gold Coast Blaze player Adam Gibson will all attend the Logies.

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Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Terminator Tempting Arnold Schwarzenegger, by Greg Tingle

Arnie is looking to leap forward from his role as the Governator, he's ready to return to his signature role as the Terminator - the man you love to hate.

The Hollywood, sporting and political icon is ready for action, and his reps at CAA, have put together a sweet offer that it's pitching to the studios that includes rights to produce a new Terminator sequel, which would be directed by Justin Lin, just off doing Fast Five, which opens domestically Friday, and produced by Robert Cort. No screenwriter has come on board as of press, but that may change soon.

There's interest in bringing back The Terminator franchise, which has pumped out four flicks to date, ranging from the original James Cameron-directed 1984 release The Terminator and its sequel, 1991's Terminator 2: Judgment Day, to the last film in the series, 2009's Terminator Salvation, the only one in which Schwarzenegger did not play in.

When the movie's rights holder the Halcyon Group went through bankruptcy in 2010, Lionsgate and Sony joined together in an unsuccessful bid to snatch the franchise for themselves. More recently, Universal has been talking to CAA about tackling the project.
But winning the package could be very expensive. In last year's bankruptcy proceedings, Pacificor, a Santa Barbara-based hedge fund, won the rights to the property for $29.5 million plus a promise to pay Halcyon $5 million for each sequel that is produced. Pacificor would be part of any new production.

It's going to see if anyone gets terminated in the process. Hasta la vista, baby.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Australia's Hidden World Of Internet Gambling, by Greg Tingle - 26th April 2011

Like most countries, Australia has an underbelly or underground of various industries, be it security, sex, tourism, drugs and you guessed it - gambling. While must of Australia's casino, poker and other gambling sub sectors are out in the open, some are not we learn. Media Man and Gambling911 dig beneath the underbelly of the Australian gambling sector and uncover some interesting facts...

Down Under Gambling's Secret Millionaires...

Some are Australia's secret millionaires and some are anything but, but they both love the punt... often via online poker. They have ups and downs. Many players make a full time living out of it, while others job hop, visit Centrelink for their fortnight welfare payment, and keep their poker dream alive. Once in a while some win the one or even get lucky on online slots. The smart ones stick with games of skill, where there's not so much "luck" involved.

For many young Australian entrepreneurs normal jobs are out of the question, and turn the the web in search of something better and riches, and a growing number have found online poker and website portal creation as a way to rise up and express their entrepreneurial spirit and enjoy playing, even creating, games for financial reward.

They "work" pretty much when they like, make money sometimes tax free, party with mates when they choose, hang out in internet cafes, and you get the idea.

Banana Bender land in Queensland, as well as a growing number of young guys in 'Sin City' Sydney is where most of the gurus call home.

Up in Northern Queensland, Townsville to be precise, there's a talented online poker player... lets call him Dominic. He's ranked second in Queensland, according to poker tracking website Pocket Fives. He's played full-time since 2007, bringing in thousands via tournaments that sometimes only last half a working day.

He trained as a teacher, got a psychology degree and then discovered online poker. Coombe knew full time poker was the way to go after winning a $40,000 jackpot during a seven-hour online tournament. His biggest win has been $101,000.

"With poker, I started winning small tournaments and then gradually bigger and bigger ... and the snowball just started rolling. I love the game and I love being my own boss. It's just the flexibility and not having to answer to someone else."

Many of the online poker sharks are pretty low key when it come to news media reports. Coombe won't say what his total career winnings are.

We understand that the top 10 ranked players earn up to $750,000 a year, but basically all of the players have to put in a big days work to help make sure they come out on top at the end of the week - day - month. Over 12 hours a day, 7 days a week... whatever it takes.

"For a high stakes player it's quite normal to have downswings of $50,000 or $100,000. You could have a year when you could make $200,000 and another year that's nowhere near that," Coombe said.

The Australian Tax Office said gambling winnings were only taxed if it was part of "business operations" but the definition remained unclear in the online world.

Australian online poker players have watch with keen interest last week's US indictment of the founders of the three largest websites - PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker.

The FBI charged 11 people with bank fraud, money laundering and illegal gambling and most players in the US were unable to withdraw their bankroll from websites.

Online poker comes with many grey areas in the legal area, keeping many a legal eagle employed.

A Media Man spokesperson said "I don't play online poker and have hardly ever played online slots for money. We run a media and new media company and covering the online gambling sector is just one of a dozen sectors we cover. We write articles on all matter of things and participate in a number of affiliate programs across a wide range of industries from property to mobiles, travel, as well as doing some for games. We also have ran some media and publicity campaigns and assist celebrities campaigns from time to time. We're not a gambling company or an adult company. We're a media and new media company, who cover the gaming and gambling sector from a global perspective, in addition to many other industries. It's pretty much business as usual, but also hope to expand to Canada and Italy later this year where they are not so many grey areas. The internet and online poker encourage the entrepreneurial spirit and help many people achieve their dreams and aspirations away from the grind of a normal job. The internet is one of the greatest inventions ever and online poker and casino games are perfect for the medium. It's not going away and will only grow in popularity".


U.S - Aussie Banks and Online Poker American - Sydney Sin City Web Host Connection...

Australian banks have been handling payments to overseas-based online poker sites that have been illegally taking up to a $1 billion a year in bets from local punters.

Several of the major Australian financial institutions have been used by Sydney-based payment processors to take deposits from punters on the world's biggest online poker sites, which were targeted last weekend in a US money-laundering sting.

St George Bank -- one of the institutions named by the the poker websites to use for "local bank transfers" -- said it was unaware that one of its clients, Envoy Services, was processing payments of local punters to outlawed online gaming operators PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker.

"We were not aware of their links to these online companies and will be investigating further," a St George Bank spokesman said after being shown evidence by the media.


Australian Bank Caught Up In U.S Online Poker Scandal...

The United States major crime fighting unit, the FBI smacked money-laundering, bank-fraud and gambling charges last weekend against the three huge online poker firms - PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker - after targeting US-based payment processors that had tricked banks into handling the financial transactions.

Down under in Australia federal legislation introduced in 2001 prohibits gambling sites offering poker, bingo and casino games to Australians. The websites thought to be required to include warnings to this effect, but online gambling comes with a lot of grey areas and legally untested areas. The legislation allows Australian-based firms to offer the same services to overseas-based players, at least in most cases, but again, many gray areas exist. A website can change web hosts from Australia, then to Europe, Canada, and so the list goes on. Think like Wikipedia with back ups around the world.

Last year a Productivity Commission report advised many overseas-based websites were openly flouting the law by only instructing users to check the law in their jurisdiction before using the website, and predicted that about $1bn in online bets would be snatched from Aussies last year. The commission called for the online gaming industry to be legalised so it could be regulated and taxed.

Aussie celebs such as Shane Warne, and poker celebs such as Stewart Scott, are the face of some online poker rooms, which often cross sell online casino games. Australia's have taken to the Hollywood themed online slot games from PartyGaming, which recently merged with bwin to become bwin.party digital entertainment. Even the WWE, yes, the wrestling giant, has an online poker brand, so does Hustler - the hard core men's adult magazine, and Marvel Comics themed slot games are all the rage, with Thor and The Incredible Hulk enjoying massive patronage with Australians.

Australian regulators such as the Australian Communication and Media Authority and the Australian Federal Police have not enforced the ban, despite ACMA confirming it had received 46 "valid complaints" about the websites in the 2009-10 financial year.
An ACMA spokesperson said those complaints were "still being investigated". Online gambling companies and website portal operators are known to be well lawyer ed up... you know, legal eagles in abundance to protest the nest eggs, and a massive amount of legal "grey area" remains.

It has also come to light that all three major online gaming operators targeted in the US investigation had their sites hosted by Sydney-based IP servers. Yep, 'Sin City' Sydney did it again.

The news comes as the Gillard Labor government attempts to put limits on pokies following a push by the independent MP Andrew Wilkie to reduce problem gambling. Internet Industry Association chief executive Peter Coroneos said the 2001 laws were ineffective.

Reports and rumours have surfaced in the past few weeks that the big 3 poker websites have lost a lot players but PartyPoker, PartyCasino and PKR are all up. Website portals such as Media Man have showcased some games available, in addition to rules of play, legal aspects and commentary, and so on.

A Media Man spokesperson said "How do you mandate human behavior. Many Aussies just love a punt, and that's just the way it is. When you make something illegal or hard to get, more often than not it becomes more popular. The thought police have experienced a backlash in Australia and the gambling debate has proved a major trigger point for it. If you can bet on it, most Aussies will give it a go mate. Good luck".

Punters, er readers, stay glued to Media Man reports via Gambling911 for more "can't miss" information on Australian pokies and gaming wars.

*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.

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Monday, April 25, 2011

European Poker Websites Sites Boom; Australian Looking Up, by Greg Tingle - 25th April 2011

Online poker websites traffic; Shares Boom - Players Triggered By UIGEA charges

European poker websites, pretty much immune to the issues in the United States, have reported a boom in player activity following the indictment by American authorities of the owners of PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker.

American land based casino and resort tycoon Steve Wynn, a long time detractor of online casinos, had overseen a deal with PokerStars inked on approx 25th March, but only two weeks took the option to get out of the deal after PokerStars got named in what is now known in gambling circles as 'Black Friday'. Wynn's press release read:

LAS VEGAS, April 15, 2011—Wynn Resorts, Limited announced today thаt іt terminated іtѕ alliance wіth PokerStars, thе online poker company. Thе сhοісе wаѕ reached аѕ a result οf thе indictment unsealed bу thе U.S. Attorney fοr thе Southern District οf Nеw York.

Online casino websites such as bwin.party digital entertainment's PartyCasino are also understood to be up following the announcement.

Since the US Attorney's Office announced last Friday that it was pressing charges against 11 people over alleged fraud, money laundering and illegal gambling, PKR has seen a rise of around 21% in weekly traffic, while PartyPoker has risen 9%, 888Poker 5% and the iPoker network 4%. In contrast, Full Tilt dropped 48%. The data comes from our friends at Pokerscout.

Several business-savvy poker rooms have launched major promos to capitalize on the unique situation.

Shares in several British online gambling companies have soared in the last week. Bwin shares rose by 30%, 888 was up 18% and online gaming software provider Playtech saw its stocks climb by 8%.

Many media companies including Forbes, Reuters, Bloomberg, Gambling911 and EGR indicate that bwin.party digital entertainment may be the igaming company that ends up doing best out of the situation, given their recent successful merger, settlement with the US Department of Justice in April 2009, and government b2b dealings in a number of countries. Party is also looking to expand is b2b and news media deals with its World Poker Tour brand, currently broadcast in Australia on Rupert Murdoch's Fox Sports via Foxtel subscriber television.

Richard Branson's Virgin Games is watching the situation closely, however as of print Virgin Games are not available to Australians, New Zealanders or Canadians, whereas Party is.

Australian land based casino, Crown Casino in Melbourne, has accepted numerous PartyGaming - PartyPoker satellite poker players over the past few years, a trend that looks to continue. Party and NetGen Gaming are strongly rumoured to want to release a Kerry Packer, Underbelly and Andre The Giant online slot game, but have not publicly commented. Party has existing b2b deals with Marvel Entertainment, Paramount Pictures, Infinity Ward, StudioCanal, Frank Sinatra Enterprises and Edgar Rice Burroughs, so don't bet against them.

Crown Limited top brass James Packer is yet to publicly comment specifically about online casino or online poker, but he did however sign off an investment deal with online retailing giant DealsDirect.

Ellerston Capital, a fund management company owned by the Packer family's Consolidated Press Holdings, took a “minority cornerstone” investment in the online retailing site DealsDirect yesterday.

“It signals a real coming of age for online retail, with businesses like Ellerston getting into the game, it is well and truly 'game on',” said DealsDirect's co-founder Paul Greenberg.

The transaction, estimated by the Australian Financial Review to be worth $10 million, underscores the deeper embrace of online retail by the media sector and the investment community.

A Media Man spokesperson said of the Packer - Deals Direct deal "James Packer's recent investment into the online retail space shows just how keen he is on the online business. Crown Limited have an impressive portfolio of websites for their properties, however that did not do the man or company justice. Crown Casino Aussie Millions also accepts poker players from a number of online poker brands. Packer also has the 50% investment in Betfair, and rumours persist of a Crown online casino, a venture with a strong possibility of Packer mate Shane Warne getting in on the action. Packer is also keen to see more interaction between Australian television broadcasts of poker on Fox Sports and his traditional media ventures. Mr Packer famously went on recent a few years ago with 'Internet is like electricity', something this very news reports proves correct".

*The writer owns shares in Crown Limited and has conducted b2b with a number of companies cited in this article.

*Greg Tingle is a regular contributor for Gambling911

*Media Man is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. They cover over a dozen different business sectors, including gaming

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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Australia To Crack Down On Internet Betting, by Greg Tingle - 23rd April 2011

Australian internet gamers - gamblers, and was as many sectors of the media are going to welcome the news that greater consumer protection measures are coming up in the near future. More regulation may also be in order as a result of information Australian Daniel Tzvetkoff has been passing to the FBI and other authorities in relation to gaming and the financial services sector. Media Man and Gambling911 continues to deliver news you need to know...

Aussie Internet Gamblers To Get More Protection...

Australian gamblers who lose money, rather that make a quid, playing internet poker or online casino games like slots, would be able to void unsuccessful credit card wagers under legislation to be tabled in Parliament next month. It's part of the plan to crack down on illegal internet betting. Independent senator Nick Xenophon will also put forward proposals re advertising controls on companies with gaming products and their affiliated websites. It's understood laws prohibit gambling houses from allowing Aussies to play poker and casino games for money across the web, however no company has been prosecuted for breaching these regulations. Roughly $1 billion is bet by Aussies over these websites annually.

"With voided credit card bets, I have to say there's something appealing to me about online casinos losing their shirts rather than the punters," Xenophon said. "It would certainly make online casinos think twice about accepting Australian cards." The Australian government is in a wrestling match to introduce pokies reform under which the maximum individual bet would be reduced from $10 to $1. That change is part of a deal the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, struck with the independent MP Andrew Wilkie to help snatch his support after the election last year. Some dramas hit betting sites became worldwide news last weekend after America's Federal Bureau of Investigation laid charges against the major players in the global online poker industry - PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker - alleging bank fraud, money laundering and breaches of US gambling laws. It boosted the popularity of some gambling brands not in trouble such as bwin.party digital entertainment and PKR. The FBI also sought to recover more than $US3 billion ($2.8 billion) as the proceeds of crime. Although the "Big Three' being probed by the FBI cannot advertise in Australia, some use affiliated websites...like "play for fun" (not money)...sponsorship of sports teams also happen such as with NRL clubs Cronulla and the Sydney Roosters, and then already one brand has a stadium named after them. Brands offering prohibited poker and casino betting can also operate from within Australia. It's understand a company called GP Information Services, which has an office in 'Sin City' Sydney, is a subsidiary of PokerStars, running a 200-strong office in downtown Chatswood, just 15 minutes from the heart of Sydney's CBD. Firms that breach the law can be fined up to $1.1 million a day, but none has been prosecuted, but a spokesman for the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy advised "a number of instances … have been referred to the AFP".

Daniel Tzvetkoff Gets Witness Protection For Gaming Information...

Ex Australian internet whiz kid Daniel Tzvetkoff is likely to have entered the FBI's witness protection program and could be put up in a jail facility on the US east coast, a former FBI special agent believes. Tzvetkoff's last known location was a prison in New York where US government prosecutors fought at bail hearings to keep him but, on August 23 last year, he was moved under a veil of secrecy. It is believed the 28-year-old Gold Coast entrepreneur, once worth about $82 million, has become a star witness for the FBI and prosecutors. Last week, the FBI charged 11 people - including the founders of the giant PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker internet poker companies - with bank fraud, money laundering and illegal gambling offences. "He's in a lock-up somewhere," said James Wedick, a decorated former FBI special agent who worked with the crime-fighting agency for 34 years and specialised in handling confidential informants and co-operating witnesses. Tzvetkoff was arrested a year ago in Vegas and faces 75 years in US federal prison for allegedly creating a scheme to illegally process more than $US500 million in transactions between US gamblers and internet gaming websites. Wedick said if Tzvetkoff had agreed to become a government witness, it would not guarantee his release from custody.
"There's no way they'd let him walk out," he told the press after examining details of the cases. It was also unlikely Tzvetkoff would be held in a safe house. Jails had special wings or floors for prisoners in the witness protection program and these were separate from the general prison population, he said. "If he's gone into the witness protection program, he is merely in one of the protection wings of the prison," Wedick said. The FBI and prosecutors from the US Attorney's Southern District of New York office have declined to comment on Tzvetkoff's whereabouts.
Court proceedings in Tzvetkoff's case are held behind closed doors and filings sealed from the public. "You are going to have to call the US Attorney's office on this," said a FBI spokesman, declining to comment on the Tzvetkoff case. A call to the US Attorney's office came with the same info. "It's our policy to not comment on ongoing cases and investigations," the spokeswoman said. A couple of years back, Tzvetkoff was pushed as one of Australia's smartest and most successful young businessmen after creating Brisbane-based internet payment processing company Intabill. Tzvetkoff drove Lamborghinis, Ferraris, showed off his wealth, and now its come back to haunt him. Other companies with some links to the gaming industry are understood to be doing house keeping and getting more legal advise to make sure their business won't suffer a similar fate to Tzvetkoff's.

A Media Man spokesperson said "We will continue to cover the gaming sector, just as we cover a dozen industry vertical markets. Online property, celebrity and entertainment news, travel, politics and overall expansion of website portals remains a focus point for us. We're not a casino, but we will certainly continue to cover the casino, online casino and poker sector. We've been offering alternative news and online media for a decade, and we are not about to stop covering it just because some questionable gambling websites based in the US closed down. We will also continue to rank a online casino and online poker website of the month also. It's pretty much business as usual across our international network".

Punters, er readers, stay glued to Media Man reports via Gambling911 for more "can't miss" information on Australian pokies and gaming wars.

*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.

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Friday, April 22, 2011

Network Nine Beats ABC To Paper Giants; Packer And Ita, by Greg Tingle - 21st April 2011

Famous Australians, the late Kerry Packer, and living media icon Ita Buttrose, will be portrayed in an new Aussie telemovie coming to the box later this month: 'Paper Giants - The Birth Of Cleo'. Cleo the magazine, not the slot folks. In the latest development, Network Nine powers that be, close to the Packers', have snatched the series away from the ABC. Media Man and Gambling911 cut to the chase on what may or may not have happened between the late gambling king KP and former magazine queen, Ita, plus offer a few candid comments with this special probing report...

Nine Snatches Kerry Packer - Ita Buttrose Sequel From ABC; Nine Plays On Packer History...

Packer and Ita fans - you'll love this...the sequel to Paper Giants is going back to Network Nine, after ABC got first pickings. The ABC's hit drama about the media and gambling king, Ita Buttrose and Cleo mag, will not be on the national broadcaster, but on Kerry Packer's former network, Nine. It wasn't long after the first episode of Paper Giants, a two-part mini-series, hit on Sunday night, the chief executive of Nine, David Gyngell, made a play to get the second part. The late Packer and Gyngell were mates and rather like family we understand. He remains good friends with Packer's son and Ten shareholder, James Packer. The sequel will cover Kerry Packer's World Series Cricket, which changed the game forever, including giving sweet paydays for players. Network Nine broadcast the competitions and owns the footage and associated programs and promotional material. It has a long association with some of the key players, including the present-day commentators Richie Benaud, Tony Greig and Ian Chappell. Securing the special comes at a most important time for Nine heads, which is in a ratings battle against Channel Seven and is also preparing to float on the sharemarket to return some of the $5 billion its private equity owners spent buying Nine and ACP Magazines. The ABC had first thought Paper Giants was the first stage in a three-part story of Packer's and Ita's life. It was interested in the entire collection, but would commit to only one stage at a time. The ABC director of television, Kim Dalton, expressed his disappointment at losing the series: "We were very enthusiastic about the opportunity, and it would've worked very well on ABC TV. But them's the breaks." The first instalment of Paper Giants on Sunday night captured 1.2 million viewers in the five main cities for the ABC. A further 150,000 tuned in for the second half on Monday night. The ABC called the production company behind the series, Southern Star, to confirm it wanted another lot, but Channel Nine also made contact. Gyngell was not available for comment, but Channel Nine secured the rights for roughly $2.5 million. The Southern Star chief executive, Rory Callaghan, said the ABC was given the chance to secure the rights in October. Asked if he was happy for the sequel to go to Nine, he said: "We're a production company, we're just trying to do our best."

Australian's Kerry Packer and Ita Buttrose In New Cleo TV Show...

Gambling and media fans. You won't have to wait much longer. The late Kerry Packer (played by actor Rob Carlton) will be returning to Australian TV screens (and internet). Paper Giants: The Birth Of Cleo, promises to be a quality production that will also show some of the more intimate details of the relationship between the late Packer and Ita, as well as show us a bit of our mate, Jack Thompson (in a Cleo spread no less). Jack is understood to be pleased with the choice of model just quietly. Yeah, we're going to get some nudity boys and girls. The telemovie stars Asher Keddie as Ita Buttrose and will tell the story of the magazines' rise in the Australian media circa 1970s. The viewer will also get some solid insight into the lives of Packer and Buttrose. What do our friends at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation have to say about it? "In early 1972, 30 year old journalist and editor, Ita Buttrose (Asher Keddie) and 35 year old Kerry Packer (Rob Carlton), heir to what was then Australia's most ruthlessly powerful and influential publishing family, got together to create a magazine that became one of the most dramatic sensations in Australian publishing history. CLEO went on to help define women, Australia and the relationship between the two." Buttrose, who first cemented her place as the magazine's editor, was a consultant on the production. "If there was a supposed affair it didn't happen in this timeframe. I have no idea if there was, we didn't raise it with her," said producer John Edwards. A 2007 feature article by The Sydney Morning Herald revealed on Packer - Buttrose: "He soon proposed marriage and, despite rumours to the contrary, she accepted him. But she was less committed to the idea of marriage than he was. She already had one failed marriage behind her," we were told. That marriage to Alasdair Macdonald produced Buttrose's two children, Ben and Kate. "After Ita accepted Kerry's proposal, Kerry told his wife Ros, who knew about the affair anyway. She threatened to take half his wealth and deny him custody of his children, Gretel and James. Kerry found himself weighing up the loss of half of his riches and the loss of his children and finally had a change of heart. He didn't want to lose either." Actor Carlton says he approached the role of Packer with "an equal dose of terror and exhilaration. Like most encounters with Kerry Packer, I'm told". The two-part telemovie will go to air at 8.30pm, Sunday 17 April (and) the same time on Monday, 18 April, on ABC1. News media is speculating is the son of the late KP, James Packer, may get any positive spin offs or PR's from the telemovie which is being touted to be the talk of 'Sin City' Sydney, and perhaps even across Australia, such is the interest in Packer and Buttrose. Buttrose is managed by the Harry M. Miller Group, and Packer is well... not easy to get in touch with, but the right approach to Crown Casino directly can sometimes work wonders. No, please don't ask us for more information on how to, and no, we don't manage them either, but offer online profiles on the two for folks who are interested. From the leaks we've got on Paper-Cuts so far; 4 out of 5 stars. "It's 1972. Skirts are up, pants are down". Spin to win with Cleo, the telemovie, not the slot!

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As always, know the odds, bet with your head, not over it, and have fun. Good luck.

*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.

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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Marvel Already Planning Thor And Captain America Sequels, by Greg Tingle - 21st April 2011

Marvel entertainment and co powers that be are already planning sequels to both Thor and Captain America: The First Avenger.

Marvel Studios' president Kevin Feige stated in a recent interview that the studio is in the process of developing a sequel for each, with the writers working on Captain America 2, with Thor 2 not following too far behind.

Remember when studios waited to see the box office results to start putting money into a sequel, but with these two highly anticipated movies, which are a must for the planned Avengers flick, we're behind Marvel all the way on this.

Marvel Entertainment living legend Stan Lee is understand to be 100% behind the move. Excelsior!

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News

'Thor' movie set for 6th May 2011; Likely to take place of Spider-Man IV, - 7th January 2010

Marvel Entertainment acquisition by Disney approved - 5th January 2010

Thor goes into battle for the NT (ABC News) - 21st April 2011

Party boy Chris Hemsworth puts the hammer down - Herald Sun - 19th April 2011

'Thor': The Early Reviews Are In! - MTV News - 18th April 2011

You Thor, me Jane - Today Online - 21st April 2011

Thor: God of Thunder - Going Green - Marvel.com - 20th April 2011

Big Time Buzz: Thor - Marvel.com - 19th April 2011

Thor mania smashes into Sydney premier - Street Corner - 17th April 2011

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Hemsworth beefs up for 'Thor' (The Sydney Morning Herald - Multimedia)

From the Territory to Asgard - ABC Radio 105.7

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Paramount Pictures and Marvel Entertainment, LLC to Release "Thor" in IMAX(R) 3D

LOS ANGELES, April 20, 2011 -- IMAX Corporation (NYSE:IMAX) (TSX:IMX), Paramount Pictures and Marvel Entertainment, LLC formally announced today that they have finalized an agreement to release the epic superhero adventure Thor in digital IMAX® theatres worldwide day-and-date on May 6, 2011. The release marks the continuation of the partnership between IMAX, Paramount and Marvel. The film, based on the well-known Marvel comic book, is directed by Kenneth Branagh, produced by Kevin Feige, and stars Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman and Anthony Hopkins. The screenplay is by Ashley Edward Miller & Zack Stentz and Don Payne from a story by J. Michael Straczynski and Mark Protosevich.

Tim Connors, Chief Operating Officer, Marvel Studios, stated, "We're excited to continue our relationship with IMAX following the success we shared on Iron Man 2, and we look forward to fans experiencing the thrill of Thor in the immersive IMAX® 3D format."

"Bringing iconic characters to life is something that Marvel Entertainment and Paramount do very well, and we're confident that Thor will also come to life on the IMAX screen," said IMAX CEO Richard L. Gelfond. "This highly-anticipated summer title is tailor-made for the IMAX audience."

"We're pleased to expand our relationship with Marvel and Paramount with Thor, which is a great addition to our summer tentpole slate," said Greg Foster, Chairman and President of IMAX Filmed Entertainment. "We believe Thor will resonate with the IMAX audience by transporting them directly into the 3D world that Kenneth Branagh and the Marvel team have created for this epic film."

About Thor

Marvel Studios expands its film universe with a new type of superhero: Thor. This epic adventure spans the Marvel Universe; from present day Earth to the realm of Asgard. At the center of the story is The Mighty Thor, a powerful but arrogant warrior whose reckless actions reignite an ancient war. Thor is cast down to Earth and forced to live among humans as punishment. Once here, Thor learns what it takes to be a true hero when the most dangerous villain of his world sends the darkest forces of Asgard to invade Earth. Kenneth Branagh directs this fantasy epic which stars Australian actor Chris Hemsworth as the god of thunder, Natalie Portman as Jane Foster, a young woman who befriends Thor on Earth, Tom Hiddleston as Thor's evil brother Loki, and Anthony Hopkins as Odin, Thor's father and king of Asgard. Expect to see agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., previously seen in Iron Man to make an appearance, further foreshadowing the coming of Marvel Studios' The Avengers! Thor's screenplay is by Ashley Edward Miller & Zack Stentz and Don Payne from a story by J. Michael Straczynski and Mark Protosevich.

About Marvel Entertainment

Marvel Entertainment, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, is one of the world's most prominent character-based entertainment companies, built on a proven library of over 8,000 characters featured in a variety of media over seventy years. Marvel utilizes its character franchises in entertainment, licensing and publishing. For more information visit www.marvel.com. Super Hero(es) is a co-owned registered trademark.

About Paramount Pictures Corporation

Paramount Pictures Corporation (PPC), a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment, is a unit of Viacom (NYSE:VIA) (NYSE:VIA-B), a leading content company with prominent and respected film, television and digital entertainment brands. The company's labels include Paramount Pictures, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Classics, Insurge Pictures, MTV Films and Nickelodeon Movies. PPC operations also include Paramount Digital Entertainment, Paramount Famous Productions, Paramount Home Entertainment, Paramount Pictures International, Paramount Licensing Inc., Paramount Studio Group and Paramount Television & Digital Distribution.

About IMAX Corporation

IMAX Corporation is one of the world's leading entertainment and technology companies, specializing in the creation and delivery of premium, awe-inspiring entertainment experiences. With a growing suite of cutting-edge motion picture and sound technologies, and a globally recognized entertainment brand, IMAX is singularly situated at the convergence of the entertainment industry, innovation and the digital media world. The industry's top filmmakers and studios are utilizing IMAX theatres to connect with audiences in extraordinary ways, and as such, the IMAX network is among the most important and successful theatrical distribution platforms for major event films around the globe. The Company's new digital projection and sound systems - combined with a growing blockbuster film slate - are fueling the rapid expansion of the IMAX network in established markets such as North America, Western Europe, and Japan, as well as emerging markets such as China and Russia. IMAX theaters deliver the world's best cinematic presentations using proprietary IMAX, IMAX 3D, and IMAX DMR® (Digital Re-Mastering) technologies. IMAX DMR enables virtually any motion picture to be transformed into the unparalleled image and sound quality of The IMAX Experience.

IMAX is headquartered in New York, Toronto and Los Angeles, with offices in London, Tokyo and Shanghai. As of December 31, 2010, there were 518 IMAX theatres (396 commercial, 122 institutional) operating in 46 countries.

IMAX®, IMAX® 3D, IMAX DMR®, Experience It In IMAX®, An IMAX 3D Experience® and The IMAX Experience® are trademarks of IMAX Corporation. More information about the Company can be found at www.imax.com. You may also connect with IMAX on Facebook (www.facebook.com/imax), Twitter (www.twitter.com/imax) and YouTube (www.youtube.com/imaxmovies).

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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

WWE Gambles On Cigy Angle; WWE Lights Up Debate With Tobacco In Media, by Greg Tingle - 20th April 2011

WWE Lights Up Debate With Tobacco In Media...

Regular readers will know all too well that Media Man and and Gambling911 cover all matter of vice in their news reports. Usually its gambling or casino news, but we also cover crime, technology, odds on events and from time to time, cigarettes.

Cigarettes - tobacco or ciggies if you prefer, are back in the news, especially when it comes to the United States and Australia.

Down under the debate is on the way as to if plain packaging should be used at the point of sale (which may help them loose their appeal)... then again, it may work out the opposite also, as when products and services become more controversial, they also often become more popular!

Now leading American owned and operated media company, WWE (formally World Wrestling Federation - before they decided they we not so much wrestling, but sports entertainment), has been dragged into the tobacco in news media debate with one of their stars lighting up a cigarette as part of a story line.

The WWE superstar - the curiously named R-Truth (Ron Killings)... not Cig Killings, lit her up and has raised the ire of anti tobacco advocates across the global including Patrick Reynolds from Tobacco Free.org, who is calling for an apology on the stunt.

TMZ broke the story earlier today, but news media wires across the globe and running with it hard, including heated debate at Wrestling Observer Newsletter and the Pro Wrestling Torch.

Reynolds said on the wrestling superstar, "If he wants help in quitting, I'll be happy to be his personal coach."

The WWE issued a statement to TMZ defending the cigarette incident -- saying, "The negative effect smoking has on one’s health and physical performance was a part of a storyline on last night’s Monday Night Raw. Negative depictions of tobacco use on television are not unusual and can be seen on other TV-PG shows."

A Media Man spokesperson said "We're going to back up the WWE and Killings all the way on this one. It's a storyline, not unlike the sort of thing you would see on other American sitcoms, TV series and the like. The WWE audience is not stupid and audiences realise it's showbiz. Most of the programming is clearing PG-13, but somethings things get blurred. It's no secret that smoking is not good for you, and that the way WWE and Killings presented it. Last Monday Night may have been more Raw that usual, but we believe that they did not cross the line. It was interesting and entertaining television in our estimation. As is often the case, it was a small but vocal number of people who complained. For the record, none of our staff smoke either, but most enjoy WWE programming.

A few months ago the WWE also attracted mixed press coverage when it was discovered they offered WWE Poker on their website.

Punters may also be interested to know that a decade ago the then World Wrestling Federation, formally also known as Titan Sports and World Wide Wrestling Federation purchase a land based casino in Las Vegas, however they never developed the sites and chose to sell it for a profit. Returned WWE superstar Kevin "Diesel" Nash also once played a smooth talking Vegas character 'Vinnie Vegas' in World Championship Wrestling.

WWE superstars gamble with their life and risk their neck and back every time they step into the squared circle wrestling ring.

We like one of the WWE slogans 'Don't try this at home', but when it comes to gambling as a whole its hard to beat 'Bet with your head, not over it, and have fun'.

WWE will be touring Australia from July 1st.

Australian Government To Try Boring Cig Packaging In Attempt To Reduce Consumption...

Down under in Australia the government in all their wisdom is pushing hard for a new tool in goal to cut smoking rates: extremely boring cigarette packages!

The government has announced legislation that would ban logos, colors, brand imagery, and promotional text, while mandating that all packages be olive green-determined in studies to be the least appealing color. The move would "take away the tobacco industry’s final capacity to promote its product," says a professor of public health.

Australia has long been a leader in war on tobacco, the Christian Science Monitor reports, but this time Aussie land will face a hell of a fight fight from the tobacco industry. A legal challenge has been threatened, alleging that the proposed legislation infringes on international trademark laws.

Should the government's plan comes to pass, brand names will appear on each cigarette package in a standard font, and the rest of the box will be covered in health warnings.

Summary: boring packages, but will that really stop folks from lighting up, or even trying a cigy for the first time. We're not sold, how about you?

Cigy moving for readers interested: 'Coffee and Cigarettes'
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0379217
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coffee_and_Cigarettes

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*The writer is a regular contributor for Gambling911

*Media Man http://www.mediamanint.com is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. They also publish Wrestling News Media http://www.wrestlingnewsmedia.com

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Banks to guide 'Governator' - 18th April 2011

'SpongeBob' scribe drafted for Schwarzenegger-Lee toon

Former "SpongeBob Squarepants" head writer Steven Banks has been drafted for the Arnold Schwarzenegger-Stan Lee toon series "The Governator."

Banks will serve as a head writer for the A Squared Entertainment series that follows an animated Schwarzenegger who, after leaving office in California, takes on a secret identity as a crime-fighting superhero, with the help of an elite squad of teenagers.

The series was announced with much fanfare earlier this month at the Mip TV confab in Cannes. There's no word yet on a domestic outlet for "Governator."

In addition to his six-year run on "SpongeBob," Banks' toon credits include Nickelodeon's "The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius."

"Throughout my career, whether it has been in body building, movies or politics, my philosophy has always been to bring together the best specialized talent to create projects that people will love," Schwarzenegger said. "Having Steven on board to head up the writing for 'The Governator' series is a fantastic next step."

Andy and Amy Heyward's A Squared banner is producing "Governator," which will have a comicbook offshoot published by Archie Comics under the newly created Stan Lee Comics label. Lee and his Pow Entertainment partner, Gill Champion, will oversee all creative development. (Credit: Variety, Wires)

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Monday, April 18, 2011

Thor mania smashes into Sydney premier, by Eva Rinaldi - 17th April 2011




Photography by Eva Rinaldi Photography

Thor mania, a big part of the Marvel Universe, smashed its way into the George St, Sydney Event Cinema tonight in front of hundreds of Marvel-Maniac fans and dozens of just as maniacal Australian photographers and paps.

Aussiewood - Hollywood leading man, Aussie born and bred hunk-0-mania Chris Hemsworth is ready to rock, roll, and get all caught up in Stan Lee's Marvel Universe, with Thor, which premiered in Sydney just minutes ago.

Thor is a killer movie, the type of blockbuster you have grown to love (or hate) based on the Marvel Comics character, who thanks to the flick push is starting to return to his former fame.

Hemsworth's mug is everywhere....billboards, soon TV, videogames, lunch boxes and god knows where else. The Aussie lad is understood to be in for a bush tucker bag of pay days, thanks to the revamped remuneration structure for Marvel Comics themed motion pictures.

Hemsworth was prepared to go on record with News Limited and wires with "It's been a slow burn for a year-and-a-half, gathering awareness, but now it's starting to really blow up with billboards and posters and more and more people seeing the trailer. It's nuts and it's exciting. I feel like a little kid, able to play a superhero, and that it's being received so well is exciting. It's incredibly surreal."

When Human Media asked him about the most enjoyable part of doing the film he said "Oh god, just all of it. It was all so awesome."

Movie insiders leaked that a Thor sequel is also about to go into production.

Thor is a key member of the Marvel Universe, at least these days. An insider leaked "Marvel comics living legend Stan Lee was quizzed and consulted on the the future of Thor, and he advised the one who swings the hammer must be a key part of the Marvel Universe future. Lee got his wish."

Thor will also appear in The Avengers, with Hemsworth in store for yet another pay day. Hollywood comeback kid Robert Downey Jr will get another go as as Iron Man, Mark Ruffalo as The Incredible Hulk, and Chris Evans as Captain America. Scarlett Johansson is strongly tipped to be appearing as spy Natasha Romanoff.

Back to Thor, Natalie Portman plays Hemsworth's superhero babe. Living legend Anthony Hopkins from 'Hannibal Lecter' world stars as Thor's dad Odin.

The film is directed by Kenneth Branagh and is getting the push in Australia by Paramount Pictures, rather than Sony, which looked after other Marvel Entertainment flicks such as Spider-Man. Spider-Man 4 is rumored to have got bumped to make way for the Thor release, with Captain America tipped to hit Australia within 6 months, possibly sooner.

"We'd talk about the business and Anthony always said, 'Make sure you're having fun, take it seriously and do the work' - but it is fun," Hemsworth stated.

Working with Portman, who recently won an Oscar for playing a troubled ballerina in Black Swan, was also enlightening.

"Natalie was fantastic, another one who I've been a huge fan of for years, and she's just as wonderful as you'd imagine, and really funny," he says. "I didn't realise she had such a great sense of humour."

To help prepare for playing Thor, the fit bronzed Aussie gained some extra beef, hitting the gym and gained about 10kg of muscle to finally tip the scales at 100kg. Movie special effects of course took care of the rest, so we think.

"I saw a nutritionist who said to think of myself as a caveman, and protein is what I must consume and lots of vegetables and fruit and a very little amount of carbs," he told the wires.

Hemsworth states there were no special effects to add to his look, but we are not totally convinced, but only he knows for sure.

"I can safely say that's all me. Short of going in and digitally copying every frame, colouring it in or something, I don't even know what they could do - they didn't have to change anything."

Hemsworth is warm and likable, especially by showbiz standards and says his three years on Home and Away was the best training an actor could have.

"Home and Away was one of the biggest learning curves for me because you're thrown into the deep end of it all," he says.

A couple of years ago Hemsworth quit Australian TV, headed off to the U.S, and got some cracker roles in films such as Star Trek, The Cabin In The Woods and Red Dawn.

My team and I found the actors and management very helpful and friendly, and from the footage we've seen of the film so far it looks fantastic, and we think its going to be in the 4 stars range, if you just make the allowance that it's a superhero movie.

A special thank you to the good folks at Paramount Pictures for your excellent assistance in helping coordinate things for us tonight, and also Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston for autographing the Thor picture that my son Joseph brought along this evening. Joseph and some of his mates were overheard to say they would see the film five times as a token of appreciation.

Thor premiered in Sydney tonight and opens on Thursday. As our un-met friend Stan Lee in the U.S says, Excelsior!

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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Gambling And Casino Scene And Gossip Down Under, by Greg Tingle - 17th April 2011

Australian gambling news continues at fever pitch. It's fun and games all the way with lovers vs haters, casino attacks, new games, casino revamps, stars touring Aussie casinos and more. Media Man and Gambling911 with your down under gambling report...

Aussie Welfare Cheats To Repay Big Brother $9 Million Punted At Casinos...

Single Aussie mums and pensioner getter's on welfare benefits, be it "the pension" or "the dole", will be forced to cough up $9 million bucks after they were found leading "double lives" as high-rolling casino gamblers. That's the story coming out of big brother, but how much is true and how much is spin is yet to be fully determined. A federal investigation has snatched 521 tax cheats, with authorities suspecting some of laundering money for crims. Cheats told Centrelink they needed welfare payments to survive on, but some were living it up tossing around $100,000 plus a year at Australian land based casinos. Some high-rollers "pseudo VIP's" have been charged and sentenced to home detention, while some other punters await charges. 15 welfare recipients were referred to the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions suspected of committing fraud. The word is that they be forced to pay back big brother, but how do you get blood out of a stone. Some punters claim the moolah is spent while others have no traceable assets. 32 Queensland based banana benders will have to repay almost $500,000 bucks. In New South Wales, 128 cheats owe big brother in express of $2.2 million, while 279 Victorians owe close to $5 million. One NSW millionaire, who tried to hid his income, has on welfare for numerous years, snatching roughly $96,000 in age pension payments. Federal legislation requires casinos to provide information to law enforcement agencies about patrons who regularly gamble large amounts of money. Human Services Minister Tanya Plibersek said Centrelink did not count winnings as income if welfare recipients just had the occasional good day on the punt. "But people who can afford to regularly gamble large sums of money at the same time as receiving government assistance are required to prove they aren't concealing assets and income," Ms Plibersek said. "By cross-referencing casino high-roller information with Centrelink customers, Centrelink is identifying people who may be concealing assets or income, wrongly claiming benefits and even laundering money." Centrelink reviewed 1052 cases of suspected high-rollers in the past 3 years before demanding 521 welfare recipients repay more than $9 million. Federal Independent Senator Nick Xenophon said pre-commitment measures for pokies whereby gamblers would have to sign up and determine how much money they could lose before they start playing would help law enforcement. "Criminals are laundering millions of dollars through the poker machines each year. These reforms will put an end to this," Senator Xenophon said. It's a 3 way dance - Man VS Machine VS Big Brother - who will emerge victorious and where exactly will the money trial lead?

"Wicked" (Satire) Wilkie Won't Apologise For Hitler Scandal...

Andrew Wilkie says he will not apologise to the man who has accused him of ordering cadets to salute Hitler because he can't recall. Not recalling is an oldie, but a goodie, of Australian and American politicians, often when the s hits the fan, and its a smart, but unethical answer. Ex army cadet Brendan Etches claims the independent MP ordered him to salute the 50th anniversary of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler's rise to power, when they were at Duntroon Military College in the 1980s. Etches wants Wilkie to apologise for the incident when the pair meet early this week.
He also wants an apology for suggestions that he was part of a smear campaign by the pro-poker machine lobby to discredit Wilkie. Wilkie says he's "looking forward" to meeting Etches, and talk about his concerns. "But I won't be able to apologise to him for an incident I have no memory of," he told Network Ten. Wilkie says that's not a political "cop-out", noting that he has already apologised for charges of bastardisation at Duntroon. "I was bastardised, I was a bastard," he said, acknowledging that his behaviour was "appalling and wrong". Wilkie claims the poker machine industry is behind a smear campaign against him, including death threats and blackmail. "As a general rule (politicians) wouldn't talk about such threats," he said, responding to criticism from coalition MPs about going public with the death threat. "But this most recent threat was different, it came on the day that the poker machine industry launched its $20 million campaign against me," he said, noting that he has received numerous death threats in public life. Wilkie is "very confident" the proposed pre-commitment gambling scheme will have the support of federal parliament. "We need four votes (in the lower house), I'm one, the (Australian) Greens are one, (independent) Bob Katter's already indicated support." "We are almost there with just those three votes," he said, citing confidence that regional MP Tony Windsor would change his stance and back the reforms. Nationals Senate leader Barnaby Joyce is raising the possibility of compensation for the many clubs and pubs that have bought poker machines and might be unable to rely on the income. Senator Joyce says it not as simple as clamping down on addicts. "A lot of places rely on them for income streams in regional towns where they are instrumental in delivering a whole heap of services including sporting fields, venues, to the town," Senator Joyce told ABC television. "But no one likes the mess of someone who sits in the corner and puts the family's savings or the family's income down the slot. Senator Joyce said it was vital both sides of the argument were understood before any action was taken. "A lot of people have paid a lot of money for poker machines and if you start removing the capacity for them to earn money from a federal sphere I suppose the federal government has to compensate those clubs for it. "There's a whole heap of aspects to this debate that have to be considered." Political fun and games continue.

Katy Perry Will Play TV Week Logies At Melbourne's Crown Casino...

Katy Perry has just been confirmed to open the awards ceremony at Melbourne's Crown Casino complex on May 1, performing her chart-topping hit - 'Firework'. No, its not a dream - its real! Perry will be in Australia as part of her California Dreams World Tour, with sold-out performances at the Sydney Entertainment Centre on May 4 and 14. Classical music superstar Andre Rieu is rumoured to attend the Logies, with 'tween heartthrob Justin Bieber also in Australia. Shane Bourne will be the host, and awards will be presented by Chris Lilley, Karl Stefanovic, Sarah Murdoch, Lisa McCune, Deborah Mailman, Shane Jacobson and Megan Gale. Twitters will be likely blocked after last years Twitter-Gate.

Crown Casino Logie Awards Banned From Twittering...

Mobile phones will not be allowed at this year's Logie Awards ceremony to avoid the Twitter-Gate deal that overshadowed last year's event, a spokesperson said. Invitations to the 53rd Annual Logie Awards on May 1 at Melbourne's Crown Entertainment Complex, say at the bottom: "Please note, mobiles will not be permitted. Your co-operation is appreciated." A Logies spokeswoman told ABC News Online the ban was put in place because of the tweeting that detracted from TV's 'night of nights' last year. "Bags are not being searched or anything; we're just expecting guests to observe that request," she said. Controversial comedian Catherine Deveny was sacked by The Age following her attacks on stars which were posted on Twitter during last year's Logies. The comments posted by Deveny on Twitter were as variously described as "offensive" and "vulgar". Deveny wrote that she hoped 11-year-old Bindi Irwin "gets laid" and that former talk show host Rove McManus's wife Tasma "didn't die too"...referring to the loss of McManus's first wife, Belinda Emmett, to cancer in 2006. Comedian Wil Anderson's Logies tweets also drew criticism. Media Man was one of hundreds of media outlets that spread the Twitter-Gate story worldwide, with assistance of Gambling911, Wires and Google News.

Tabcorp Granted Demerger Approval...

Tabcorp got the not from court to move forward with its demerger into separate casino and gaming businesses. Paperwork lodged with the stock exchange show that as part of the demerger, outgoing Tabcorp boss Elmer Funke Kupper will receive a payout of up to $5.5 million. The scheme booklet also gives the strongest indication yet that Tabcorp will sue the Victorian government over the loss of pokies licences, worth $687 million, due to expire in August next year. Shareholders will vote on the proposal in Melbourne on June 1. If shareholders approve ,they will receive one share in the new casino group, Echo Entertainment Group, for each Tabcorp share they hold and Echo will then be listed on the ASX. Kupper's golden handshake is made up of a $3 million termination payout and up to $2.5 million in shares. He will step down after the demerger, and rejoin the board as a non-executive director after a six-month break. Tabcorp has long maintained that it should be paid a $687 million break fee within a week of any new Victorian poker machine licences that are being issued. But, when he was in office, ex premier John Brumby consistently said Tabcorp was not entitled to compensation. "Tabcorp intends to pursue all of its rights and take all appropriate action in respect of the payment," Tabcorp said in the scheme booklet lodged yesterday. However, the company warned that if the matter went before the courts "the outcome cannot be predicted with any certainty. Despite its strong resolve to pursue this matter, Tabcorp may ultimately not succeed in recovering the payment from the Victorian government", it said. Most analysts agree the demerger deal is a great move from Tabcorp, that will both spread risk, raise money, and show investors that they are moving with the times, not to rest on their laurels. It will also be a point of difference with competitor, Crown Casino. The Aussie casino wars continue.

Snoop Dogg In The House At Jupiters Hotel & Casino, Gold Coast...

Snoop Dog did Jupiters Hotel & Casino Friday when the rap and hip hop star played a 4-hour plus poolside DJ set for 300 fans to officially launch his new album, Doggumentary, in Australia. Snoop took the stage at 6.25pm an hour and a half earlier than his scheduled 8pm start. Performing as DJ Snoopadelic, the Yankee rapper started with a old-school funk, disco and Motown mixed with numbers by Michael Jackson, Rihanna and JaythZ. His nephew our tour buddy' Bow Wow' acted as MC, urging the crowd to make more noise. "Are there any "real' Snoop fans here". Snoop turned up the volume on some house tracks always a sure-fire hit with Gold Coast clubbers including DJ duo Duck Sauce's hit Barbra Streisand. Later in the night Snoop Dogg was joined in a roped-off VIP area, and onstage, by a bush tucker bag of his Supafest R'n'B festival mates. Nelly, The Game, Timbaland, T Pain, New Boyz and Snoop's dad were also in the house. Snoop told the crowd he was filming a clip for a track from his Doggumentary, his 11th studio album, at the pool party. Released in Australia on Friday, the 21-track album features collaborations with everyone from Bow Wow to Gorillaz, Wiz Khalifa, Young Jeezy and country star Willie Nelson. The poolside party included a special Snoop-inspired menu of beef sliders, Snoop Doggs (sausages on sticks), chicken waffles and baby back pork ribs. Snoop and the gang, who played the Brisbane leg of Supafest, at the RNA Showgrounds are understood to be hitting Melbourne within the next 12 hours. Play hard and party harder. Snoop Dogg in the houssssssse.

Aussies love to try their luck. Sure, spin to win, but know the odds, and have fun.

Punters, er readers, stay glued to Media Man reports via Gambling911 for more "can't miss" information on Australian pokies and gaming wars.

*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.

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