Thursday, December 03, 2009

Crown Casino pockets $10 million thanks to Tiger Woods following; Hulkamania runs wild at Crown's Burswood, by Greg Tingle - 3rd December 2009

Crown Casino hit the jackpot during Tiger Woods' Melbourne visit bringing in $10 million from five golf enthusiast Chinese gamblers.

The Chinese punters were invited to a private golf lesson with Tiger at Crown's Capital Golf Club, which was of course an offer they couldn't refuse.

Gaming commentators advise the tax payable on the $10 mill loss went close to covering the Brumby Government's $1.5 million contribution to the Tiger Woods visit alone.

Crown, which was host to Woods and his entourage throughout the Australian Masters, is also cashing in on the world-wide publicity over the golfing legend's alleged fling with New York party girl Rachel Uchitel. Wood's has gone into lock-down mode and has cancelled many public appearances since the scandal broke.

Earlier this year team Crown Casino got some nice media rub off when Hollywood power couple Tom Cruise (Mission: Impossible, Top Gun et al) and Katie Holmes (Don't Be Afraid of the Dark) stayed at Crown Towers, and in addition last March Crown Casino king pin James Packer talked shop with Richard Branson and was more than happy to pose for photographers at the Melbourne Grand Prix. Mr Packer remains busy with his overseeing of Macau's City Of Dreams, campaigning for a polo club and complex at Manor Farm in England, and family life. Media Man was surprised that wrestling legends Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair were not spotted at Crown in their Melbourne leg of Hulkamania Let The Battle Begin, but they did get to do their own version of WrestleMania at Mr Packer's Burswood Entertainment Complex in Perth last week, which left "The Hulkster" and "The Nature Boy" a bloody and bruised mess. Incidentally, Hogan and Flair both have some gaming business deals on the go. Hogan has his Hulkamania Experience slot game in some U.S casinos and a Hulkamania mobile game in the works while Flair fronts the NC Education Lottery with his Woooooo! instant win scratchie. Hogan is probably most famous for his feud with the late, great, Andre The Giant (who NextGen Gaming are said to be developing a themed game). Hogan and Flair are also featured in the WWE's WWE Legends Of Wrestlemania (which is a non gambling game). Once can imagine Hulk and Flair sharing a tear for The Tiger, or at least a thought, as both wrestlers have had their fair share of marriage challenges in the past. We're pleased to report that Mr Flair recently tied the knot in Vegas, and The King of Hulkamania (and Roostermania) is looking to marry his new woman in the near future. Hogan flashed his Miss a diamond ring last week. The question remains, are diamonds forever? Hogan, Flair and Woods are likely hoping that's the case.

Only a fortune teller would know why Crown Casino makes news headlines next, but you can bet your bottom dollar that the powers that be will be hoping it's in a balanced or positive news media capacity, rather than attack journalism style which got Mr Packers' ire a few months ago at that notorious media bash. Channel Seven's Today Tonight has stopped running negative stories on the Packer empire and the man, since JP gave David Leckie the message at the Sydney Opera House. These things of course gave author-journalist Paul Barry more fodder and media buzz for his Who Wants To Be a Billionaire tale.

On a lighter note, poker fans, newbies or champions may be interested to know that Crown Casino Aussie Million Poker Championship qualifiers are available from online poker sites such as, the poker powerhouse by world's leading online gaming firm, PartyGaming. Aussie Millions kicks off in January 2010, and those in the know are tipping the upcoming Aussie Millions will be the biggest and best yet, and likely the most profitable for Crown (and the winner). Mr Packer and his army are pushing for a national poker week to be added to the Australian sporting calender. Certainly the star power will be there...the informed rumor mills says Shane Warne, Joe Hachem, Jeff Fenech, Doyle Brunson, Mike Sexton, Paris Hilton and Pam Anderson will all be present at this years Aussie Millions, but in what capacity remains to be seen however you can bet it will be a hell of a party. Defending champion Stewart Scott, now front-man for PartyPoker, is locked into defending his crown, pardon the pun. PartyGaming sees the Crown Aussie Millions tie in with it's PartyPoker sponsored champ as a way to boost the awareness of many Party brands in the Asia Pacific, and has huge plans in the region for their award winning PartyCasino that has developed a huge patronage down under. Media Man former client and eyes and ears of the poker world, Keith "Bendigo" Sloan is said to know the skinny on all sorts of things re Crown these days, including guests, poker TV show productions, internet strategy, media deals and more. In any event, the upcoming Aussie Millions is not one to miss, so mark it down in your calender now.

Bean counters seem to think that will all the excitement at Crown that the Crown shares will once again be on the upswing. We here at Media Man hope they are right on the money.

*The writer does own Crown Casino (Crown Limited) shares and has conducted b2b with a number of arms of PartyGaming

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