Saturday, June 18, 2011

Australian Gambling, Rock And Pop Culture Connection, by Greg Tingle - 18th June 2011


Profiles

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Australian gambling is on fire. We've got political fun and games, sin tax, a Sin City game, the rock and pop culture gambling connection, casino developments, revamps, new games and more. Media Man and Gambling911 with the latest and greatest from down under...

Gold Coast: Jupiter's Hotel And Casino; Storeman To Stand Trial On Food Scam...

A former Jupiters Casino storeman will stand trial over allegations he defrauded his employer of millions in a food ordering scam. William Partridge, 51, is charged with two counts of fraud between 1993 and 2001. During the 30-day committal in the Southport Magistrates Court police alleged he had deceived the casino by signing faked supplier invoices for phantom food products. They alleged false food purchase orders were signed off by Partridge but the phantom pallets of meat, seafood, condiments and fruit were never delivered to the casino. Partridge yesterday conceded there was a prima facie case against him and magistrate Michael O'Driscoll committed him for trial in the Gold Coast District Court at a date to be set. Another former casino employee will face committal proceedings on Monday. It's unknown if the former storeman also gambled on games at the casino, but its fair to say that his game is up.

Gold Coast: Jupiter's Hotel And Casino; More Generous Than Dangerous?...

Some folks voted for them as "World's Most Dangerous Casino", but are they also the most generous? We've learned that a couple of weeks back the Jetstar Gold Coast Titans helped raise $170,000 for some great causes at the 6th annual Charity Ball at Jupiters Hotel and Casino. Making the most of the bye weekend, the club turned its attention from football to raising money for charity - with the Grantham Flood Support group, Project Preston and the Titans Community Foundation all beneficiaries of the money raised. Headline acts, the two Audi A1s which were generously donated by club sponsors Gold Coast Audi Centre, lived up to their name after being snapped up for $36,500 (Reeve Kruck) and $36,000 (Wayne and Clare Kirby) respectively. Another highlight of the night was a performance by crowd favourite Preston Campbell on a didgeridoo he had personally hand painted in the lead-up to the event. It later auction for a cool $6000.

Australian Rock Legends Tour US: Win Tickets To INXS At Casino New Brunswick - Moncton - 7th July...

Aussie rock band INXS decided to take a risk with its newest album. For Original Sin, the band took some of its most beloved tracks and turned them completely on their ear - revamping the melodies, inviting guest vocalists to jam on different tracks, and replacing 1980s-style arrangements with a more modern approach. The collection, which features guest appearances by blues-rocker Ben Harper, Train singer Pat Monahan, pop-rock superstar John Mayer, and singer-songwriter Rob Thomas, is helping to introduce the band to a new generation of fans, rejuvenating such monster hits as New Sensation, Never Tear Us Apart, Kick and the title track. It was a huge gamble for a band that's still played prominently on rock radio stations around the world. But INXS has always been confident in the group's musical abilities, as evidenced by their survival following the premature death of charismatic frontman Michael Hutchence and by their participation in the reality television show, Rock Star: INXS, which helped them select the group's next vocalist: Nova Scotia-born singer-songwriter JD Fortune. Kirk Pengilly, who plays guitar and sax with the group, said Fortune will serve as the band's singer on this tour, even though the group and Fortune experienced an awkward misunderstanding in the past. For a time Fortune thought he his services were no longer needed, but Pengilly said Fortune is a part of the band, the group has resolved all of its issues, and is now focusing on making the upcoming world tour a massive success, noting that Fortune sang on two tracks from Original Sin. They'll perform at Casino New Brunswick in Moncton on July 7 and Pengilly said the group is looking forward to returning to Canada. "Canada was the first country, really, outside of Australia that really took to the band," he said. "We have a long history and Canadians are a lot like Australians, what with the commonwealth background and the love of beer and their sense of humour. I think there's also that frontier kind of vibe - a large land-mass with a relatively small population. We've always felt really comfortable during our time in Canada." He said he's hoping New Brunswick music fans enjoy the new material, explaining that it was a special project for the band. "It was a hugely different album and approach, really," he said. "We were pulling apart some of our favourite songs from the past, putting them back together in different ways and then looking at singers we could use. "Once the ball got rolling, we had singers lining up, coming to us, looking to do it. So it was a really amazing process and kind of a cathartic process in a way." Want to win tickets to the show? Send an email to cityliveconcerttix@gmail.com with the following information: your name, your daytime phone number, your email address, and your favourite INXS song. The draw will be made on June 29 and announce the winner in the June 30th edition of City Live. Two tickets will be set aside in the winner's name at the Casino New Brunswick's will-call booth on the night of the show.

Rose Tattoo Slot At Pokie Palace; Angry Anderson Still Can't Be Beaten...

Angry Anderson loves to scream out We Can’t Be Beaten, but his own branded Rose Tatto pokie keeps screaming the same sentiments. It was a $50,000 deal between Rose Tattoo and Aristocrat. Mr Anderson is understood to be very happy with the way that things are progressing and its believed he think the news did a bit of a media "beat up" on him for doing the pokie business deal. "Mr X" (satire), the anti gambling campaigner said "Putting his name on a poker machine is quite different to endorsing a T-shirt or a soft drink". "Angry should have stuck to helping disadvantaged people. "Now he is helping people to become disadvantaged." Anderson didn't comment yesterday. He also raises money for charity through the Variety Club Bash. The Rose Tattoo manager at the time of the deal, Stephen White, said having their image on a poker machine "has nothing to do with a personal opinion on the gambling industry". "This is just a business thing," he said. "There's no way he Mr Anderson can be perceived as condoning gambling." Mr White confirmed that the band received "less than $50,000" for the licensing deal and said there were no plans for it to go to charity. The marketing blurb reads...Rose Tattoo is Reel Rock ‘n’ Roll. The Rose Tattoo Double Standalone progressive is Aristocrat’s first fully themed licensed multi-game; complete with 2 exclusive base games, 4 denoms, 3 bonus features and explosive sound. The unmistakable Aussie rock sound of Rose Tattoo has been combined with 2 themed games to create a product that unites 3 licensed iconic rock songs, custom-made footage of Angry Anderson and personalized symbols to deliver a Reel rock ‘n’ Roll experience for players. Rose Tattoo multi-game is guaranteed to rock your venue!

Frank Miller's Sin City Comes To The World's Largest Online Casino; Cult Classic Comic Turned Into Slot Game...

Gibraltar - 17th June 2011 - Following up on last week’s release of Frank Miller’s Sin City: The Hard Goodbye at Digital DarkHorse comes more exciting news around this legendary title. Sin City has now entered the online gaming world, with a new game at PartyCasino.com This new five-reel, fifty-line slot features art and story from the widely acclaimed series by comics legend Frank Miller. When Sin City originally appeared in Dark Horse Presents: Fifth Anniversary Special in April 1991, it was clear that the face of the comics medium had changed forever. Since that time, Miller’s groundbreaking comics noir has found its way into the public consciousness with toys, games, and even a feature-length motion picture. Frank Miller’s Sin City remains one of the most stylized works in the history of the medium, drawing heavily from film noir, including its use of shadow and stark backgrounds. The black-and-white comic was perfectly suited to the original format of Dark Horse’s flagship anthology, with occasional spot usage of primary colors added to later volumes and editions. "Frank Miller’s Sin City is a very different slot to any other we have launched in recent times. The striking artwork and mature content mean this isn’t a game for the faint hearted," said a spokesman for PartyCasino.com There are five featured games, which win the player free spins and multipliers: “Straight to Hell,” “The Hard Goodbye,” “He Never Screams,” “Deadly Little Miho,” and “Just Get Warmed Up.” The games feature the series’ main characters: Hartigan, Nancy, Miho, Marv, Kevin, the Yellow B*stard, and Dwight. The game includes mature content and scenes of violence, nudity, and deprivation.

James Packer Friends At Aspinall's Star May Do b2b With Media Man...

The rumour will is running hot that the good folks at Aspinall's and Star Partners may be looking to soon ink an online b2b deal with Media Man International. An email leak read to the effect "We've heard nothing but good things about Media Man and are looking to do business". All we can see is "Show me the money" and "Too Sweet". Maybe it pays to have shares in Crown Limited after all hey. Other online brands are expected to follow their lead, not to be left behind in the PR or online space in the Asia Pacific and European regions maties. Oh, whispers about a "Mate Casino" too.

Sin Tax To Be Raised In Australia...

Here we go again. More sin tax! Brace yourself for more ads sternly pointing out government failings on everything from plain packaging for cigarettes to poker machines and carbon tax, with advertising figures predicting more lobby groups will turn to ads to push their causes. Following this week's spate of ads on TV and in newspapers attacking plans for plain cigarette packets on the grounds that no one wants to live in a nanny state, many have predicted that there will soon be more such efforts to sway public opinion against planned government policy. The Australian chairman of Grey Group, Paul Gardner, said lobby groups had been encouraged to turn to advertising, rather than more traditional lobbying based on access to politicians, by the success of the anti-mining tax campaign. It's going to be either a taxing or entertaining campaign. Time will tell. Are you a sinner or not? Tell us in the forum, or try your luck on the Sin City online slot game, as found on Media Man International.

Aussie James Packer To Build 3rd Casino In Macau...

JP's Macau casino joint venture plans to build a massive $US2.5 billion ($2.3bn) casino resort...the group's lucky third in the Chinese territory. This will see them look capitalise on surging gaming revenues in the red hot part of the world. Melco Crown Entertainment yesterday signed off on a $US360 million deal to gain control of the Macau Studio City project, an "integrated resort project" on hold since the global financial crisis and in planning for more than 10 years. The firms chief executive, Lawrence Ho, advised the property's theme and demographic target focus would be differentiated from the company's existing Macau property assets, the City of Dreams and the Altira Macau. Construction is due to start early next year and it is believed the partners have no plans for an equity issue to fund the project. "We believe Macau Studio City's existing land grant and previously completed site work will allow us to significantly expedite its construction timetable," Ho told the press yesterday. It will be Melco Crown's second project on Macau's Cotai strip, a vast stretch of reclaimed land situated between the islands of Taipa and Coloane that land based casino developers in Macau, such as Ho and Packer, are promoting as the orient's answer to the Las Vegas strip aka "Sin City". City of Dreams is in Cotai. Last year, Ho said Melco Crown was prepared to build more casino resort developments in Macau and elsewhere in Asia. Packer's Crown holds a 33.4% stake in Melco Crown. The Studio City site is one of the last prime land sites available in Macau for development. It is located at the Lotus Bridge immigration point, making it the virgin resort that tourists encounter via entering Cotai. Before the financial meltdown, Melco Crown had a management arrangement with Studio City's owners to run the casino at the site, but elected to take control of the project after it became troublesome for the owners to properly fund it within the prior structure. Melco Crown is understood to have codenamed the deal Project Eagle. The deal ends 3 long years of delays caused by legal matters and a range of dramas between the Hong Kong and US investors. Studio City was previously owned by a joint venture between Hong Kong-listed entertainment company eSun Holdings and New Cotai Holdings, an entity controlled by funds managed by US firms Silver Point Capital and Oaktree Capital Management. New Cotai Holdings will hold a 40% stake. Melco Crown will pay New Cotai $US100m in 3 instalments over two years. Before the financial crunch, the casino development was to have included a specially designed 4000-seat arena, a 2300-seat theatre, Asia's first "Playboy Mansion" and 4 new classy hotels - a Ritz-Carlton, a W Hotel, a Marriott and the world's first Tang Hotel. Last month, Macau gaming revenues rose 42.4% to a record $US3.03bn, what Vegas casino operators dream of. They were rocketed by the opening of Galaxy Entertainment Group's $US2bn resort development at Cotai, which is nearby to the City of Dreams. "We remain bullish on Macau's prospects and believe high-quality new supply, such as Macau Studio City, will continue to drive incremental demand," Ho said. Media Man has been speaking to property and gaming experts about the Packer - Macau developments, with 95% believing that the latest Packer Macau project with be a "good to great business and investment". Friends, good punting, know your limits and bet with your head, not over it.

Western Australian Man Faces Charges: Adult And My Casino Connection...

Prominent Perth businessman John Kizon and his investment partner Nigel Mansfield face a retrial on insider trading charges after Commonwealth prosecutors won an appeal against their acquittals. In a majority Court of Appeal decision announced in Perth on Thursday, Justices Michael Buss and Michael Murray upheld the appeal, set aside the pair's acquittals and ordered they face a District Court retrial. The retrial will be on 34 criminal conspiracy and insider trading charges in relation to the Perth-based online sex shop AdultShop.com in 2002. Prosecutors did not seek a retrial on insider trading charges in relation to the gambling website My Casino. Kizon and Mansfield were acquitted in the District Court in Perth in March last year, Judge John Wisbey concluding there was not enough evidence to support 48 charges against the men. But on Thursday, Justices Buss and Murray found Judge Wisbey had erred in ruling it was necessary for the alleged insider information acted on to be "truthful or a factual reality". In a dissenting judgment, Court of Appeal president Justice Carmel McLure said she would have dismissed the appeal after finding the evidence could not support a finding that the men had "inside" information. The original charges were brought by the Australian Crime Commission in 2004. The prosecution argued the pair possessed market-sensitive information about Adultshop and My Casino and bought and sold shares in those companies to make money. The court was told the pair became aware Adultshop was expected to post a profit of $11 million in the 2002 financial year, up from $3 million the previous year, after its turnover lifted from about $50 million to $111 million. After Thursday's ruling, Kizon told reporters he would challenge the ruling in the High Court. He and Mansfield are due back in court on July 15.

Aristocrat Leisure And Clubs Australia Fire Up Gambling Debate...

The Australian gambling debate continues to roll on, with Aristocrat Leisure being the latest gambling company to weigh in with proposals as to how they think that the problem could be more easily regulated. Many see their proposal as one that is stuffed with self-interest though – including the man heading up the inquiry, MP Andrew Wilkie. The proposals put forward by Aristocrat Leisure encompassed many different points, but the one that was the most talked about was their idea for a “machine based” solution to end the problem of gambling addiction in the country. This was due to their belief that a monitoring system – an idea muted by the government recently – wouldn’t be achievable by the government’s target of 2012, mainly due to the complexity of the task. In fact, their submission stated that this wouldn’t even be possible by 2014, therefore putting the whole overhaul of the system back by 2 years. The main reason why pro-reform figures see this announcement in a suspicious light is due to the fact that Aristocrat Leisure say they would roll out this system as part of their normal replacement cycle, which means that they would not have to interrupt operations in order to comply with any future regulations. This would obviously save the company huge amounts of money and would therefore ensure that their business remains a viable one through the period of change. In response to this scepticism, Aristocrat Leisure stated that a new pokie games machine retails at about $25,000, whereas implementing a software upgrade would cost them just $3000 per machine. This, they said, means that their suggestion in fact would cost them more to implement – therefore meaning that they have taken a cut in profits in order to assist those with gambling problems. In addition to Aristocrat Leisure weighing in with their argument yesterday, Club Australia also joined the chorus of businesses opposing the methods that the Australian government want to introduce to curb gambling problems. In a long statement they essentially said that the Australian government have underestimated the amount of work and logistics that will need to go in to setting up the system that they have proposed. They also stated that the system will have a hugely detrimental affect on the smaller clubs in Australia, who current only see about $25 worth of profit a day from each machine that they own. This, they say, means that the disputed figure for the amount of money the government thinks a machine will lose per day under new regulations - $1.50 – will actually represent a large percentage of income for these clubs. The final results of these inquiries are still very much in the balance, with both sides seeing significant numbers of support being gained in recent weeks. Stay tuned as the weekly saga continues. "Mr X" (satire) is not ready to give up, not quite yet anyway.

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

*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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