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Australian Government VS Clubs NSW: Pokie War, by Greg Tingle - 31st December 2010

Happy New Year, even including you guys at the Australian government. The Aussie government, reeling from media reports that Australian clubs are fighting back on the Big Brother type regulation like "biometrics" and finger printing, is now fighting back putting some of their own PR into cyberspace and trying to get Australian newspapers to print their side of the story. Media Man and Gambling911 with the Aussie Clubs VS The Aussie Government; news, PR or both.... you be the judge...

The war of words and paperwork over the federal government's proposed pokies revamp reforms has heated up, with the so called "independent" Nick Xenophon accusing Clubs NSW of waging a campaign of "fiction and fear" that has left NSW the worst informed state about the issue.

But, the word on the street of 'Sin City' Sydney is that the people hate being told what to think, what to do, and especially when it comes to their entertainment dollar and mattes or privacy. Labor has previously tried to get into people's bedrooms with in depth questions about sex and living arrangements on Government Censorship paperwork, along with paperwork being throw as pensions and others getting welfare, doing it a bit tougher than most. Yeah, Australia's big brother is on the nose, seemingly even worse that Ex PM Kevin Rudd was a few years ago. In addition, over the past 12 months Labor has lost about a dozen MP's, having to resign about things including sexual misconduct, porn visits in working hours, and even gambling at work!!! So, who is addicted now hey? Not good!

Senator Xenophon and teammate independent MP Andrew Wilkie, have begun a national consultation process on the reforms, agreed to by the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, in return for Wilkie helping Labor form a minority government. Their agenda driven spin campaign has upset many other independent MP's, including also the Labor and Liberal Party. Yeah, they appear to be walking on very thin ice and insiders tip their days may numbered, having the radical and fanatical views they do, being out of touch with real Australians, be it Bondi Beach or the Western Suburbs of Sydney.

Their agenda reform proposals include but are not limited to forcing gamblers to decide how much they are willing to lose, known commonly as "mandatory pre-commitment", and a $250 buck withdrawal limit from ATMs in pokie venues. The PM has drawn a line in the sand and given the Aussie States until May 31 to agree to the changes... or else! Forced by law is the spin being thrown around.

But the independent MPs keep getting hostile receptions at clubs, including recently at Narrabri this month when they were called '"fanatics" by angry club patrons and supporters et al.

"As I travel the country, the only state where people seem uniformly misinformed about what the changes will mean is NSW, and that's not the people's fault," Senator Xenophon has gone on record with. Many insiders think its complete spin. "Clubs NSW has been deliberately misleading its members with misinformation. It's not hard to stir up people if you are willing to feed them fiction and fear."

His comments coincide with the launch of a "'personal campaign" by the gambling reform activist Paul Bendat, who works closely with Senator Xenophon. Bendat, who runs the Pokie Act website has prepared full-page newspaper advertisements to run in the Illawarra Mercury targeting the chairman of Clubs NSW, Peter Newell. Could they be doing their own fear and spin techniques? If it looks like a rat and smells like a rat, you can pretty much pick what it is, so the story goes.

Newell happens to be the prez of Clubs Australia, chairman of the Steelers Club in Wollongong and a former newspaper editor, so he's a pretty clever cookie.

The adverts resemble those taken out by Clubs NSW during its campaign against increases to poker machine taxes under the ex NSW treasurer Michael Egan.

The ads say Newell "should be telling his members these truths about pokie gambling pre-commitment". Bendat reckons that gamblers will not be tracked under the new system, that casual gamblers, such as interstate or international visitors, will not have to sign up, and implementation could cost clubs as little as $1.50 a day per machine.

The issues, including the likely prospect that gamblers might be fingerprinted, have been raised by the clubs movement. There's also the "biometrics" which are fairly effective to ID people, reminding many of the doomed 'Australia Card' Big Brother proposal that was tabled about 15 years ago. It was a PR disaster for the government of the day.

But Newell described the advertisements as "ridiculous" and advised it was obvious Senator Xenophon and Wilkie were losing the war on "mandatory commitment technology".

"I'm amazed they think such a tactic would intimidate me or the industry," he said.

Newell said the MPs had begun amending their "on-the-run agreement" as the public learnt more about the proposal.

"It seems neither man actually wants to explain how mandatory commitment will work, what it will cost the industry and what impact it will have on problem gambling rates. The Australian public deserve answers to these questions before having the technology forced upon them."

The NSW government opposes mandatory pre-commitment. The Opposition Leader, Barry O'Farrell, said yesterday he favoured a voluntary system, setting up a fight, albeit written, verbal, and via news media with PM Gillard if the Coalition wins power in March. "What's important for poker machines … is to focus on those people who have a problem," he said.

At the moment the Australian government has a substantial PR problem, having being caught out lying to the Australian public on everything from gambling to the environment, to government porn scandals. They mad their bed, and now they are sleeping in it.


Australian Clubs Declare Pokies War On Australian Governments; Will Be Bigger Than Aussie Mining Companies VS Aussie Government War...

Australian Gambling reform could overshadow the mining tax as a political nightmare for the Gillard lead Labor government next year. The all mighty licensed clubs lobby is getting ready for a very public slaughter campaign against compulsory "pre-commitment" tech on pokies, unless the government backs of. Yep maties, its man VS machine. The hi tech which would link 200,000 poker machines across the great nation of Australia and in effect force all players to place a limit on how much they gamble...was a condition Tasmanian independent MP Andrew Wilkie placed on support for the minority Labor government. Many political and media commentators say it was a form of blackmail, but Gillard needed the vote, so didn't have much choice, if you follow us. Now in a new development that will make it even more of a pain in the ass for Gillard to deliver on her forced promise to have the new tech up and running by Wilkie's 2014 deadline, the Coalition government has declared it will support voluntary pre-commitment only.

A Media Man insider jokes "It's the commitment you have when you're not having a commitment", in reference to a famous beer add that went "It's the beer you have when you're not having a beer".

The art of war tactic will put pressure directly on Wilkie's fellow independent MPs who have been supporting the minority government, Lyne MP Rob Oakeshott and New England MP Tony Windsor, both of whom represent New South Wales regional seats with high levels of licensed club membership and participation. Oh dear, there goes the election Labor. Ok, close, but you have just smell the downfall of Labor already. The Coalition has tactically not formally declared its hand on the pokie reforms (yet), but it shouldn't be long now. Murdoch owned News Limited news hounds have now obtained a letter from Parkes MP Mark Coultan to a constituent setting out Coalition policy in black and white for the first time. "We support voluntary pre-commitment programs," Coultan writes. "Some gaming venues already have in place voluntary pre-commitment programs, and we would like to see these extended to other gaming venues. The Coalition wants schemes to be in place to help problem gamblers. However, we believe that any response to gambling must recognise that many Australians gamble responsibly. It is also important to recognise that many Australians rely on the sector for jobs. Heavy-handed government regulation may not be the best response to problem gambling." Industry reps claim that pre-commitment technology using smart-cards would cost clubs roughly $5000 a pokie to install and could lead to a 30% drop in pokie profits during the first year. The Prime Minister has said she will legislate the changes by 2012 if the states do not move before then...something not even one of the states, which rely heavily on gambling taxes, has shown a willingness to do in the slightest. Licensed clubs have been passionately lobbying Oakeshott and Windsor, along with Labor MPs across Oz, many of whom are understood to be pretty pissed off at Gillard's promise to Wilkie that jettisoned an earlier undertaking made to the clubs. ClubsAustralia chief executive Anthony Ball advised the industry was giving the government until May to back down, or face the power and mighty force of the industry in a public campaign along the lines of the one spear headed earlier this year by mining companies. "Clubs, hotels and casinos are a large industry and employ hundreds of thousands of Australians," he said. "I don't think people are going to be prepared to let this through. "The Coalition is echoing what most people are saying about this issue...that voluntary pre-commitment can be a useful way to help gamblers set and stick to limits. The government went from supporting a sensible position on this issue in late June to supporting a licence to play poker machines in late August." Oakeshott went on record to News Limited with, "I have met with nearly every club in the Hastings, Camden Haven and Manning areas and continue to listen to industry views. I am also talking the issue through with many local constituents and can confirm a wide range of views within the mid-north coast of NSW." Folks, things are not looking good for the Gillard government.

The Australian Government VS Clubs Australia and Clubs NSW? We think the smart money is on the clubs. This could be the issues that's the final nail in the coffin on Labor. Just saying! It's war on!

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Wrap Up...

How did you like the report? What have you got planned for New Year's Eve? Tell us in the forum.

If you have a bet, please bet with your head, not over it, and for God's sake, have fun.

*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911

*Media Man http://www.mediamanint.com is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. They cover a dozen industry sectors including gaming and offer political commentary and analysis.

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PartyGaming News: PartyCasino Wins Media Man 'Online Casino Of The Month' Award

PartyCasino.com Wins Media Man Online Casino Award

PartyCasino.com has been awarded the Media Man and Casino News Media "Online Casino Of The Month".

PartyGaming's igaming suite has grown a custom to winning awards since they first opened for business in 1997.

The competition for the coveted award was intense again this month with massive bids from both WPTCasino.com, Captain Cooks Casino, Virgin Casino, Betfair, PKR and Noble Casino however there can only be one winner... ladies and gentlemen, that's PartyCasino.com

The award follows PartyPoker's EGR Poker Operator Of The Year and PartyGaming also made the shortlist for EGR Operator Of The Year. Recently PartyGaming's PartyPoker.com also won the Casino News Media "Online Poker Website Of The Month".

The Media Man - Casino News Media accolade is based on a combination of elements including user experience, innovation, trustworthiness, customer service, gameplay, affiliate program offerings, newsworthiness and company values.

PartyCasino.com is one of a number of PartyGaming brands.

The most popular PartyCasino.com games of late include Heist, Circus, Rambo, Palladium Slot, The Godfather, Sinatra, Slotbox, Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Mission: Impossible, The Terminator, Cleopatra, Sinatra, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, The Amazing Spider-Man, Monopoly, Resident Evil, Melon Madness, Wheel Of Fortune and Mega Fortune Wheel.

The PartyCasino.com jackpot is currently approaching the $2 million mark. Players can also compete for The Big One and Marvel Hero Jackpot, playing the Marvel super hero themed online slot games.

PartyCasino's most recent game releases include Shaaark! SuperBet, Crocodopolis, Alice's Wonderland, Glamour Puss, Super Cubes, Heist, Palladium Slot and Circus Slot.

PartyGaming CEO Jim Ryan has gone on record advising PartyCasino will soon feature more Hollywood blockbuster themed slots. A few in the know journalists and media agents have been recently tipped off that an all time classic movie adaption will be showcased in the PartyCasino portfolio within 1 month. PartyCasino has the world's most impressive line up of Hollywood themed games, and more are just around the corner.

PartyCasino.com and PartyPoker.com customers can also benefit from rewards and bonuses via PartyPoints and the Palladium Lounge. Be certain to check out the PartyCasino exclusive "Cash Machine" that is being championed as one of the greatest online casino promos ever.

Media Man, Casino News Media and Global Gaming Directory do have a b2b relationship with PartyGaming, as they do with dozens of other companies in the gaming, igaming, media and entertainment industry.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PartyGaming's PartyCasino has done it again, picking up another Media Man 'Online Casino Of The Month Award' for December, and also the parent company, PartyGaming, picked up the prestigious EGR Slots Operator Of The Year Award ...Some other top picks of ours who picked up awards at the EGR night of nights were:
Virgin Games (Affiliate Programme)
Betfair (Innovation, Mobile Operator and UK Sports Betting Operator)
Bwin (European Sports Betting Operator
PKR (Poker Operator)

Oh, we almost forgot...Media Man and Casino News Media 'Casino Babe Of The Month': Jenny Woo, 'Poker Babe': Kara Scott, 'Gambling Babe Personality': Paris Hilton.

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Wrap Up...

Readers... er, punters, how did you like our report? What have you got planned for New Years Eve? Tell us in the forum.

If you have a bet, please bet with your head, not over it, and for God's sake, have fun.

*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911

*Media Man http://www.mediamanint.com is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. They cover a dozen industry sectors including gaming and offer political commentary and analysis.

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Thursday, December 30, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Underbelly TV Movie Legal Problems...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nine has has yet to comment on this matter.

Underbelly #4 To Hit Aussie TV...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Awards...

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

PartyGaming's PartyCasino has also come back with seconds, picking up another Media Man 'Online Casino Of The Month Award' for November, and also the parent company, PartyGaming, picked up the prestigious EGR Slots Operator Of The Year Award ...Some other top picks of ours who picked up awards at the EGR night of nights were:
Virgin Games (Affiliate Programme)
Betfair (Innovation, Mobile Operator and UK Sports Betting Operator)
Bwin (European Sports Betting Operator
PKR (Poker Operator)

Oh, we almost forgot...Media Man and Casino News Media 'Casino Babe Of The Month': Jenny Woo, 'Poker Babe': Kara Scott, 'Gambling Babe Personality': Pamela Anderson.

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Wrap Up...

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

If you have a bet, please bet with your head, not over it, and for God's sake, have fun.

*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911

*Media Man http://www.mediamanint.com is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. They cover a dozen industry sectors including gaming and offer political commentary and analysis.

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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

PartyGaming News: PartyCasino Wins Media Man 'Online Casino Of The Month' Award

PartyCasino.com Wins Media Man Online Casino Award

PartyCasino.com has been awarded the Media Man and Casino News Media "Online Casino Of The Month".

PartyGaming's igaming suite has grown a custom to winning awards since they first opened for business in 1997.

The competition for the coveted award was intense again this month with massive bids from both WPTCasino.com, Captain Cooks Casino, Virgin Casino, Betfair, PKR and Noble Casino however there can only be one winner... ladies and gentlemen, that's PartyCasino.com

The award follows PartyPoker's EGR Poker Operator Of The Year and PartyGaming also made the shortlist for EGR Operator Of The Year. Recently PartyGaming's PartyPoker.com also won the Casino News Media "Online Poker Website Of The Month".

The Media Man - Casino News Media accolade is based on a combination of elements including user experience, innovation, trustworthiness, customer service, gameplay, affiliate program offerings, newsworthiness and company values.

PartyCasino.com is one of a number of PartyGaming brands.

The most popular PartyCasino.com games of late include Heist, Circus, Rambo, Palladium Slot, The Godfather, Sinatra, Slotbox, Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Mission: Impossible, The Terminator, Cleopatra, Sinatra, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, The Amazing Spider-Man, Monopoly, Resident Evil, Melon Madness, Wheel Of Fortune and Mega Fortune Wheel.

The PartyCasino.com jackpot is currently approaching the $2 million mark. Players can also compete for The Big One and Marvel Hero Jackpot, playing the Marvel super hero themed online slot games.

PartyCasino's most recent game releases include Shaaark! SuperBet, Crocodopolis, Alice's Wonderland, Glamour Puss, Super Cubes, Heist, Palladium Slot and Circus Slot.

PartyGaming CEO Jim Ryan has gone on record advising PartyCasino will soon feature more Hollywood blockbuster themed slots. A few in the know journalists and media agents have been recently tipped off that an all time classic movie adaption will be showcased in the PartyCasino portfolio within 1 month. PartyCasino has the world's most impressive line up of Hollywood themed games, and more are just around the corner.

PartyCasino.com and PartyPoker.com customers can also benefit from rewards and bonuses via PartyPoints and the Palladium Lounge. Be certain to check out the PartyCasino exclusive "Cash Machine" that is being championed as one of the greatest online casino promos ever.

Media Man, Casino News Media and Global Gaming Directory do have a b2b relationship with PartyGaming, as they do with dozens of other companies in the gaming, igaming, media and entertainment industry.

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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

PartyGaming and bwin to Retain Brands Following Merger

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Australian Clubs Go To Pokies War With Government, by Greg Tingle - 28th December 2010

Season's Greetings punters, casino and gambling millionaires, billionaires, entertainment news junkies, insiders, outsiders, politicians, journalists and everyone else. The new year keeps sneaking up on us, but the news just keeps on coming. Media Man and Gambling911 with another Santa's sack full of news. Ho Ho Ho!...

Australian Clubs Declare Pokies War On Australian Governments; Will Be Bigger Than Aussie Mining Companies VS Aussie Government War...

Australian Gambling reform could overshadow the mining tax as a political nightmare for the Gillard lead Labor government next year. The all mighty licensed clubs lobby is getting ready for a very public slaughter campaign against compulsory "pre-commitment" tech on pokies, unless the government backs of. Yep maties, its man VS machine. The hi tech which would link 200,000 poker machines across the great nation of Australia and in effect force all players to place a limit on how much they gamble...was a condition Tasmanian independent MP Andrew Wilkie placed on support for the minority Labor government. Many political and media commentators say it was a form of blackmail, but Gillard needed the vote, so didn't have much choice, if you follow us. Now in a new development that will make it even more of a pain in the ass for Gillard to deliver on her forced promise to have the new tech up and running by Wilkie's 2014 deadline, the Coalition government has declared it will support voluntary pre-commitment only.

A Media Man insider jokes "It's the commitment you have when you're not having a commitment", in reference to a famous beer add that went "It's the beer you have when you're not having a beer".

The art of war tactic will put pressure directly on Wilkie's fellow independent MPs who have been supporting the minority government, Lyne MP Rob Oakeshott and New England MP Tony Windsor, both of whom represent New South Wales regional seats with high levels of licensed club membership and participation. Oh dear, there goes the election Labor. Ok, close, but you have just smell the downfall of Labor already. The Coalition has tactically not formally declared its hand on the pokie reforms (yet), but it shouldn't be long now. Murdoch owned News Limited news hounds have now obtained a letter from Parkes MP Mark Coultan to a constituent setting out Coalition policy in black and white for the first time. "We support voluntary pre-commitment programs," Coultan writes. "Some gaming venues already have in place voluntary pre-commitment programs, and we would like to see these extended to other gaming venues. The Coalition wants schemes to be in place to help problem gamblers. However, we believe that any response to gambling must recognise that many Australians gamble responsibly. It is also important to recognise that many Australians rely on the sector for jobs. Heavy-handed government regulation may not be the best response to problem gambling." Industry reps claim that pre-commitment technology using smart-cards would cost clubs roughly $5000 a pokie to install and could lead to a 30% drop in pokie profits during the first year. The Prime Minister has said she will legislate the changes by 2012 if the states do not move before then...something not even one of the states, which rely heavily on gambling taxes, has shown a willingness to do in the slightest. Licensed clubs have been passionately lobbying Oakeshott and Windsor, along with Labor MPs across Oz, many of whom are understood to be pretty pissed off at Gillard's promise to Wilkie that jettisoned an earlier undertaking made to the clubs. ClubsAustralia chief executive Anthony Ball advised the industry was giving the government until May to back down, or face the power and mighty force of the industry in a public campaign along the lines of the one spear headed earlier this year by mining companies. "Clubs, hotels and casinos are a large industry and employ hundreds of thousands of Australians," he said. "I don't think people are going to be prepared to let this through. "The Coalition is echoing what most people are saying about this issue...that voluntary pre-commitment can be a useful way to help gamblers set and stick to limits. The government went from supporting a sensible position on this issue in late June to supporting a licence to play poker machines in late August." Oakeshott went on record to News Limited with, "I have met with nearly every club in the Hastings, Camden Haven and Manning areas and continue to listen to industry views. I am also talking the issue through with many local constituents and can confirm a wide range of views within the mid-north coast of NSW." Folks, things are not looking good for the Gillard government. It's war on!

Labor Government 'Misled Mildura About Casino'; Did Labor Lie Again?...

The Labor Government never intended to issue a licence for Victoria’s second casino in Mildura - The Jewel, State Parliament has been advised. Deputy Premier and The Nationals leader Peter Ryan informed parliament this week the previous Labor Government misled the Mildura community when it floated the concept of a casino licence being granted for regional Victoria town Mildura. Ryan advised the recent state election contest in Mildura was driven by the false promise after false promise. Basically full of lies. "The former Labor Government ... floated the concept of a casino licence being provided to the municipality of Mildura in circumstances where there was never any real prospect of that happening," Ryan said. The Labor Government of the day ran out this fantasy that it would consider issuing such a licence if there were bipartisan support, as it was termed by the former Premier (John Brumby), and if the proposition were supported by local communities. All of this was done in circumstances where it again demonstrated its failure and inability to govern." Ryan said the Labor Party had a history of making promises for its own gain only to have them broken. "One can ream through the many promises that were made by the former government - the Labor Party now in opposition...and see again and again instances where promises it made at the time that served its purposes to get elected back in 2006 turned out to be promises broken. Yet when it came to the issue of a casino licence, for some reason or another, it maintained that it needed bipartisan support. Of course it was always a fiction, and regrettably the people who ultimately paid were the people of the Mildura community. The casino was to be the centrepiece of a substantial development there which was otherwise said to occur and, understandably in many senses, the community came to be divided about this issue. It was a typical example of Labor Party politics – it threw the grenade into the room and then walked away, allowing everybody else to clean up the mess when in fact it never had any intention at all of issuing a licence in that area." Folks, why are we not surprised by Labor's actions and being "less than truthful". Another disgrace by Labor.

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

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

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

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

Awards...

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

PartyGaming's PartyCasino has also come back with seconds, picking up another Media Man 'Online Casino Of The Month Award' for November, and also the parent company, PartyGaming, picked up the prestigious EGR Slots Operator Of The Year Award ...Some other top picks of ours who picked up awards at the EGR night of nights were:
Virgin Games (Affiliate Programme)
Betfair (Innovation, Mobile Operator and UK Sports Betting Operator)
Bwin (European Sports Betting Operator
PKR (Poker Operator)

Oh, we almost forgot...Media Man and Casino News Media 'Casino Babe Of The Month': Jenny Woo, 'Poker Babe': Kara Scott, 'Gambling Babe Personality': Pamela Anderson.

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Wrap Up...

Readers... er, punters, how did you like our report? Have you been naughty or nice? Did Santa give you what you had hoped for? What have you got planned for New Year's Eve? Tell us in the forum.

If you have a bet, please bet with your head, not over it, and for God's sake, have fun.

*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911

*Media Man http://www.mediamanint.com is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. They cover a dozen industry sectors including gaming and offer political commentary and analysis.

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Monday, December 27, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

James Packer's Consolidated Media Taxing Situation...

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

Casino Canberra Wants Bigger and Better Pokie Deal...

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

Awards...

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

PartyGaming's PartyCasino has also come back with seconds, picking up another Media Man 'Online Casino Of The Month Award' for November, and also the parent company, PartyGaming, picked up the prestigious EGR Slots Operator Of The Year Award ...Some other top picks of ours who picked up awards at the EGR night of nights were:
Virgin Games (Affiliate Programme)
Betfair (Innovation, Mobile Operator and UK Sports Betting Operator)
Bwin (European Sports Betting Operator
PKR (Poker Operator)

Oh, we almost forgot...Media Man and Casino News Media 'Casino Babe Of The Month': Jenny Woo, 'Poker Babe': Kara Scott, 'Gambling Babe Personality': Pamela Anderson.

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Wrap Up...

Readers... er, punters, how did you like our report? Have you been naughty or nice? Did Santa give you what you had hoped for? Tell us in the forum.

If you have a bet, please bet with your head, not over it, and for God's sake, have fun.

*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911

*Media Man http://www.mediamanint.com is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. They cover a dozen industry sectors including gaming and offer political commentary and analysis.

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Casino News Media: PartyCasino Wins Media Man 'Online Casino Of The Month' Award

PartyCasino.com Wins Media Man Online Casino Award

PartyCasino.com has been awarded the Media Man and Casino News Media "Online Casino Of The Month".

PartyGaming's igaming suite has grown a custom to winning awards since they first opened for business in 1997.

The competition for the coveted award was intense again this month with massive bids from both WPTCasino.com, Captain Cooks Casino, Virgin Casino, Betfair, PKR and Noble Casino however there can only be one winner... ladies and gentlemen, that's PartyCasino.com

The award follows PartyPoker's EGR Poker Operator Of The Year and PartyGaming also made the shortlist for EGR Operator Of The Year. Recently PartyGaming's PartyPoker.com also won the Casino News Media "Online Poker Website Of The Month".

The Media Man - Casino News Media accolade is based on a combination of elements including user experience, innovation, trustworthiness, customer service, gameplay, affiliate program offerings, newsworthiness and company values.

PartyCasino.com is one of a number of PartyGaming brands.

The most popular PartyCasino.com games of late include Heist, Circus, Rambo, Palladium Slot, The Godfather, Sinatra, Slotbox, Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Mission: Impossible, The Terminator, Cleopatra, Sinatra, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, The Amazing Spider-Man, Monopoly, Resident Evil, Melon Madness, Wheel Of Fortune and Mega Fortune Wheel.

The PartyCasino.com jackpot is currently approaching the $2 million mark. Players can also compete for The Big One and Marvel Hero Jackpot, playing the Marvel super hero themed online slot games.

PartyCasino's most recent game releases include Shaaark! SuperBet, Crocodopolis, Alice's Wonderland, Glamour Puss, Super Cubes, Heist, Palladium Slot and Circus Slot.

PartyGaming CEO Jim Ryan has gone on record advising PartyCasino will soon feature more Hollywood blockbuster themed slots. A few in the know journalists and media agents have been recently tipped off that an all time classic movie adaption will be showcased in the PartyCasino portfolio within 1 month. PartyCasino has the world's most impressive line up of Hollywood themed games, and more are just around the corner.

PartyCasino.com and PartyPoker.com customers can also benefit from rewards and bonuses via PartyPoints and the Palladium Lounge. Be certain to check out the PartyCasino exclusive "Cash Machine" that is being championed as one of the greatest online casino promos ever.

Media Man, Casino News Media and Global Gaming Directory do have a b2b relationship with PartyGaming, as they do with dozens of other companies in the gaming, igaming, media and entertainment industry.

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