Aussie gambling gossip from the Media Man

Aussie gambling gossip from the Media Man - 8th August 2009

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What a week its been. Australian self confessed pathological gambler, Harry Kakavas "unlucky" streak continues. If anyone could vouch its a casino economy, it would be him. Thus far unsuccessful in his bit to sue Melbourne's Crown Casino. Kakavas company based on the Gold Coast has been giving the corporate doctor. Challenger Managed Investments have appointed John Park and Mark Korda of KordaMentha as receiver managers. Incidental, Part is also looking after the matters for former gaming and IT whiz kid cum tsar, Daniel Tzvetkoff. Yes folks, the higher they climb, the further they fall, especially in the casino circles if these latest turn of events are anything to judge by. In the meantime north of Australia's Gold Coast, up Las Vegas and Atlantic City way Donald Trump is looking to rescue, and no doubt, resurrect, his Trump Casino empire. Trump's peers such as Steve Wynn are said to not want a bar of igaming involvement (bit of a threat to the bricks and mortar Stevo?), while Harrah's Entertainment boss (formally PartyGaming chief), Mitch Garber, is very confident and excited about rolling out at least some of what he knows works for his Harrah's hotel-casino-resort chain. We here at Media Man like this Mitch fella. Sound like he might be open to some b2b and World Casino Directory and multi currency casino listing proposals. Rumours are circulating that some of the Vegas top brass has been observing one Aussie companies b2b dealings with James Packer's long time UK connection - Aspers, including Aspers online ventures. Aspers Damian Aspinall, is finding it impossible to live down his series of high profile dates with Australia's "Body" Elle MacPherson. Speaking of rumoured power couples, or at least, "power pairings" (not to implicate the potentially innocent.. doubt it), Bodog founder Calvin Ayre has been spotted with igaming pr and communications queen, Rebecca Liggero. Ms Liggero is said to have some positive and spicy history with Ayre, and last week our miss was officially placed in a role to help along the Bodog empire rebuild, or global expansion, depending of the sources you care to believe. PartyGaming remains in the party hard - happy days mode at the moment with their CEO Jim Ryan reporting that their and brands are performing well, and that their recent purchase of Cashcade (including the famed Foxy Bingo) are on track. Party keep teasing rising poker and casino babe, Paris Hilton with public press releases, however our precious Paris is yet to sign the bottom line. Maybe she's waiting on Sexy Poker (banned in Australia) to call. Not to be outdone, Nicki Hilton has been hanging out considerably with our main man, WSOP legend, Doyle Brunson. Hilton's said to have injected some new life into "the father of poker". The Bondi Beach igaming crew are wondering when Holly Branson, daughter of business tycoon, Sir Richard Branson, will one again grace their shows. Sir Richard who also heads up Virgin Games might take a liking to Berg's Gaming on location at the Bondi Icebergs, said to be previous visited by the power pairing, and Paris Hilton of course! Whatever the case, its sure been a hot and eventful few weeks in the casino sector, from court cases, to buyouts, casino babes, not to mention the new poker bill happenings in Washington. CAP, PAP and PPA took no time to publish their spin on things and subsequent press releases, and these developments are strongly rumoured to be on the radar of Australia's Parliament House, including the office of gaming and racing (who have plenty of their own in house problems to contend with). Stay tuned to for the latest and hottest news from the gambling world, as we scour the universe for the news you need to know.

Gambling man in more strife, by Shannon Willoughby - The Gold Coast Bulletin - 8th August 2009

The man who is suing Melbourne's Crown Casino for $30 million is facing his own financial setback on the Gold Coast.

A company directed by self-confessed pathological gambler Harry Kakavas has moved into the hands of the corporate doctor after it failed to meet its financial commitments.

Elite Property Investments Group Pty Ltd, which owns and runs a commercial property in Broadbeach, is understood to owe its mortgagee millions.

The appointment comes as Mr Kakavas awaits a judge's decision over a legal stoush involving him and Melbourne's Crown Casino.

Mr Kakavas is suing Crown for $30 million plus damages over claims it lured him to the tables, despite knowing he was a banned gambler.

Elite Property Investment's mortgagee, Challenger Managed Investments, appointed John Park and Mark Korda of KordaMentha as receiver managers.

Mr Park said the debt remained confidential but The Bulletin understands it is in the millions.

Mr Kakavas's company paid $9.35 million for the mid-rise on Queensland Avenue in 2005.

Mr Park, who is also the liquidator for a company controlled by embattled IT tycoon Daniel Tzvetkoff, said there was a possibility they could sell the property.

"We are assessing the tenancy mix at the moment and looking at the best strategy for realisation of the property," he said. "We are assessing the quality of the product (before we decide if its going to go to the market)."

The former king of Hedges Avenue -- a name Mr Kakavas was crowned after his prolific buying and selling along 'millionaires row' -- declined to comment.

The judgment over his court case is expected to be handed down within months, with final submissions being heard on August 17.

Mr Kakavas alleges the casino giant seduced him on to the tables knowing he was a self-confessed problem gambler. He is alleging negligence, unconscionable conduct and breaches of the Casino Control Act by Crown Casino.

He claims he banned himself from the casino but said he was lured back with VIP treatment.

The former property developer claims to have turned over more than $1.4 billion during a 14-month gambling binge across Australia from June 2005.

He is also suing the casino's chief operating officer John Williams. Mr Kakavas claims Mr Williams lured him back with VIP treatment.

Mr Kakavas also alleges he was flown about 30 times on Crown's VIP jet in 2007, was regularly handed bags and boxes of cash and given a promise of a 20 per cent rebate on all losses.

Crown Casino boss Rowen Craigie, who also owns property in Hedges Avenue, is also being sued.

Mr Craigie had his Hedges Avenue mansion on the market but it has since been withdrawn. (Credit:


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