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WWE Live. Sydney, Australia. Photoart by Greg Tingle

 

Brock Lesnar. Digital photoart by Greg Tingle

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WWE Live RAW Tour: Event Results From Sydney, Australia - 31st August 2012, by Greg Tingle

C.M Punk VS Daniel Bryan - Allphones Arena, Sydney, Australia

Pro wrestling WWE style - Sports Entertainment returns to Sydney, Australia...


WrestleMania (Australian style) returned to Sydney on Friday night and the show did not disappoint.

Pro wrestling fans young and old got their fix of WWE grapplers.

The WWE marketing and media machine can be attributed to what looked to be a 90 percent full Allphones Arena - making it a crowd of approximately 15,000. It's unclear how much of the crowd was papered (unpaid), but the smart money says it was fans who parted with their hard earned money.

A mixed crowd of both hardcore fans, casual fans and families, who were pretty vocal and hyped up for the show.

The show commenced with Brodus Clay VS Jack Swagger. Naomi was with Brodus, no Cameron. Swagger got some good heat, but Brodus got his hand raised quick. Entertaining and fun, but not a classic wrestling match - nor was it supposed to be. Kids just love Clay.

Next was the divas (ladies) match. WWE Divas Champion Layla defeated Rosa Mendes. We appreciated the effort of the ladies but its safe to say the WWE should raise the bar in the Diva's division. Maybe bring in a few Japanese lady pro wrestlers as well as snatch some of TNA Wrestling's best also. WWE have so much TV time to fill up, so ramp up the Diva's for the female and male fans in the WWE Universe.

WWE Tag Team Champions R-Truth and Kingston beat Primo and Epico in a solid match. R-Truth was on fire, both with in-ring skills and the mic, and 'Little Jimmy' was over big time with young and old.

The Miz defeated Alex Riley to retain the Intercontinental Championship. The Miz got strong heat. Nice mic work telling everyone he wasn't "awful", but "awesome". AR was surprisingly over. Maybe because he's a pretty strong worker and Australian fans are not overexposed to the WWE product (with live shows), like rather spoilt American fans. Lot's of Wooooo's! (for the chops), respecting Ric Flair, who most fans want to see return to his rightful home - WWE.

Zack Ryder defeated Tensai. Zack Ryder got a huge pop and Tensai got pretty decent heat and reactions. At least Tensai looks like a pro wrestling "monster" - he has the look and size, and moves well for a big man. Younger fans seem to be scared of Tensai and went nuts when Ryder got the win.

Santino defeated David Otunga. Decent heat for Otunga. Santino is over in Australia, but not as much as he is in the U.S. Keep WWE belts off both these guys... they don't need them. They worked the crowd fairly well and Santino is funny, but this was not a classic wrestling match - and it was never expected to be. Passable - just.

CM Punk defeated Daniel Bryan to retain the WWE Championship in an awesome match which went for almost 30 minutes. Stalling by both at first, but the crowd was pretty into it. Established characters can stall for ages with little fan backlash - the way the late Randy "Macho Man" Randy Savage and living legends Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair used to do. CM Punk worked as a face and was over big time. "Yes" chant all throughout the match as well. Tons of fan signs for both and lots of fans bought their t-shirts.

John Cena defeated The Big Show and John Laurinaitis in the main event. Decent match for these guys. After the match Laurinaitis attacked Cena with a chair, but Cena turned around and hit him with an attitude adjustment to finish the show.

Overall strong show - especially for an Australian WWE show, which were mixed in the past. We're giving it 8 out of 10 and it was value for money.

Strongest pops:

John Cena
CM Punk
Zack Ryder

Most heat:

The Miz
The Big Show
Jack Swagger

Match Of The Show:

C.M Punk VS Daniel Brian

Room for improvement: More strong WWE Divas, bring back Ric Flair urgently (1000s of fans did the Woooooo!), bring Ziggler and Randy Orton to the next Australian show, have 2 top line NXT talents on the next down under show. It would be nice to see Ric Flair and Hulk Hogan back with the WWE. Strong rumours Flair will be back within a month or two, so hopefully he makes the next Australian tour. Wooooo!

 

News

Melbourne Storm NRL team ink sponsorship deal with Packer's Crown Casino; Sydney news, by Greg Tingle - 31st August 2012

Melbourne Storm Crown Casino Crown Limited

The Melbourne Storm is raking it in, with an extra $1.5 million in with Crown Limited inking as major sponsor for a third year running, while rugby league in Victoria could also benefit significantly.

Thursday's renewal of Crown's only team sponsorship is believed to be valued at $1 million, give or take a few dollars.

The funds boost joins the $500,000 Australian Rugby League Commission chairman John Grant confirmed on Monday would be delivered to all clubs before October 31.

With a back-of-jersey sponsorship still to be sold before the finals, Storm might well collect another payday.

Club chief exec Ron Gauci advised the funds would be used to help expand the code in Victoria, a cause boosted last month with the debut of born-and-bred local Mahe Fonua.

Storm officials aim to fund youth teams down to under-16s and spend up to keep Melbourne "ahead of the pack" with cutting-edge, football-specific technology.

"We'll continue to invest in the organisation. We'll invest both across the football department and administration," Gauci said.

"We want to continue being best practice and continue being ahead of the game. We'll invest in football operations and pathway development.

"We want to extend the Storm brand beyond the under-18s and we've put in a proposal to the Australian Rugby League Commission to facilitate the growth of the game in Victoria and now have the funds to help make that happen.

"For us, any investment needs to have a long-term benefit."

The push from the Government-backed Victorian Major Events Company to secure more State of Origin clashes in Melbourne could reap even more cash for local rugby league.

Plans are in place to establish a youth academy, with only the arrival of sufficient funding needed to make it happen.

Great to see Crown's casino king James Packer sharing the love and funds around to worthy causes.

It's understood that Sydney's South Sydney Rabbitohs management including king bunny, Russell Crowe, are taking an interest in the way The Storm and Crown do things, as you might expect with Rabbitohs also having a sponsorship deal with gaming - entertainment firm - The Star.


Sydney NRL team also has casino deal...

The South Sydney Rabbitohs are continuing to enjoy their sponsorship deal with The Star (formally known as Star City Casino).

NRL top brass has said rugby league has benefitted from its association with betting agencies because it allows better access to information about irregular plunges.

As the Australian and globally economy continue to go through tough times its going to be interesting to see if more NRL teams ink deals with Australian casino or gaming firms. I for would would bet yes.

And what's to become of the Barangaroo 6 star hotel and casino development in Sydney? Could they also become a sponsor of an NRL team? With James Packer in the think of the action one would think so. Keep watching this space.


Media Release...

Exclusive Deal For 6 Star Hotel...

Last week's announcement by Lend Lease and Crown, that they had signed an exclusive agreement to develop a six star hotel at Barangaroo South, has attracted wide ranging media coverage and commentary. Below is a summary of the media releases and media coverage to date.

Following the announcement, the Authority confirmed it will continue to work with Lend Lease, and now their exclusive rights partner Crown, to negotiate a new location for the hotel in Barangaroo South and oversee the appropriate planning applications that must be approved before any concept moves ahead.

Acting Premier Andrew Stoner last week said the development of such a hotel would represent a significant investment in NSW tourism infrastructure, and today’s agreement is a vote of confidence in the NSW economy.

“It is, of course, subject to all the necessary planning and regulatory approvals but Lend Lease already has an existing permit to build a hotel in Barangaroo South and are negotiating with the Barangaroo Delivery Authority to relocate that onshore,” he said.

“The creation of a hotel of this stature would deliver new jobs in construction, off-site manufacturing and the tourism industry, along with hundreds of millions of dollars for the State economy each year.”

Lend Lease Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Steve McCann, said that Lend Lease and Crown would now work towards achieving the necessary development approvals from the NSW Government for the hotel and jointly develop the concept plan for the hotel. Lend Lease is currently in negotiations with the NSW Government to finalise the hotel location.

“Barangaroo South is a major urban regeneration project that provides a unique opportunity to create a world class commercial, residential, entertainment and mixed use destination on Sydney Harbour. A key part of Lend Lease’s vision for Barangaroo South is to have a high quality international hotel,” said Mr McCann.

*the writer is a shareholder in Crown Limited, Virgin Blue and Ten Network Holdings.

 

News

Nine, Fox top 'must-win' NRL rights fight - 21st August 2012

The Nine Network has secured its future by nailing down the NRL broadcast rights in a joint $1 billion deal announced with Fox Sports.

The Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) announced on Tuesday that Nine and Fox Sports had secured the NRL free-to-air and pay TV broadcast rights respectively, in a five-year deal worth $1.025 billion.

Nine chief executive David Gyngell says the deal, in which incumbents Nine and Fox Sports trumped bids from the Seven and Ten networks, had been a must-win for Nine but that the price is "fair and reasonable".

"We have certainly stepped up and paid as much money as we could," Mr Gyngell said.

Mr Gyngell also said the deal - the most valuable in the history of rugby league broadcast rights - would be revenue positive.

"This is an exclusive sports rights' deal," he said.

"In this deal, we are the only free-to-air network to have exclusive sport at prime-time."

The agreement comprises $925 million in cash, of which $90 million is paid at the start of the 2013 season, and $100 million in advertising.

Nine will show three free-to-air matches weekly, while Fox Sports will have five a week on pay channels.

Nine will also have State of Origin games and an evening Grand Final.

NRL rights were last secured by Nine and Fox Sports in 2005 in a $500 million, six-year deal.

Nine Entertainment, owned by private equity firm CVC, has about $3.6 billion of debt due for refinancing in 2013 and 2014.

Media buyer Harold Mitchell, executive chairman of Aegis Media, said Nine had not overpaid and would meet its share of the $1.025 billion price tag through advertising revenue.

"Advertising volume hasn't been growing but it hasn't been collapsing," Mr Mitchell said.

"Key to any network's success will be sports programming and (Nine) are a stronger network with it than without it.

"This secures their future."

Mr Mitchell said the $1 billion deal was a positive sign for Australia's advertising market, which was in "unbelievably good shape compared to the rest of the world".

Morningstar head of equities research Peter Warnes said Nine had paid a fair price but also had to secure the rugby league as a key driver of audience numbers.

"Where would Nine be if they lost it? They had to win it," Mr Warnes said.

"I think they've probably paid a fair price.

"Had it been $1.2 billion, it would have been over the top."

Ten Network had been rumoured to have secured a package of NRL games ahead of Tuesday's announcement but is now without either rugby league or AFL, the rights to which are held by Seven.

Mr Mitchell said the NRL deal "places Ten in a difficult position". (AAP)

 

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Aussie Gambling Firms Push Via Sports Broadcasts, by Greg Tingle - 2nd April 2011

G'day punters, casino and gambling millionaires and billionaires, sports nuts, politicians, legal eagles, one and all. Australia remains red hot territory for gambling news. We've got Aussie sports media commentators plugging gambling, the pro club gambling campaign driving forward, NRL sports betting probe developments with a link to Tasmanian "devils" and Aussie pokies manufacture Aristocrat making a comeback, with the pokies boss hitting his own jackpot. All that and more. Media Man http://www.mediamanint.com and Gambling911 with your gambling, sports betting and pokies news mix from the land of kangaroos and koalas, with a rabid Tasmanian devil on the loose...

Gambling Companies Push Via TV Broadcasts And News Media...

Gambling giants have the big push on via promoting sports betting with a volatile and quite effective array of sweet deals with clubs, sporting codes, television stations and a big spread of traditional and new media outlets.

Sports commentators are at the front line with frequent betting odds updates, and mid-match updates are a field day, if you will. It's all part of the strategy in place with bookies and big name gambling operators.

"If you like to have a punt on rugby league, and why wouldn't ya, the Broncos are $1.50 on TAB Sportsbet," former Queensland Origin great Paul Vautin told NRL viewers in Friday's opening-round match against the Cowboys.

"Please bet responsibly - we have to say that. If you race down to the TAB at half-time, or ring TAB Sportsbet, they are the prices at the moment."

Next up was Network Nine broadcaster Wally Lewis just after the first half of the game with "TAB Sportsbet right now, Broncos first to score in the second half, $1.75."

Plenty of other sports are in on the action too, with Network Nine sports getting the nod on the most gambling and sports betting plugs. Cricket has broadcasting Richie Benaud discussing the odds, with a bit of help from his fellow commentators, as part of a cool deal with James Packer's 50% owned Betfair.

Nine head of sport Steve Crawley said the broadcaster's promotion was no different from newspapers providing odds on sports and horse races.

"We're electronic media, so when we do that it's in-game. I realise some people have awful problems with gambling, but the reality is that it's getting bigger and bigger."

It's hot fodder in the NRL, which is sponsored by TAB Sportsbet, has deals with "approved betting providers" and permits clubs to have their own gambling sponsors.

The footy still has a scandal on the go from alleged illegal betting surrounding last year's infamous Canterbury Bulldogs VS North Queensland Cowboys game.

NRL chief exec David Gallop said corruption was one of the biggest concerns for sporting administrators.

"The risks in terms of penalties have to be severe," said Gallop, who is pushing for a specific match-fixing offence and has warned of offenders facing life bans.

The AFL is also sponsored by TAB Sportsbet and betting firms support individual clubs, including Centrebet's deal with 2010 runner-up St Kilda for a reported $1 million a year.

TAB Sportsbet has deals with Seven and Fox Sports.

Overseas operators such at PartyGaming and PKR have also leaked that they are interested in getting into big media deals in Australia, with an already strong internet presence.

Cricket Australia allows Betfair on grounds, and the National Basketball League has a deal with Centrebet that includes court promotions.

UFC, boxing, horse racing, tennis, soccer and even surfing enjoy strong sports betting action in Australia, with a number of other sports like snooker looking to plug into the gambling deals in Australia.

Aussie Media and Racing King John Singleton Drives Forward Pro Pokies Ad Push...

John "Singo" Singleton, who happens to love a punt himself, in the man and the brains behind the $20 million advertising campaign by the Aussie clubs against the Julia Gillard government's slot machine reforms.

The Gillard government is hell bent so it seems to implement the "problem gambling" reforms to retain whatever support might remain from Tasmanian "devil" (satire) "independent" Andrew Wilkie.

Singo's ad firm Banjo has developed a media and public relations campaign to focus on recreational gamblers' fears of having any government 'Big Brother' spying on their betting habits. Yep, we kid you not. Australia's are being spied on, and pokie palaces may turn into one of the ultimate evil "eyes in the sky", that may end up making Google Earth and Google Maps look like child's play.

The Banjo deal for a cool $20 mil, running for 2 years, started with online video and newspaper adverts. It will then pick up even more stream via radio, television, billboards and even pub coasters. Australian newspapers have already been giving the news story strong mileage and its taking on a life of its own, with most gamblers hating what they hear of government 'Big Brother'.

The clubs is dead against a mandatory scheme for players to register before playing poker machines, using so called smartcards (not so smart say European trials) and self-selected gambling limits (which can be manipulated).

A leak said "Clubs Australia said that gambling revenue will drop considerably as recreational gamblers get pissed with the government and clubs, and will take more to online gambling "like a duck to water". This is right on the money and cards. The 'Big Brother' approach is a false solution - actually, its no solution. It's a smokescreen and spin. The public are not that stupid, they are actually quite smart, and Labor has underestimated Australians intelligence once again. No wonder Labor lost the NSW state election".

Singo and a consortium of investors, including the investment banker Mark Carnegie, the retail king Gerry Harvey and ex Qantas chief executive Geoff Dixon, have purchased high-profile Sydney pubs including Kinselas, the Bellevue Hotel and Peakhurst Inn. Singleton also jointly owns the Hotel Steyne in Manly.

He had a strong association with the Labor government under Bob Hawke during the '80s and early '90s, but last year developed ads attacking Labor on health during the election campaign, and earlier joined the mega push against the mining tax with a campaign for a Perth client, tipped to be Andrew "Twiggy" Forrest.

"The government's belated decision to perform a cost benefit analysis on mandatory pre-commitment is back to front,'' a spokesman for Clubs NSW said.

''This sort of analysis should have been done before the government announced it was introducing the technology.

''If that had been done then almost certainly the Prime Minister would never have been conned by Andrew Wilkie into making a commitment that will devastate the club industry.''

The Families Minister, Jenny Macklin, said ''The government's position is clear and has not changed.''

Police Seek Woman Punter Re NRL Cowboys - Bulldogs Betting Scandal...

Police have released CCTV images of yet another punter they want to speak to about an alleged NRL betting scam. The images were captured at a Browns Bay betting outlet in Auckland, New Zealand, between 4.50pm and 5.15pm on August 20 last year - the day before the game between the Bulldogs and North Queensland Cowboys, police advised. The woman was described as being aged in her 20s, with a slim build, shoulder-length hair and of Caucasian appearance. She was wearing a dark-coloured zippered hooded jacket, blue jeans and carrying a red handbag and was seen pushing a young boy in a pram, police said. She returned to the betting facility about 5.35pm on August 21. Police said in a statement that they were not alleging she had done anything illegal, but said investigators wanted to find out who she was so they could speak to her. Player agent Sam Ayoub and ex-player John Elias have been charged in direct relation to the betting inquiry, while now ex-Bulldogs prop Ryan Tandy has been charged with four counts of giving false or misleading evidence to a NSW Crime Commission hearing. Among the charges Tandy faces is one of giving false evidence about having placed a bet on a game between the Bulldogs and Gold Coast, also last year. The charges against Ayoub and Elias followed an unusual plunge on a betting option that the first points of that game would come from a penalty goal. Tandy was penalised two minutes into the game for impeding Cowboys playmaker Grant Rovelli in front of the posts. The Cowboys were awarded a penalty, but took a tap kick instead of kicking for goal. Tandy, 29, pleaded not guilty to all charges during his appearance in Sydney's Downing Centre Local Court on March 3. Meanwhile, St George Illawarra can finally get down to concentrating on their 2011 following Wayne Bennett's decision to leave the club at the end of the season. The coach's announcement has removed the largest cloud hanging over the Dragons' premiership defence, with the constant innuendo and rumour having played a part in the side's sluggish start to the year. While the issue won't be fully resolved until Bennett reveals where he will coach next season, back-rower Ben Creagh said news of the coach's impending departure would at least focus the players' efforts on getting the most out of the time he had left. While the appointment of Bennett's right-hand man, Steve Price, and the retention of much of the same squad for 2012 should ensure a smooth transition to the new era, the Dragons' best chance to win another premiership in the near future would surely be while Bennett is the man.

Aristocrat Boss Hits The Jackpot...

Jamie Odell, chief exec of Aussie pokie manufacturer Aristocrat, has hit the jackpot on an 'one armed bandit', if you follow the lingo. Odell snatched 24% jump in total pay to $2.5 million last year, despite Aristocrat putting out another very average result. The chief executive's base pay in the period increased 19% to $1.25 million. Aristocrat's normalised profit after tax dropped 53% in 2010. One of the resolutions at the upcoming June AGM in Sydney to be voted on by shareholders is a grant to Odell of 1.02 million performance share rights as part of his long-term incentive package. The rights, which would be granted over a 3-year period, are performance based. If Aristocrat happens to outperform the ASX 100 by more than 10% cent each year, Odell will snatch 30% of the shares. He will get 70% of the shares if he hits certain earnings targets. Will he meet his targets and hit the Gold Mega Jackpot? Stay tuned to find out. Aristocrat is also currently working on a number of b2b deal with online casino operators which are also tipped to return a healthy jackpot to the company, as well as hours of fun for online gamblers.

Greg Tingle runs the Media Man International website, he is a Special Contributor for Gambling911.com

 

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Australian Celeb News: Media, Casino And Gaming Celebs, by Greg Tingle - 29th January 2011

G'day punters, celebrities, journos, high rollers - casino whales, gambling millionaires and billionaires, poker sharks, entertainment news junkies, media tycoons, politicians, insiders, outsiders, legal eagles,... one and all. You know who you are. Seems just about everyone is a celebrity, or knows a celebrity these days. God know the poker world is full of them. This is our Aussie celebrity special, featuring Aussie celebs from the world of media, gaming, poker and more, and even a few ring-ins for good measure. Media Man and Gambling911 with celebrities you love to love, and even a couple you love to hate...

Shane Warne...And Liz Hurley...

Warnie and Liz look to be in love, with each other and with Twitter. The spinner is hanging out for a game of poker or "poke her" with Liz, almost begging for Hurley Burley to come down under for a face to face. The couple have taken to Twitter like ducks to water. Warne and Hurley's developing romance is good fodder out for their almost half a million Twitter followers. They are now publicly planning her trip Down Under. The poker - fashion babe might be in Australia within weeks. Hurley has been tweeting about her new parrot, Ping Pong. "I'm getting jealous of ping pong! Think it's time you left ping pong alone for a while & come visit me in Australia," Warne tweeted. "No need for jealousy SW, she's not getting any cuddles or kisses!" Hurley replied. The model brunette is teaching the parrot to talk and Saints fan Warne has urged her to teach it the St Kilda club song. "Don't forget advance Australia fair !!!! In tune too please ping pong . . . Ps organized kangaroos and koalas for your trip," he wrote. The affair between the former spinner and the movie - poker babe went public in December and the pair were busted on a romantic weekend in LA earlier this month. Both have bounce back, and judging by the Tweets, can't wait to bounce, fly and play together. Is it an Aussie expression... a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush? Never mind. Tweet me at twitter.com/mediamanint

Russell Crowe: Ex Kiwi (On Defending His South Sydney Rabbitoh's Star City Casino Deal)...

"The football club is a completely different organisation from the leagues club. We don't have any control over what the leagues club does; they run their own game." Crowe then went on to defend the move by pitching Star City as primarily an entertainment precinct and putting forward society benefits from gaming revenue, of which there is some truth in. Entertainment is the name of the game, and its broken into sub sectors. "This is an entertainment venue in general; it's not just about gaming. Let's get real about this situation; we're living in a state where they're telling us that the revenue from poker machines is paying for our hospitals. What we're talking about here is about a connection between two organisations that are all about entertainment, that are all about the future of Sydney." Souths chief executive Shane Richardson seconded the views put forward forward by NRL chief executive David "Gambling" (MM satire) Gallop this week that the association between sport and gambling "is as old as sport itself". "Let's be honest no sport in the world could ignore it, we're not holier than thou, the NFL, the English Premier League, wherever it is, there's gambling. As David Gallop said all along, it's going to be there, it's a major part of what sport is whether we like it or not and we've got to be part of it to have some sort of control over it." Crowe did concede that his own personal beliefs on gambling were at odds with the deal and recognised that problem gamblers were an issue of concern. "I don't like them (pokies). I'm not a fan of them; I've made that clear in the past. "But in life I am a gambler. The fact that I took on South Sydney underlines that." Media Man and Gambling911 congratulate both the Rabbitohs, Crowe and Tabcorp's Star City for taking a bet on this. Life is a gamble, just don't let it get the better of you, and always have fun... on and off the field. Work hard and play harder!

Julian Assange...

He is possibly Australia's most notorious public figure in a strange sort of way. Hero or Villain? Guess it depends on who you ask. If you ask Prime Minister Julia Gillard we think you know the answer! This weekends' The Australian newspaper fueled rumours that the James Bond franchise might like to have an Assange type in an upcoming flick. The journo penned...Ian Fleming could have turned the WikiLeaks boss into a villain in a James Bond novel. Given the pervasiveness of the Bond myth, it is no surprise that Assange, like Osama bin Laden before him, should be likened to a Bond villain. He has been labelled many things both positive and negative, from champion of free speech to cyber-terrorist. Perhaps the strangest, and for many fans of popular culture most glamorous, epithet applied to Julian Assange is that of Bond villain. Moreover, it is an epithet that has found widespread media acceptance. The connection has been made in blogs and especially tabloid newspapers, and equally it has surfaced in such diverse publications as Britain's The Guardian, The Financial Times and the US's The Washington Post. The most conspicuous parallel between Assange and the fantasy world of Ian Fleming's James Bond involves the Bond villain's lair. The WikiLeaks HQ, known as the Pionen data centre, is a remodelled Swedish nuclear bunker set in a granite mountain face. Special thanks to Simon Caterson at News Limited. We like your work mate.

Elle Macpherson...

The once former flame of Brit gambling tycoon Damian Aspinall has got busy again as of late. Elle Macpherson and Cate Blanchett were guests at the major bling event for the Portofino range at a dinner in Geneva yesterday. They were joined by Lost's Matthew Fox - looking heavier and a bit ratty in a Brad Pitt-style Catweazle beard - plus Kevin Spacey, Ronan Keating and more. We're sure it was a fun event. And we're sure all received a special gift.

Damian Aspinall (James Packer Mate) To Sell Aspinall's Casino In Britain Following Bad Luck!..

Damian does business with Australia's James Packer, but its possible that soon that may come to an end. The Brit has had relationships with glamorous women, including the TV presenter Donna Air, Elle Macpherson and Naomi Campbell. He confirmed the scale of the club’s debts but said it was not unusual for a casino business. He said: “You are talking about a business that has £250 million a year drop (the money staked by its clients). So it is a bit circular. You are looking at unlucky years. That is the business we are in. “Anyone in the business with high value VIP tables will have years when you do well and years when they don’t do well because it is volatile." Asked about the house’s performance last year, he added: “That’s completely normal. You are talking about a volatile business.” He said over a 10-year period Aspinall’s was winning 18 per cent of the money gambled at its tables. But he added: “You have years when you do nine per cent and years when you do 24 per cent.” The most recent available accounts for the club are for 2009 and Mr Aspinall said the club was now doing better. He said that despite his plan to move away from the elite clubs founded by his father such businesses would not die out. “I think there is a future. You have got to be grown up about those sorts of investments. You lose £10 million one week, and win £8 million the next. It is part of the business. When you lose these amounts it is a knock for the casino concerned, but you have weeks like that. We also had a week where we won £11 million in six days. It is big numbers these days. The winners could be three people over a number of days, it can be one person in one night. There are plenty of players all over the world who have won and lost that sort of money in a night."

Mel Gibson...

American law enforcement sources say Summit Entertainment which is distributing Aussie Mel's upcoming movie, "The Beaver" - gave Mel the final cut of the movie on DVD. Mel screened it at his home, and at 10:45 AM put the DVD in his mailbox so a courier could pick it up and return it to Summit. The DVD was rumoured to go missing in action, not Mel!

Hugh Jackman...

Hugh Jackman, Oprah Winfrey, Halle Berry and Marisa Tomei Among Oscar Presenters...Tony Award winner and previous Academy Awards host Hugh Jackman will be part of this year's Oscar ceremony, according to the Associated Press. Jackman will be a presenter at the 83rd Academy Awards. Other presenters currently include Sandra Bullock, Jeff Bridges, Oprah Winfrey, Halle Berry and Marisa Tomei. Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2010 will be presented Feb. 27 at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center. The awards will be televised live by the ABC Television Network beginning at 8 PM ET. James Franco and Anne Hathaway will co-host this year's ceremony. Jackman, who was seen on screen in "X-Men Origins: Wolverine," earned a Tony Award for his work in the Broadway musical The Boy From Oz. He is also known for his film roles in the "X-Men" trilogy, "Someone Like You," "Swordfish," "Kate and Leopold," "Van Helsing" and the recent "The Fountain" and "Happy Feet" (in voice). His stage credits also include Trevor Nunn's staging of Oklahoma! at Britian's National Theatre and award-winning work in productions of Sunset Boulevard and Beauty and the Beast.

John Travolta...(As John Gotti)...

Travolta was at Amici restaurant in Brentwood a few nights ago. He wasn't giving much away about taking the role. But Marty Ingels, Executive Producer of the movie was much more direct, stating Travolta will play the lead role in the movie, "Gotti." Leaks tell us James Franco has been approached to play John Gotti, Jr. Bang! Hit us up for an update soon.

David Gyngell...

Gyng is tipped to be very shortly flying to the U.S to test the waters re the upcoming float on the stock market on his CVC. Nine Entertainment's private equity owners will assess the health of the local equity and advertising markets this month. After which, they will decide the date for a $5 billion listing of the television, magazine and digital group. According to market sources, Nine's owner, CVC Asia Pacific, is yet to decide on the listing date although most observers expect the debt-laden group to test the waters as soon as April if global equity markets remain relatively strong. Management, including newly installed chief executive David Gyngell, will travel to the US next month to gauge the interest of potential offshore investors.

Celebrity Poker Pros: Tyron Krost And Stewart Scott: Celebrity Stars Going Down In Ratings; Direct Response To Poor Showing In Aussie Millions 2011...

These couple of poker celebs were on fire at some point, but lately a shower has been thrown on their parade. Both are former Aussie Millions champs - Krost from last year, Scott from 2009. Fellas, time to win some big games again or you might not even be thought as celebs any more. Start performing or might those sponsorship deals with PartyGaming's PartyPoker.com dry up?

Van Marcus...

Poker pro Van Marcus, currently in Melbourne for Aussie Millions, is the chap who has his red rare Ferrari nicked from the Crown valet parking last year, in a story that generated massive international headlines. In the past days Marcus has been seeing driving around Melbourne in what looks to be the same card, but this time reportedly with a hot blonde or brunette in the passenger seat. Hows the ride girls?

Australian Chris Hemsworth Plays Father To Thor; Anthony Hopkins Is Thor!...

The Aussies and Brits are teaming up again in film, thanks to our friends at Marvel Entertainment. The industry is abuzz for Aussie Hemsworth and Brit Hopkins. Hopkins has portrayed so many notable characters from history, literature, and the arts, that it’s no surprise we will see him in yet another role of stature. In this year’s hotly anticipated Paramount Pictures and Marvel Entertainment epic adventure Thor, he will be Odin, the major god of Norse mythology, and father to Thor, (played by Australian Chris Hemsworth). The film is based on the Stan Lee comic book version, and directed by Kenneth Branagh. Excelsior! Marvel Entertainment: Don't just buy the comics and watch the movies, play the games at PartyGaming. May the power of Thor be with you.

James Packer And Co...

Marketing and gaming advisers to James Packer have leaked that they see merit in having an Aussie Millions branded online slot game. They saw the popularity of Cleopatra and Sinatra in an online environment, and well as PartyGaming's World Poker Tour slot in land based casinos. They have not confirmed a Kerry Packer themed slot game, with some concerns it may be a uncomfortable proposal for one or two of the Packer family, however many punters and insiders think that Kerry would have loved the idea, and further would have loved the concept that a slot game will his likeness via tribute slot would actually make Crown Limited money. PartyGaming, WMS and IGT are keen to talk turkey with Crown Limited with their online plans, which may also compliment what's in store for the further development of Packer 50% owned Betfair. Who is tipped to the the contract?

We think PartyGaming, based on their strong US land based casino deals, ink still drying over the last few days, but you will just have to keep watching the space.

As they say on TV, I'm a celebrity - Get Me Out Of Here!

*Media Man is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. Gaming is just one of a dozen sectors covered

*the writer owns shares in Crown Limited and Ten Network Holdings

News

Australia Day Special, by Greg Tingle - 26th January 2011

G'day and Happy Australia Day everyone. Ok, we know some of you punters, journos, high rollers - casino whales, entertainment news junkies, politicians, insiders, outsiders and legal eagles are from across the globe are not Australia, nor have ever been down under, but you get the idea. Did you know that some indigenous Australia's call Australia Day 'Invasion Day'! That's because most history books show that Captain James Cook and his crew invaded Australia on this day in 1988. They are known by a new names including the First Fleet, while some aborigines will always think of them and murderous mongrels, who stole their land and pride. It's easy for many of us to get the point of the blackfellas (affectionate). Media Man and Gambling911 with a bush tucker bag full of Australian gambling, casino, poker, media and sports news. Fair winds...

Queensland Banana Bender State: Pub Pokies And Online Pokies Becoming More Popular?...

One armed bandits are maintaining their popularity in 'The Sunshine State'. It's understand that punters might have only a 1 in a million chance of winning really big, lotto - millionaire style, but they just keep coming back for more. Yep, throw another dime in the pokie baby. Queenslanders "invested" close to $2 billion last year as the punters passion for the slots maintained its fever pace. The total pokies expenditure of $1.81 billion was slightly down on the previous year, it was the third year consecutively the number exceeded $1.8 billion. We're also learned that the 2008 figure of $1.83 billion was an all-time record. Now, this is important - those numbers Do Not take into account the rabid take up and roll our of online poker or sports betting. You know, betting over the global medium - the internet. Overall, Queenslanders spent $7 million less on pokies than last year and $28 million less than in 2008, but it still works out at in excess of $150 million every month down the slots August was the year's biggest month for slot gamblers, who put close to $170 million in the throats of the one armed bandits. August was also the biggest month for gamblers in 2008, with more than $173 million lost. Pokies remain by far the most popular games for punters in Australia, bringing in most of the estimated $17 billion spent on all forms of gambling down under each year. Some insiders think that the reduction in official spending was more a sign of the increased popularity of internet and sports-based gambling. Concentrating on pokie figures, it appears Queenslanders gambled more at the height of the global financial crisis two years ago than they did throughout 2010.

Tassie 'Devil' Gambling Tycoon Devilish Quotes...

David Walsh from Tasmania was such a big hit with the readership we thought we would dig up a few more of the red hot 'The Devil's' quotes, that are too good not to share. First a refresher...Art and gambling do mix, at least that's the experience of Brits Damian Aspinall, Phil 'Tuffers' Tufnell, Australian artist Gina Sinozich, Media Man (bodypaint and burlesque "fetish") and Tasmanian gambling whale - tycoon, David 'Wicked' (satire) Walsh. You will pick up on Dave's affectionate nickname by us later. We like you David, ok mate. Tasmania's most famous or infamous gambling figure, millionaire, David Walsh yesterday gave us a peak into his art exhibit...the biggest (and weirdest) private art gallery in Tasmania, if not the Asia Pacific. The $110 million Museum of Old and New Art is nestled on the banks of Hobart's Derwent River.

Quotes By The Tasmanian Devil!...

"FUCK the art, let's rock'n'roll."

"I think formal curation is a form of mental masturbation."

"I'm not really that interested in a bunch of big names. Most of the works are by people most people haven't heard of and still won't have heard of because there's no wall labels."

"I don't want to lose control (or) something that ends up looking like a pale version of the National Gallery of Victoria".

"Subversive adult Disneyland".

"Please see reception if you are planning a pool party or a ritualistic orgy."

"It's the opportunity to mess with your head. I like the idea of people having a couple of beers and looking at the art, having a couple more and changing their mind."

"Just a privileged guy with a megaphone"

"It’s like a rich man’s soap box. I’m standing on my soapbox and I’m shouting my views like they mean something."

"I’ll take all the popular stuff out. And if you go to the toilet two or three times we’ll recommend a good urologist."

“My brother once said about me that I’d rather be outside a barrel pissing in than inside the barrel pissing out. I’m anti this idea that we know what we’re doing with certainty. I kinda think that most things that are good happen to people largely by accident, but then they start looking for explanations. You see the views of rich, successful people on television, and they tell you why they got rich and successful; they don’t interview all the people who went through the same process and didn’t. I think most things are complete crap. I want to show that you can be fortunate without believing that your fortune was anything other than fortune."

"There are so many things we do that we hide from. We hack open cows and eat their guts but we compartmentalise that away from our lives so we can pretend it’s not happening. And on a larger, more important scale, if each of us acted individually to say ‘OK, we f…ed up the atmosphere, it is our personal responsibility’, humanity would behave in a very different way."

"One of the things about having money is that … I feel a bit of guilt and a level of privilege, and it seems to be an obligation to do something, and since art is what I’ve been doing....but it wasn’t really like that. It was: I bought this small gallery, bought a bigger one, and gradually it became something of this scale. It’s become a lot more serious endeavour than I intended it to be. There’s a bit of thumbing my nose at the establishment and trying to bypass academia, but mainly I just wanted it to be a bit of fun. And it is. And it will be."

"The gambling is all a computer thing that is going on right now".

Website

Museum of Old and New Art

Queensland: Cairns Reef Hotel Casino Poised To Raise Big Bucks For Flood Relief On Australia Day...

Punters, let's all spare a thought for those who have been attacked by the floods on Australia Day. Numerous events are being planed around Australia, from 'Sound Relief' to and initiative from the Cairns Reef Hotel Casino 'Bring on the Sun' It will be one of the biggest events on the Australia Day calendar for the city and all funds raised will go to the Premier’s Flood Relief Appeal. There's a good old fashioned sausage sizzle, competitions and female performers including the Marlins’ cheer squad. "The whole idea is slanted towards the female performer," entertainment manager Bruce Stewart said. "We’ve got an eclectic blend of female artists coming to perform as well." Cazalys, El Mundo Tapas Bar and the Marlin Coast Bowls Club will also host events to raise money for flood victims. Cairns Regional Council will hold events across the region, including the ever-popular celebrations on the Esplanade. Mayor Val Schier said the council was expecting a good attendance as usual with residents keen to get outside and celebrate our sunburnt country in the green and gold. "Even last year when it poured, a huge number of people came to the Aussie breakfast; we expect the same will happen this year, rain, hail or shine. It is one of those days where people can come together as a community and help celebrate why it is great to be an Australian. We live in a fantastic country and it is good for people to get out and enjoy it." Pubs and clubs will also get into the Aussie spirit with a number of activities on offer. Paradise Palms Resort and Country Club has a patriotic, fun-filled day planned with activities that pay homage to Australia’s heritage such as the much-anticipated pie-eating competition. "Everybody is welcome to come along and have some fun while tucking into our Aussie selection of meat pies, icy beers, lamingtons and classic Australian music by DJ Danny from Millennium Sounds," director of sales and marketing Darlene Holdsworth said.

Events

Join the celebrations

Paradise Palms Resort and Country Club Australia Day celebrations
What’s on: Australian menu served from noon in Restaurant 59, pie-eating and thong-throwing competitions start at 1.30pm. Pies, icy beers, lamingtons and classic Australian music on offer at the resort.
Time: 12pm. Entry free.

Bring on the Sun at Cairns Reef Hotel Casino
What’s on: Entertainment, sausage sizzle, raffles, jumping castle and more with all proceeds going to the Premier’s Flood Relief Appeal.
Time: 2pm. Entry free.


Shane Warne And Poker Mates Get VIP Star Treatment At Australian Open Tennis Sunday Night...

The spinner got there at 8pm hoping to get star VIP treatment for 14 of his closest mates. In the mix was was Joe Hachem, who he had earlier caught up with at the launch of the Aussie Millions Poker Tournament at Crown Casino. Warne requested an escort (no, not that type silly) when he arrived and posed mostly for photographs with his sunglasses on. He also spent time in Andy Roddick's player's box during his loss to Swissman Stanislas Wawrinka. It been a big couple of days for "poker her" for the legend, playing rendezvous with Liz Hurley in LA. He is expected to play in the second round of the poker tournament and could face off against Gary Ablett Jr and Jeff Fenech tomorrow. Blett made it through to the second round.


Australian Financial Review Goes Gaga For Lady Gaga; Gets Facts Wrong (We Think)...

It took us a few months of going through newspapers but we finally found the AFR to make a slip up, and its a doozy....An article reads "the complex will have a few upmarket bars, including one on the roof, and an events theatre to house live acts – think Lady Gaga – as well as awards nights." With Gaga's level of popularity she would require a much larger venue than Star City. Earlier this year, she - they played two concerts at the Sydney Entertainment Centre, capacity 12,000 or thereabouts. Do the math.

Australia's Kylie Minogue To Do The Colosseum At Caesars Palace Las Vegas: Aphrodite Live...

Mark is down Kylie fans the word over. She's doing Ceasers Sunday May 22, 2011 8pm


Melbourne: Aussie Joker Comedian Performs At Packer's Crown; Raises Cash For Flood Relief...

Melbourne folks at Crown Casino recently enjoyed 'The Jokers Comedy That Rocks' at Crown Casino. James Packer's casino donated all proceeds from last Friday night’s show to Queensland flood victims. Organiser William Leitch has happy with the way things went and showcased an evening with some of the city’s top stand-up artists, including Brad Oakes, Christine Basil and Greg Fleet. It's understood he got close to 150 people to come along, and he may be invited back on upcoming Friday nights.


Top 100 ASX Listed Companies Respond To Flood Cry For Help; Gambling And Gaming Industry Steps Up; Mining Firms and Banking Bastards Lead Charge...

1. BHP Billiton: $1.3 million (in addition, matching employee donations)

2. CBA: $1.35 million

3. Westpac: $1 million

4. ANZ: $1 million

5. NAB: $1 million

6. News Corp: $500,000 and Blue Ribbon campaign

7. Rio Tinto: $1 million ($700,000 to Premier Relief, $300,000 to Emerald community)

8. Wesfarmers: $7.5 million (plus $3.5 million from Coles customers)

9. Telstra Corp: up to $1 million by matching staff contributions (so far $338,000; is also supplying phones and free calls to people affected)

10. Woolside Petroleum: $122,395 (corporate + employees)

11. Woolworths: $6.9 million (matching customer donations in Woolies, Big W, Dick Smith dollar for dollar)

14. Fortescue Metals: Matching staff donations dollar for dollar

15. CSL: $250,000

16. QBE Insurance: not releasing a statement

17. Origin energy: $1 million

18. Macquarie Group: $200,000 (combined staff and company effort with fundraising activities continuing both here and overseas)

19. AXA Asia Pacific: No response

20. Santos: $500,000 plus use of helicopters and vehicles for clean up. Also $50,000 for flooding in WA

21. Coal and Allied Industries: (see Rio Tinto)

22. AMP: $250,000 + matching employee contributions to WA flood appeal up to $250,000

23. Suncorp Group: $100,000 (staff and customers have donated $1.5million)

24. Foster's Group: $500,000

25. Brambles: No response

26. Leighton Holdings: No response

27. Orica: No response

28. Oil Search: No response

29. Stockland: Donated $250,000 to the Premier's flood relief appeal, another $30,000 to the Mayoress Rockhampton regional flood appeal and are matching employee donations dollar for dollar

30. Coca. Cola Amatil: No response

31. Amcor: No response

32. Westfield Retail Trust: No response

33. IAG: No response

39. Crown: Donation tins in Crown complexes and have committed to matching all donations as well as staff contributions

52. Tabcorp Holdings: $1 million

78. Tatts Group: Going to run a dedicated lottery for the Queensland flood appeal where all profits will go to the Premier's Flood Appeal. They ran the same thing in Victoria after the Black Saturday bushfires. It will run on Wednesday 2 Feb in Queensland and is expected to raise $200,000. In addition, another donation will be made from the unclaimed prizes fund of an as. yet undecided amount

79. Fairfax Media: Matching staff donations

100. Seek: Reported it had made a donation to the Premier's Flood Appeal but chose not to disclose how much

Brisbane: Flood Relief Money Gets Spend On Pokies, Vice - Piss Up At Pubs...

It's been reported in a number of Queensland newspapers that the $1000 flood relief grants that went to many good folks in Granville are being used to feed slots and buy piss (beer) rather than food and necessities. Two Maryborough publicans say that in some instances the answer to that is yes, and they are disgusted. One of the publicans was so incensed by the misuse of flood relief money she telephoned Fairfax Media to complain. "A man came in bragging about how he’d got the $1000 payout because he told Centrelink he was stuck in Granville – but he was here the whole time. It makes me sick that people are openly admitting they’ve got the money for nothing, while there are people who’ve died or lost everything." She said Centrelink should have screened the applications more carefully to make sure only people who were genuinely in need received the cash. Another pub owner said his one armed bandits had not stopped buzzing since the grants became available. "We were quiet during the actual floods but this week’s been totally different. The pokies and the bottle shop have been going non-stop." Yeah, Aussie continue to love a punt, rain, hail, shine or flood!

Aussie Millions Game 8 Results...

The London based chap took down the $1,100 8 game mixed event title at Crown Casino in Melbourne adding AUD$23,800 to his almost $1.2 million in career tournament earnings. He entered the final table as the short stack, but managed to grind his way to victory and nudge away Australia's Bruno Portaro for the victory. The event marked Ashby's 8th final table appearance at the Aussie Millions that includes a side-event win back in 2005 and a seventh-place finish in the main event in 2009. Ashby also won his first WSOP bracelet this summer in the $1,500 7 Card Stud event and went well in the $10k H.O.R.S.E. for his biggest career score of $378,027. The 2011 Aussie Millions $1,100 8-Game Mixed event drew 68-players and paid the final 7.

Here are the results:
1 Richard Ashby AUD$23,800
2 Bruno Portaro AUD$16,320
3 Casey Kastle AUD$10,880
4 Daniel Ospina AUD$6,800
5 Oliver Gill AUD$4,760
6 Dane Coltman AUD$3,400
7 Paul Ravesi AUD$2,040

Aussie Main Event Day 1b: PartyPoker And Full Tilt Poker Players Feel The Pain...

PartyGaming's PartyPoker and Full Tilt Poker's powers that be likely won't be celebrating. Ok, they got news coverage and exposure, but its because their players are out. Yep, history maties. Full Tilt went well on Day 1a but Day 1b was rooted. Many of the big name pros went down for the count as locals stepped up. 209 players entered the Crown Poker room but after 7 levels of play, 80 remained. David Oppenheim, Annette Obrestad, Carlos Mortensen, David Benyamine, Andrew Feldman, Steve Yea, Andy Bloch and Gus Hansen were some of the Full Tilt players who died. Other casualties included Luke Santo, Raj Ramakrishnan, George Moussa, Michael Pedley, Graeme Putt, Martin Comer, Dennis Huntly, Jamie Pickering, Bruno Portaro, Casey Kastle, Ben Savage and Tim Marsters. 2005 World Champion Joe Hachem (tweeting he struggled with jetlag following a recent trip to the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure.) Defending champ, 2010 Aussie Millions Main Event winner Tyron Krost (PartyGaming's PartyPoker pro went down too). A new champ will be crowned in 2011 with plenty of Aussies still in contention. The field kicked off with Jeff Rossier in the lead with 154,900, closely followed by Michael Ottobra (143,400) and Martin Drewe, After winning the Opening Event last week and going deep in another event, Drewe is now set in the chip leaders in the Main Event after getting to 136,100. Jay “SEABEAST” Kinkade did nicely with 128,700, Haibo Chu (113,900), Manny Stavropoulos (85,600), Sorel Mizzi (74,400), Michael Egan (61,100), Kent Hunter (56,400), Jeff Lisandro (55,000), Eric Assadourian (50,300), Scott Montgomery (49,200), Chris Ferguson (45,400), Lee Nelson (30,200), Neil Channing (28,800), Roland de Wolfe (26,100), Aleks Brkovic (24,600), Jackie Glazier (21,900), Grant Levy (18,300), Gary Benson (10,500) and Mel Judah (7,200) amongst those who will return on Day 2. The 3rd and final flight of the 2011 Aussie Millions Main will commence Tuesday with another strong field and a few big names expected. Even Van Marcus will front up. Van, is your Red Ferrari safe this time mate? We're looking for more good fodder to write about. How about do a publicity stunt and make world wide headlines ago. Maybe someone at Crown Casino - Crown Limited might be open to it. Stanger things have happened... like Ferrari's getting stolen on site, casino fights and a man getting stuck in the Crown Casino kitchen grease vacuum.

Aussie Millions Event #9 Day 1b: Rossiter In Front...

It was down to business with players investing AUD$10,600 to buy in all with the goal of becoming the 2011 Aussie Millions Champion. 7 seven levels of play, and the 209-player field went to 80. Jeff Rossiter is in front with 154,900. Martin Drewe, 2011 Aussie Millions Event #1 winner with 136,100 - now 3rd on the leaderboard. Australian Jay Kinkade is on 128,700, and European Poker Tour mainstay Jeff Sarwer sits 5th with 120,500. Randy "nanonoko" Lew has 110,000 and Gavin Griffin 101,700 in 9th ninth and 10th place. Sorel Mizzi, Jeffrey Lisandro, Eric Assadourian, Team Full Tilt's Chris Ferguson, Full Tilt Poker Red Pros Scott Montgomery and Roland de Wolfe, Neil Channing, and Lee Nelson have also all made it to Wednesday's Day 2, but it was touch and go for some of them, testing the skill VS luck debate. Full Tilt Poker $25,000 Shootout Invitational winner David Oppenheim, Annette Obrestad, Carlos Mortensen, Andy Bloch, David Benyamine, Andrew Feldman, Gus Hansen, Joe Hachem, and David Steicke all had to say goodnight nurse. PartyGaming's - PartyPoker Tyron Krost was eliminated in a hand VS Gavin Griffin where his Ace-Queen couldn't best Griffin's Aces. The 3rd and final Day 1 flight commences Tuesday in Melbourne, Australia at 12:30 p.m. local time.

Getting board of poker yet? If so, try your luck er skill at Baccarat or Craps. If your more into luck, check out the slots like Cleopatra, Sinatra, Rambo, Goanna Gold and The Terminator. Rumour goes PartyGaming also have, or will soon get, a World Poker Tour themed online slot game. We recommend punters open an account with PartyCasino, PartyGaming and World Poker Tour, just to have all based covered. Party appears to still be the most popular online casino brand in Australia despite big efforts by the likes of 888. Marvel slot games are forecast to be some of the most popular of this year with Captain America and Thor tipped to hit Australia cinema's this year, with Spider-Man also getting a remake. Whatever your casino game of choice, good luck, and let us know how you go guys and girls. Spin to win.

Take the time to research and learn games before placing down money

Media Man, Casino News Media and Gambling911 are website portals. Not casinos as such, however are recognised as world leading websites that cover the sector and act as central points to games, news, reviews and more.

Readers... er, punters, how did you like our report? 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 is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. Gaming is just one of a dozen sectors covered

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Australia To Get Sports Stadiums Branded By Gambling and Gaming Companies, by Greg Tingle - 15th January 2011

G'day punters, journos, high rollers, sports news, entertainment news junkies, politicians, insiders, outsiders... one and all. Today we probe the situation where a number of Australian sports grounds could soon be named after gaming and gambling companies. How do like the sound of Betfair Stadium, Centrebet Park and PartyGaming Cricket Ground? Don't laugh, this type of scenario is on the cards, with local gaming brands likely the first to pounce, followed by international powerhouses. Media Man http://www.mediamanint.com and Gambling911 with another ground breaking news report from the land of world class casino, media companies and sports arenas...

Australia Will Get Gambling Arenas; Aussie Aussie Aussie; Oi Oi Oi...

With Australia being in the world's top 10 gambling nations, it shouldn't shock or surprise that we're tipped to soon have a number of sporting arenas and grounds named after gambling and gaming companies, both national and international brands. Yep, money will talk where B.S sometimes walks.

James Packer's Betfair is understood to build upon their Betfair Park branding, Europe's PartyGaming is keen, and currently Centrebet looks to be leading the charge, with many insiders saying its a case of when, not if, for the household name brand.

Centrebet already has significant branding, thanks in part to a swag of TV and online adverts, plus who can forget the Centrebet branded part of Network Nine's 'The Footy Show'.

The gambling companies already have a number of key targets, and many cash strapped and / or cash handy NRL team and home grounds are near the top of the hit list.

For instance NRL team, The Penrith Panthers, are seriously considering having their home stadium named Centrebet Stadium. We kid you not punters.

If the deal goes through, they will make history becoming the first major Australian sporting team to snatch a betting firm as the naming-rights partner for a playing venue.

Horse Racing already has some naming rights deals with tracks and in the mix such as Betfair Park and then you have races named after gambling brands such as the Lasseters Cup, Lasseters known for its hotel - casino up in Australia's top end.

The forecast Betfair deal comes as a police continue to probe the NRL gambling scandal that from last season following a number of "irregular" wagers was picked up in the Canterbury Bulldogs VS North Queensland Cowboys match up.

The Panthers, Centrebet and a swag of gambling companies, have rather pissed off the gambling and gaming haters, who continues to get organised into lobby groups.

A Media Man spokesperson such "Many people in and out of news media and gaming, the general public, are starting to get really pissed off at the gaming, gambling and sports betting haters. The bible bashers. Who do they think they are trying to push their beliefs onto others. Many Australians just love a punt, and that's the way it is. Some of the gaming haters have strong ties to church groups and there appears to be some sort of brainwashing system going on. They keep discussing the 'evils of gambling'. I mean, seriously, come on. People know not to over-do it on on the slots, sports events, poker and the like, but the haters keep trying to be the thought police. Gambling companies in Australia have a very high focus on responsible gambling with warnings everywhere. It's great to see the gambling and gaming industry place so much focus on safe better. The sports stadiums will be great for business, , but no one is forcing anyone to have a bet. It's a personal decision, as it always has been. 2011 is going to be a very exciting year for punters, especially those who like to have a bet of sports matches, and television and online website portals and brands will bring it all together nicely".

Back to the first prime target #1...The modest 22,500-capacity sports ground, owned by Penrith City Council, was in a past life known as CUA Stadium. What's up is that the club's contract with the Brisbane financial services company has expired, and negotiations between Panthers, the footy club and Centrebet have been taking place, even prior to Christmas about renaming the stadium. Other clubs and stadiums have also caught the buzz and are opening chequebooks and crunching the numbers.

The first of its kind business agreement between the club and Centrebet is just about a done deal, and ink is expecting to try on contracts sooner rather than later, possibly within a fortnight. An exciting, if not controversial type of announcement is fully expected by the Panthers in the coming week. Sports and gambling commentators are quick to point out that Penrith already has ties to Centrebet, the gambling brand being lit up across the top of the video screen at the stadium. This kind of exposure has also been very good for their mobile - hand held device sector.

Anti-gambling campaigner Senator Nick Xenophon is especially unhappy with the development of the gambling branded sports stadiums in Australia. He went on recent with:

"How can a footy code currently embroiled in a betting scandal possibly allow a stadium to be named after a betting agency? There was a time when rugby league was all about the game. Now it's all about the odds, and that is ruining the game".

Over the last couple of years the NRL (and AFL) has watered down its laws and regulations relating to clubs' deals and partnerships with gambling - sports betting firms, allowing them to be branded on footy jerseys for a virgin time. Cronulla Sharks have sponsor PokerStars (.net) on their jersey sleeves while cashed up Manly Sea Eagles are tipped to have Centrebet's signage on the back of their jerseys this season after a widely reported $1 million plus deal with the Northern Territory based betting outfit announced just before Christmas. Yep, it looks like a few clubs and stadiums will be getting their Christmas presents and will have lots to celebrate, while the gambling haters will be spewing in Grinch like fashion.

The National Rugby League of course also has corporate ties with TAB Sportsbet, and is understood to snatch a 5% "product fee" via the company's rugby league betting profit.

NRL spokesman John Brady advised he would not comment on individual clubs' sponsorship agreements but maintained there was no concern about the prospect of gambling agencies assuming naming rights for the game's venues, at least from his take on the situation.

"It's an area that was relaxed last year. As such there are a number of betting sponsorships that are available to clubs in terms of jerseys and other opportunities," Brady said.

He advised any and all betting firms involved with the NRL via sponsorship of clubs were made to sign "integrity agreements" to ensure transparency.

The majority of NRL clubs now have corporate deals with betting agencies. Centrebet sponsors five teams: Penrith, Manly, Parramatta, St George Illawarra and North Queensland. "Comon' Betfair and PartyGaming, pull you're finger out", a Media Man sports journalist was overheard shouting when he found out the news of Centrebet's ongoing infiltration of the sport.

Penrith's stadium pending name change has been intertwined we understand by some to the financial problems that have hit the football club's parent body, Panthers Group.

The licensed club is no longer quite the licence to print money as it was in the 90s Some audited figures about to do public by the conclusion of the month are expected to show black and white confirmation of a Murdoch - News Limited news story of last February that said Panthers were due to report a rather embarrassing net loss of $11 million bucks.

Panthers are not afraid to speak on the record about their on and off field performance, which has seen better days.

Ric Simpson, Panthers Group chief exec since last July, said a culture change and "renewal of process" across Panthers clubs had improved their situation. Analysts question that was a PR line or absolute truth. Mind you, we don't blame club for trying to focus on positives. "We're probably looking at reducing that loss by somewhere in the order of $8-$9 million," Simpson said.

A Media Man spokesperson said "At this stage of the gaming the overseas trend of seeing sports groups and football teams pick up sponsorship and strong branding for gambling, gaming... sports betting companies looks to be moving full speed ahead down under in Australia. Centrebet might become the Bwin of Australia. PartyGaming is said to be currently crunching numbers to see if an Australian sports ground deal is viable. They already have a Aussie Millions former champion sponsored by their poker brand and a couple of Aussie poker players signed up, so anything is possible. James Packer's Betfair, a direct competitor of Centrebet is not likely to take the situation lying down either. Betfair is 50% Packer owned and wants to keep building their sports betting brand, as well as opening up many online casino games in Australia, poker and more. Could an Australian sports stadium ever be known as PartyGaming stadium or WPT Stadium? Not overnight, but never say never, stranger things have happened. It's all going to add a lot of money into the game and business of sport and entertainment, and already our firm is starting to experience some positive spin off benefits. It's all very exciting and profitable".

News

3D For Australian Sports, TV Series, Web And Casinos, by Greg Tingle - 20th May 2010

3D technology is on fire, a bushfire on steroids in fact, down under in Australia. Media Man, Gambling911 and readers don the 3D glasses and look and see what's cooking in Aussie sports, movies, casinos, poker and more...

It's all about entertainment, eyeballs, and the entertainment dollar. 'Entertainment' is something that PartyGaming, Virgin Games (and Media Man and Gambling911) are big on. What's the point in advanced technology if its not fun and entertaining to the punter or consumer at large? Content producers and platforms have largely also realised that a product or service for gamblers, gamers or combo, needs to be compelling, or they won't come back and will find another game, website, live event or whatever. Have you checked out the Gambling911 forum or Media Man YouTube lately?

With that in mind check out the huge amount of entertainment on now, and coming up for gamers, gamblers, sports punters and even tech heads and geeks...

FIFA World Cup in South Africa

SBS has announced it will form a three-way partnership with Sony and Harvey Norman to bring Australian soccer nuts the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa in 3D.

The partnership means up to 15 matches throughout the World Cup tournament will be available on a dedicated 3D channel in addition to SBS’s coverage – including Australia’s opening match against Germany.

FIFA will provide a 3D broadcast feed of matches throughout the tournament, which will then be broadcast live by SBS and then repeated on a "loop" until the next 3D match is made available.

"The Australian Communications and Media Authority has been working with us on a spectrum solution and we will be using our digital transmission network for the broadcast," said SBS’s chief operating officer Richard Finlayson.


Australian Socceroos Catch 3D Fever

The Socceroos 2010 World Cup team anthem will feature what Sony music claims as the first 3D music video in Australia. The video clip for the Rogue Traders new single, Hearts Beat as One, will be shot in 3D as the official Qantas Socceroos team anthem for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

"The potential of movies, sports and gaming in 3D is already evident and as the hype around 3D continues to build, Sony remains at the forefront of delivering unique experiences from the lens to the lounge room," said Carl Rose, Managing Director, Sony Australia and New Zealand.

3D technology in Australia continues to generate unprecedented hype in Australia with SBS to trial 3D TV broadcasts for the duration of the 2010 World Cup, Channel 9 screening the State of Origin in 3D, and Foxtel strongly hinted its intention to start broadcasting in 3D later this year.

Major television manufacturers including Sony have also been pushing 3D technology hard after the widespread theatrical success of Avatar in 3D.

Sony expects the 3D music video to premiere in early June.


Google TV To Include Gaming And Lots More

Internet king Google is out to expand its kingdom to the living room with an new service that lets punters mesh television viewing with surfing the web.

Google TV, developed in partnership with technology big shots Sony, Intel and Logitech and launched in the US overnight, fuses the freedom of the internet with television programming.

Google executives vowed their TV platform would succeed where offerings such as Apple TV have foundered and hopefully capture some of the $US70 billion ($85 billion) American TV advertising market.

Google TV product manager Salahuddin Choudhary said in a blog post that Google TV will allow TV viewers to get "all the (TV) channels and shows you normally watch and all of the websites you browse all day.

"You can access all of your favorite websites and easily move between television and the Web," Choudhary said.

"This opens up your TV from a few hundred channels to millions of channels of entertainment across TV and the Web," he said.

"With the entire Internet in your living room, your TV becomes more than a TV - it can be a photo slideshow viewer, a gaming console, a music player and much more," he added.

Google is not the first technology company to attempt to unite the TV set and the Internet and a number of electronics manufacturers are already offering Web-enabled televisions or digital set-top boxes.

Choudhary said the Internet-enabled televisions, Blu-ray players and companion boxes from Sony and Logitech, which are powered by Intel Atom computer chips, would be available soon in the U.S via Best Buy stores. No dates for Australia yet.

A wireless computer keyboard and box were used during the on-stage demonstration here of Google TV, which uses traditional search to find TV channels or websites.

Sony chief executive Howard Stringer described it as "a very big deal."

"I can't stress that enough," Stringer said on stage. "When you put all this, as we've done for the fall, into the world's first Internet television, the opportunities are, in a sense, just mind boggling."

Google did not announce pricing for the TV sets or the set-top boxes.

Other Developments

PartyGaming

Not to be outdone, PartyGaming's PartyCasino has released the Circus Slot, more a 2D experience, but is understood to be the world's first interactive role playing online slot game. Party insiders say to expect "Avatar" type technologies with the Sly Stallone name coming up in Chinese whispers. Rocky or The Expendables? Who knows, but its going to be even bigger and better than Evolution Gaming 'Live Dealer' we hear. 'Rambo' is already available at Party, which is a good sign of substance to the buzz.

PartyCasino.com

 

Virgin

Richard Branson's Virgin Games is expanding globally, with virtual world platform, AWOMO (A World Of My Own) to be a major focus. Think Tomb Raider: Underworld ... in 2D, maybe 3D at some stage. Whatever the case, its going to be out of this world, fast and value for money. How long till Aussies and Americans can get the downloads remains to be seen, but Branson is to hard launch the product at the E3 Expo in Los Angeles next month.

VirginCasino.com

 

PKR Poker, Casino And Now Sports Betting

Yep, world famous 3D poker rooms, PKR, now not only offers poker, but also casino games and sports betting. The virtual reality live poker remains their main drawcard, however they smartly realised that poker players generally also like a bit of casino games and sports punting on the side

PKR.com

SEGA

Understood to have done a considerable deal with Playtech. Casino and poker is on the menu Sega style. Media Man is not impressed yet...with the technology, however, that's not to say that we won't be in coming weeks and months. Next...


FOXTEL - Microsoft Xbox LIVE deal (not gambling, but speculation)


FOXTEL has signed a deal with Microsoft to deliver 30 channels of pay TV over the internet.

FOXTEL and Microsoft today announced a new partnership offering Australians a brand new way of receiving FOXTEL – over the internet and direct to television sets through Xbox 360’s online service Xbox LIVE.

FOXTEL by Xbox LIVE will allow Xbox 360 owners in Australia to access FOXTEL channels including FOX Sports, Discovery, Nickelodeon, Disney, MTV, and other leading channels via their Xbox 360 entertainment console.

FOXTEL by Xbox LIVE will also provide a wide range of Video-on-Demand (VoD) services, including television series and movies. When the ground-breaking service launches later this year it will enable Australians, for the first time, to access FOXTEL without the need for a FOXTEL set-top-box.

FOXTEL by Xbox LIVE will be accessible in FOXTEL areas across Australia to all homes with a broadband internet connection. All you need is an Xbox 360, an Xbox Gold subscription and a FOXTEL by Xbox LIVE subscription.

The agreement brings together two of Australia’s most recognised and respected brands combining each company’s profound entertainment and consumer offerings.FOXTEL by Xbox LIVE provides Australians a new way of enjoying FOXTEL, and cements Xbox 360 as one of this country’s leading innovative social entertainment platforms. Xbox LIVE connects more than 23 million people across 26 countries to an ever-expanding world of games, movies, TV, music, sport and social entertainment.

FOXTEL Chief Executive and Managing Director, Kim Williams AM said, “This is a very exciting new frontier. FOXTEL by Xbox LIVE will provide our 1.6 million subscribing households, as well as new customers, a transformative way of receiving and enjoying FOXTEL over the internet. We will offer FOXTEL by Xbox LIVE with various packages and prices and under flexible agreements. It is an exciting new way of exploring FOXTEL’s universe of content for a new generation of customers.”

SecondLife

Rumors persist that as different countries get their communications laws up to speed that SecondLife.com may once again offer pro active virtual casinos as part of their offering. The parent of SecondLife is Linden Research, and Linden Labs is understood to be where the "cool kids" hang out. The virtual currency is the Linden dollar L$.


Network Nine Underbelly And NRL State Of Origin In 3D

Nine advise they will carry Rugby League's 'State of Origin' clash in 3D on 26th May. It's forecast to cost the network $10 million to broadcast, and Nine have flown over technology experts from the United States to make it happen.

Underbelly continues to drive forward the crime genre, and not just on TV. Wires are reporting that at least 3 Australian crime shows are due to be released over the next 12 months, quite likely soon, such is the current appetite of Australian audiences.

The next series of Underbelly, featuring the Gold Coast - up Surfers Paradise way, will be shot, pardon the pun, in 3D. The rumour mill says some scenes and footage is already "in the can" (also Aussie for in jail)!


Free Gaming VS Paid Gaming - Trends Summary

The US currently leads the world in online business revenues, but general belief is that the EU and other territories will continue to grow gaming revenue.

"These free options are definitely broadening the appeal of video games among older and female demographics, and a lot of these consumers don't actually consider themselves gamers at all," Michael Cai, vice president of video game research at Interpret.

"Without casual gaming portals like Pogo, Real Networks, and Big Fish Games, many older female gamers would have never paid for gaming content."

Interpret discovered that 21 per cent of the US population, or over 46.1 million Americans, play social network games. Over 11 million Americans only play social network games. The median age for social network gamers is 38.8, versus 30.9, which is the median age of console gamers.

Cai found that 12 per cent of these social network gamers plan on buying a Wii, which would be their first game console.

More console game makers are offering consumers free play, including downloadable game demos through Microsoft's Xbox Live Arcade and Sony's PlayStation Network Store.

"Handing over free content to gamers can be tremendously beneficial to developers and publishers, even if it comes in the form of a short playable demo of a game that's not spectacular," said Patrick Shaw, features editor, GamePro Magazine.

Gaming on Facebook is becoming more popular, and players like to check out games on YouTube before signing up for accounts at game portals and online casinos. PartyGaming PartyCasino 'Play For Free' (before 'Play For Money') option continues to be mega popular. Media Man has quizzed the powers that be on this matter, and has some data to prove this is the case. YouTube remains the king of internet streaming for the masses, and owned by Google, it can afford for it to be a loss leader if need be.


Censorship In Australia - Online, Offline and Everywhere

Richard Branson's Virgin and Google's 'Google Guys' remain in the long list of new media entrepreneurs seeking clarity on Australia's censorship laws, both current and upcoming. The current guidelines are an absolute mess and out of line with laws in other developed countries such as the United States, Canada and United Kingdom.

The Aussie government initiative to filter the internet down under is currently due to be actioned in 1 to 3 months, depending upon what report and source you choose to believe. Govt legal eagles and policy makers are still deciding what to do as far as policy relating to video game ratings that are sold off the shelf, and technologies such as AWOMO (A World Of My Own) are likely to also be effected from Australian censorship laws (even if some quarters of the Australian government doesn't want to call it "censorship", we know better!

Media Man International TV Not (YouTube)

Check out games, poker, even the 'Sin City' expo on Media Man YouTube! Go on, we know you want to

So, gamers, gamblers, square eyes, couch potatoes, or whatever is your poison.

There's a universe of 2D, 3D and interactive entertainment coming up.

We know your already in information overload, so just wait until you check out the above mentioned new big boys toys. Know the odds, bet with your head, not over it, and have fun.

*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911

 

Media Man is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. Gaming is just one of a dozen industry sectors they cover.

News

Australian Sports Form Anti-Corruption Alliance, by Greg Tingle - 22nd May 2010

The reputation of Aussie sports, thus sports business, and to a broader degree, entertainment industry, has a take a bashing of late. Desperate to fix up ala "fix the fix" et al, a broad range of Australian sports are teaming up for the greater good. A sports betting fix and salary cap rorting re Melbourne Storm was the recent trigger, but most insiders agree there's been issues with the integrity of Australia sports for decades, and we're not just talking about Aussie Olympic team and management stuff ups. Media Man and Gambling911 go crash tackling, body slamming and Hills Hoist clotheslining with this report...

Australian sports have formed an alliance to share information that could help guard against corruption arising from the burgeoning sports gaming industry.

Sports heads from Aussie Rules, rugby, soccer, tennis and netball (no NRL or MMA) formed the Coalition of Major Professional & Participation Sports (COMPPS) this week.

The group said in a media statement last Friday its formation reflected "the importance of continuing public confidence in the integrity of major sports' results".

"There have been concerns about corrupt gaming's influence in some sports in some parts of the world and the newly constituted COMPPS group sees the importance of guarding against corruption in Australian sports gaming as one of our priorities," Executive Director Malcolm Speed said.

"Australia has an excellent sports gaming integrity reputation, which we want to maintain and as a first step, we will start sharing information within the COMPPS membership." ...well, that's what they said, but we detected a bit of spin. It's not the word on the street or in balanced news media reports. Mind you, the Storm, snooker championship and Aussie - Indian cricket got everyone very suspicious and tainted Australian sports across the board.

This new collaborating would share information about codes of conduct, education and disciplinary processes in a bid to strengthen sports integrity, the statement said.

The group's establishment comes off the back of the probe by the International Cricket Council's anti-corruption unit into Pakistan's under-performing tour of Australia this year.

The unit's outgoing chairman Paul Condon, who confirmed the probe on Thursday, warned that match-fixing could be ruinous to cricket if the sport was not vigilant about rooting it out.

Significant, ok, huge, match-fixing scandals have also broken in snooker, and European and Chinese soccer in recent months. These attracted international headlines.

Former world snooker champion John Higgins was suspended by the sport's governing body earlier this month after a newspaper reported he had agreed to take a bribe to lose frames, and published damaging photographs of a handshake deal.

German police dismantled a gang of more than 200 suspects operating in nine European leagues in November, while Chinese authorities have arrested in excess of 20 league and club officials for match-fixing offences as part of a probe sparked last year.

Team Media Man, Gambling911 and the loyal readership are hoping things return to normal, and the way they should be, for Australian and international sport in the near future.

Good hunting and happy punting, and may the best and fairest team win.

*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911

*Media Man is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. They also publish Australian Sports Entertainment

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