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Jesse Ventura on CNN - is he still considering Pres run - October 2013




Sydney's second casino a step closer - 25th October 2012

The New South Wales Government has announced that James Packer's proposal to build a second casino in Sydney has moved to stage 2 of consideration.

Seven weeks after the Government received an unsolicited proposal from James Packer to build a six-star hotel with high roller gaming rooms at Barangaroo, the heads of the Department of Premier and Cabinet and the Treasury have now given the go ahead for Crown to develop a more detailed plan.

The Premier Barry O'Farrell says the Government will not allow poker machines in the new development, and he has stressed it is only passed the first hurdle in a three-stage process.

"At the end of each stage the Government has the option of either giving the project the green light to proceed or a red light and it simply stops there," he said.

The Opposition supports the proposal on the grounds it will not have poker machines.

Its construction means Sydney will become the only state capital with two casinos - it already has Star City.

The Premier says any new casino will not be allowed to start operation until 2019 because of an exclusivity arrangement with Star Casino.

But if the project is given the go ahead, laws will have to be changed to allow a second casino licence in Sydney.



Jesse “The Body” Ventura On Bin Laden, 9/11 and more, by Greg Tingle - 21st May 2011


Media Man founder and director Greg Tingle for Australian Prime Minister

The Election Video That's Sweeping The Nation

Tingle For Prime Minister


Election 2010

Australia 2010


Australian Anti Gambling MP May Cost Labor Election, by Greg Tingle - 24th March 2011

G'day punters, casino and gambling millionaires and billionaires, legal eagles, politicians and all. How hot is the gambling debate in Australia? Well, hot enough to win or loose an election it seems according to numbers we have obtained, and the Liberal - Nationals coalition are heavily tipped to smash the Gillard Labor government. No surprises there, but the giant margin between the parties is the shock, as well as some surprised that Labor appears to be sticking by the man who looks primed to be a key reason for their upcoming defeat. Media Man and Gambling911 probe the gambling with politics debate, as Labor dives head first into what may be one of their most embarrassing election loses in decades...

Independent MP Andrew Wilkie Anti Gambling Stance Tipped To Cost Labour Election...

How much difference can one man - an MP make? Well, that can cost an election victory Labor is tipped to suffer.

The clearly bias MP, not independent in his views, has been cause of much of the political - gambling news to come out of Australia for well over a year, and the man many describe as a professional mischief maker may be soon going back to school, so to speak, as Gillard and co may ponder what went wrong.

Australia is estimated to have roughly 100,000 problem gamblers, if you believe the numbers which get spoken about (numbers we are skeptical about as their are agenda driven). MP Wilkie is hell bent to drive forward and create a national gambling pre-commitment system, that would allow individuals to set limits on their addictive behaviour. At least, that's the concept, but many world leading experts say his plan is doomed to fails, and just one reason is that gamblers will always find a way to gamble - finding the loop holes, be it borrowing a mates card, club swapping, fake ID, online gambling, illegal Kings Cross gambling dens and underground poker games in the suburbs of 'Sin City' Sydney and 'Underbelly Mother' Melbourne.

Clubs Australia king hit Labour and the independents yesterday at a conference held at the National Press Club in Canberra, with president Peter Newell proudly announcing a $20 million marketing campaign against the Wilkie reforms.

Newell believes that the scheme will not work, pushing pokie players into buying black market 'smart cards' – the proposed means of tracking users' gambling spend Australia wide. Clubs Australia believe pokie players will also leap across to other forms of gambling or set very high levels of 'pre-commitment' anyway. And, he says, it will be the death of 11,500 jobs and rape $800 million or so from the NSW economy.

Wilkie was pretty pissed off yesterday, holding a long press conference and here's some of what he had to say "If Clubs Australia think they can intimidate me with the nonsense we heard today, then they misjudge me badly. If anything, I feel more committed to these reforms than I have ever have."

Senator Nick Xenophon, another big anti gambling supporter, tag teamed with Wilkie at the press conference to sprout off the colourful "The poker machine lobby reminds me a bit like the slave owners of the 19th century in the United States, who say their whole way of life would be ruined if there were any changes bought about. That's how the industry is behaving."

This is one hell of a mighty WrestleMania like political battle. Wilkie achieved support from the Gillard government to pursue the pre-commitment scheme in return for helping it form minority government. He also snatched research from the Productivity Commission, some of which is heavily disputed from many experts. The PC reckons that 7 lives of family or friends are seriously impacted by each problem gambler, with a national social cost in the region of $4.7 billion a year.

In the blue corner, introducing 'The Devil'. Just kidding readers. Clubs Australia is well aware that an avalanche of clubs, pub and pokie palace closures will send massive anti-Labor sentiment through the communities they accommodate. We're talking about clubs like Blacktown RSL, which held a political debate with Labor coming off not looking too bad in the 2010 election campaign. But, Labor did not win in their own right.

Yesterday Wilkie was pretty fired up at the press conference. This is his main agenda - get rid of pokies, or all but close them down. What a life hey. Some believe he has the numbers to get the bill through the lower house, and via Nick 'Mr X' (satire) Xenophon will no longer hold the balance of power in the Senate by the time the bill arrives, Bob Brown's Greens will – and they are tipped to embrace the push, and will want to make it one of their own. But Greens don't like 'Big Brother' type tactics, so they say, so its a big time 'Art Of War' thing going on here.

$20 million bucks will help show that Labor is making a massive screw up. That might trigger Gillard screw over Wilkie.

Wilkie's may just have the numbers to play "silly buggers" (mold and manipulate et al) with the Gillard legislative agenda if he does not get his way, tipped to be the way of the bible basing brigade.

It's WrestleMania time both in the U.S and Australia and Clubs Australia VS the government are our main event. Is it going to be a steel cage match, a no holds barred contest for the championship, or will it go to a street fight 'real life Underbelly' style? Stay tuned fans.

Aussie Punters Bet Labor Will Be History In New South Wales...

The bookies have given the kiss of death to NSW Labor. Deputy Premier Carmel Tebbutt is a rank outsider in her electorate, as are Verity Firth in Balmain, Frank Terenzini in Maitland and Jodi McKay in Newcastle. Centrebet's preliminary odds, published today, show the bookies are sure Labor is a dead duck in the inner city and the Hunter. Ms Tebbutt is at $2.25 to $1.58 for Fiona Byrnes of the Greens. Ms Firth is $3.70 against $1.24 for the Greens' Jamie Parker. Ms Firth's fight for Balmain was spectacularly unsettled on January 28, after her husband Matthew Chesher, the chief-of-staff to the Roads Minister David Borger, was charged with buying an ecstasy pill. Mr Terenzini is tipped to lose his seat, with the Liberal Robyn Parker a favourite at $1.52 to $2.40. In Newcastle Ms McKay is an outsider against John Tate, an independent who is also the lord mayor. Neil Evans of Centrebet said punters generally showed more nous than pollsters.

"We're talking about very connected people who are not betting to lose," he said. "The closer you get to an election, the more informed the money is. You can take a snap of 500 people in a poll, but they might think something one day and something different the next."

Sportsbet's odds are even worse news for Labor. It puts a win by Ms Tebbutt at $4.50 to Ms Byrne's $1.10, and Ms Firth at $7 to $1.28 for Mr Parker. As for who will be premier, 90% of Centrebet punters say Opposition Leader Barry O'Farrell. It is not all bad news for Labor. Betting agencies say Kristina Keneally and her predecessor as premier, Nathan Rees, will both win their seats. Centrebet has priced a win by Ms Keneally in Heffron at $1.06, with the Liberal and Greens candidates both long shots at $8 and $9.50. Mr Rees, who bypassed a rank-and-file ballot to be endorsed as the candidate by the party's national executive, appears to have more competition in Toongabbie - his odds are at $1.74 to $2 for the Coalition. Sportsbet has already compiled odds for who will be the Labor leader at the 2015 election, and it does not look good for Ms Keneally. She is equal third with Mr Borger, behind Transport Minister John Robertson and Police Minister Michael Daley. In the lead-up to the 2010 federal election, Centrebet's seat-by-seat odds showed a hung parliament, with Labor holding 75 seats, the Coalition 71, independents three and the Greens one - pretty close to the actual result of Labor 72, Coalition 73, independents four and Greens one. Do Aussie punters know a thing or two about election betting? Just ask Labor... in about a week. Can we have mops ready please to clean up the bloody crimson mass!

Aussie Punter bets $30,000 on NSW coalition win...

One punter put their money where their mouth is and has wagered $30,000 on a win for the NSW coalition in the upcoming state elections. A Centrebet spokesman said tonight that a client has bet $30,000 on the NSW Coalition at $1.015 to win Saturday's state election. The person who placed the bet would gain only $450 if the coalition wins as NSW Labor has drifted to the high price of $16, according to Centrebet. "Nearly $250,000 has been bet into the election - and the money split is 93-7 the coalition's way," Centrebet spokesman Neil Evans said. Word of the Aussie political betting has leaked to the likes of PartyGaming and Virgin Games, with both becoming more interested to start taking bets on Australian elections.

A Media Man spokesperson said "The Aussie punter who placed the wager must know we most of us already know - Labor is going to cop an almighty beating. The only difference is that they placed money on it. Overseas betting agencies have also taken note, always looking at new ways to expand business. Quite ironic that the anti gambling brigade has been so vocal in this election. We prefer slots and tables games over election betting, but don't let that stop you. Know the odds and have fun, as they say".

Readers... er, punters, how did you like our report? Tell us in the forum.

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.

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



Gambling And Politics Mix In Australia, by Greg Tingle - 14th March 2011

Internet Big Part Of Problem Gambling States Another Expert...

Professor of psychology Alex Blaszczynski says internet sports betting is changing the face of problem gamblers seeking help. He says the image of someone sitting at the pokies for hours on end is being replaced by young men gambling on the net. "Today we are seeing many young men who are losing large sums of money from betting on sports over the internet," he said. "They can literally lose a fortune without leaving the comfort of their own home." Figures released by the University of Sydney's gambling clinics show a 70 per cent increase in internet sports betting clients from 2008-9 to 2010-11. "With more and more people gaining access to higher internet speeds and wireless internet via their smart phones, you can gamble anytime and anywhere," Professor Blaszczynski said. He says with football season about to start, he expects an increase in people seeking help for problem gambling on the net. Clinical psychologist Christopher Hunt says increased promotion of gambling through sports media was a concern. "It's difficult to watch most kinds of sporting matches these days without being made aware of the prices that various outlets are giving for bets," he said. He says it is natural that people with an interest in sport try their luck gambling. "Unfortunately some of these people will lose more than they planned to and become problem gamblers," he said.

Joe Hockey Favours Welfare Quarantining...

Shadow treasurer Joe Hockey wants long-term welfare recipients to have their payments managed. Hockey said the long-term unemployed and those on disability pensions should be case managed by Centrelink. "We have to meet head-on the challenge of growing welfare dependency," he told ABC Radio yesterday. Hockey also said people with drug and gambling problems should have their welfare payments quarantined. But Australian Council of Social Service's chief executive Cassandra Goldie said it was the wrong approach. "There is still very little evidence to say that compulsory income management actually makes a difference," she said. Big Brother stays on the gambling and welfare spectrum's, but just how big Big Brother is remains to be seen.

Tasmania: Greens Party Keen To See Community Take On Casinos...

The Tasmanian Greens will push for poker machines in the Federal Group's casinos to be subject to the community support levy, like those in other gaming venues. Leader Nick McKim told Parliament that Tasmanians lost $214 million on poker machines last year. He said applying the community support tax to casino poker machines would raise $2.6 million a year which could be spent on programs to treat gambling addicts. McKim denied his plan would unfairly disadvantage the Federal Group which runs the state's casinos. "Everyone has to pay their way in these tough times," he said. "Secondly Federal Hotels Group have had a very good ride for a very long, long period of time from the Tasmanian Government, and from the Tasmanian people, and it is time as the good corporate citizens they aspire to be, they chipped in."


22nd January 2009 - Barack Obama is sworn in as the President of the United States of America

January 2009 - Barack Obama immortalized in pop culture as he makes the front cover of Marvel Comics

5th November 2008 - the president-elect of the United States is Barack Obama

24th November 2007 - Kevin Rudd elected new Australian Prime Minister

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Greg Tingle (Media Man director) and The Hon Wayne Swan

Paul Keating, Mrs Chang and Kerry Packer


Crown Casino Teams Up With NRL's Melbourne Storm...

Melbourne are expecting a cyclone size backlash as the latest National Rugby League club to link with a gambling establishment after confirming Crown Casino as their new major sponsor. In a massive deal snatcher for a club which last year was disgraced after being stripped of all points and two premierships during the salary cap scandal, the Storm unveiled Crown as their front jersey sponsor on Friday. Melbourne chief executive Ron Gauci agreed there would be criticism of the club's link with gambling. However he defended the arrangement and said Crown offered a home for Storm supporters, which the club had not had since it joined the competition in 1998. All Storm after-match and mid-season functions for members will be held at Crown. The casino believes the sponsorship will boost their exposure interstate. "I think you'll have those that wish to comment but I think we need to emphasise what it is that we wanted out of the relationship and that is a home for our supporter base," Gauci said. "If you think about what Crown has to offer as an entertainment complex ... this is a great place to consolidate those activities." The Storm lost major sponsors Host Plus and ME Bank in the wake of last season's scandal. Gauci said the new sponsorship delivered a message of confidence in the Storm ahead of the 2011 season. "I think it does deliver us a substantial message to the marketplace, and for the club it's very important to have an organisation as big a Melbourne icon as Crown is to support the club. It delivers a magnificent message about the confidence the corporate world has in Melbourne Storm and our future direction." The Storm joined South Sydney as the second NRL club to have a gambling establishment as their major sponsor, while Penrith have renamed their home ground Centrebet Stadium and Manly will also have the Centrebet logo on the back of their jumper. Yes, NRL ramped up links to gambling are all the rage. A rumour has started that igaming kings PartyGaming want into Australia and would accept an NRL jersey, shorts or even stadium deal. The firm is known for its well known and respected PartyCasino, PartyPoker and World Poker Tour brands, which have a strong following in Australia, other parts of the Asia Pacific, such as New Zealand. Party is also looking to ramp up sports betting services in the Asia Pacific region. Melbourne's announcement also comes in the same week as Ryan Tandy, who left the Storm midway through last season to join Canterbury, was arrested and charged as a result of an ongoing police investigation into "irregular betting" on a match between the Canterbury Bulldogs and North Queensland Cowboys last August. Dennis Watt, rugby league general manager with News Limited, who own the Storm, defended the arrangement between a gambling establishment and a sport sold as a family game. "I can speak for Crown as an integrated entertainment, retail complex. It is very much reflective of the heart and soul of Melbourne and it's a great relationship for us to have and I don't see a conflict for the relationship the Storm have sought here." He echoed the views recently expressed by NRL chief executive David Gallop that the association between sport and gambling "is as old as sport itself". "Gambling's a part of the Australian way of life, part of our character and our history," he said. "We advocate moderation, we know that problem gambling affects less than half a per cent of the population. "You've got two million problem drinkers, four million smokers, over nine million Australians suffering levels of obesity which are also big social issues."

A Media Man spokesperson said "The Crown Casino - Melbourne Storm sponsorship deal looks to be a match made in heaven. Crown has world class facilities and entertainment is the name of the game. Entertainment takes many forms, be it football, burlesque, television, rock bands or slot machines aka one armed bandits. Crown Casino can do it all. Already this deal has generated national and international headlines, and yes, we are helping spread the word to our friends in the U.S and Canada. Gambling911, CAP, GWPA and Poker News Daily are just a few outlets that we expect to run the story. It's balanced and positive coverage all the way, instead of the agenda driven gaming hater stuff you read from time to time. Chalk up more browny points for Crown's James Packer and his world class team at Crown, and good on the NRL and The Storm for seeing the golden opportunity and moving it into high gear. I never thought I would say this again after last season's scandals, but Go The Storm!"

Australian Betting Limited 'Bullet Proof' NOT! Says Maker Aristocrat...

A card-based system forcing pokie players to set betting limits isn't a "bullet proof" solution to problem gambling, poker machine maker Aristocrat Leisure Ltd says. Aristocrat, representing over 60% of the Australian pokies market, is instead proposing a machine-based system that lets gamblers set time and/or betting limits. But the proposal was met with some opposition when Aristocrat executives appeared before a joint federal parliamentary committee hearing in Sydney on Friday. The committee is investigating the idea of a pre-commitment scheme using smart card or other technology to force pokie players to set limits on their gambling. It follows a controversial commitment from Prime Minister Julia Gillard to Tasmanian "independent" (so to speak - has seen to be bias and preduduce against those liking a punt) MP Andrew Wilkie to introduce such a scheme across the country in return for his support of her Labor government. "As a company, we acknowledge that there is a problem out there," Aristocrat general manager of corporate affairs Kristene Reynolds told the hearing. "For us, coming here today is to come to the table and be part of that solution." The company's managing director in Australia and New Zealand, Trevor Croker, said card-based systems, which have been used in other countries, can be manipulated by problem gamblers. "It is not a bullet proof solution. People do swap cards and have been able to use multiple cards," he said. "I think finding the complete solution is going to be a very difficult outcome. "It should not be something we don't aspire to, but it will be very difficult, from what we see in those (other) markets." Aristocrat will soon trial a new slot machine that features opt-in pre-commitments, allowing users the option to set themselves spending or time limits. These machines could be ready for mass production from the end of 2012, and phased in as part of the normal machine replacement cycle, Croker said. But with the average cost of a pokie at $25,000, Labor MP Stephen Jones questioned the Aristocrat executives on the cost effectiveness of such a solution. "It would be good for Aristocrat, I can see that. But it's a very expensive solution to the problem, isn't it?", he asked. Aristocrat general manager of design and development Justin Brown said smaller venues could be given longer to replace their machines, while newer models may only require a software upgrade, at a cost of about $3,000. Mr Wilkie, the committee's chairman, also questioned the motives of Aristocrat's proposal. "I can't help feeling an element of commercial self interest in your advice to the committee here," he said. Further questioning resulted in the Aristocrat executives conceding their machine-based proposal would not prevent problem gamblers from simply switching machines or venues once they had reached a pre-committed loss or time limit. The hearings continue in Canberra and Hobart later this month. In Australia the machines are often known as pokies or poker machines, in the U.S - slots, and much of Europe - Fruit Machines or Fruities!

Queensland's Sunshine Coast A Big Winner For Lottery Sector; Punters To Win Homes Via BoysTown Gambling...

It's steal from the rich to give to the poor! Ok, not exactly, but read on and you will get the drift soon enough. The Sunshine Coast has long been regarded as a prize location by local residents, but now a range of national and state lottery organisations are taking notice. BoysTown Lotteries recently unveiled a million-dollar home in Buderim as its latest prize home offering. Located at 22 Orme Rd, the home is part of a prize package worth more than $1.5 million. It is arguably one of Buderim’s most beautiful homes, according to BoysTown’s general manager fundraising Keith Coventry. "Our previous lottery prize home was in Nerang (Gold Coast) and the one before that was in Rainbow Bay (Coolangatta). Now we find ourselves in Buderim on the Sunshine Coast. When deciding on a prize home, we look at the property itself and then the desirability of the location and the features of the area," Coventry said. "I think the thing about Buderim is that you are close to the beach, but you also have those great views over the ocean and the coastline. I guess you get the best of both worlds. "The Buderim home has been particularly popular and the retail sales have been very strong." Yet another contender in the Coast’s prize pool is a home in Mount Coolum, raising funds for the Mater Foundation as part of the Mater Prize Home Lottery. Also sporting a million-dollar price tag, the home is located at 47 Boardwalk Blvd in Coolum’s Boardwalk Estate. Twin Waters is the site of Surf Life Saving Lottery’s prize home, which is valued at more than $750,000. The three-bedroom home at Lot 4 Ameen Cct comes with $41,832 in furniture and electrical, along with 12 months paid council rates. Coventry said funds raised from the BoysTown lottery would assist the Kids Helpline service, which was in particular demand since the recent floods. "Kids Helpline is certainly taking a lot more calls from kids who are worried about the impacts of the floods, or who have been affected by the floods. A lot of people are seeking assistance with the mental health aspects of this natural disaster, so I think that is certainly going to be the focus of much of our fundraising over the coming months." The money raised from Mater lotteries help funds medical research teams and the purchase of life-saving medical equipment, as well as supporting patients and families. Surf Life Saving lotteries assist Surf Life Saving clubs around the country. Aussies, feeling lucky. Go on, give them a go, and you know the money is going to a good place, if you don't happen to win. Mind you, feel welcome to check out the slots, poker, bingo and other casino games showcased on the portal also. BoysTown Lottery will set you back a bit, while at Media Man partners like PartyGaming, many games can be played for free or for money. The choice if yours. Hours of entertainment for young and old - just kidding, check legalities but most counties insist you are at least 18 years old to gamble, and that includes from lottery to poker to slots, ok crew!

Clubs Australia VS Productivity Watchdog: Dog Fight; Bark Worse Than Bite?...

Clubs Australia will today accuse the nation's productivity watchdog of making a mathematical error in its claim that problem gamblers are responsible for 40% of poker machine revenue. Media Man spokespersons and investigators have been disputing the "problem gambling" numbers for almost 2 years! The figure of 40% is being used by anti-gambling politicians aka "gaming haters" to try to justify new limits on gambling the Gillard government has pledged to introduce to maintain the support of independent MP Andrew Wilkie in the hung parliament. Clubs Australia is fighting a mandatory precommitment scheme that would force pokies players to set a limit on how much they intend to spend before they start gambling. It claims the scheme will cost clubs and pubs $2.5 billion nationally and cost thousands of jobs if it turns off casual gamblers from having a punt, throwing a couple of bucks down the throat of an "one armed bandit", whilst often sinking a cold Aussie beer at the same time (not that we endorse it). Beer can change ones thinking, but you likely knew that already Jack! Politicians backing the reform have seized on a claim in the Productivity Commission report that problem gamblers contribute 40% of pokie revenue to justify the crackdown. Clubs Australia president Anthony 'On The Ball' Ball will tell a parliamentary inquiry in Sydney today the figure is "highly contentious" and "inaccurate". In his opening address to the inquiry he will say that the Productivity Commission claims there are 95,000 problem gamblers who play the pokies and spend on average $21,000 each year on the machines. When multiplied together, this comes to a total of $1.995bn, and this figure represents just 16.8% of the $11.9bn total expenditure on poker machines. "These are not our numbers. These are the figures from the commission," Ball will say. "Therefore the vast majority of gambling revenue comes from recreational gamblers." The Productivity Commission used a range of different methods to calculate the amount spent by problem gamblers and found both problem and recreational gamblers underestimated how much they spent on gambling each year. The 40 per cent figure was not derived from multiplying the number of problem gamblers by the amount they said they spent each year but was derived from a range of surveys that looked at what gamblers actually spent. Clubs Australia will tell the parliamentary committee the proposed mandatory precommitment scheme is a "massive infringement of people's individual rights". "There's a vast difference between making the pre-commitment available to any player who wants to use it, and forcing anybody who wants to play a gaming machine to register, obtain a device and provide personal details or fingerprints in order to be able to play," Mr Ball plans to tell the inquiry.

Australian Gambling Enquiry: Traditional Gamblers Heading Online For Slots, Poker, Roulette Et Al; Problem Gamblers VS Problem Child Government Policy?...

Using hi-tech to force pokies players to set betting limits would drive gambling addicts online in the masses and divert resources away from helping problem punters, a Senate inquiry has heard. The inquiry, chaired by Tasmanian federal independent MP Andrew Wilkie, is investigating the concept of a pre-commitment scheme using smart card or other technology to force all pokies players to set limits on their gambling. Clubs Australia, the peak body for registered clubs in the nation, on Friday told the joint parliamentary committee inquiring into the issue it had reservations about the proposal in its current form. Clubs Australia executive director Anthony Ball said more research was needed on how effective it would be. "There is very little good research out there about whether this proposal or any others are going to work," he told the inquiry in Sydney. "There are a multitude of gambling opportunities. The strategy must not be to drive (problem gamblers) online ... The strategy must be to find these people, get them the right treatment and turn their lives around." He said state regulations on gambling were sufficient and that a 'one-size-fits-all' policy should not be applied across all states. Clubs Australia president Peter Newell said the three main issues regarding the scheme were cost, whether it would reduce problem gambling and the consequences of implementing it. He said the system failed to work in Norway, and instead drove problem gamblers to the internet. Five million Australians would play the pokies in any given 12-month period and the system would only drive away recreational players, who represented the "vast majority" of gambling revenue, he said. "As a recreational gambler myself, I am disturbed that there are people who think I need assistance in determining how I spend my money," he said. "Mandatory pre-commitment fails to provide what problem gamblers need most and that is treatment, and in doing so, diverts attention and resources away from treatment. Problem gamblers will still gamble in the mandatory pre-commitment system. They are addicted. But recreational gamblers will walk away from pokie machines." Newell said the system would be expensive and difficult to implement across 197,000 machines nationwide, taking years and billions of dollars to do - forcing clubs to close and costing thousands of jobs - with no indication as to how effective it will be. It's man VS machine; The People VS The Government, and The Government VS The Gaming Industry. News media and website portals just keep lapping up the action resulting in a readership jackpot bonanza.



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 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!



NSW Smoking Up The ACT For Pub Pokies; Australian Gambling Smoking Wars...

The ACT's dolphin and whale size gambling firms tell us that they're losing cold hard cash to "cross-border alfresco" pokies and they demand a bigger tax cut to compensate their loss! Canberra's clubs, once thought to be a bit part of 'Sin City', taken over by Sydney, are hard at work lobbying the Government for a tax cut of upwards to $4.2 million a year, saying they are losing punters across the border to Queanbeyan where gamblers can smoke cigarettes while playing outdoor poker machines. It's well known that many gamblers like to smoke, and they are loving doing so in an outdoors environment. Got to keep the smoking gamblers happy we guess? Anti gambling and anti smokers are none to impressed, as the battle for minds on the gambling subjects continues to be red hot fodder down under. The ACT gambling operators put forward that regulatory changes to the industry in the ACT, including bans on outdoor smoking areas that rule out "alfresco pokies" on the ACT side of the border, make a tax cut of more than $4 million bucks "seem more than reasonable." The clubs desire to be able to establish a market to allow rich clubs to buy machines from smaller operators, a move that would overturn years of ACT out of date Government policy. Clubs ACT's hard line type list of "I Wants") to the Quinlan review of the territory's tax system states that the industry's revenue base has been declining for years and is now taking another a dive, news that pokie and gambling haters are relishing in. Gaming Minister Andrew Barr has been unavailable to respond on the industry's wish list as we go live to news. The clubs state that the present taxation system, which nets the Treasury close to $36 million annually, hits the big earners in the industry extremely hard, with well to do clubs contributing about 98% of the total tax take. The industry peak body has now suggested 2 business models for restructuring the tax arrangements, one that would result in a tax cut of $3.2 million and another that would result in a cut of $4.2 million. The apparent inability to compete with "all-weather poker machines" in NSW is cited in the submission as a key disadvantage. A Media Man spokesperson said "The ACT based clubs appear to have a case for a large tax break in this case. The situation may get worse before it gets better, as heavy rain is also forecast for much of Australia's east coast as we head towards the new year."


Tingle: Australian Clubs, Pubs, Gaming Biz At War With Gvt - 3rd December 2010

G'day maties. It's another jam packed report focusing on “down under” Australia. It's all about the Aussie pubs, clubs and gaming industry at war with the government, and they get ready to bring the fight, and campaign like hell. It's the gaming lovers VS the gaming haters. Media Man and Gambling911 with the latest and greatest from Aussie land...

Australian Clubs, Pubs And Gaming Industry Prepares For War...

Aussie clubs, pubs and the gaming sector at large are getting ready for a major campaign against the Julie Gillard Government and her friend in politics, independent MP Andrew Wilkie, over their cunning plans for pokies reform.

The pending war in being described by some commentators as not totally unlike in nature to when the old Labor Rudd government went to war with the mining sector.

Wilkie on the Parliament floor snatched the Government's backing for the introduction of "mandatory pre-commitment technology" (for all gamblers playing the pokies in clubs, pubs and casinos)!!!

Wilkie spruiks the clubs are "peddling lies" and he's not concerned about their plans to campaign against pre-commitment technology.

Clubs Australia, the main body reping for down under's 4,000 or so clubs, has likened the looming wrestling match to the Rudd government's battle with the mining industry over the resources super profits tax.

Clubs Australia chief executive Anthony Ball tells us that as with the minerals tax, there has been a serious lack of consultation about the gambling reforms.

"What I do know is that there was a lack of consultation before a very big decision was made which would have serious knock-on effects for the mining community and if that's what happened with mining that is what has happened with clubs," Ball said.

"We certainly weren't consulted about that deal and we saw it on Sky News when the press conference happened."

Wilkie has made it clear he will walk from the Federal Government if P.M Julia Gillard does not bring in "mandatory pre-commitment technology"...a system where every one armed bandit player will be required to register using a "smart card" or some other technology to have their playing habits... yes, their habits, human behaviour tracked. Big Brother could be seen to be watching to get in mind of the player!!!

While the exact tech does not quite exist at the time of print, Wilkie is inviting Clubs NSW and Clubs Australia to work out a system together that will help ensure every pokie machine across the country is connected. Yep, Cleopatra, Black Rhino, Gone Fishing, Where's The Gold, Big Red, Pink Panther, you name it Casino Jack. This means a "problem gambler" could not jump from one club to another, to try to sidestep the Big Brother system, and their spending limits would be capped - stopped, dead in their tracks.

Clubs Australia is not keen on "the system", and is currently preparing for a major campaign aka war, next year.

The clubs have appointed 10 delegates to shadow and lobby each federal MP, particularly Labor members in marginal political seats.

"What I do know is that I have been talking to a lot of MPs and senators over the past few months and I think there is a level of disquiet about it," Ball said. "They will handle the politics and yes, they do need Andrew Wilkie's vote.

"Everybody knows what the local club does; there is one in every suburb and certainly in every electorate. I think they have genuine concerns about this licence to gamble, this Australia-card solution. I think that the 10 million memberships around Australia will be worried about that."

The clubs' art of war strategy will ramp up before the NSW state election this March and before the important deadline PM Gillard set for the states and territories to agree to implement the reforms. Yep, Gillard is now setting deadlines, and it will be interesting to see if she meet them this time.

Gillard has threatened the states that if they do not introduce "mandatory pre-commitment technology" by May 2011 she could move to force their hand. The clubs believe this could see the tax revenue from pokies flowing to the Federal Government away from the states.

Art Of War Tactics On The Way...

Grahame Morris, a former adviser to prime minister John Howard and to the gambling industry, advised the Aussie clubs have the means to mobilise communities and resources.

Morris, the federal director of Barton Deakin Government Relations, says the power of clubs in NSW is enormous and marginal seat MPs would be nervous!

"If I was Prime Minister Gillard, I would think twice about taking on the club industry; they can be a powerful opponent in marginal seats. She could blow her government out of the water on this one community issue alone if she is not careful."

Wilkie says the clubs are spreading misinformation as part of a scare campaign.

"There are some in the industry who have been at least mischievous; some have been downright dishonest; some members of the industry are peddling lies and they know it.

Claims such as there will be fingerprinting technology, that there will be a national database and some of the figures they are using, they are making them up and they know it. They are deliberately misleading the Australian community and I think that is reprehensible. My advice to the industry is that the decision has been made."

Ball denies clubs are misleading people and says the only way to track players is to use "biometric data". Think Big Brother once again.

"They might call it a biometric identification or some other tricky term if you like, but ultimately players have to be identified under this system and they need to have their play tracked," he said.

Wilkie says the clubs are trying to galvanise support against the measures by scaring pensioners.

"Spreading this information as they are doing is increasing the heartache unnecessarily. For example, the claim pensioners are going to lose their pensions because the system will track their winnings - that is a downright lie. They don't need to lie. They need to work with us and come up with a better system."

Wilkie Means Business On Hard Line Approach...

Wilkie says he is "remarkably unworried about the pressure the industry is bringing to bear. "What the industry needs to understand is that they are lobbying the MPs as though we are having a discussion of whether there will be or won't there be poker machine reform. The decision has been made. There will be unprecedented reform on poker machines and problem gambling in Australia. They can lobby all the politicians until the cows come home but it won't mean anything because the decision has been made."

Footy clubs, RSL clubs are not going to take it lying down. Chris Hart, a supervisor at the Steelers Club in Wollongong, says he is wearing a badge opposing the changes because he believes they could cost him his job and pay packet.

"I am wearing this badge because it is part of a campaign against the mandatory pre-commitment changes and it involves a customer having to scan their thumb on a machine so they commit an amount of money and once they reach that limit they can't do it anywhere else in Australia," Hart said. "I really think it will have a devastating effect on clubs like this."

Emma Sumner also works at the Steelers footy club. She says mandatory pre-commitment won't work and the club could close down if it is forced to implement the new technology.

"It isn't a good idea because we will lose about 40% of our revenue and it means we can't support out local team, the Illawarra Dragons," she said.

Sumner reckons that she sees problem gamblers in the club but does not believe anyone can intervene.

"When you work in this industry you do see people and you think how much money have they put in today, but then again it is really none of our business ... it is their sort of business."

Clubs say they are happy to support pre-commitment reforms (as long as they are voluntary) and they are calling on PM Gillard to meet them to discuss the issue.

Readers, if you have a put, know your limits, and stick to them.

How did you find the report today? Offer your opinion in the Gambling911 forum.

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

*Greg Tingle is a Special Contributor to the website and proprietor of Media Man

*Media Man is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. They also offer political analysis.


Australian Political Parties Bet On Self To Lose - 1st August 2010

Readers, punters, gamers, casino billionaires, entrepreneurs, journos and political pundits, what a week, and what a story have we got for you. You've heard of an own goal in soccer. Well, get this... Australian political parties betting on themselves to loose the upcoming election... no joke folks. Centrebet is enjoying the spoils with the rumour mill saying PartyGaming want in, but the clock is ticking boys. Media Man and Gambling911 play 'Casino Jack' with this most unusual turn of events that is rumoured to bring Paul The Psychic Octopus out of retirement...

New Australian Prime Minster Julia Gillard might feel like she's spent Six Months In A Leaking Boat (thanks Split Enz), even though it's only been a month. Liberal call the Gillard run the shortest "Honeymoon Period" in the history of Australian politics, and it looks and smells like the case. Tony "The Bruiser" Abbott can hardly put a foot wrong at the moment, and even if he did, it may be missed by sweet science pundits, as Gillard stumbles around the ring, bouncing off the ropes like an irish whipped Skippy Kangaroo... going down sport!...with the corner man leaking buckets and reaching for the secret grease...

Top dog Labor party folks have placed some large wagers on the outcome of the upcoming Australian federal election, with plenty of would be turncoats punting against their own party. What would Captain Cook or Jesus think? A major betting powerhouse advised bets had been placed on members of the opposing team to win marginal seats including New South Wales and Queensland. Just when we are trying loose the taste of the NRL State Of Origin series, not to mention the Green Machine VS Paul "The Hurricane" Briggs "boxing match"... you know, the one banned from Sydney which went on to super scandal in Western Australia.

Centrebet hotshot analyst Neil Evans went on record to our friends at Fairfax Media with "I can't tell you who but I can tell you this...these are people very high up betting on some of the critical seats and I can tell you they don't always stay faithful to their party - they swap sides. They are well-known Labor figures and associates that are punting on these seats. A lot of Labor-connected money has been backing a Coalition win in marginal seats and, to a lesser extent, the Coalition has been doing the reverse."

Fairfax is of the understanding the figures also include parliamentary staffers, advisers and senior party officials. Fire them all... just kidding.

Media tart of sorts (we appreciate your style mate) Independent senator and anti-gambling campaigner Nick Xenophon aka "Mr X" (affectionate satire) advised on the record "In the same way in the AFL officials and players can't bet on the other team, the same rules should apply for election betting. We have those rules in place so matches aren't thrown and, when it comes to a democracy, the stakes are much higher and therefore the standards should be accordingly higher.". Mr X has a point, so give the devil his due hey maties.

Later today the outspoken and switched on senator will call for all politicians, party officials and advisers to be banned from election betting. Media Man understands he has not consulted as of print with either Australia's gambling watchdog 'Mr Woof' (satire), not Australian casino king, James Packer, currently on voyage via Artic P. Bible bashers have been ringing X's email and phone off the hook.

The findings follow a 24-hour shark like feeding frenzy in which the Coalition's odds tightened up from $3.32 to $2.64 and the ALP eased up from $1.32 to $1.46.

A Herald/Nielsen poll published yesterday demonstrated the Coalition... reeling by leaks against the Government of the day has an election-winning lead with a 2 party preferred vote of 52 to 48%. Yahoo! ... just kidding, we're journalists, or at least media agents, but this is an opinion type piece with disclaimers a plenty. Green at heart, but brains say Liberal my friends. Not so much a "swinger", not in that capacity anyway.

With Labor at its longest price in the betting markets since PM Julia 'Jungle Girl' (satire MM stage name) Gillard deposed Kevin "Bloody" Rudd, bets of $10k... yep, 10 Grand at $3.25, $7800 at $3.10, $5000 at $2.90 plus s loads of other moderate type bets were recorded for a "Bruiser" Abbott victory.

Election betting and the subsequent fever is on track to reach record levels across the nation. More than $1 million in head-to-head bets have been placed with Centrebet alone. Bondi Beach media entrepreneurs were overhead in cafes discussing "The Punting Party", perhaps following in the footsteps of The Sex Party and Family First.

An ALP campaign spokesman would not directly speak on the allegations of insider betting but said it was a "personal choice" if party members had engaged in such conduct. Some do gooder are calling for the political betting to be banned (there's that word again BANNED).

"Those are personal choices for individuals to make. This will be a close election. As the Prime Minister has said, we are in the fight of our lives."

A Liberal spokeswoman said the party had no knowledge of such betting on electoral seats.

'Mr X' is demanding an independent inquiry into political punting and will expand the terms of reference of a Senate inquiry into sporting and online gambling to include tougher regulations on election betting..."To say it is a personal choice is an insult to the electorate."

'Odds On' Evans said election betting was the biggest growth area of his industry! He had no trouble going on record with "The bets that we get in a federal election are bigger than the bets we get in all of the state elections put together. They're not mugs betting. When there are people putting money like that on an election outcome, they are people who are inside the game."

Competitor to Centrebet, Sportingbet also spoke via their operations manager, Bill Richmond, confirming the practice of high-ranking party officials and even politicians taking a wager.

"Not that I've heard of it this year, although it has happened before. They may be with other betting agencies but they're not with us."

Swing up north to Banana Bender territory... Queensland-based Unitab has opened election betting for the first time and PR type Brad 'The Lion' Tamer advised the decision was made due to demand from punters!

Betting agencies suspended bets on the date of the election early last month after continued speculation it would be called.

Media Man says to "Vote early and vote often" (just kidding again).

MM early in the week attended the GenerationOne 'Ideas Forum', doing a 1:1 with Andrew "Twiggy" Forrest, and to spite rumors, was not a political front, but we all know relationships matter, in life, business and news media. MM is also tipped to attend a range of Malcolm "No Bull" Turnbull functions including one of Internet Censorship!

The Late News...

The Great Debate ASP V's Family First...

Sex Party welcomes national sex and morality debate with Family First: “We're Ready When You Are!”

Appearing on national television Thursday morning for a panel discussion regarding the sexual politics of the upcoming federal election, Australian Sex Party President and Victorian Senate Candidate Fiona Patten welcomed the idea of a debate with Family First Senator Steven Fielding, on the social and moral issues which are being increasingly ignored by the major parties in the lead-up to polling day.

** Stop Press: The debate is on! The Australian Sex Party's Fiona Patten will go up against Family First's Wendy Francis Monday, 2 August, 7.15am on Sunrise.

This is the debate Australians really want to see. Two politicians with differing views, debating real issues**

Ms. Patten wholeheartedly embraced the notion of a debate with Senator Fielding after it was suggested this morning by historian, author and columnist Dr. Ross Fitzgerald, on The Morning Show discussion this morning. Citing issues such as censorship, same sex marriage and the internet filter, Dr. Fitzgerald chided the major parties for ignoring these issues on the campaign trail and in Sunday night’s Leader’s Debate, and emphasized the need for a public discussion on these vital issues between the Australian Sex Party and the fundamentalist Christian-backed Family First leader Senator Fielding.

The call for a debate between the two parties comes in the wake of revelations that Family First bizarrely courted the Sex Party in preference discussions, in spite of holding diametrically opposed positions on a staggering range of issues, from voluntary euthanasia, to drug reform, to the universal right of adults across Australia to legally access adult themed computer games and non-violent erotica. Family First has since denied making preference approaches to the Sex Party, in spite of a clear body of evidence to the contrary in the form of emails from Family First staff members to Ms. Patten and other Sex Party campaign staff.

So, whether you prefer Liberal, Labor, Greens of other. Enjoy the fun and games that is Australian politics. If your an Austen Tayshus supporter, please keep your bits in your Mancini, unlike one punter who got arrested by the cops at Manly Beach, home ground to The Bruiser (who opts for budgie smugglers). If planning to bet, as always, know the odds, bet with your head, not over it, and have fun. Good luck.

*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911

*Media Man is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. They cover a dozen industry sectors including gaming and political analysis.

*This report contains elements of opinion and satire and is not intended as a betting guide!



Australian Punters Bet On Julie Gillard PM, by Greg Tingle - 6th July 2010

The Australian punting public has spoken... they believe that Prime Minster Julie Gillard will hold on cum the next Australian election, likely to be held within 3 months... Media Man and Gambling911 probe politics and watch the watchers...

Australian Prime Minister, the smart, humble and most sexy Julia Gillard, will win the next election however Labor will loose 8 seats, the Aussie punters predict at this time.

The Federal Government's chances, stocks and image, so it seems, have improved quite a bit since Labor boned (thanks Eddie McGuire) Kevin "Bloody" Rudd last month in favour of his former deputy Ms Gillard (speculation reigns for how long she will remain a Ms... marriage this year?)

Aussie betting - gaming giant Centrebet (Betfair) - James Packer 50% owned is the competitor) still expects the Government to lose 8 seats at the upcoming election however still enough to form a 10-seat majority. That's 10 (think of Julia as the Bo Derek of Aussie politics hey baby).

With this scenario, Labor would hold 80 federal seats, in comparison with 67 for the Coalition and 3 for the independents (Bob Brown and friends).

A redistribution has made 5 Coalition-held seats notionally Labor, putting 88 electorates in the Government's column so to speak.

A uniform swing (not swinger) of 1.5 per cent away from Labor would see the Government lose 8 seats, including the electorate of Bennelong held by high-profile television journo queen cum MP Maxine McKew.

Disendorsed MP Belinda Neal's NSW central coast seat of Robertson would also fall to the coalition along with Perth WA electorate of Hasluck and the Darwin NT seat of Solomon.

Labor's odds of winning the next election have shortened to $1.29 with the Coalition's odds now at $3.50, following a whopping $50,000 bet with Centrebet on the weekend.

This is the Government's shortest odds of victory since December last year, when the Liberals dumped Malcolm Turnbull as leader for Tony "The Bruiser" Abbott.

Centrebet has temporarily suspended betting for an election date, with August 28 presently the favourite.

With Ms Gillard heading to Queensland, an election is unlikely to be called today for early August.

Meanwhile, Ms Gillard has finally joined the social-networking site Twitter - and she's sent it into a Sunday afternoon feeding frenzy.

Ms Gillard had been maintaining a dignified silence on Twitter, which other politicians appear addicted to.

But commensurate with her new role running the country, Ms Gillard joined the internet age.

Tweeting under "JuliaGillard", the prime minister said: "I've decided it's time to take the Twitter plunge! Hopefully Ill master it. JG."

Within 30 mins of her first tweet, Ms Gillard had surged to 450 followers, and was adding one sheep er (follower) every three seconds.

Her site includes an ALP logo and a smart, even titillating, photograph of her in matching necklace and earrings. Of course, beauty (and sexiness) is in the eye of the beholder.

Twitter allows anyone to sign up send out messages of 140 characters or less whenever they like; others sign up and follow the messages.

Ms Gillard may be the talk of Twitter but she has a long way to go before she can match her former boss Kevin Rudd, who has almost one million people following his regular tweets.

Posting under the not-entirely-accurate moniker "KevinRuddPM", Mr Rudd's latest message showed him enjoying a day out with his family on the Sunshine Coast.

"Doing normal things like shopping. Turns out I'm still a lousy shopper," Mr Rudd tweeted yesterday.

Mr Rudd's recent posts have received wide media coverage as he communicated what he was up to and how he felt after losing the leadership in the dark of night. His wife, Therese Rein, is also a committed tweeter.

Mr Abbott is just shy of 10,000 followers on Twitter, and that's with or without his famous Budgie Smugglers not so shy photo shot (Julie, pleaseee try to top Tony... I beg you...a beach shot would be appreciated by many. If too hot or provocative, perhaps one from a day at the races).

Meanwhile, Ms Gillard has called for an open debate on asylum seekers days before the Government is expected to announce a new policy on refugees.

A three-month freeze on the processing of Sri Lankan asylum seekers is due to expire on Thursday. A Media Man staffer was heard joking in regard to Labor "So, the inmates are no longer running the asylum, time will tell, and let's see what Liberal's Malcolm Turnbull might get up to re the three way dance".

Ms Gillard would not be probed further on what decision her Government would make or if it would apply to refugees more broadly. Gillard is no broad and widely remains viewed as beauty and brains.

However, she said people should be able to speak their mind on the issue, free from political correctness.

"I'd like to sweep away any sense that people should close down any debate, including this debate, through a sense of self-censorship or political correctness," Ms Gillard said while on a tour of bushfire-attacked Marysville down south in Victoria.

"People should say what they feel and my view is many in the community should feel anxious when they see asylum seeker boats and obviously we as a government want to manage our borders.

"For people to say they're anxious about border security doesn't make them intolerant, it certainly doesn't make them a racist, it means that they're expressing a genuine view that they're anxious about border security.

"By the same token people who express concern about children being in detention, that doesn't mean they're soft on border protection, that just means that they're expressing a real human concern."

Media Man prefers Gillard's approach, style and media policy (and good looks) to that of her former equivalent, Kevin Rudd. We hope Senator Stephen Conroy ("Minister Of Censorship") picks up on a few communication tips from "Our Julia".

Australian's wish our American friends a belated Happy Independence Day - 4th of July

Twitter - For Twits Or Smart Operators?...

Oh, did we mention... Julie Gillard recently joined the social networking craze with her Twitter account

Media Man Int Twitter

Media Man Politics Twitter

Gambling911 Twitter

Media Man Politics profile

Media Man Centrebet profile

Punters, please play it legal, bet with your head, not over it, know the odds, have fun and try to remember to vote, unless you can get a donkey to vote for you... just kidding.

PS: Julia, are you certain about keeping Senator Stephen Conroy on board? Then again, Media Man spies advise that he's been listening to Crown Casino king James Packer, continuing on great work with GenerationOne and Andrew "Twiggy" Forrest, so perhaps excellent idea to keep Sen Conroy. We note the proposed Aussie internet filter proposal is getting reconsidered. If done right it may be a vote winner, if done wrong, it may be The Election Looser! You're throw of the dice Jules.

Political Trivia...

American President Barack Omaba is the only president to ever make front cover of Marvel Comics (shared with Spider-Man)

Marvel icon Stan Lee 2 years ago released comic 'Election Daze'

Australian PM Julie Gillard was voted by Australians as the Sexiest Politician

Aussie sex symbol Madame Lash (Gretel Pinniger) formed her own ill fated political party in 1996 based out of Palm Beach, The Extra Dimension Party! She had promised to bring "rubber, leather, glitter, glamour and, of course, lashes" to Canberra! Lash was also understood to have enjoyed a spanking good relationship with Clyde Packer, same family as gaming and media mogul, the late Kerry Packer (father of James Packer).

Jesse 'The Body' Ventura (James George Janos), former governor of Minnesota was once a front man for American sports betting and gaming company, BetUS

Linda McMahon, World Wrestling Entertainment former CEO, is running for U.S Senate. She announced her candidacy for U.S. Senator from Connecticut on September 16, 2009. On May 21, 2010, she became the presumptive nominee, winning a majority of support from the Connecticut Republican Party. She is running as a Republican, campaigning on promises of lower taxes, fiscal conservatism, and job creation.

Jack Abramoff was a Washington, D.C. lobbyist, businessman, and con man. He is the key figure in the gaming and political themed 'Casino Jack and the United States of Money' documentary film and the story is also known as 'Bagman', staring Kevin Spacey as Jack. The rumor mill says Jack was recently spotted flipping Pizzas.

Malcolm Turnbull, former leader of the Liberal Party of Australia is also an internet entrepreneur and made millions with his once start up, ISP OzEmail.

Crown Casino and competitor, Star City Casino, are a few of the biggest donors to Australia's major political parties (Labor and Liberal)

Arnold Alois Schwarzenegger the 38th Governor of California, acting and bodybuilding icon, is also featured in the online slot game 'The Terminator' found at political and media savvy - PartyGaming - PartyCasino

*The writer is a special contributor for Gambling911

*Media Man is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. Gaming is just one of a bakers dozen of sectors they cover. They also offer political analysis and commentary.



Kevin Rudd

Malcolm Turnbull

Abner Zurd (Lorraine Fontanes)

Penelope Wynne

Rozita Leoni

Peter Garrett

Bob Brown

Michael Daley

Clover Moore

Suzette Pelt

Penelope Wynne

Mark Norek

Malcolm Turnbull

Phillip Adams

Bessie Bardot

Gabrielle Reilly


Bob Geldof

John Saffron

Robbie Swan

John Howard

Bill Shorten

Jesse Ventura

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Al Gore

Bill Clinton



Howard Baer

Abner Zurd

Graham Young

Phillip Adams

Jake Lloyd Jones



The new breed of politicians

People power

The point of pressure

Selling the political message online



Internet Censorship in Australia: Senate Transcript - May 2010

For those of you who have been following the exploits of Australia Communications Director Stephen Conroy and his attempts to censor the Internet here at, we have obtained a copy of the Senate transcript as it relates to Google in Australian Parliament, courtesy of Greg Tingle.

Conroy does not mention or reference gaming or gambling, however, it is known that some of those sites appearing on a so-called "black list" include online gambling websites such as Betfair.

CHAIR - We now move to program 1.2, Telecommunications, Online and Postal Services. We are waiting for Senator Ludlum, who indicated that he has questions here. We will start with Senator Fisher.

Senator FISHER -There was a story on the ABC News website recently that Google was trawling streets collecting wi-fi data, and there was a suggestion that in the process of collecting that data they somehow downloaded network connection contents of people's houses.

Senator Conroy - I do not think it was ‘somehow'; I think they set out to collect it.

Senator FISHER - Minister, given the concerns that have been raised about the potential privacy issues and the concerns that have been ventilated as to what use Google will put this information and for how long they will keep it or have their wonderful way with it, what do you propose to do about it?

Senator Conroy - I believe the Privacy Commissioner has written to them. I think they are now engaged in a conversation.

Senator FISHER - Did you ask her to do so?

Senator Conroy - No. The Privacy Commissioner is in a different portfolio.

Senator FISHER - That would not stop you asking.

Senator Conroy - I note that the German minister has referred it to the criminal authorities for illegal data collection.

Senator FISHER - For the same thing in Germany?

Senator Conroy - This has been worldwide. Google takes the view that they can do anything they want-they do not evil to themselves. I do have a little bit of information. You actually cut into an answer I was hoping to give, but I will take you through the information that I have.

It is possible that this has been the largest privacy breach in history across Western democracies. After being caught out by European privacy commissioners, Google has admitted that their Streetview cars-the ones that drive down your street and photograph your house without your permission so that they can make it available worldwide for use in their Streetview product-has also been collecting information from people using wi-fi connections; that is, your personal data, including, potentially, emails. Welcome, Senator Ludlam. We are just filling in for you.

Senator FISHER - And connection equipment and so on.

Senator Conroy - All of that information. Ten privacy commissioners around the world recently wrote to Google about their concerns. Many privacy commissioners, including Australia's, are investigating Google for data breaches. Google have admitted to doing this and claim it was a mistake in the software code, meaning that it was actually quite deliberate; the code was collecting it.

Senator FISHER - Can you explain that?

Senator Conroy - The computer program that collects it was designed to collect this information.

Senator FISHER - Are you disputing Google's claim that it was inadvertent?

Senator Conroy - Yes. I am saying that they wrote a piece of code designed to do it.

Senator FISHER - So, it was deliberate in your view?

Senator Conroy - It is interesting to note that this claim that it was a mistake came only after the data protection authority in Germany asked to audit Google's data. They continually say publicly, ‘Trust us.' This comes on top of recent controversies relating to the Google Buzz product, which made public the details of the people users most emailed and chatted with on their social networking site.

I can fully explain the policies being adopted by a company like Google. In December 2009 their CEO, Eric Schmidt, told CNBC, ‘If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place.' At the World Mobile Conference in Barcelona in February the same CEO falsely denied any privacy breach with Buzz. He stated, ‘People thought that somehow we were publishing their email addresses and private information, which was not true', when it was true. He said, ‘It was our fault that we did not communicate that fact very well, but the important thing is that no really bad stuff happens in the sense that nobody's personal information was disclosed.' I repeat that it was. Google Buzz exposed one user's location to her abusive ex-partner, and it was only after worldwide condemnation of Google that they actually apologised. People should not mistake the approach being taken by Google on a range of issues around the world.

Senator FISHER - Obviously there is little love lost between you and Google.

Senator Conroy - No, it is fair to say I am just chronicling the activities of Google worldwide. I have not finished yet.

Senator FISHER - I gathered not.

Senator Conroy - At the Abu Dhabi media summit-

Senator FISHER - I was about to beg to differ, because I am quite genuine in my question.

Senator LUDLAM - This is starting to sound really personal. Go ahead.

Senator Conroy - I am very pleased to note that you have arrived for me to finish my answer. At an Abu Dhabi media summit in March 2010, Google CEO Eric Schmidt said, ‘Google sees itself really differently from other companies, because we see ourselves as a company with a mission about information and not a mission about revenue or profits.' Yet at the third quarter earning call for Google on 15 October 2009, Eric Schmidt told Wall Street analysts on the phone hook-up, ‘We love cash.' Mr Schmidt, in December, said this-I noted this previously, but I am not sure that you heard this, Senator Ludlam, so I want to repeat it: ‘If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place.'

Senator LUDLAM - You read that 30 seconds ago.

Senator Conroy - I was not sure if you were in the room when I read it the first time. Schmidt also absurdly claimed to be misunderstood over Google Buzz and he went on to say, ‘People thought that somehow we were publishing their email addresses and private information.' Again, I am not sure if you were here.

Senator LUDLAM - Yes, I was here.

Senator Conroy - Schmidt made the statement about how they were not really doing these things and the abusive ex-partner got someone's address. Schmidt said that after a civil liberties group had already issued a warning about Buzz's serious problems with private information and after Google's own spokesman, Todd Jackson, had said, ‘Google was very, very sorry for getting millions of users rightfully upset.' Google were also questioned at the Abu Dhabi media summit. Mr Schmidt was asked about the company's worrisome stash of private data on its users: ‘All this information that you have about us, does that scare anyone in the room?' The response from Mr Schmidt was: ‘Would you prefer someone else? Is there a government that you would prefer to be in charge of this?' Frankly, I think the approach taken by Mr Schmidt is a bit creepy.

Senator LUDLAM - Are you going to quote them on your filter, because I presume that is what this is all about?

Senator Conroy - I have not even got to the filters yet.

Senator FISHER - I have not finished my question yet either.

Senator Conroy - No, you have not. I have almost finished, so I thank you for your patience, Senator Fisher. This is a company that says ‘do no evil', but tries to pretend that it is not motivated by profit and that it knows best and ‘you can trust us' when it comes to privacy. Unfortunately there are no safeguards. You are dealing with company policy. There are more issues that I will come to when we get to YouTube later. When it comes to their attitude to their own censorship, their response is simply, ‘Trust us.' They state on the website, ‘Trust us.'

Senator LUDLAM - Terrible!

Senator Conroy - They consider themselves to be above government. They consider that they are the appropriate people to make the decisions about people's privacy data, that they are perfectly entitled to drive the streets and collect private information by photographing over fences and collecting data/information. This is probably the single greatest breach in history of privacy. That is why so many governments around the world have reacted in the way they have to a company like Google.

Senator FISHER - So, you say they consider themselves above government. Are they above the Telecommunications Act?

Senator Conroy - Not in the slightest; not in this country.

Senator FISHER - Have you referred these actions for investigation as a potential breach of the Telecommunications Act?

Senator Conroy - As I said, the Privacy Commissioner has written to them seeking further information, and we will be liaising with the Privacy Commissioner to see where that gets to before we take any further action. We will be awaiting the Privacy Commissioner's-

Senator FISHER - Why, given that indictment? That is five minutes of estimates we will never get back.

Senator Conroy - The German government has already referred it. We will see what the Privacy Commissioner has to say, but we will be watching it very closely.

Senator FISHER - Why are you sitting back and watching? Why are you not referring the matter?

Senator Conroy - The Privacy Commissioner is the appropriate place to start this process.

Senator FISHER - Surely there are other aspects of the Telecommunications Act that could potentially have been breached by this behaviour, if it is as indictable as you suggest.

Senator Conroy - What I said was that Germany has described it as indictable. I did not say that we had. Let me be very clear about this. I did not say we had.

Senator FISHER - I was using a generic description of your downloading-your description of their behaviour.

Senator Conroy - No. What I said was that we would await the Privacy Commissioner's report.

Senator FISHER - Why?

Senator Conroy - It has already been referred in Germany.

Senator FISHER - Why await the Privacy Commissioner's report? Is privacy the only aspect that may have been violated by this?

Senator Conroy - We can take that on notice.

Senator FISHER - You have just given a diatribe of their behaviour.

Senator Conroy - I have described what has happened in other jurisdictions. You are talking about one specific instance. What I have said is that the Privacy Commissioner has already written to them and we will be awaiting what the Privacy Commissioner says to see if there are any breaches of Australia's laws.

Senator FISHER - You are hiding behind Karen Curtis?

Senator Conroy - I am not hiding behind anybody. She is engaged in her statutory obligations. That is her statutory obligation and she is pursuing them.

Senator FISHER - If the Privacy Commissioner concludes that, for example, there is no breach of privacy issues, what would you do then?

Senator Conroy - If there is no breach of privacy issues, there is nothing we can do. We will have conversations. As I said, we will take on notice the issue of whether or not there are any other breaches. We are happy to take that on notice, but at this stage the Privacy Commissioner is pursuing it.

Senator FISHER - My final question on notice is: why would you not, in any event, refer the matter for investigation for potential breach of the Telecommunications Act?

Senator Conroy - As I said, we will take that on notice and give you some information about that. At this stage the Privacy Commissioner has taken it forward and we will be coordinating with the Privacy Commissioner.

Senator FISHER - In your answer you inferred that there may be breaches of the Telecommunications Act outside privacy issues, did you not?

Senator Conroy - ACMA were here earlier. You could have asked ACMA if they thought there was a breach. I am happy to take that on notice for you and ask ACMA.

Senator FISHER - I am asking you, Minister.

Senator Conroy - As I said, I am happy to take that on notice and ask ACMA on your behalf.

Senator FISHER - Thank you.



Australian Gambling Report Asks Federal Government to Control, by Greg Tingle - May 2010

The Australian Productivity report on gaming and gambling has come out, but relax - it's not all bad news.

A report tells the Aussie federal government to basically take over the regulation of gambling, which Australians spend $18 billion a year on, states collecting $4.69bn in tax revenue annually, and that's only the figures they know about.

Education think tank powerhouses at Deakin University and the Australia Institute, urge the Rudd government to put a 2 per cent tax on all gambling revenue. Furthermore, using some of the $378 million to give state governments that reduce gambling levels "incentive payments" (not a bribe of sorts?!) to reduce their "reliance" on pokies tax.

The report argues that the land down under Australia should establish a national gambling regulator that would set poker machine quotas and bet limits. They also call for the establishment of a national (not-for-profit) lottery to replace revenue states would lose. North and South Carolina has the Education Lottery, which gambling and wrestling fans will be aware of 'The Nature Boy' Ric Flair fronting.

The Aussie reports goes as far to state the commonwealth should establish a national player tracking system to detect "abnormal or risky playing patterns".

Associate Professor Hancock said problem gambling was a serious health risk. "This whole approach . . . needs to be a central plank in the Rudd government's health plan," she stressed.

Media Man and Gambling911 acknowledge the existence of "problem gamblers", but in society many people have problems, be it gambling, employment, relationships, health, time management and all sorts of matter, so it does point an accusing finger at the gaming and gambling sector. Some types of personalities are more likely to encounter problems with gambling, and that's just part of the human make up.

Some serious and concerning information was also included in the report. In the state of Victoria, one in five people arriving at The Alfred Hospital's emergency unit after suicide attempts were gamblers in crisis, Professor Hancock said. A high profile U.S. gambler here in the states may have also committed suicide due to high gambling debts.

Some Australian politicians are buying right into the argument. Well known anti-pokies campaigner and independent senator Nick Xenophon advised he was inspired to run for federal politics because Kevin Rudd said he would act against gambling.

"Can I suggest to the Prime Minister that now the emissions trading scheme is off the agenda, there's a lot more time in the Senate to consider legislation," Senator Xenophon said.

"State governments are the No 1 jackpot junkies. They can't be trusted when it comes to gambling regulation. And despite his promise to deal with gambling, the Prime Minister had done nothing to reduce rates".

Labor clubs operating "one armed bandits" provide the Labor Party with $1m plus in campaign donations per annum.

Mr Rudd pledged to do something about the rise of poker machines across the country.

"I hate poker machines and I know something of their impact on families," he said.

The Productivity Commission draft report on gambling late last year recommended that pokie bets be restricted to $1 a play, and cash withdrawal limits should be placed on adjacent ATMs.

The report states Australians lost $18bn a year on gambling, and about 15% of Aussies gambled regularly (excluding Lotto), scratchies and the like.

Its estimated 10% of regular gamblers are "problem gamblers".

The new report says the commonwealth should add to the "Grants Commission formula incentives" for state governments to reduce their reliance on gambling taxes or reduce their commonwealth grants if they did not do so.

At present much discussion in the gaming and igaming sector revolves around if full regulation of the sector, both globally and in the Asia Pacific region is the way forward, with the vast majority saying Yes.

Media Man and Gambling911 encourage gamblers to 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


Australia Gets New Gambling Watchdog in Town: Woof!, by Greg Tingle - 3rd June 2010

Australian gambling remains politically red hot. With the changes in town comes a new watchdog... yep, a man of a different breed who appears to be a shoot straight, and takes a balanced view of the industry. Media Man, Gambling911 and our pack of sniffer dogs pound the pavement and sniff out the story... Ruff

Meet Mr Ches Baragwanath, Australia's new Gambling Watchdog. No, he's not affiliated with our unmet friends at Affiliate Guard Dog (or CAP or GPWA for that matter).

For the unacquainted, Baragwanath, is a former auditor-general of Australia circa 1990.

This watchdog has a reputation of not taking rubbish from the animals in Parliament or in the gambling sector.

Via Fairfax Media we learned of a previous masterstroke and key happening re today's new sheriff in town ....the Victorian government before last November's election, Mr Baragwanath let it be known to the house he has accepted an invitation to become a commissioner for gambling regulation.

His appointment, announced just yesterday, comes at a pivotal time for the Australian gaming and gambling industry. Shakes ups of late include James Packer's Crown Casino growing, politicians are open to seeing the proposed Mildura "Jewel" Casino happen on their watch.

Baragwanath has his finger on the pulse. No spring chicken, at 75 years of age, he's wiser and more experienced than the best of them, and is understood to process a brilliant mind, understands the typical man in the street (and boasts outstation credentials and business contacts). Insiders say he's expected to make fair but tough rulings, and is not a casino lover nor casino hater. Controlled growth and suitable regulation, maintaining balance, are understood to be high on his priorities.

Mr B says "I've spent a bit of time in Las Vegas; it's a soul-destroying place. I would hate Melbourne to become the Las Vegas of the southern hemisphere. Pokies are the most mindless and boring pastime I could imagine". Still, he respects people to play the pokies, and other legal casino games of their choosing.

The personable, hang on, likable, Mr B (Big) loves the horses, having a beer and is known to even try his luck having a punt on Tattslotto, if you believe the media gossip around town.

The Melbourne Age was able to get this rip snorter quote from the man..."Despite what political parties might say in opposition, once they get into government they are fascinated by the revenue that flows from nicotine, booze and gambling - wait until they decide how to tax sex! The Victorian government - and most governments, for that matter - do very well out of problem gamblers, they do very well out of problem drinkers and they do very well out of problem smokers, so they've got a moral obligation to support those people who are harmed by gambling, nicotine and alcohol. I haven't read the Bible for some time, but I seem to recall the Roman soldiers were rolling dice underneath the crucifix. I would say to them, look, 97.5 or 98 per cent of the population enjoy a mild flutter on poker machines. Should they be penalised because 2 per cent can't control themselves? I enjoy a drink. Should I be penalised because some people can't hold their liquor? If gambling went underground, the criminal element could take over. I can remember when I was a kid growing up in Brunswick just near the Union Hotel, the bigwig in the area was the local SP (starting price) bookmaker. Do we really want SP bookmakers back on the scene? To some extent it (the role) is to ensure the criminal element is kept out of this field - you know, we don't want the bloody Mafia buying into hotels with poker machines".

Whether "Blueys" err, Mr Big's bark is bigger than his bite remains to be seen. Insiders meantime question who let the dogs out, and what side of the fence will "Mr Dog" prefer?

Media Man remains a proud shareholder in Crown Casino, understood to remain a focus point of the new sheriff in town. "Mr Big" will also be acutely aware that the funds the pour into the likes of Crown Casino flow back into the community and create real and sustainable employment opportunities, some of which tie in with celebrated employment initiative GenerationOne, a project of which Media Man remains in close contact with.

Casinos remain a key element in the Australian tourism, entertainment and employment landscape, and "Mr Big" will no doubt remind himself of these facts when it comes to the hard decisions that will be coming his way for as long as his holds the top dog position.

Loyal readers of Gambling911, as always bet with your head, not over it, and have fun.

*The writer is a special contributor for Gambling911


*Media Man is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. The gaming sector is just one of a bakers of dozen of industries they cover.

*The writer owns shares in Crown Limited



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