10/18/2010

Casino And Gambling News Down Under Hot Update, by Greg Tingle - 18th October 2010

Australia remains home to some of the hottest casino, online casino, gambling and gaming news on the planet. We've got Aussie casino wars, Tabcorp fun and games, Crown Casino domination, casino babe and poker babe awards and more. Media Man and Gambling911 travel the world securing the most exciting and relevant news for you, the loyal and vocal readership...

Crown Casino News: James Packer Leads By Example...

What a week for JP. First he works his magic to help prevent a casino worker strike at Crown Casino, potentially saving millions of dollars, and now he works a touch of his masterstroke on the Crown Limited share price...JP has basically singlehandedly, ensured that buyers outnumbered sellers by a very decent margin this week. That was a good change. He reversed a situation where for a wee bit situation came about where sellers were trumping buyers. The result being $203.5 million to $41.9 million in favour of buyers. Our friends at Fairfax Media are saying that if JP hadn't got the 22.6 million Crown shares at $8.89 apiece, the buying figure would have read just $2.5 million, going on to suggest that there is little enthusiasm by directors for their own shares. Media Man get Fairfax Media newsfeeds onto its website and owns a few Crown Limited shares, so we only thought it fair we give you this gossip maties.

Crown's (and Network Nine's) David Gyngell Snaps Up Some Crown Limited Shares Too...

Fellow Bondi Beach native David Gyngell who accepted the invitation to join the Crown Limited board of directors last month, opened his shareholding account with a stock purchase of $100,165. Yep, putting your money were your mouth is. We like that. Richard Branson, Donald Trump, David Aspinall and Terri Irwin, would you like to follow suit soon and snap up your own piece of the action? Comon', be a sport. You'll be in fine Aussie company.

Website Of The Month: PartyCasino.com

Tabcorp Giant Will Demerge Casinos Operations...

Gambling hotshot Tabcorp Holdings Ltd will demerge its casinos operations from its wagering, gaming and keno businesses to create 2 entities listed on the Australian stock exchange. Don't worry, the wagering, gaming and keno businesses will retain the Tabcorp name. Tabcorp said on Monday that the demerger would enable the two companies to pursue individual investment programs and growth opportunities. Tabcorp also announced on Monday that it would raise $430 million in capital to provide "funding certainty" for casino growth initiatives and to ensure that both entities had appropriate capital structures. Tabcorp hopes to complete the demerger by July 1, 2011, subject to regulatory approval. Tabcorp chairman John 'Slots' Story said the priorities for the two businesses had started to diverge, and there was now an extremely compelling case to give investors shares in the separate businesses. "The demerger will create two large ASX-listed entities able to pursue their separate strategies, with casinos to benefit from material capital investments, and the wagering, gaming and keno businesses well positioned within a rapidly evolving retail and online environment, Story advised. Tabcorp chief executive Elmer Funke Kupper said each business was now showing strong positive growth. "Our wagering business has proven to be a strong performer over the past 12 months and continues to adapt well to an evolving regulatory environment and an increasingly competitive marketplace," Funke Kupper said. "Our casinos business is undertaking very significant capital investments in New South Wales and Queensland, and the competitive strategies for the wagering, gaming and keno businesses are showing significant promise." Tabcorp said Funke Kupper would continue to lead the company through the demerger period and then hand over the leadership of Tabcorp to David Attenborough and casinos to Larry 'Moneybags' Mullin. It is fully expected that Funke Kupper will join the board of Tabcorp as a non-executive director 6 months after ceasing his executive role. Tabcorp also issued a trading update, saying that trading in the July to September quarter was positive, with normalised group revenues up 4.1% on the previous financial year. Revenues from casinos were up 7.1%, wagering 4.1% and gaming 0.9%. Tabcorp shares were in a trading halt, having closed on Friday at $7.10. Tabcorp continues in what may call an impossible dream of stealing the "casino whale" business in Australia from James Packers' Crown Limited.

A Media Man insider joked "Tabcorp, just keep buying those Lear Jets, expand onto Darling Harbour and maintain your vision to become number one with whales. Something will give. You will either skyrocket to the top of the moon or dive below the Harbor your Star is built upon here in Sin City Sydney. Either way, its sure fun to write about fellas, and our readership thanks you.".

Australian Bank Offers A Lucky Lottery Account For Customers!...

A new and rather exciting bank account that offers a monthly lottery draw instead of competitive interest rates has come under heavy fire for encouraging gambling! The Bank of Queensland’s 'Save To Win' account offers customers the chance to win cash prizes in a monthly lottery. “With Save To Win, customers will earn a small interest rate on their savings. However some of the interest that our 'Save To Win' Account holders would normally earn on a savings account goes into a cash prize pool," the bank’s announcement states. "Customers can win at least $30,000 worth of cash prizes every month, including one major $20,000 prize!" The announcement has been criticised by consumer group Choice and anti-gambling advocate Senator Nick Xenophon, among others. "I cannot believe the Bank of Queensland is trying to turn itself into a casino," Senator Xenophon said. "The one safe bet in all of this is that these new accounts will make the Bank of Queensland wealthier, and investors poorer." Senator Xenophon said the product made a mockery of the Bank of Queensland’s ability to offer considered financial advice. Choice spokesman Christopher Zinn said said while innovation of bank products was one thing, the bank’s approach went against the spirit of the banking system. "Saving is all about discipline, accumulation of money and the magic of interest, compound interest growing your savings to reach goals," Zinn told the press. "The idea of a lottery and Lady Luck smiling upon you to enable you to reach those goals seems the complete opposite of what we have traditionally associated banks to be." The bank will offer a 1% interest rate, compared with about 4.5% offered on standard savings accounts, but will offer a monthly lottery instead. BOQ Managing Director David Liddy said the new product, due to be launched next month, was a true innovation in Australian banking and a complement to the traditional savings account. “We believe it will appeal to a lot of our existing customers, as well as attracting new customers,” 'Lucky' Liddy said in a press statement.

Land Based Pokie Addiction Led To Suicide...

An Adelaide Casino employee committed suicide as she could no longer cope with her chronic addiction to pokies, a coroner has found. State Coroner Mark Johns ruled Katherine Natt died in August 2006 from a deliberate overdose of paracetemol and Nurofen. In what is understood to be a landmark finding, Johns ruled her suicide was "a direct result of her inability to cope with a poker machine addiction" and requested his findings be considered by Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

Influence of Venue Characteristics on a Player's decision to attend a Gambling Venue...

This is an exploratory study that provides an analysis of why gamblers choose to gamble where they do and an analysis of venue characteristics to determine the features of different types of premises that are more or less likely to attract and/or maintain problem gamblers. The study was commissioned by Gambling Research Australia and undertaken by the Centre for Gambling Education and Research, Southern Cross University, Lismore NSW. The authors highlight that the study is not without its limitations and while sample sizes to both the national telephone survey and problem gambler client survey were of reasonable size, some analysis could not be undertaken as the required sub-samples were too small. The findings from the study should be construed as indicative, however, it should be noted that the study contributes to a better understanding of the issues. In choosing where to gamble, gamblers (from the national survey), and problem gamblers in treatment, prioritised good service, a safe and secure environment, while EGM gamblers also preferred low denomination machines. Those who gamble at the TAB preferred a location convenient to home. Potential risk factors identified for the general population of gamblers and problem gamblers in treatment whose most frequented venue is a hotel, club or casino; or a stand-alone TAB includes:

• gambler based risk factor for the general population of gamblers was extended opening hours
• venue-based risk factors TAB clients include that the TAB is easy to get to and has easy access to an ATM
• venue based risk factors for problem gamblers in treatment included the venue has extended opening hours and there is easy access to ATMs in venues. More information
http://www.gamblingresearch.org.au/CA256902000FE154/Lookup/VenueCharacteristics/$file/Venue%20Final.pdf
Gambling Research Australia Website

Australian Clubs To Get Land Based Casino Style Games!...

Australian clubs could be given the golden opportunity to install as numerous multi-terminal gaming machines featuring the likes of blackjack, roulette and other casino-style games under a Coalition (Liberal - Nationals) government. The State Government has now accused Opposition Leader Barry O'Farrell of attempting to set up "mini-casinos" throughout the state of NSW after it emerged part of a "deal" he inked this past Sunday with clubs to cut one armed bandit tax included the provision to lift a cap of sorts on "multi-terminal machines". It's Man VS Machine! In the freshly signed memorandum of understanding, O'Farrell agreed to "remove limitations on installing multiple terminal gaming machines in clubs". It has now come to light that O'Farrell to honour the deal in government he would be required to remunerate Star City millions in compensation! Premier Kristina Keneally said she was "alarmed" at O'Farrell's policy. Polie and pub talk is that its a bit of a 'Casino Jack' style deal, 'Casino Jack' of course generating world wide headlines for the "fun and games", corruption and the like discovered in Native American - political lobbying deals. To date James Packer's Crown Casino or Tabcorp (including Star City Casino) will not comment on any matters relating to 'Casino Jack'. "Barry O'Farrell's secret plan will see an explosion of electronic roulette and blackjack gaming in NSW suburbs through mini-casinos," Ms Keneally told the press. Clubs NSW chief executive Anthony Ball told press he was stunned by the secret deal between the Government and the casino. "The Government has always denied to me any link between their decision to restrict the number of multi terminal machines in clubs and their new agreement with the casino," he advised. "Clubs are being forced to remove multi terminals just because the casino wanted it so." Insiders say the land based fun and games might further boost the popularity of online casino games. A Media Man spokesperson said "All of the political fun and games relating to land based casinos, pubs and pokie palaces has not slowed online gambling at online casinos, if fact we think it may be increased online gambling numbers."

Website Of The Month: PartyCasino.com

The Late News...

Media Man Casino Babes Of The Month...

Holly Graham (former Star City Casino gym worker). Holly may have been retired for over a year, but her legend and fan base lives on.

Runner up: Jenny Woo, beauty and brains, and a probing investigative journalism style. Hard facts and red hot action.

Third place: Annie Duke. Just for balls and speaking her mind, even though she's known the world over as the ultimate *itch and *cunt. Duke made an impact, and may be a fine example of "Any publicity is good publicity". Ok, is she *uckable? We guess so.

Poker Babe Of The Month:

Kara Scott: PartyGaming and their poker brand, PartyPoker,com nailed it when they signed Kara to a contract. Hot player, hot look looks, super smart. Hot Hot Hot. 9.7 out of 10.

PartyCasino Gets New Games...

Kung Food, Alice’s Wonderland, Palladium Slot, Shaaark Super Bet and Unicorn Legend, and strong rumours of Marvel Entertainment superhero online slot games coming soon.

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Wrap Up...

Was that hot or not! Readers...what's on your mind? Tell us in the forum.

*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911

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

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