Australian Gambling And Entertainment News, by Greg Tingle - 13th December 2010

G'day and Ahoy punters, casino and gambling millionaires, billionaires, entertainment news junkies, insiders, outsiders, politicians, journalists and everyone else. It's another jam packed edition of good Aussie tucker featuring gambling and entertainment news. There's Australian Casino Wars, Aussie Media Wars, Wikileaks, a major sports betting upset, Foxtel celeb fun and games, casino lovers vs casino haters, casino politics and big biz in Queensland, gossip, bad ass news and lots more. Media Man and Gambling911 circumnavigate the globe in a voyage even Captain Cook and Christopher Columbus would be proud of. We walk the plank and main the sails with this manifesto of news you've been looking forward to...

James Packer, Crown Casino And Team Clean Up With Media Man Yearly Awards...

Packer wins Media Man 'Australian Casino Operator Of The Year' and 'Australian Media Tycoon Of The Year' award. His mate, David Gyngell is runner up for the media tycoon award, and Tabcorp wins the Australian casino 'most improved' and 'encouragement' award. Oh, PartyGaming wins Media Man 'Online Casino Operator Of The Year' award, with b2b's with Packer's Crown Casino playing a role, and Packer's mate, Richard Branson, wins 'Media Man Gambling and Media Tycoon' of the year on a global scale. Nine Entertainment Co wins 'Australian Media Company Most Likely To Make An Impact In 2011' award, but rounding off, Packer also wins Media Man 'Best And Fairest 2010'. What a year it was. Congrats to all that played hard, and an even bigger congrats to those who placed and won. Just to be in business these days is a sign of a winner, so hats off and cheers to all of you maties.

Tabcorp To Upgrade 3 Land Based Casinos In Queensland With $625 Million Investment...

A massive $625 million bet will be taken by Tabcorp on Queensland's tourism industry with huge renovations to at least 3 of the state's land based casinos. The upgrade will involved new flashy five-star hotels, world class restaurants and much improved gaming - gambling facilities will be added to casinos in Brisbane, the Gold Coast and north most Townsville. The Queensland Bligh Government has not announced it has reached an agreement with Tabcorp and the pub arm to permit an additional 500 pokies into the 2 southeast Queensland casinos. The total number of pokies allowed in Queensland will not actually increase, as they will be transferred from the lot earmarked to hotels. In a trade off of sorts, hotels have achieved numerous tax concessions out of the Government for the loss of poker machines from their allocation. Premier Anna Bligh advised the investment was a sign of confidence in the state's tourism industry. "This major redevelopment is a great leap forward for our tourism industry, providing yet another drawcard to our cities while boosting jobs in the construction and gaming industries. Tabcorp's proposal is timely, particularly for the Gold Coast, coinciding with the Government's bid for the 2018 Commonwealth Games." Tabcorp would commence construction on the Gold Coast and in Townsville next year, Tabcorp spokeswoman Michelle Pillonel shared. It is planning a 400-room, five-star hotel on the traditional State Library land at 1159 William St.
It's named as being Brisbane's first new hotel in a decade. A walkway would connect up the hotel with the casino. We've learned that the exact time frame for construction is currently not known as Tabcorp are yet to apply for planning approvals and will be required to consult over the heritage character statue of the prime positioned site. The hotel will also get the sort of things a casino whale VIP might like such as a spa, nightspot, ballroom, four restaurants and all of Treasury Casino's VIP gaming facilities. Should keep the whales happy we think. Pillonel advised the Brisbane revamp was aimed at luring Asian high rollers aka "whales" from state-of-the-art gaming facilities in Singapore and Macau. "This will be of that kind of standard. With the property in Brisbane in particular, we're looking at really competing on the international stage," she said. Treasury will also add to the pool of high-end hotel rooms in Brisbane city, of which there are a "critical shortage", Pillonel advised. Swinging down to the water, the $350 million upgrade of Jupiters on the Gold Coast also includes a new five-star hotel, with approximately 200 rooms. The site will get 8 new restaurants and bars, a nightclub, spa and pool, beachfront club, a bigger main ballroom and main gaming floor, plus new VIP gambling area. Another $15 million bucks will be spent on an upgrade of Townsville's casino.
Even though Tabcorp secured 50% the number of extra machines it had wanted, its $625 million injection equals the budget outlined. Treasurer Andrew Fraser said "No increase in poker machine numbers, new attractions and accommodation for tourism, and a massive investment to stimulate employment, is a win-win-win for Queensland."
We tend to agree, and it will be interesting to see the impact the QLD activity has on the Australian casino wars. Gaming Minister Peter Lawlor said the pokies would be reallocated from within the current cap and wouldn't increase the overall number of poker machines in the state. "Tabcorp has undertaken to install pre-commitment technology in its gaming machines, which helps to address problems associated with gambling," he said. Treasurer Andrew Fraser said the proposal involved no net increase in poker machines in the state. The developments are assured to increase investment and create plenty more jobs. "About 3000 construction jobs will be created over the life of the project, and once fully established, the project will create demand for 1,400 jobs. No increase in poker machines, new attractions and accommodation for tourism, and a massive investment to stimulate employment, is a 'win-win-win' for Queensland."

Australian TV's 'Underbelly' Gives Christmas Warning; Plus Xmas Spirit; Community Message For Aussies...

To give a crap Christmas gift is criminal according to the shady cast of Underbelly.
Crap socks, useless kitchen utensils and shite DVDs that find their way below the the tree equal about $1billion in unwanted, crap gifts each year. Don't even think of giving a crap deck of playing cards either! 'Underbelly' cast are assisting Lifeline: The Christmas Treaty, which urges people to donate to the crisis organisation rather than waste money on crap gifts. The campaign aims to get the intended recipient to do the same thing. The festive season is traditionally Lifeline's busiest time of year. John Brogden, a Lifeline patron, says money raised by the treaty will come at a most important time in the year. "The festive season is traditionally a busy time for us, with tens of thousands of people contacting our 24 hour support line, 13 11 14, with an emotional crisis. Some of the most common issues for our callers are loneliness and relationship issues. Running a 24-hour telephone support line is not cheap and our costs are growing, which is why we are calling on the community to support us this year and make a Christmas Treaty with the people in their life." Contributing to charity rather than squandering our hard-earned dollars on useless gifts is a popular idea. 73% of Aussies would be happy to receive a donation made on their behalf instead of a physical Christmas present according to an Australian Institute paper titled "Unwanted Christmas Presents."

Aussie Boxing Legend Jeff Fenech Wins $150k Picking Mundine To Lose In 5th Round...

Jeff Fenech, the triple world champion, feeling pretty sweet after wining $150,000 bucks from bookmakers on Garth Wood's KO of Anthony 'The Man' Mundine. The well planed (and legal - we think) sting, saw Fenech and a group of Marrickville friends bet big up on underdog fighter Wood in a series of what is known as exotic bets, designed to pick the round the fight would end in. Exotic bets are one of the type of special bet types that many want outlawed from Australian NRL and AFL, as they are basically much easier to rig and more open to corruption. "I was telling everybody last week that Wood was going to knock Anthony out", Fenech said. The price for Wood to KO Mundine out in round 5 was $40, with Fenech and his crew betting big on Wood to knock Mundine out between the 1st and 5th rounds. Fenech also backed money on Wood to win in the head-to-head market at the price of $11. Fenech used his knowledge of the Contender winner's camp at John 'Singo' Singleton's property as a starting point for the potential killing. The Wood team devised a very clever ring tactic of cramping Mundine for room, Fenech anticipated 'The Man' would lose it eventually. They were right on the money. "We knew Garth's game plan was to get in Anthony's face and trade punches and to be fair, Anthony hasn't been faced with anything like that for quite a while," Fenech said. "As soon as I had a look at Garth's preparation, I knew he was going to knock Anthony out. So I told all the boys in Marrickville, let's get on. "The really smart money was picking the round, which is never easy. But I thought if Garth was going to win it was going to be early on and as it unfolded, it worked out perfect for us." Leading bookies Centrebet and Sportingbet both confirmed fielding wagers of what industry experts name as "educated money" on Wood to win by knockout. "We had one first-time client who opened up an account on Wednesday and had $2000 on Wood to win at $6.50 as a first bet," Centrebet's Neil Evans said. "For a first-time punter to load up on a big underdog, that's very smart money." TAB Sportsbet did not field bets on the fight because it was not an officially sanctioned world title bout. Punters, aren't you punching yourself you didn't pick it. Well done to Team Fenech.

Aussie Tommy Emmanuel Features On Posthumous Record By Michael Jackson; Will Perform
at Jupiters Hotel And Casino Gold Coast Jan 22nd...

Tommy Emmanuel couldn't hardly believe it when he got a call about featuring on a Michael Jackson record. He's also pretty happy about his upcoming performance at Jupiters on the Gold Coast too. At first, he thought it was a joke. Emmanuel is one of an elite group of acclaimed musos whose gifts have helped complete the unfinished recordings which feature on Jackson's first posthumous record, Michael, which is to be released this Friday. Dave Grohl, Lenny Kravitz, Akon and 50 Cent were also invited to add parts to the tracks snared from Jackson's time capsule. "This is the most excited I've ever been before a tour. Phil and I got together last night and the first thing we both did was get our guitars out and start playing," he said. Tommy and Phil Emmanuel perform at The Tivoli on Jan 20 and Conrad Jupiters on the Gold Coast on Jan 22.

Aussie Hugh Jackman Beefs Up For Marvel Entertainment's Wolverine, Marvel Slots Expected To Also Get Boost...

Wolverine is tipped to boom movie cinema, dvd and online gaming. The Wolverine is tipped to be the biggest hit of the X-Men universe. Wolverine (Hugh Jackman) has advised director Darren Aronofsky has requested him to gain 25 lbs of beef before filming begins next spring. "It’s not easy for me," Jackman says "Because I’m actually quite long and lean." Jackman quizzed The Rock! "I had a chat with Dwayne Johnson, who did 25 pounds for his movie," Jackman says, referring to Johnson’s latest flick, Faster. "I rang him up and was like, Okay, tell me what’s going on." Get this... 6 months, a pound a week, 6,000 calories a day which, Jackman points out, is an awful lot of chicken, steak, and brown rice. Jackman says on the director, "We had a meeting about three weeks ago, catching up as friends more than anything, and he just ran a few ideas by me and my eyes just lit up, because already I think this is like a whole new ballgame – just the ideas, the level of depth, and intelligence, and creativity. I think he’s been waiting so long to do a movie in this genre. When he found the script, he said this is it. It’s really exciting." Media and gaming experts say that the upcoming Wolverine (and Thor) blockbuster movies will also boost online casinos that carry Marvel hero themed slot games. Some online promos are already saying 'Marvel Entertainment: Don't just read the comics and watch the movies; Play the games!'

Aussie Elle 'The Body' Macpherson To Team Up With Sarah Murdoch As Foxtel Host; On-Air Ambassador...

'The Body' been signed up for an exclusive promotional campaign for 2011 and will also appear on the first season of Britain's Next Top Model, which begins on FOX8 next month. Macpherson was one linked with British casino entrepreneur, Damian Aspinall. Murdoch will play host and executive produce Australia's Next Top Model, after she famously dumped Granada Media, the production firm responsible for the TV year's biggest blunder in which Murdoch announced the wrong winner! Just imagine if you have money riding on it. Foxtel will compete with 16 free-to-air channels next year.

Aussie And International Media Companies Standing Up For Wikileaks; Not Just Lefties And Universities...

Wikileaks media and business strategy of late involves heavy collaboration and sharing of information with mainstream news media companies. Last weeks release of 250,000 confidential US State Department cables, saw them share info with The Guardian, Der Spiegel, as well as Spain's El Pais and France's Le Monde. This time The New York Times missed out, but The Guardian ran with the story hard. Wall Street Journal (owned by Murdoch's News Corporation, and CNN were also approached by WikiLeaks, but declined to participate. WikiLeaks apparently did not contact any Australian news media outlets, but Assange has been keen to co-operate when approached. Assange recently wrote an article for Murdoch's 'The Australian' Unlike other news outlets, Fairfax had not published its source material, contrary to the ethos of what Assange calls WikiLeaks' "new type of journalism: scientific journalism". Writing for The Australian last week, Assange said "We work with other media outlets to bring people the news, but also to prove it is true. Scientific journalism allows you to read a news story, then to click online to see the original document it is based on. That way you can judge for yourself: Is the story true? Did the journalist report it accurately?" A Media Man spokesperson said "Wikileaks delivering news to mainstream media companies has proved to be a very effective media strategy for WikiLeaks. Governments are pretty scared to take on the New York Times or The Guardian, especially over what is essentially a freedom of expression issue. The free flow of information is covered under Human Rights as per the United Nations, which could be the ace in the sleeve. News media also help write up the news Wikileaks gets its hands on and turns it into news articles that most people have an interest in. Always also remember, news is something, someone, somewhere, doesn't want someone else to know, everything else is PR. No wonder Wikileaks have been such a global hit. JA needs to watch his back to, with a number of United States polies calling for his assassination". More on Wikileaks tomorrow as one of the biggest news stories of all time continues to unfold.

Crown Casino Used Shane Warne And Joe Hacham As Public Face Of Gambling Revamp...

The poker (and cricket plus women... ask Liz Hurley) player and gambling lover Shane Warne and poker legend Joe Hachem are the chosen ones to front up their mugs to be the public fan of Crown Casino's high-end gaming expansion, even though mate James Packer is the one with the big bucks and massive media profile. Mind you, Warnie is red hot at the moment, both with Aussie blokes (and at least one Pommie hot woman).
The new VIP room featuring private suites and more, is being built on top of the exclusive Mahogany Room, which is also undergoing a revamp. Crown spokesman Gary O'Neill confirmed talks with Warne and Hachem were ongoing, but also warned its a bit early to confirm their exact role in the new campaign. Both big boys will be important for media and marketing, and bringing in the fish - smaller ones and bigger ones, both in Australia, the Orient, and maybe even the U.S, Canada and Europe. $212m bucks is being spent on Crown Casino at the moment and the 'Aussie Gumleaf Madia' want return on investment. A Media Man spokesperson said 'If anyone can get Packer's Crown R.O.I in these markets, it will be Warnie and 'Our Joe'. They have a massive Aussie and overseas following, and remain red hot in the media, which is half the battle. Crown is prepared to shuffle up for the world with these winners". The upgrade includes extending the Mahogany Room by 50%. Crown Towers hotel will also get a makeover. It all follows the $300 million spent constructing the 658-room Crown Metropol hotel. Warnie has been get to invest into clubs, and Melbourne has taken his eye. Warnie considers Packer a mentor of sorts, and he's not the only one, as MM and Gambling911 scribes sometimes hint at.


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

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

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

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Wrap Up...

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

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

*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911

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

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