8/27/2011

Media Man Gaming, Casino And Entertainment News Report, by Greg Tingle - 27th August 2011

Profiles

Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment PartyCasino.com PartyPoker.com Playtech IGT Wrestling Marvel Entertainment Movies World Poker Tour United States Australia Casinos Politics Gaming World Directory Brands Media Man


Media Man 'Online Casino Of The Month Award'...

PartyCasino.com has once again won the Media Man 'Online Casino Of The Month' Award. Richard Branson's VirginCasino.com picked up 2nd place, while new entrant into the Asia Pacific Region, Grand Reef Online Casino picks up 3rd. Well done to all brands.


Coonan offered position on Crown Limited board...

Former Liberal Party senator Helen Coonan has a new job offer, just days after resigning from Parliament.

Crown Casino has announced its intention to appoint the former communications minister to its board.

The gaming regulator has to sign off on the appointment, but Crown hopes to have her on the board before Christmas.

Independent Senator Nick Xenophon says he is saddened by the appointment.

"Helen Coonan's had a distinguished career and public life," she said.

"She's been a senior minister in the Howard government and to take a position on the board of a company, Crown Casino, where we know they peddle a product - poker machines, gambling - that causes so much misery to so many, is pretty sad."


Echo Entertainment $226m Casinos Profit...

Sin City Sydney's Star City casino redevelopment is on track, according owners Echo Entertainment.

Echo, which holds a portfolio of casinos including Star City and Jupiters on the Gold Coast, yesterday reported a maiden profit of $226 million after spinning off from gaming group Tabcorp in June.

While its profit result reflects a rise in casino earnings of 33 per cent, most of the money will flow through to Tabcorp shareholders as it was reaped before the demerger.

The company said revenue from its Queensland casinos, Jupiters and Treasury in Brisbane, rose despite the impact of deadly flooding from cyclone Yasi in February. Chief executive Larry Mullin said Echo was about to reap the benefits of its $870 million redevelopment of Star City.

The casino would be fully operational by the second quarter of the current financial year, he said.

Echo shares rose 1.8 per cent to close at $2.883. The company will not pay a dividend for the 12 months to the end of June.


Marvel Studios' Lackluster Inaugural Performance at the 2011 D23...

It’s important to note that the Marvel Universe, on the big screen, is a much more complicated place than it is on print

Prior to 2008, the movies based on many of Marvel’s marquee characters (household names like Spider-Man, Fantastic Four, and X-Men) were produced via licensing agreements with a variety of studios – and as long as the studios continue to produce movies based on these characters, they maintain the licenses. That is to say that, though Marvel Entertainment still has a hand in the movies based on certain characters, they share the decision making (and profits) with companies like Sony Pictures (Spider-Man) and 20th Century Fox (X-Men). The end result of Marvel Studios becoming its own production entity has been overwhelmingly positive, as evidenced by the Disney Corporation’s interest in, and eventual acquisition of, Marvel Entertainment.

Marvel Studios’ underwhelming performance at the D23 Expo is pretty sad, especially with Disney’s resources behind them, they could have, and should have, done much, much better. Somebody dropped the ball. Either Marvel didn’t have enough to present, or Disney wouldn’t let them present what they had – and even if it was unintentional, either possibility is a bit of a snub to the fans who endured D23’s horrifyingly long lines in hopes of seeing Marvel deliver.

Disney Pixar not only brought in trailers and footage from works in progress and upcoming releases (Brave, Planes, and Monsters University), they brought in writers and directors of two projects that have recently been given the green light, but didn’t have titles, and won’t even begin production until sometime circa 2013.

Since late 2004 – when, in order to produce movies based on their characters independently, Marvel entered into a non-recourse deal with Merrill Lynch Commercial Finance Corp. to produce ten movies with Paramount as distributor – and as recently as last year, Marvel has said that they intended to develop films based on lesser-known characters such as Black Panther, Doctor Strange, and even more obscure characters like Shang Chi: Master of Kung-Fu and Guardians of the Galaxy. This spring, Marvel Studios’ President of Production, Kevin Feige, told D23 Magazine by way of IGN that the roster of films for the immediate future was heavy on Avengers-related titles [Captain America, Thor, and Iron Man sequels; plus possible Ant-Man, Black Widow and Nick Fury/S.H.I.E.L.D. projects] and even provided basic ideas of what the second Captain America and Thor movies would be like.

Perhaps a better, more tangible example is the Ant-Man film: for a couple years now [Shaun of the Dead and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World writer/director] Edgar Wright, and Joe Cornish [Wright’s frequent collaborator, and director of this summer’s cult smash Attack the Block] have been attached to the project. Though the project hasn’t been fast-tracked, it’s got an IMDb page, and a proposed release year (2014). Wright is still listed as director; and Wright and Cornish are still listed as writers. The only speculation surrounding the project is whether or not Wright’s favorite leading man, and collaborator, actor Simon Pegg (Star Trek), will still play the titular tiny titan. Even without an official release date and leading man, let alone a date to begin production, there was plenty to talk about – especially for an audience that may or may not know anything about Marvel, let alone their movies.

Bottom line: Marvel and Disney - the powers that be can and must do better than this. It's a critical time in the industry and Marvel Entertainment needs to pull out all the stops to remain at the very top of the industry. Too many more stuff ups like D23, and the empire may take a great fall, one that even Marvel icon and living legend Stan Lee could not imagine.

For everyone's sake, we hope that Marvel Entertainment and other brains at Disney will soon excite us and restore the faith.


Martin Scorsese, William Monahan Teaming for 'The Gambler' at Paramount (The Hollywood Reporter)...

The duo are developing a remake of the 1974 movie starring James Caan as an English professor with a gambling addiction. They want Leo DiCaprio to star.

Paramount is going all-in on The Gambler, a remake of the 1974 James Caan addiction drama.

The studio has set Martin Scorsese to direct and William Monahan to write. Irwin Winkler, who produced the original, will again act as producer of the new film. They are interested in having Leonardo DiCaprio star, but no deal is in place for the actor.

The 1974 movie, an adaptation of the short novel The Gambler by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, detailed a New York English professor who inspires his students but suffers from a secret gambling addiction. The affliction causes him to extort money from his mother and convince one of his students to shave points in a basketball game.

Caan received a Golden Globe nomination for best actor for his performance in the original. Lauren Hutton and Paul Sorvino co-starred for director Karel Reisz. (The project is not related to the series of Gambler TV movies that starred Kenny Rogers in the 1980s and 90s.)

The gritty New York setting of the original seems a perfect match for Scorsese, who teamed with Monahan on 2006 best picture Oscar winner The Departed.

The director has been especially active lately. He has his first family film, Hugo, slated for a Thanksgiving release, and he’s preparing to direct Silence, an adaptation of the Shusaku Endo novel. He’s also attached to The Wolf of Wall Street, an adaptation of the Jordan Belfort memoir that has attached DiCaprio, with whom Scorsese collaborated on Shutter Island.

Scorsese is repped by WME and Rick Yorn. Monahan is repped by WME and Anonymous.

Paramount declined to comment. (Credit: The Hollywood Reporter)


Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment's bwin.fr and SAjOO.fr to Merge - 29th July 2011...

Given the challenging regulatory and fiscal regime that currently prevails in France and in order to drive greater value for both parties, bwin.party and Amaury Group have decided to merge their bwin France and SAjOO online gaming businesses.

While the terms of the merger are not being disclosed, the combination will deliver real financial benefits in a number of areas including marketing and shared resources and as a result, the combined entity will be much better placed to deliver attractive financial returns.

Both Amaury and bwin France share a common objective of delivering an exciting and competitive online offer, and have been working together since 2008. With an estimated 9% share of the French online betting market, SAjOO.fr has already surpassed the goals set at its launch back in 2010.

Commenting on today’s announcement, Norbert Teufelberger, Co-CEO of bwin.party, said:

“Combining the resources of SAjOO and bwin France makes perfect sense and will only enhance our already strong position in the French market. With the prospect of a more commercial regulatory framework in 2012, we look forward to building a market leading enterprise with our long-standing partner.”

Philippe Carli, Amaury Group’s Chief Executive Officer, said:

“This merger creates a new force in the French market, one that we expect will prosper over the months and years to come. We remain optimistic that the current review of the existing regulatory framework being conducted by the French Government will result in significant improvements to the legal and regulatory framework. In this context, Amaury group is strengthening its involvement with bwin France, one of the sector’s leading operators.”


Scratchie case loss a picture of pain...

Lotto lovers have been warned the odds might be even more stacked against them than they thought after a Sydney couple were ordered to hand back their $100,000 scratchie ticket winnings.

A lawyer for the couple says they are considering whether to take the matter further.

The Federal Court of Appeal ruled yesterday in favour of New South Wales Lotteries after the couple had won an earlier case over what looked like a winning ticket.

Elizabeth Kuzmanovski bought the Pictionary-themed ticket for her husband as a birthday present in July 2007.

Bale Kuzmanovski was elated when he scratched to reveal an image of a swimmer alongside the word "bathe".

NSW Lotteries refused to pay out, arguing the picture and word did not match.

But it was not on that basis that the appeal was won.

The appeals court accepted the lottery body's argument that a code on the bottom of the scratchie determined whether it was a winning ticket, not the pictures.

Mr Kuzmanovski's lawyer, Peter Ives, says they are considering a further appeal.

"Bill is extremely disappointed at what happened. He feels cheated. He has a feeling that he could never buy another Lotto ticket, knowing that he'll never know if he's won or not, even if it looks like he has won," Mr Ives said.

Christopher Zinn from Choice says the case shows consumers are vulnerable to fine print.

"What I take away from it is you can read the back of a ticket, you can read the back of a scratchie, but if there's going to be a dispute they can often pull various small print rabbits out of a hat, which are actually going to jinx any chance you might have of getting your hands on the money," Mr Zinn said.

"There are so many terms and conditions applying to the simplest things now, they're not always on the back of airline tickets or scratchie tickets or anything else.

"So it seems to be saying that you know you have to avail yourself of the maximum amount of information, certainly if you're going to take a challenge onto them."


IGT Wins Again with Sex And The City Big Diamonds!™...

The sequel to record-breaking Sex And The City™slot debuts

LAS VEGAS, Aug. 17, 2011 - It's a blockbuster summer for International Game Technology with the debut of Sex And The City Big Diamonds!™ Reel MultiPLAY Slots, the sequel to the award-winning Sex And The City™ slot machine.

This new slot game is appearing in casinos worldwide where it is sure to be equally as fantastic as the original.

"The original Sex And The City™ Slots remain one of the most popular games on casino floors throughout the world," said Tom Mikulich, IGT senior vice president of MegaJackpots. "And if early reviews are any indication, we expect the new Sex And The City Big Diamonds!™ title to be just as popular with players. The combination of unique game play and interactive bonuses will entertain fans of the original game and new players alike."

Players will experience even more glitz and glamour on the casino floor as Sex And The City Big Diamonds!™ joins the award-winning, player-favorite original, Sex And The City™ Slots. And not only have players fallen in love with the smash-hit Sex And The City™ slot theme, it's also a favorite with the casino industry. According to the Roth Fantini Quarterly Slot Survey of January 2011, the original Sex And The City™ title, introduced in 2009, continues its lead as the top performing premium leased game in North America.

"It's hard to imagine a tougher act to follow than the original Sex And The City(TM) slot game, but with Sex And The City Big Diamonds!(TM), IGT clearly has another big winner," said Robert Allen, corporate vice president of Casino Operations at Pinnacle Entertainment.

Adorned with a diamond-lit cabinet, the Sex And The City Big Diamonds!™ game is the perfect sequel. Along with its sophisticated presentation, Sex And The City Big Diamonds!™ Reel MultiPLAY interface comes with all new bonus content and features five progressive pick bonus levels, one for each of the five characters of the hit series.

Mr. Big is back and his winning charm is bigger than ever. He steals players' hearts with a random wilds diamond shower feature in the base game.

Carrie's bonus is called The Right to Shoes, and in this version, players will experience a marvelous new twist using the "accept or reject" bonus feature. Charlotte's bonus is the Glamorous Gifts bonus, which awards the player a virtual wheel spin. In Miranda's Retail Therapy bonus, players touch the screen to spin the wheel to award shopping bags filled with credits, multipliers and maybe an additional spin. And in Samantha's Glimmer Ring bonus, players can populate gems in the top box display while a diamond ring moves back and forth, highlighting the potential for big wins.

Sex And The City Big Diamonds!™ will be available throughout the U.S. Visit www.megajackpots.com/wheretoplay/bigdiamonds to find out where you can play the game now.

About IGT

International Game Technology (NYSE: IGT) is a global leader in the design, development and manufacture of gaming machines and systems products, as well as online and mobile gaming solutions for regulated markets. More information about IGT is available at www.IGT.com or follow IGT on Twitter at @IGTNews or Facebook at www.facebook.com/IGT

Official HBO Licensed Product. © 2011 Home Box Office, Inc. All Rights Reserved. HBO and related trademarks are the property of Home Box Office, Inc.


Ric Flair: Boozing Has Not Damaged My Heart...

Wrestling icon Ric Flair is furious over an article which claims the Nature Boy is suffering from a serious medical condition caused by years of hardcore boozing ... because Ric claims it's not true and now he's threatening to sue.

The unflattering article -- which paints Flair as a troubled, irresponsible mess of a person -- ran on an ESPN affiliated website called Grantland.com ... and the report is mostly based on court documents.

But Flair is particularly pissed about the reporter's claim that he suffers from Alcoholic Cardiomyopathy -- a disease caused by years of alcohol abuse which often leads to heart failure.

A rep for Flair whose real name is Richard Fliehr - tells TMZ, "While the information gleaned from courthouse records may be credible, Mr. Fliehr is currently evaluating his legal options with respect to falsehoods in the story, specifically the untrue statement that he suffers from alcoholic cardiomyopathy."

The rep adds, "Our client understands that these allegations are part of the territory when you are not only famous, but a living legend."


Hulk Hogan And Friends Tours American Casinos And Arenas; Gamble Paying Off...

Hulk and Friends, the live show that has been touring the country with stops at casinos, fairgrounds, arenas and other venues, announced that fans will have the chance to meet their favorite wrestlers in a unique and up-close setting on Saturday, October 8, 2011 at 7:30 P.M. at the famous AG Hall, now known as the Agri-Plex within the Allentown Fairgrounds, in Allentown PA.

"I'm really looking forward to meeting all my fans in the Allentown area on October 8th" Hulk Hogan said. "We are having a great time doing this show. Meeting the fans, telling jokes, and brother, everybody's laughing more than we have in years" he continued. Not only will all the fan favorites be there but Hulk Hogan promises to bring some very special guests along with him. "You never know who is going to show up at a Hulk and Friends Show" he added.

Tickets will be going on sale August 5th through Ticketmaster. A limited number of ringside seats (which include a VIP Meet and Greet) are also available. For those interested in sponsorship opportunities, please go to the official website www.hulkandfriends.com


Coke's game plan...

Coca Cola is turning to gaming technology and ideas to market itself.

Coke is soon to roll out new marketing strategies using gaming for several key products, including Fanta, which is targeted at a teenage market.

David Elsworth, Coke's vice-president for creative excellence, said gaming offered untold opportunities for marketing a brand

''Gaming is as ancient as storytelling but it was never able to be used in marketing on a mass scale because we didn't have the tools to do that before.''

Mr Elsworth said gaming in marketing was not about using the games, but using the rules and approach of games to create a different relationship between consumers and the brand.

''Gaming is about getting people to move from passive receivers of a message to active collaborators … interacting and participating.''

Mr Elsworth said gaming offered a richer level of engagement with consumers. He said gaming was no longer the domain of ''pimply teenagers in their bedrooms playing Xbox'', but a massive industry worth more than the film and music industries put together.


Pokie kings have slots to be happy about - 26th August 2011

Poker machine maker Ainsworth Game Technology pipped its cross-town rival, Aristocrat Leisure, yesterday with its second profit upgrade this year.

After a 17 per cent share price jump on Wednesday, Ainsworth yesterday announced an unaudited $23.1 million net profit for the financial year ending June 30, compared with a $2.7 million loss for the previous year.

More details will be available next Wednesday when the audited results are released.

Excluding the benefit of tax losses, Ainsworth's net profit was $14.6 million. In May the company upgraded its earnings forecast to a range of $11 million to $13 million.

''This positive financial performance reflected further strong domestic and international demand for the company's range of products in the last two months of the financial year and a more favourable currency position as at the reporting date,'' Ainsworth said.

Aristocrat reported that its profit forecast for the year ending December 31 this year remains intact, although this relies on the Australian dollar remaining at parity with its US counterpart for the current half year.

The strong dollar and high interest costs - the latter a result of Aristocrat taking on debt to settle its long-running dispute over its convertible bonds last year - dragged down its results for the six months to June 30.

The company reported a net profit after tax of $24.9 million down from $49.3 million for the previous half year while revenues dropped to $312.7 million from $340.5 million.

The company declared a 2.5¢ unfranked dividend payable on September 30 and also announced a dividend reinvestment plan.

As with its smaller rival, Aristocrat reported strong results from the Australian market as well as promising signs from the US despite forecasts that this market will continue to shrink this year.

The company's chief executive, Jamie Odell, described the result as an important milestone in its five-year turnaround strategy with the company delivering on guidance of a 10 to 20 per cent improvement on last year's $55.2 million profit as well as demonstrating improved underlying performance in its core business.


Media Man Website Network Attracting Close To 6 Million Hits Per Month...

The well known Media Man website network, the online arm of Media Man, is attracting close to 6 million hits per month. The company was established in 2001 and coverage over a dozen different business sectors. Some of the Media Man website portals are listed in the Hitwise Australia top ten (entertainment - personalities category). Media Man is currently focused on the celebrity, film and television, technology, gaming and community sector. They plan to further ramp up their Casino News Media, Property News Media and Wrestling News Media brands.

*The writer has conducted b2 with Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment and Betfair.

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8/26/2011

Casino News Media: Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment, Playtech - Media Man News Report, by Greg Tingle - 26th August 2011

Profiles

Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment PartyCasino.com PartyPoker.com Playtech Caesars Entertainment IGN World Poker Tour United States Casinos Gaming World Directory Brands Media Man


Media Man 'Online Casino Of The Month Award'...

PartyCasino.com has once again won the Media Man 'Online Casino Of The Month' Award. Richard Branson's VirginCasino.com picked up 2nd place, while new entrant into the Asia Pacific Region, Grand Reef Online Casino picks up 3rd. Well done to all brands.










Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment Talk Of The Town...

Earlier this year, PartyGaming and bwin merged to create Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment, which is traded on the London Stock Exchange under the symbol BPTY. In an news article that appeared in The Independent last Tuesday, it was noted that since the two online gaming giants merged, the combined company’s share price has dipped by nearly half. While part of the drop might be due to a slowing economic environment worldwide and so no action might be needed, other entities felt that an infusion could be in the offing. The news outlet cautioned, however, that investors might wait for the gaming environment in the United States to be sorted out first: "Not everyone agreed with the chatter, however, with one trader saying acquisitions in the sector were unlikely until there was further clarification over the potential regulation of online gambling in the U.S."

Despite the merger, PartyPoker.com remains the flagship site of its own network, while bwin makes its home on the Ongame Network alongside rooms such as Betfair.

Caesars Entertainment, one of the principal competitors of Wynn Resorts, has partnered with 888, also a publicly traded company in London. Prior to Black Friday, Full Tilt Poker teamed up with Fertitta Interactive, whose ownership group has strong ties to Station Casinos. Along with the PokerStars - Wynn deal, the latter fell by the wayside once the U.S. Department of Justice took action in April. Other members of TwoPlusTwo continued to cast doubt on the validity of The Independent’s report. One player wrote, "Party has never had any interest in selling. This feels like an absolute recycle of the previous such rumor that they were going to be bought out by Harrah’s. Unsurprisingly, it turns out there was never such a thing on the table and the only connection was former Party CEO Mitch Garber moving to Caesars Interactive." Rumors have also persisted that the Ongame Network could be sold outright. To that end, Sharecast.com noted in a recent article, "Bwin.Party, the world's largest online gaming group, already has its poker network, Ongame, on the auction block. The sale is expected to generate between 20M and 30M Euros ($28.5m to $42.7m), a modest figure reflecting the loss of players the network will incur through the sale." But could a deal between Wynn and Bwin.Party be finalized before online poker is legalized in the United States? And will it matter? This week, the New York Post published an article stating that online poker legislation could be coming sooner rather than later. One source told the Post, "I think there is becoming a feeling in Congress that this is something that needs to be regulated and be done. I believe there is a possibility a bill will pass towards the end of the year." Media Man will be following the story with weekly reports.


Playtech delays interim dividend; shares fall...25th August 2011

Playtech , the world's biggest provider of online gambling software, said it would defer a decision over its interim dividend until 2011 final results as it was in talks regarding potential buyout and partnership deals, sending its shares down 8 percent.

"Due to exceptional strategic M&A and partnership opportunities which are currently under discussion, in order to retain maximum flexibility, it (board) will defer a decision over the interim dividend," Playtech said in a statement on Thursday.

Collins Stewart cut its price target on the company's stock to 440 pence from 505 pence citing concerns over dividend payouts.

"PTEC has chosen to defer a decision on the interim dividend, to conserve cash given acquisition/investment opportunities emerging in regulating markets, particularly given the weak financial markets backdrop," the brokerage said.

However, the Estonia-based company, which operates a joint venture with Britain's biggest bookmaker William Hill and provides software to Paddy Power, PartyGaming and Gala Coral, posted strong first-half results boosted by its casino and bingo products.

Playtech reported adjusted earnings before interest, tax and depreciation (EBITDA) of 56.1 million euros ($80.8 million), compared with 54.2 million euros last year.

Total revenues on a continuing basis grew 18 percent to 76.3 million euros.

The company also said it was confident of meeting its expectations for the year. The average forecast for Playtech's full-year EBITDA stands at 108 million euros.

Playtech, whose billionaire Israeli founder Teddy Sagi continues to hold a 40 percent stake, said average software revenue for the first 54 days of the second half were up more than 23 percent compared with last year on introduction of casino games and poker cash table games in Italy.

Playtech shares, which have lost more than a quarter of their value since the start of the year, were down 4.5 percent at 302.25 pence at 0814 GMT on the London Stock Exchange. The stock touched a low of 290 pence earlier in the session.


No dividend for Playtech investors...

Gaming software developer Playtech has chosen to pass on paying a dividend until the final results for the year, blaming the move on exceptional strategic mergers and acquisitions and partnership opportunities currently under discussion.

The company saw its revenue creep higher, from €72.8m to €76.3m, for the six month period ending 30 June, while pre-tax profit was only marginally up at €37.8m (2010 H1: €37.7m).

Net profit for the firm was up just 2% to €37.9m (2010 H1: €37.0m), but the company is confident of meeting expectations for the year.

Roger Withers, non-executive Chairman, said: "Playtech has continued to make strong progress in an uncertain market, winning new licensees, exploiting opportunities in existing and soon to be regulated markets and identifying valuable acquisitions which will add to the group's offering.

"Despite the complexity and uncertainty of moves towards regulation in Europe and the US, Playtech has positioned itself, both independently and through its joint ventures, to benefit from the continued growth of the online gaming market. As more jurisdictions move towards regulation, Playtech is able to offer new and existing operators a market leading suite of products and services, helping them to navigate the complexities of changing regulatory environments."

The company's casino revenues increased by 7% to €52.7m (2010: €49.1m), poker revenues decreased 33% to €10.7m (2010: €15.8m) and bingo revenues increased 59% to €7.1m (2010: €4.5m).

Trading in the second half of the financial year has got off to a strong start, despite the third quarter traditionally being a quiet one for the company.

Daily average software revenues for the first 54 days of the third quarter were up more than 23% in comparison to the comparable quarter in 2010, and up more than 2% versus the previous quarter.

The company partially attributed this improvement to both the introduction of casino games and poker cash table games in Italy, and the defection of players to Playtech's poker licensees due to the suspension of the second largest poker operator. In addition, service revenues introduced for the first time through the July acquisition of PTTS are trading strongly and in line with expectations.

The company's full year dividend was €0.19 in 2010, up 4% on the previous year.

The group had cash and equivalents worth €64.3m, up €4.3m from the same period the previous year.

Broker Peel Hunt said the figures were ahead of its expectations, but said the deferral of the interim dividend was a surprise.

"Some may not like the deferral of the interim dividend but, given the group’s acquisition track record and that ultimately Playtech is a growth story, we can see the logic behind the decision," analyst Nick Batram said.

The broker rates the shares as a "buy" and has a target price of 393p.

Panmure Gordon is also a buyer of the shares, and has a much higher target price of 494p.

"We anticipate upgrading our [full year] forecasts to c€120m EBITDA for 2011E and the stock is inexpensive trading on a 2011E P/E of 9.3x and an EV/EBITDA of 7.2x," the broker argues.

The share price was down 4.98% to 300.75p at 12:35.


FTSE 250 Movers: Bwin.party bid may be on the cards...

Bwin.party Digital Entertainment saw its share price head north as rumours persist that a US company has it in its sights.

Casinos operator Wynn Resorts is one name in the frame, with a take-out price of 170p per share being talked about.

Bwin.party, the world's largest online gaming group, already has its US poker network, OnGame, on the auction block.

The sale is expected to generate between 20m and 30m euros ($28.5m to $42.7m), a modest figure reflecting the loss of players the network will encur through the sale.

Irish mining company Kenmare Resources was rapidly heading back down following a rally of 7.5% on Monday on the back of a tip in the Daily Telegraph which declared Kenmare a "bargain share".

FTSE 250 - Risers
Bwin.party Digital Entertainment (BPTY) 112.50p +6.43%


IGN Entertainment & Caesars Entertainment Announce Partnership to Bring Professional Video Gaming Tournaments to Caesars Casino Hotels...

Inaugural Live Event - IGN Pro League (IPL) 3: Origins - October 6-9 at Caesars Atlantic City


Players at home can participate in the gaming challenges with technology powered by Playhem
SAN FRANCISCO, Aug. 25, 2011 - IGN Entertainment, the leading video games media company, and Caesars Entertainment, the world's largest casino entertainment company, today announced a partnership to bring IGN Pro League (IPL) gaming tournaments to Caesars casinos. The live tournament event – IPL 3: Origins – featuring the mega-franchise StarCraft II from Blizzard Entertainment, will take place October 6-9th at Caesars Atlantic City, in the Circus Maximus Theater.

The Atlantic City tournament is the first time professional video gaming will hit the stage at Caesars – a major step in elevating video games as a spectator sport. IGN Pro League events also continue to be streamed live online at http://www.ign.com/ipl.

"Games will continue to be a dominant entertainment medium of the next 20 years, and the time is ripe for eSports to make its mark as a mainstream form of entertainment that can produce the next genre of celebrity in sports," said David Ting, General Manager of eSports and Vice President of Research & Development at IGN. "We believe that pro video gaming can become as popular as mainstream sports such as basketball, tennis and wrestling, and we are thrilled to partner with Caesars to bring video games to the forefront."

"Atlantic City is the top entertainment destination on the East Coast, and the location of Caesars Atlantic City at Center Boardwalk is prime for events such as the IGN Pro League tournament," said Don Marrandino, Eastern Division President for Caesars Entertainment. "We are thrilled to host this one-of-a-kind event in October and look forward to a fantastic weekend of intense video game competition."

For the inaugural Atlantic City event, IGN will bring together 32 of the top StarCraft II players to compete for $100,000 in prizes. In advance of the tournament, IGN will set up four online qualifying tournaments, where the top two players of each qualifier will be guaranteed at least $1,000 in winnings and free travel and accommodation for the event. There will be 256 competitors competing live at the venue. From these, 16 will be chosen to compete among 32 finalists live on stage in the Atlantic City event. Players and fans who converge on Atlantic City for IPL 3: Origins in October will witness global StarCraft II stars such as IdrA, Select and WhiteRa competing for the top spot and a chance to win up to $100,000.

Upping the ante for players and spectators, social networking commerce site Playhem.com will support the event by providing back-end betting technology that enables gamers of any level to play against others in head-to-head matches and tournaments for cash and prizes. IGN's online qualifiers are powered by the Playhem technology.

"Playhem is incredibly excited to be providing the online challenge gaming and tournament functionality for this ambitious and momentous initiative," said Ryan DeSanto, Co-Founder of Playhem.

The IGN Pro League is a franchise that reflects how video gaming has become a legitimate and prestigious profession. Launched in April 2011, IGN Pro League has attracted more than 1.2 million unique visitors and nearly 6 million page views to its tournaments. IPL 1 invited 16 of the top StarCraft players in North America, and IPL 2 – Across the Atlantic – convened 32 of the U.S. and Europe's best StarCraft II players to its online competitions, vying for their part of a $50,000 prize pot. The IPL 3: Origins event at Caesars in Atlantic City, as well as the previous two IPL installments, can be accessed online at http://www.ign.com/ipl.

About IGN Entertainment
IGN Entertainment is the leading Internet media and services provider focused on the video game and entertainment enthusiast markets. Collectively, IGN's properties reached more than 70 million unique users worldwide in February 2011, according to Internet audience measurement firm comScore. IGN's network of video game-related properties (IGN.com, 1UP.com, GameSpy, FilePlanet, TeamXbox and others) is the Web's #1 video game information destination. IGN also owns the world's largest men's lifestyle website, AskMen.com, and men's entertainment site UGO.com. It also provides technology for online game play in video games. IGN is headquartered in the San Francisco Bay Area, with offices across North America, Europe and Australia.
About Caesars Entertainment

Caesars Entertainment Corporation is the world's largest provider of branded casino entertainment. Since its beginning in Reno, Nevada, more than 73 years ago, Caesars has grown through development of new properties, expansions and acquisitions, and now operates casinos on four continents. The company's properties operate primarily under the Harrah's®, Caesars® and Horseshoe® brand names. Caesars also owns the World Series of Poker® and the London Clubs International family of casinos. Caesars Entertainment is focused on building loyalty and value with its customers through a unique combination of great service, excellent products, unsurpassed distribution, operational excellence and technology leadership. For more information, please visit www.caesars.com.

About Playhem
Playhem is a video game social network that connects gamers in competition, enabling friends to challenge one another for points, cash and prizes at their favorite games, making them more exciting and engaging. Playhem works across brands, devices, and genres through support of mass-market pc, console, casual and mobile games.
SOURCE IGN Entertainment

RELATED LINKS
http://www.ign.com/ipl
http://www.caesars.com


Media Man 'Online Casino Of The Month Award'...

PartyCasino.com has once again won the Media Man 'Online Casino Of The Month' Award. Richard Branson's VirginCasino.com picked up 2nd place, while new entrant into the Asia Pacific Region, Grand Reef Online Casino picks up 3rd. Well done to all brands.


Betfair Poaches Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment Executive...

A talent war of sorts has broken out between Bwin.Party and Betfair, with Betfair scoring the most recent strike.

Betfair has by all accounts poached bwin.party’s central marketing director Matt Robinson to become the firm's emerging markets director, a new role created for the top notch gaming executive.

Robinson, who has been at PartyGaming, today known as bwin.party, for two years and was previously at 888 for six years launching the brand in the UK, will join the betting exchange in September reporting to chief commercial officer Niall Wass.

Media Man wishes him well, and holds both Bwin.Party and Betfair in high regard.

*The writer has conducted b2 with Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment and Betfair.

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8/24/2011

Australasian Gaming Expo Report, by Greg Tingle - 23rd August 2011

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Gaming Sydney Australia Asia Pacific Darling Harbour Casino Promotions Events IGT Media Man

Today was a important day on the Australian gaming industry calendar. It's the third and final day of the 2011 Australasian Gaming Expo, held at Darling Harbour in 'Sin City' Sydney, Australia. The event comes at a time where the spotlight on the Australian gambling industry may have never been brighter or so politically red hot. My company, Human Statue Bodyart, was delighted to be in the thick of the action. Enter the events world of the Gaming Technologies Association...




'Sex And The City' slot game by IGT: Styling by Human Statue Bodyart

Australasian Gaming Expo Open Day In Sydney...

Over 150 gaming - gambling exhibitors enjoyed day three at the Australasian Gaming Expo Open at Sydney's Darling Harbour. Dozens of big name brands were there including IGT (and its new 'Sex And The City' slot game), Aristocrat Technologies Australia, Ainsworth, Konami, WMS, ShuffleMaster and Bally.

Most of the exhibitors were making a return appearance from last year. It appeared they're were more exhibitors than "punters".

It's a huge production, with over 15,000 square meters decked out in gambling gear.

While big name companies like IGT somewhat dominated the event, it was impossible not to also recognise some of the smaller operations, as well as a few of IGT's competitors of sorts, thanks to their considerable branding and marketing efforts.

Here's the list of all of entities I was blessed to be able to speak with and photograph:

IGT
Aristocrat Technologies Australia
Ainsworth
Bally
Maxgaming
Keno
Paynter Dixon Hospitality
Tenrod Australia
Rohrig
Choice Paper & Imaging
Allpride Signs & Marketing
Paltronics Australasia
Maximun Light

As you can see from our photographs showcased on our Flickr, a great time was had by all, and the event was largely a success for all involved.

For the record, some of my personal favorite games are 'Sex And The City', 'The Phantom', 'Queen Of The Nile', 'Aussie Gold', 'Rose Tattoo', 'Jaws', 'Wheel Of Fortune' and Keno.

It's going to be interesting to see what poker machine manufacture is the one that will step up to battle with the red hot IGT slot - 'Sex And The City'. Will it be Australia's own Aristocrat or an international entrant.

Good on the organisers for also having coffee and bites on hand. 4.5 stars out of 5 for an excellent event, and we'll look forward to being on hand next year for more of the fun and games that is the Australasian Gaming Expo.

Photography Portfolio...




Aristocrat Technologies Australia




Ainsworth




Bally




Maxgaming




Keno




Paynter Dixon Hospitality




Tenrod Australia




Rohrig




Choice Paper & Imaging




Allpride Signs & Marketing




Paltronics Australasia




Maximun Light

Websites

Australasian Gaming Expo
http://www.austgamingexpo.com

Gaming Technologies Association
http://www.gamingta.com

Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre Darling Harbour
http://www.scec.com.au

Eva Rinaldi Photography Flickr
http://www.flickr.com/evarinaldiphotography

Eva Rinaldi Photography
http://www.evarinaldi.com

Human Statue Bodyart
http://www.humanstatuebodyart.com.au

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http://www.mediamanint.com

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8/21/2011

Australian Gaming And Casino News; Australasian Gaming Expo Opens, by Greg Tingle - 21st August 2011

Today was a significant day on the Australian gaming industry calendar. It's opening day of the 2011 Australasian Gaming Expo, held at Darling Harbour in 'Sin City' Sydney, Australia. The event comes at a time where the spotlight on the Australian gambling industry may have never been stronger or so politically charged. Media Man and Gambling911 man down under with that and much more...

Australasian Gaming Expo Open Day In Sydney...

Over 150 gaming - gambling exhibitors enjoyed day one at the Australasian Gaming Expo Open Day at Sydney's Darling Harbour. Dozens of big name brands were there including IGT (and its new 'Sex And The City' slot game), Aristocrat Technologies Australia, Ainsworth, Konami, WMS, ShuffleMaster and Bally. Most of the exhibitors were making a return appearance from last year. They were more exhibitors than "punters", however this may change tomorrow (Monday), as the working week down under kicks off. It's a biggie, with over 15,000 square meters decked out in gambling gear. Tomorrow (Monday) and Tuesday are expected to be bigger, with the working week getting on the way. Website: Australasian Gaming Expo


Casino News Media Website Portal Rises In Rankings; On Set To Get Hitwise Listed...

The popular Casino News Media website portal continues to rise in popularity, now attracting almost 2 million hits per month. It's been submitted to Hitwise for an award, following the path of its parent company, Media Man (that's us), who has made the Hitwise finals in the entertainment - personalities category for 6 years in a row.


Aussie Gambling And Sporting Icon Shane Warne To Attend Melbourne Cup Race With Liz Hurley...

Shane Warne aka "Warnie" will be heading to the Melbourne Cup with his women Liz Hurley. It's understood Warne is due to open his themed poker room at Crown Casino during the Spring Racing Carnival, with the likes of Tiger Woods, James and Erica Packer and a bush tucker bag of of local celebrities joining in the fun.


Shuffle Master, Inc. Gears Up for Australasian Gaming Expo with Game-Changing Innovations...

Exhibit Features Impressive Array of Slot Machine Titles, New e-Table Enhancements, the Latest Specialty Game Titles, and Productivity-Enhancing Utility Products...


LAS VEGAS, Aug 17, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Shuffle Master, Inc. (nasdaq global select market:SHFL) announced today that it will display an impressive range of game titles and diverse product innovations at the 2011 Australasian Gaming Expo ("AGE") on August 21- 23, 2011 at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Center, located in Darling Harbour, NSW, Australia.

"The new Equinox cabinet is firing on all cylinders and we are confident that Shuffle Master's AGE lineup has never been better. With a multitude of new games on display, AGE provides a great opportunity to flaunt the strength of our themes and the innovative features our game designers have built into them," stated Adrian Halpenny, President of Shuffle Master Australasia. "We believe that this year's show will be one of the most exciting in our history and will underscore Shuffle Master's deep commitment to making gaming more fun for players and more profitable for operators."

The exhibit will highlight key innovations from Shuffle Master's five product categories:

High-Performance Games for the Equinox(TM) Cabinet

Housed in the stylish new Equinox cabinet, Shuffle Master will showcase its wide variety of slot machine titles that feature stunning graphics, enticing progressive jackpots and rewarding free game features. This year's lineup includes such standalone progressives as: The Pink Panther(R)(1) Returns, Potion Power(TM), and Fortune games; all Fortune games feature a unique active symbol function known as All Up(TM). With the All Up bet, players can select to activate 5 symbols per game from the button panel. The symbols change from various colors to gold and offer greater wins for the amount of gold symbols played.

Players will have a witchingly good time with Shuffle Master's new two-level stand-alone progressive Cats, Hats & Bats(TM), one of the most popular low denomination games of 2011. Players will have the chance to win up to 13 free games and the screen-trembling Bat Splat(TM) feature awards prizes up to 16 times. Players who enjoy Cats, Hats & Bats will no doubt be "ribbeted" by Hubble, Bubble & Trubble(TM). This standalone progressive combines all of the action of Cats, Hats & Bats but centers on berserk frogs.

Shuffle Master will also unveil a new link for the Queensland market, Pirates Revenge(TM), a 50 line 4-level progressive with entertainment galore in the alluring Medallion(TM) feature. Following on from the success of King of Babylon(TM) released in March this year, look out for Wolf Mountain(TM), another 50 cent three-level progressive destined to be a hit.

New e-Table Offerings

Rapid Select(TM) for Rapid Table Games(R) will be front and center at the exhibit and offers anticipated superior flexibility needed in Australasia's busy casinos. Combining a live dealer and a touch-screen electronic betting interface, the Rapid line of electronic table systems is anticipated to dramatically increase game security and productivity by automating the wagering process. Rapid Select is the latest enhancement to the Rapid platform and includes a multigame feature which gives players the flexibility to choose which Rapid game -- Baccarat, Roulette, or Sic Bo -- they would like to play on their terminal, without ever having to leave their seat. Enhanced live statistics are available at the touch of a button and seamless betting can be conducted across multiple games. Operators are expected to benefit from increased reporting functions that enable betting traffic to be monitored by zones. With the capability to accommodate over 300 terminals per table and up to 6 tables of each game type, betting limits can be easily configured to suit each betting position.

"We consistently aim to improve the player experience and Rapid Select's multigame feature empowers the player to conveniently choose what action they wish to partake in," continued Halpenny.

Also highlighted at the show will be Vegas Star(R) Grand Baccarat(TM), a fully electronic baccarat table that combines a virtual dealer on a central plasma screen with individual touch-screen betting terminals and features the enticing Grand Tie(TM) jackpot side bet. The Grand Tie side bet is triggered by tied 8's and 9's. Up to 10 gold cards are dealt with each gold card awarding either a major or mini jackpot, or a bonus credit prize.

The Latest Specialty Table Games

This year's exhibit will feature progressives for some of Shuffle Master's most popular specialty table games such as Ultimate Texas Hold'em(R), Mississippi Stud(R) and Crazy 4 Poker(R). Chip sensors embedded in the table allow players to place an optional jackpot wager to potentially win fixed prizes or a continuously incrementing progressive jackpot. Progressives enhance specialty games by creating additional action, excitement and volatility, therefore increasing profitability for the casino. In addition to showcasing its proven, popular titles, Shuffle Master will also present two new "up-and-comers", Rabbit Hunter(TM) with Bad Beat Bonus and Face-Up Three Card Poker 6 Card Bonus(TM).

"Australian players have an appetite for the excitement that live table games provide and they are adaptive to new games," Halpenny added. "We are confident that our new specialty games and progressives will meet that market niche of players looking for something different."

The Latest Innovation in Shuffling Technology: Intuitive Card Shufflers

World-renowned for their exceptional engineering and unparalleled performance, Shuffle Master's card shufflers are designed to increase table game productivity, profitability and security. The new MD2CR(TM) shuffler will be prominently featured at the show, demonstrating the advanced capabilities of the latest shuffling technology. Utilizing the same optical card-reading technology that has been so successful on the Company's i-Deal(R) shuffler, the MD2CR scans and verifies pre-shuffled blackjack and baccarat decks right at the table. Featuring an innovative platform and gripper system, the MD2CR counts and shuffles up to eight decks of cards quickly and quietly, and significantly reduces wear and tear, making cards last longer.

Key Utility Offerings: Easy Chipper(R) D and i-Verify(TM)

With improved chip handling, better safety features and less moving parts, the new Easy Chipper D provides quick and accurate chip sorting, which increases the number of spins per hour. The Easy Chipper D is also enhanced with an easy to use touch-screen interface that makes it easier than ever to set the machine's features.

The i-Verify, an LCD touch-screen display that is embedded into a felt table, provides increased security and reduces dealer training for "house way" games like Fortune Pai Gow Poker(R) and Fortune San Lo Poker(TM). When used in conjunction with an i-Deal shuffler, the i-Verify tells the dealer exactly how to set his or her hand, according to the prescribed house procedure.

"I am very proud of what the Australasian team has accomplished over the past year, introducing the Equinox cabinet to the market, and further strengthening our market leadership in high-denomination games," commented Shuffle Master's Chief Executive Officer, Gavin Isaacs. "I look forward to what I believe will be very positive reception of our exciting new titles and multiple product innovations at AGE."

Live updates and pictures from Shuffle Master's booth at the show will be available on www.twitter.com/shufflemaster and www.twitter.com/shfl_news .

About Shuffle Master, Inc.

Shuffle Master, Inc. (the "Company" or "Shuffle Master") is a leading global gaming supplier specializing in providing its casino customers with improved profitability, productivity and security, as well as popular and cutting-edge gaming entertainment content, through value-add products in five distinct categories: Utility products, which include automatic card shufflers and roulette chip sorters; Proprietary Table Games, which includes live games, side bets and progressives; Electronic Table Systems, which include various e-Table game platforms; Electronic Gaming Machines, which include video slot machines; and newly introduced i-Gaming, which features online versions of Shuffle Master's table games, social gaming, and mobile applications. The Company is included in the S&P Smallcap 600 Index. Information about the Company and its products can be found on the Internet at www.shufflemaster.com , or on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

(1) The Pink Panther is a registered trademark owned by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Inc.


Underbelly Razor Hits Channel Nine TV Tonight...

One of the leading ladies ruled Sydney's brothels. One ruled its sly grog shops. The other was the one every gangster wanted on his arm. Tilly Devine, Kate Leigh and Nellie Cameron were the brash, sharp-tongued, quick-thinking and ruthless women who ruled Sydney’s underworld in the “roaring” 1920s. Devine and Leigh were the queens of vice. Now they are characters brought to life by Chelsie Preston Crayford, Danielle Cormack and Anna McGahan in the latest and most colourful 13-chapter mini-series of Nine’s dramatised crime franchise, Underbelly. Underbelly: Razor is the cinematic recreation of the book Razor, by Larry Writer, on the beginnings of organised crime in Australia. It took six years to research as Writer delved into the history of the “razor gangs” that battled for control of Sydney’s underworld. Set in one of Sydney’s most colourful eras, the 1920s, Underbelly: Razor tells the story of Devine and Leigh’s battle to reign supreme in a world built on sly grog, prostitution, illegal drugs, extortion and gambling. That battle turned to pure menace when an interloper from Melbourne (Norman Bruhn, played by Jeremy Lindsay Taylor) decided to take the town from the girls. Knowing you could hang for murder and be jailed for possession of a gun, he brought a new weapon – the cut-throat razor. Judging by the movie-length opening episode, the 13-part series will deliver everything viewers have come to expect from the Nine Network’s flagship drama: nudity, sex, violence, drugs, blood, biff, guns and gore – all handsomely packaged in sepia tones and period clobber. The show begins with a naked woman in a bathtub. But the flesh that has become Underbelly’s trademark won’t test tolerance levels this time as much as the bursts of unflinching brutality, especially against women. Viewers aren’t spared the callous beating of a pregnant prostitute, a vicious catfight between Leigh (played by Danielle Cormack) and Devine (Chelsie Preston-Crayford) and the grisly aftermath of a back alley razor attack. The violence is mostly implied, rather than explicit, but vivid enough to have you wincing in revulsion as blades slice through flesh and blood splatters to the ground. Rated ‘‘M’’ for it violence, coarse language, sex scenes and drug use, Underbelly Razor is the most compelling Underbelly since the original series delved into Melbourne’s gangland wars of the 1990s.


Tabcorp's The Star And Friends Get New Future Star Website Teasing What's In Store...

Check out the new website: http://www.futurestar.com.au Also check out the website of Echo Entertainment http://www.echoentertainment.com.au Echo Entertainment is the casino arm of Tabcorp you've likely been reading about for the past few months.

Future Star blurb reads... THIS TOWN NEEDS A NEW STAR. FUTURE STAR IS THE TRANSFORMATION OF
STAR CITY INTO A ONE-OF-A-KIND ENTERTAINMENT DESTINATION COMING LATE 2011.


Crown Casino Spells Out Responsible Gambling On Website...

The clear message reads...

Crown's commitment to Responsible Gaming

Crown is committed to providing and promoting gaming in a responsible manner. A number of responsible gaming initiatives have been introduced. These include:

The Responsible Gaming Support Centre
Referral to a range of support services
The Play Safe limits Program (pre-commitment)
A Self-Exclusion Program
The Chaplaincy Support Service for anyone seeking Spiritual support
Responsible Gambling Code of Conduct
Responsible gaming occurs in a regulated environment where the potential for harm associated with gambling is minimised as customers are informed and can therefore make sensible and rational choices based on their individual circumstances.

The responsible gambler
Is in control
Sees gambling as entertainment, not a job
Doesn't take gambling too seriously
Only gambles with the money set aside for entertainment, not for household essentials
Never borrows money to gamble
Sets limits on the amount of time and money they will spend
Sticks to these limits and walks away when they are reached
Doesn't chase losses
Takes frequent breaks

(tips adapted from "Follow these tips before you gamble" brochure, Responsible Gambling Awareness Week 2010)


Mainstream Gaming Firms Ramp Up Online...

IGT, Aristocrat, Wynn Resorts... you name it. All are diving in deeper into the online gambling spectrum. IGT has dropped the 'WagerWorks' tag, and is now simply known as IGT, pushing along new games such as 'Monopoly You're In The Money'. Aristocrat is to push titles into online casinos, and Steve Wynn's Wynn Resorts is rumoured to be interested in purchasing Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment, however the Wynn - Bwin.Party talk is not confirmed, but has sure been talked about a great amount across the globe over the last week. Watch this space.

*Media Man is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company

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8/20/2011

Wynn Resorts May Purchase Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment, by Greg Tingle - 20th August 2011

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Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment PartyCasino.com PartyPoker.com Steve Wynn World Poker Tour United States Media Man







Earlier this year, PartyGaming and bwin merged to create Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment, which is traded on the London Stock Exchange under the symbol BPTY. In an news article that appeared in The Independent last Tuesday, it was noted that since the two online gaming giants merged, the combined company’s share price has dipped by nearly half. While part of the drop might be due to a slowing economic environment worldwide and so no action might be needed, other entities felt that an infusion could be in the offing.

The Independent added that Wynn Resorts, headed up by Steve Wynn, has emerged as a possible investor in the newly formed gaming giant, which is focused on the European market and continues to feature two separate online poker rooms. Readers will recall just before Black Friday in the United States, PokerStars and Wynn Resorts announced that, once a gaming license was secured in the United States, the two companies would team up to launch Poker Stars Wynn.

Following Black Friday, in which the founders of PokerStars were indicted on charges that included money laundering and bank fraud, the deal with Wynn was called off as you would expect.

The news outlet cautioned, however, that investors might wait for the gaming environment in the United States to be sorted out first: "Not everyone agreed with the chatter, however, with one trader saying acquisitions in the sector were unlikely until there was further clarification over the potential regulation of online gambling in the U.S."

On Thursday, shares of Bwin.Party closed at 106.50 in London. Other rumored "aggressors," as the Independent calls prospective investors, include William Hill, which is also publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange. Shares of BPTY stood above 160 pence in April, but have since dipped.

One poster on the TwoPlusTwo forum, questioned whether the rumors of a Wynn takeover were plausible: "So the newly merged Bwin.Party will sell to Wynn before even taking advantage of all the millions of Euros they will make in the first two years by virtue of the their merger synergies?"

Despite the merger, PartyPoker.com remains the flagship site of its own network, while bwin makes its home on the Ongame Network alongside rooms such as Betfair.

Caesars Entertainment, one of the principal competitors of Wynn Resorts, has partnered with 888, also a publicly traded company in London. Prior to Black Friday, Full Tilt Poker teamed up with Fertitta Interactive, whose ownership group has strong ties to Station Casinos. Along with the PokerStars - Wynn deal, the latter fell by the wayside once the U.S. Department of Justice took action in April.

Other members of TwoPlusTwo continued to cast doubt on the validity of The Independent’s report. One player wrote, "Party has never had any interest in selling. This feels like an absolute recycle of the previous such rumor that they were going to be bought out by Harrah’s. Unsurprisingly, it turns out there was never such a thing on the table and the only connection was former Party CEO Mitch Garber moving to Caesars Interactive."

Rumors have also persisted that the Ongame Network could be sold outright. To that end, Sharecast.com noted in a recent article, "Bwin.Party, the world's largest online gaming group, already has its poker network, Ongame, on the auction block. The sale is expected to generate between 20M and 30M Euros ($28.5m to $42.7m), a modest figure reflecting the loss of players the network will incur through the sale."

But could a deal between Wynn and Bwin.Party be finalized before online poker is legalized in the United States? And will it matter? This week, the New York Post published an article stating that online poker legislation could be coming sooner rather than later. One source told the Post, "I think there is becoming a feeling in Congress that this is something that needs to be regulated and be done. I believe there is a possibility a bill will pass towards the end of the year."

Media Man will be following the story with weekly reports.

*The writer has conducted b2 with Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment and Betfair.

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8/18/2011

Global Gaming Directory Website Network Updated

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Thor: The Marvel Entertainment movie, dvd and slot game

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Movies Hollywood Marvel Entertainment Marvel Slots Marvel Studios Paramount Pictures Disney Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment Media Man

From Marvel Studios and Paramount Pictures comes a unique and compelling twist on the super hero genre with the out-of-this-world warrior THOR, debuting on high definition Blu-ray 3D, Blu-ray and DVD September 26, 2011.

Cited as 'Thor-some' (Daily Star) and 'Brilliant. An action spectacular.' (Mirror) the phenomenal screen debut of the legendary God of Thunder took audiences by storm, earning more than $440 million at the global box office.

When Thor is banished to Earth from his home world of Asgard, and pursued by a force sent to destroy him, he must learn what it takes to become a true hero in this exhilarating story, that 'Comes on like thunder, delivering epic fireworks' (Rolling Stone).

Featuring an all-star cast including Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman and Anthony Hopkins, stunning visual effects and explosive action sequences, THOR wields outstanding entertainment that the whole family can enjoy.

The THOR three-disc set includes the film on Blu-ray in high-definition 3D and on high definition 2D, as well as a digital copy.

The two-disc Blu-ray/DVD - triple play pack includes a high definition presentation of the film, plus a standard definition presentation with a digital copy.

Both Blu-ray packs come fully loaded with 80 minutes of immersive bonus materials including an exclusive special feature that goes deeper into the Marvel Universe, a sneak peek into Marvel’s The Avengers, an unprecedented look inside the world of Director Kenneth Branagh and much more.

Marvel Entertainment via PartyCasino.com and Media Man present the Thor slot game. Don't just read the comics and watch the movies, play the games!

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8/17/2011

Gaming And Financial Market Report: Investors take a flutter on Bwin.party bid talk - 16th August 2011

Websites

PartyCasino.com PartyPoker.com




Profiles

PartyCasino.com Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment Casino PartyPoker.com

Takeover talk was on the cards for Bwin.party yesterday, as investors mulled over whether to take a gamble on the online gaming group after rumours emerged it could be in line for an approach from the US.

The company has existed in its current form only since March, when the merger between PartyGaming and Austria's Bwin was completed. Since then, however, a steady slide – exacerbated by the sharp falls seen across the markets in the past few weeks – has resulted in its share price plummeting by 45 per cent.

The move has prompted chatter that the world's biggest listed online gambling group may become a target, and yesterday vague speculation suggested the casinos group Wynn Resorts, whose chief executive is the Las Vegas billionaire Steve Wynn, could be a potential aggressor.

With the gossip claiming a possible bid could reach as high as 170p a share, Bwin.party managed to touch 107.8p during trading before closing at 105.7p, a rise over the session of 1.7p.

Not everyone agreed with the chatter, however, with one trader saying acquisitions in the sector were unlikely until there was further clarification over the potential regulation of online gambling in the US.

The recent rumours came after mutterings last week suggested potential aggressors for Bwin.party could come from closer to home, with William Hill – up 1.9p to 224p – one of the names linked.

Those in the City returning to their desks after the FTSE 100's volatile movements last week would not have been blamed for being somewhat fearful over what the days ahead would hold, yet the top-tier index ended up powering forwards 30.55 points to 5,350.58, its third consecutive session on the rise.

Nonetheless, traders were still cautious. "We are not out of the woods yet," said one, who added that he would feel more confident if the banks managed a sustained rally as well. That was certainly not the case yesterday as – with nerves raised ahead of today's key meeting between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and France's President Nicolas Sarkozy on the eurozone crisis – the sector was left in the red.

Following reports suggesting "ring fencing" proposals could be tougher than anticipated, Barclays dropped 3.85p to 183.35p, while Lloyds Banking Group was 0.59p behind at 33.23p. Meanwhile, HSBC fell 4.6p to 547.2p despite being picked by JP Morgan Cazenove as one of the more attractive stocks after the recent sell-off.

Saying that "equity markets are oversold and [we] see many signs of panic", the broker added that "indiscriminate selling is offering great opportunities if one can look through the current extreme volatility."

Also among its picks were Amec, which finished 43.5p stronger at 949p, and Xstrata. The latter was lifted 21.5p to 1,092.5p, and – with data from Japan showing its economy for the second quarter had shrunk less than feared – the rest of the miners were also rising.

SABMiller pushed up 15p to 2,105p after Nomura raised its glass to the Grolsch brewer and toasted its emerging markets exposure. Cutting its growth expectations for the amount of beer consumed in Western Europe and US, the broker pointed out that around 84 per cent of SABMiller's profits come from outside these regions and raised its recommendation to "buy" as a result.

However, Nomura's analysts were less keen on Diageo, dropping its advice to "neutral", thanks to its new estimates that spirit volumes Stateside will rise only 1 per cent next year, although the owner of Smirnoff vodka and Bell's whisky still ticked up 11p to 1,189p.

Down on the FTSE 250, there was a definite appetite for Domino's Pizza as the pizza delivery company – recently the subject of bid rumours – surged forwards 24p to 486.8p, helped by Peel Hunt upgrading its rating to "buy".

As well as claiming that investors now have "a rare second chance to buy into Domino's iconic marketing enterprise", the broker's analysts added that they would "also take seriously recent social developments which, even after calm has been restored, may result in a subtle shift between the considerations for going out as opposed to staying at home".

The wooden spoon on the mid-tier index was taken by Michael Page, with the recruiter dropping sharply as it released its interim results. The company ended up shedding 32.4p to finish at 368p after saying it was being knocked by hiring freezes among the European banks, several of which have recently announced large job losses.

It was a good session for the explorers operating off the coast of the Falkland Islands, with Rockhopper increasing its estimates for its Sea Lion discovery. As a result it spurted up 19.25p to 237p on the Alternative Investment Market, while Desire Petroleum – which operates in the same region – was 2.25p higher at 19.25p.


Sportingbet chatter a rare ray of light in a gloomy market; UK Report...

Takeover tittle-tattle engulfing the internet gambling industry provided a welcome distraction on an otherwise miserable morning in the markets today.

Sportingbet, at present being courted by Ladbrokes, rose 3.3p to 53.7p as investors bet that a deal is imminent. Sportingbet's rival GVC Holdings said it is in exclusive discussions with the company about buying its Turkish language website. According to Evolution Securities, a sale of the site would "pave the way for a Ladbrokes takeover [of Sportingbet]."

Recycled bid speculation also pushed Bwin.party Digital Entertainment into first place on the FTSE 250 winners' list. The ludicrously named gambling group is rumoured to be in the sights of either bookmaker William Hill or a predator from across the Atlantic, Wynn Resorts. Gossips named a price of up to 170p per share for an approach: that's already 10p more than they were dreaming about last Friday. Bwin.party, formed from the merger of PartyGaming and Austria's Bwin, surged 7.4p to 113.1p.

UBS also gave the stock a boost, noting that it is trading at levels last seen during the market panic which ensued after the collapse of Lehman Brothers. That is, according to the big-hitting bank, despite the prospect of €55 million (£48.3 million) of "merger synergies", the demise of a major rival (Full Tilt Poker) and better-than-ever prospects for re-entering the US poker market.

But analyst Simon Whittington added that first-half results at the end of the month are likely to be lacklustre and may provide an even better buying opportunity. He is a buyer of Bwin, and has a 185p price target.

Shares in London ended their three-day winning streak after disappointing German GDP data renewed investors' fears for global growth. The FTSE 100 fell 55.16 points to 5295.42, dragged down by mining stocks because of their exposure to economic growth. Xstrata dropped 35½p to 1057p, Kazakhmys lost 28p to 1022p and Chilean copper producer Antofagasta shed 34p to 1230p.

Car parts maker GKN was the worst performer on the top flight though, off 7.5p at 194.7p, as auto stocks were sold-off amid concerns that the economic slowdown will hit demand.

Only a smattering of blue-chips managed to post any gains. They were mostly "safe haven" stocks: drug-makers Shire and GlaxoSmithKline ticked up 14p to 1965p and 5p to 1282p respectively, and gold miner Randgold Resources climbed 60p to 6240p.

Recruitment firm Harvey Nash was 4p up at 72p as investors applauded a 40% jump in first-half profits. Polo Resources surged 0.4p to 5.3p after doubling its proposed special dividend to 2p per share. It comes after the mining investment vehicle sold its stake in Caledon Resources.




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8/15/2011

Global Gaming Directory - Casino News Media: PartyCasino gets new games; Want to get your hands on King Tut’s legendary treasure?; Atomic Fruit

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About Us
We are bwin.party digital entertainment plc , the world’s largest listed online gaming business created by the merger of bwin and PartyGaming in March 2011. We have market leading positions in each of our four product verticals: sports betting, poker, casino and bingo. Our leading brands include bwin, PartyPoker.com, PartyCasino.com and Foxy Bingo. Our mantra is to ‘Let the World Play for Real’ – and our mission is ‘to be a leading digital entertainment company that anticipates market demands and delights our consumers by offering smart, safe and fun real money games’.

We invite you to learn more about bwin.party.

Licensed, regulated and tested
Licensed by the Government of Gibraltar and regulated by the Gibraltar Gambling Commissioner under the Gambling Act 2005, our games are powered by the bwin.party systems which are independently tested to ensure that our games operate correctly, are fair, their outcomes are not predictable and that the system is reliable, resilient and otherwise up to the highest standards of software integrity, including access control, change control recording, fingerprinting of the executables and regular monitoring of all critical components of our systems.

Game fairness and responsible gaming
We see online gambling as a legitimate form of entertainment that is enjoyed by millions of adults worldwide. We advertise and operate responsibly in order to protect minors, and we assist those that may have problems to help identify their issues and, if appropriate, seek counselling. For more information, see game fairness and responsible gaming.

Safe, secure and private
We use 128-bit encryption, provided by Thawte Security, to ensure the security and privacy of your data. We keep all of your information confidential, and we will never share it or sell it to third parties, except in accordance with our privacy policy. Our state-of-the-art player identification and controlled-access log-in ensure maximum account safety.

Zero tolerance for fraud and collusion
Our systems perform random security checks and other log-file reviews to maintain system integrity and fairness at the tables. If we find any players participating in collusion or deceptive practices, we will close their accounts immediately.

Payment processing
We offer a variety of easy deposit options and guarantee fast cash outs. All payment processing transactions are transmitted by, and stored in, our secure, proprietary Pay-Pro cashier system. Additionally, our new integrated platforms allow you to play a variety of gaming sites using a common account and log-in.

Excellent customer care, VIP services and rewards
We understand that your time is valuable and that you want to have fun, free from hassles or problems. That's why our five-star Customer Care Team is available to help you, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In addition, we assign dedicated hosts to our regular players to ensure the highest level of support and the best comps and bonuses. At bwin.party, we believe our rewards programme is second to none.

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