11/29/2011

Tobey Maguire Pays $80,000; Lawsuit Settled Over High-Stakes Hollywood Poker Games, by Greg Tingle - 28th November 2011

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Tobey Maguire Ben Affleck Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon

Tobey Maguire (aka Peter Parker from Spider-Man) has reached an $80,000 settlement with U.S prosecutors over his involvement (playing) in high stakes Hollywood Poker games.

Earlier this year, the popular actor was one of 22 punters sued for winning money in allegedly illegal poker games from a Beverly Hills hedge fund top brass who was convicted of running a Ponzi Scheme. This past Wednesday, the parties filed court papers in bankruptcy court revealing that Maguire has agreed to part with $80,000 to be released from ongoing litigation meant to recoup money for those who got duped by the fraud.

Maguire was one of many Hollywood insiders who participated in high-stakes poker games at lush Beverly Hills hotels with Brad Ruderman, the CEO of Ruderman Capital Partners.

His good mate and poker playing pal, Leonardo DiCaprio, is understood to be pleased that he wasn't fined, and is being discrete about his gambling (and women), as much as the press might try to juice things up.

Ruderman was later convicted of wire fraud and investment fraud and is now locked up in a Texas jail as the trustee of Ruderman Capital attempts to locate as much as possible of the $25 million allegedly lost in these Hollywood poker games. Among the other celeb identified in a lawsuit launched last June were The Notebook director Nick Cassavetes, Welcome Back Kotter star Gabe Kaplan, and record label owner Cody Leibel. Other stars including Leonardo DiCaprio and Ben Affleck were also reportedly involved in the poker games, with $50,000 buy-ins (but they were not sued).

Maguire allegedly pocketed more than $300,000 in poker, but in the lawsuit, the bankruptcy judge alleged the poker was unlicensed and that the winnings were ill-gotten gains from Ruderman's clients.

On Wednesday, in court filings, the trustee revealed a settlement with Maguire. Per the agreement, the star of Spider-Man paid $80,000 and represented to the best of his knowledge that he has not received any more monies than those poker winnings from Ruderman. Maguire also disavows any knowledge of the Ponzi scheme and agrees not to make any claim on the bankrupt estate.

The settlement will need to be approved by a judge. A hearing date of Dec. 21 has been put down to consider the motion for settlement.

According to the court paperwork, the parties entered into a settlement agreement to avoid the expense and risk of further litigation. In making the case that the settlement represents the best interests of the estate, Howard Ehrenberg, the Chapter 7 trustee for Ruderman Capital points out that the lawsuit raised "several complex issues of law and fact," including "whether Maguire provided value to the Debtor in relation to the poker games and whether certain of the transfers from Ruderman to Maguire constitute funds of the Debtor."

Maguire signed the settlement agreement himself on Nov. 18, and if approved by the judge, he will be released from ongoing case. Maguire was represented by Robert Barta at Rosoff Schiffres & Barta.

Hollywood poker players are understood to be laying low, until the case blows over, with some stars being advised to stay clear of poker for a while to help keep them away from potential problems.

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Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire told to ease off high stakes poker, by Greg Tingle

Now we know another reason that movie stars Leo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire have enjoyed quite a bit of their time in 'Sin City' Sydney, Australia - they like a punt, and are fans of Australian land based casinos, with The Star being at the top of their list for the meantime. It's not known for certain if the twosome have played poker or gambled on Australian soil, but take a wild guess.

Many Hollywood (and AussieWood) stars love to gamble, and high-stakes poker is one of their favourite games. Privacy is high on their priorities and it's known that some forms of gambling don't sit well with the law in some parts of the world, including in the United States.

It's understood that Tobey Maguire and mates Leonardo DiCaprio and Ben Affleck are long time high stakes poker fans and may have participated in quite a few private games played mainly in Los Angeles and New York.

The word is that the FBI is probing into alleged Russian mob connections to those big dollar games.

A few months ago there was a lawsuit filed against Maguire claiming a big Wall Street investment guy paid his gambling debts with funds inappropriately acquired from his firm’s investors.

A longtime associate of both DiCaprio and Maguire is understood to have said "As much as those boys love to gamble, they don’t need this kind of hassle...It seems clear that a number of very unsavory people have used their own huge wealth to weasel their way into those games.

"No one needs a Frank Sinatra problem these days," added the leak, referring to the Mafia connections that followed Ol’ Blue Eyes most of his life.

DiCaprio and Maguire are currently enjoying a working holiday of Australia and both gents have been spotted at The Star (entertainment complex and casino - ex Star City Casino) more than once.

'Our Leo' is staring in The Great Gatsby. Maguire is not working Spider-Man, but has a number of exciting projects in the works. May the best player, er, actor Win.

All of this while online gaming companies such as Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment, which owns the World Poker Tour, attempts to get the green light from the US government to offer Americans totally legal online poker games.

Media Man is following up the story, and understands that McGuire is close to coming to terms with prosecutors on the Hollywood Poker investigation.

Websites

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Frank Sinatra Enterprises

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Leonardo DiCaprio, Tobey Maguire told to ease off high stakes poker, by Greg Tingle

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Hollywood Poker Leonardo DiCaprio Tobey Maguire Hollywood Movies News Financial News Casino News Poker News Entertainment News




Tobey Maguire Ben Affleck Leonardo DiCaprio and Matt Damon

Now we know another reason that movie stars Leo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire have enjoyed quite a bit of their time in 'Sin City' Sydney, Australia - they like a punt, and are fans of Australian land based casinos, with The Star being at the top of their list for the meantime. It's not known for certain if the twosome have played poker or gambled on Australian soil, but take a wild guess.

Many Hollywood (and AussieWood) stars love to gamble, and high-stakes poker is one of their favourite games. Privacy is high on their priorities and it's known that some forms of gambling don't sit well with the law in some parts of the world, including in the United States.

It's understood that Tobey Maguire and mates Leonardo DiCaprio and Ben Affleck are long time high stakes poker fans and may have participated in quite a few private games played mainly in Los Angeles and New York.

The word is that the FBI is probing into alleged Russian mob connections to those big dollar games.

A few months ago there was a lawsuit filed against Maguire claiming a big Wall Street investment guy paid his gambling debts with funds inappropriately acquired from his firm’s investors.

A longtime associate of both DiCaprio and Maguire is understood to have said "As much as those boys love to gamble, they don’t need this kind of hassle...It seems clear that a number of very unsavory people have used their own huge wealth to weasel their way into those games.

"No one needs a Frank Sinatra problem these days," added the leak, referring to the Mafia connections that followed Ol’ Blue Eyes most of his life.

DiCaprio and Maguire are currently enjoying a working holiday of Australia and both gents have been spotted at The Star (entertainment complex and casino - ex Star City Casino) more than once.

'Our Leo' is staring in The Great Gatsby. Maguire is not working Spider-Man, but has a number of exciting projects in the works. May the best player, er, actor Win.

All of this while online gaming companies such as Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment, which owns the World Poker Tour, attempts to get the green light from the US government to offer Americans totally legal online poker games.

Media Man is following up the story, and understands that McGuire is close to coming to terms with prosecutors on the Hollywood Poker investigation.

Websites

The Star

Spider-Man (Sony Pictures)

Spider-Man (Marvel Entertainment)

Frank Sinatra Enterprises

Leonardo DiCaprio official website

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11/25/2011

Kerry Packer Dead Media And Gambling King Star of Channel Nine For 2012 Slot; Gyngell 'Best Ever' Year, by Greg Tingle - 24th November 2011

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Kerry Packer in the grave still gives Channel 9 boss David Gyngell "sweaty palms."

Next year the Nine Network will be counting on on a TV mini-series about the late media and gambling mogul's life to deliver the massive ratings it needs to snatch back its former glory.

Unveiling its biggest investment in new television programming in the station's rich history, Gyngell championed Howzat: The Kerry Packer Story as a sure hit for Nine in a year he predicts will be its "best ever".

Staring down the gun barrel at an 18-month deadline to recapitalise company debt...and shake-up a rough-ish 2011 ratings performance - the Nine top brass gave his word his network would "deliver across the board" next year.

Confirming $120 million in new programming and business ventures at a sales lunch yesterday, a fired up Gyngell delivered: "On my watch you will not see anything go backwards in the Nine group.

"I've been part of this company my whole life and for the last 10 years we have been trying to build this company into something great. That will continue, I give you that solemn promise."

The magazine arm of the Nine entertainment business announced it will launch two new titles: Womens' Health and Elle.

Of the KP project, Gyngell told news media hounds that he's taken a hands-on approach to the TV biography, from the makers of hit ABC drama Paper Giants - to air after Nine's coverage of the London Olympics in August.

"This is obviously so close to me and we just have to get it right. It's the show I think will be our biggest hit and a story that has everything Australians love: the colour, the characters, cricket," Gyngell said.

His best mate James Packer is said to be "excited" about the production, starring Rob Carlton as his father, with shooting to begin within months.

Local content dominates Nine's lot for the new year, with another mini-series Beaconsfield reliving the rescue of Tasmanian miners Todd Russell (to be played by Lachy Hulme) and Shane Jacobsen as Brant Webb.

Smash hit reality TV series The Block and The Celebrity Apprentice return, along with singer search show, The Voice, and weight-loss challenge, Excess Baggage, which will be hosted by Kate Ceberano.

A new local drama Tricky Business, starring Shane Bourne and Debbie Byrne, will go to battle with Seven's Packed To The Rafters.

Bourne described the show at launch as a family show with a procedural element. The cast also includes Gigi Edgley, Debra Byrne and Lincoln Lewis.

"The show has a very warm heart but we're also debt collectors," he said.

Australia's most famous gold heist will also make it to the small screen with Nine's The Great Mint Swindle, starring Grant Bowler, Todd Lasance and Josh Quong Tart.

Nine is also bringing back the former Ten hit Big Brother with Sonia Kruger as host.

Hamish and Andy will be back with a series set in London in the lead-up to the 2012 Olympic Games which will also screen on Nine.

Make no mistake, the Kerry Packer mini series is the Main Event for Nine in 2012, and we tip it to be both a massive money maker, and well as act as quite a makeover for Nine, which will help them reclaim the undisputed spot as 'The One'. Knock em for six.

The late, great, Kerry Packer would be proud.

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11/24/2011

Playtech to raise 100 mln stg in placing

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* Placed 46.5 mln shares at 215 pence

* Placing at a 2.5 pct discount to the stock's Tuesday close

Nov 23 - Playtech Ltd, the world's biggest provider of online gambling software, said it would raise 100 million pounds in a discounted offering to finance acquisition opportunities and investments in new joint ventures.

The placement of about 46.5 million shares would be priced at 215 pence each, representing a 2.5 percent discount to the stock's closing market price on Tuesday, Playtech said.

The company, in which its billionaire Israeli founder Teddy Sagi continues to hold a 40 percent stake, said it had identified a number of acquisition opportunities that would complement or expand its existing technology or product offering.

The cost of the opportunities currently under review vary in size up to about 40 million pounds.

Playtech is an Estonia-based company, which operates a joint venture with Britain's biggest bookmaker William Hill and provides software to Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment, Paddy Power and Gala Coral.

Shares of the company, which have lost a quarter of their value in the last three months, closed at 220.5 pence on Tuesday on the London Stock Exchange.

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11/21/2011

Aussie Millions At Crown Casino, Melbourne, Australia

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If there’s one thing the Australians love more than gambling it’s sport and for them poker is fair game. This means that once the cards hit the felt at the Aussie Millions you can expect a raucous atmosphere from the crowds inside the Crown Poker Room. Indeed, since its inception the Main Event has grown immensely from just 133 runners in 2004, to 681 runners in 2009 and 721 in 2011.

The Aussie Millions is considered to be one of the game’s crowning majors – on a par with the WSOP or the WPT World Championship – and for good reason too. The Melbourne-based tournament is situated in one of the most desirable locations in the southern hemisphere and will again be hosted at the world-class Crown Casino complex, where all manner of poker action will unfold from January 12–30.

As ever the 2012 Aussie Millions schedule will be highlighted by the AU$10,600 Main Event, a five-day behemoth that last year awarded a staggering AU$2 million to winner David Gorr, but that will be just one of the 26 events on offer this year. Perhaps one of the more eye-catching side events taking place will be the $100,000 Challenge – a two-day event that will pit a granite-hard field of the game’s elite against one another for a total prizepool that last year exceeded AU$3,800,000. But while that blue chip tournament may well be out of reach for all but a select few of poker’s established Illuminati, there will be plenty of mid-high-stakes action for the more budget-conscious traveller, as outlined on the schedule at www.aussiemillions.com

Aussie Millions highlights

So, what should you be playing to keep yourself busy in January? Here’s our pick of the action over the fortnight. (All entries are in Australian Dollars.)

January 12–15 - $1,000+100 - NLHE Freezeout

January 16–18 - $1,000+100 - PLO

January 17–19 - $1,100+100 - NLHE Shootout

January 21–22 - $1,500+150 - NLHE Bounty Event

January 22–28 - $10,000+600 - NLHE MAIN EVENT

January 22–23 - $100,000+500 - NLHE $100,000 CHALLENGE

January 23 - $4,750+250 - Chinese Poker

January 25–26 - $2,250+250 - H.O.R.S.E.

January 29–30 - $10,000+500 - 8-Game Mix


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11/19/2011

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Online Gaming Talk Heats Up With Native American Tribes, by Greg Tingle - 19th November 2011

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Native American tribes advised Thursday they want their cut of the jobs and revenue if online gambling is allowed in the United States but they don't want to lose their sovereignty to get it.

Internet gambling has been prohibited in the U.S. since 2006, which has seen players and their cash go to to websites and internet portals based offshore. With Congress searching for money to cut the deficit and create new jobs, supporters see an opening for legalizing at least some online gambling opportunities.

Should Congress act, the federal government will have to write rules and will likely collect taxes from proceeds. Native American tribes want the federal government to ensure they are allowed to operate, regulate, tax and license online gambling as well, if they choose to get in on the business.

"Although there is no legislation before the committee right now, one thing we are all aware of is the need for additional resources at the federal level," said Hawaii Sen. Daniel Akaka, chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee, which held a hearing Thursday to air tribes' concerns on the issue. "The discussions surrounding potential Internet gaming legislation have only increased as Congress looks to the supercommittee to find revenue sources and Congress looks to create jobs ..."

The supercommittee Akaka referred to is a bipartisan committee of 12 lawmakers created this summer to find a plan to reduce government borrowing by least $1.2 trillion over the next decade. The committee is stalled in part over whether to raise new revenue.

A House Energy and Commerce subcommittee planned to hold its second hearing Friday on Internet gambling. There is bipartisan support for at least some Internet gambling. Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., has pushed for its legalization for years.

While there is no Internet gambling bill before the Senate committee, there is legislation in the House, though it already has opposition from tribal leaders.

Ernie Stevens, chairman of the National Indian Gaming Commission, said tribes have united behind some core principles, including no taxation of tribal revenues. Current Internet gambling proposals violate those principles, "and we oppose their passage," Stevens said.

One such measure, sponsored by Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, would legalize online poker. Spokesman Sean Brown said the legislation would allow tribes, like states, to opt out of allowing Internet gambling if they chose.

Some at Thursday's hearing expressed concern about proposals to allow the Department of Commerce to regulate operators of Internet games. Tribal leaders are calling for the National Indian Gaming Commission to continue to regulate their businesses.

The commission reported that last year, 236 tribes operated 422 gambling facilities in 28 states, generating $27 billion in revenue, evidence that the commission has the expertise to regulate tribal Internet gambling and won't have to start from scratch, learning laws particular to tribes as well as cultural considerations, witnesses at the hearing said.

Not all tribes support Internet gambling. Some see it as a potential competitor to their established brick-and-mortar casinos.

"The Tulalip tribe sees the legalization of Internet gambling as a direct threat to the economic growth in Indian Country," said Glen Gobin, vice chairman of the Tulalip Tribes of Tulalip, West Virginia.

"Do you think tribes are going to be able to compete with someone like Harrah's on Internet gaming?" Gobin asked.

Many U.S gaming companies including land based casinos are now starting to adopt online gaming into their business model, with MGM Resorts International recently teaming up with Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment (which owns and operates PartyCasino.com PartyPoker.com and World Poker Tour).

It's widely believed that the U.S will see legal online gambling up and running soon, but then again, that's been the world for years, so for much of the gaming industry, they will believe it when they see it.

In the meantime entities such as Global Gaming Directory, Casino News Media and a host of entertainment and gaming website portals should consider to do a healthy trade.

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11/14/2011

PartyCasino News: PartyCasino VIP Double Up; Palladium online slot; Promotions

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PartyCasino.com is one of a number of Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment brands.

The most popular PartyCasino.com games of late include Heist, Circus, Rambo, Palladium Slot, The Godfather, Sinatra, Slotbox, Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Mission: Impossible, The Terminator, Cleopatra, Sinatra, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, The Amazing Spider-Man, Monopoly, Resident Evil, Melon Madness, Wheel Of Fortune and Mega Fortune Wheel.

The PartyCasino.com jackpot is currently approaching the $4 million mark. Players can also compete for The Big One and Marvel Hero Jackpot, playing the Marvel super hero themed online slot games.

PartyCasino's most recent game releases include War Of The Worlds, Atomic Fruit, Aztec Gold, Sin City, Robin Hood, Shaaark! SuperBet, Crocodopolis, Alice's Wonderland, Glamour Puss, Super Cubes, Heist, Palladium Slot and Circus Slot.

Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment Co CEO Jim Ryan has gone on record advising PartyCasino will soon feature more Hollywood blockbuster themed slots. A few in the know journalists and media agents have been recently tipped off that an all time classic movie adaption will be showcased in the PartyCasino portfolio within 1 month. PartyCasino has the world's most impressive line up of Hollywood themed games, and more are just around the corner.

PartyCasino.com and PartyPoker.com customers can also benefit from rewards and bonuses via PartyPoints and the Palladium Lounge. Be certain to check out the PartyCasino selection of promotions this month which are some of the best available in the industry today.

Media Man, Casino News Media and Global Gaming Directory do have a b2b relationship with Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment, as they do with dozens of other companies in the gaming, igaming, media and entertainment industry.

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11/11/2011

Echo Entertainment - The Star and Crown Limited AGM Pokie Cap Talk, by Greg Tingle - 11th November 2011

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Times are a changing.

Echo Entertainment, with a capital E for entertainment, and its The Star (no longer Star City Casino)...red headed stepchild... are in some talks with James Packer's Crown Limited about... you guessed it - poker machine cap limits. The fierce rivals have found some common ground, or is it more about bit of a common enemy.

The "Aussie casino wars" as they have been described in gaming business circles have taken on a bit of a new angle, with Australia's 'Big Brother' government cementing itself on the battlefield, taking fire from Echo, Crown and the Liberal - National coalition party. One Media Man news-hound joked "It's bigger than the release of Call of Duty 3. They should be an Aussie casino war videogame".

There's been some good news for Echo coming out of its AGM. The integrated entertainment complex and land based casino owner advised revenue was stronger in the first quarter of 2011-12 and earnings are tipped to surge in the second half.

Mr Packer, perhaps a touch busier than usual, thanks to both his AGM in Melbourne, friend Shane Warne doing his thing with Club 23 at the casino, and insider, golf champ Tiger Woods doing his thing in and around Burswood Entertainment Complex in Perth, got to share his mind to shareholders (this writer being just one of them).

The famous Australian gaming billionaire showed his interest competitor Echo Entertainment, of which Crown Ltd snatched a 4.9 per cent stake in the Tabcorp spinoff last June.

Speaking on behalf of Crown at Echo's shareholders meeting yesterday, long-time Packer confidant, Guy Jalland, quizzed the Echo board whether its talks with NSW and QLD governments had covered ridding Echo's ownership caps which currently limit investors to a 10 per cent stake.

"At the time of the demerger that matter was raised with governments of each of those jurisdictions," advised Echo Entertainment chairman John Story. "Each government indicated it wished to continue the current caps."

Mr Jalland went on to ask whether these ownership caps are in the interests of shareholders.

"It's up to the government to determine that outcome, that's not of our making," said Mr Story.

After the meeting, Echo chief exec Larry Mullen, was probed about if there was any discussions between Crown Limited and Echo Entertainment to which he disclosed that the two outfits have only had talks on common business issues such as the new poker machine regulations.

It's clear that on this point Packer's Crown and Echo (E for Entertainment) have evidently found common ground, if not a common target.

Story stayed on message as JP (that's James Packer) when he railed against the pokie reforms and how it would hit the casino and gaming industry at a time when Echo and Crown are spending a combined $4 billion on new "tourism infrastructure"...that's including the redevelopment of Echo's flagship Sydney land based casino, The Star.

He advised the tipped reforms (pre-committing being a big part), "are unproven and untargeted proposals, which are at risk of adversely impacting the casino and tourism industry without the desired improvement in the occurrence of problem gambling." He said they along with many members of the casino sector are in talks with the government to find a more effective solution.

Swinging back to the Echo AGM, Mullen told investors that trading for the current financial year was in line with expectations and "solid" given the cautious consumer environment and disruptions from its redevelopment program.

Revenues at Echo were up 15.2 per cent from July 1 to October 31 he said.

Mullen pointed out that while benefits of the redevelopment of The Star will be evident from this quarter, earnings for the half year will be impacted by $30 million worth of pre-opening costs and higher initial operating expenses.

Even in the casino business, you have to sometimes spend quite a bit of money to make money, and the stakes are often higher for the casino company than for the punters that might come in to try their luck on Cleopatra, Sinatra, Monopoly, Wheel of Fortune or any other one of hundreds of game titles.

Media agencies such as Media Man and Casino News Media are currently obtaining information from the public at large as to whether The Star or Crown Casino are seen at number one in Australia as well as if both casino groups are more about gambling or entertainment, or both. Information gathers and analysts at the likes of Roy Morgan and the Australian Government are expected to be very interested in the findings.

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11/09/2011

Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment Revenue Rises; Italian Game Boosts Business, by Greg Tingle - 9th November 2011

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Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment, the world's biggest and most successful listed online gaming company, shrugged off the global credit crunch to post a lift in third-quarter revenue, helped by the launch of new games in Italy and strong growth in its casino division.

The Gibraltar-based company, whose brands include PartyPoker.com, PartyCasino.com, Bwin and Foxy Bingo, said on Tuesday total net revenue grew 3% to 201.1 million euros (276 million) in the third quarter.

Bwin.Party, which was formed by the merger of Austria's Bwin and PartyGaming earlier this year, advised its third-quarter revenue was boosted by the launch of table games such as roulette and blackjack in Italy after the government opened up the market for casino table games and cash poker in July.

The company, which offers up to 30,000 bets daily across more than 90 sports, said it had also benefited from a bar on U.S. poker website Full Tilt Poker in April following charges of illegal gambling.

Bwin.Party said current trading was robust and in line with management's expectations.

"We expected our business to be resilient but not immune to the recession, and I think that's where we are today," said Chief Financial Officer Martin Weigold.

"There are certain markets that have been particularly hit by the financial crisis ... for us Greece is the one that stands out. However, even Greece shows quarter-on-quarter growth, but if you looked at the year-on-year movement, we have seen a double-digit decline," Weigold said.

GREEK GAMBLE

Co-Chief Executive Jim Ryan said a possible Greek exit from the euro zone would have a limited impact on the business.

"If in fact they did leave it would just be a function of the consumers in Greece playing with a different currency; they'd still continue to use the service," he said.

The gaming industry has traditionally been a rock for the entertainment sector during periods of economic weakness.

Rival 888 reported a 42% rise in third-quarter sales last week and said it expected 2011 earnings to be significantly ahead of market estimates as British consumers stay at home, watching TV and gambling online amid an economic slowdown.

Shares in Bwin.Party, which have dipped around 33% of their value since the merger, rose 1% to 136 pence by 1000 GMT (5 a.m. ET) on Tuesday.

"Bwin.Party's third-quarter (statement) ... shows good progress across the group," Evolution Securities analyst James Hollins said in a note.

Hollins, who has an "add" rating on the stock, highlighted the company's brand resonance in key European countries and the long-term U.S. upside.

Bwin.Party's average daily revenue climbed 8% on the previous quarter, while the number of daily average players fell 4%, in part because player numbers were boosted last year by the soccer World Cup.

"The elephant in the room remains German legislation, the company's single largest market (around 22%)," Daniel Stewart analyst Michael Campbell said.

In September Germany's highest civil court upheld a ban that bars private-sector companies from operating online gambling sites.

Bwin.Party said it was working with German states on a regulatory framework and said it hoped to secure a license in the northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein, where gambling-friendly laws were passed in September.

The firm is interested in expanding into markets such as the United States, Australia and New Zealand.

Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment is known around the globe for brands such as PartyCasino.com PartyPoker.com and World Poker Tour

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Virgin Casino New Circus Internet Slots; Virgin Casino Releases Siberian Storm Slot Game

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Virgin Casino Virgin Games Captain Cannon’s Circus of Cash Circus Siberian Storm Richard Branson Slots

Virgin Casino is licensed in the gambling jurisdiction of Alderney in accordance with British Law. New players are offered a 100% match bonus up to £$€100.

Virgin Casino has only reload bonuses reserved for the first week of November. The good news it has just added a new internet slots titled Captain Cannon’s Circus of Cash. Captain Cannon’s is a product of Ash Gaming which could be played at Virgin Casino through its GTS platform. One of the standout features of this circus based slot game is its 9 thematic bonus rounds. Captain Cannon’s offers players a return of 95%.

The slot game has three in-reel bonus rounds. In the Fire Breather bonus round a fire breather blowing flames appears on the reels. This amounts to three reels that have wild symbols. The line wins are then calculated anew and paid. A female lion tamer features in the Lion Tamer bonus features. In total five symbols are transformed into wild symbols. Yet again additional payouts are awarded to the player. Players will like the Rampaging Elephant. An elephant goes out of control on the reels knocking out some of the symbols. The remaining symbols and new symbols drop down to fill the gaps left. Chances are very good to obtain wilds in the new symbols. Every line win is calculated again and paid to the player.

The Caravan Side Shows is the next set of bonuses. These bonuses feature on the second screen and are played inside the caravan. To win bonus credits in the Bearded Lady bonus, the player has to choose one of two bearded ladies to win. In actual fact one of these women is a real beauty hiding behind the beard and offers larger payouts. In the Strongman Contest the player must pick one of the strongmen. The strongman lifts weights and holds it above his head. The longer the weights could be held, the larger the payout the player will receive. The Knife Throwers award five throws. The must choose a number of balloons, each balloon that is popped awards bonus credits or additional throws.

Last but not least is the Main Event bonus rounds; these offer the highest payouts as well as the possibility of hitting the progressive jackpot should the gold clown make its appearance on the screen during the bonus. Virgin Casino guarantees that one lucky player will win this progressive jackpot. Free spins are awarded by the Clown Car bonus. The amount of free spins is determined by the clowns with pink balloons and the multiplier is determined by the clowns with green spins. The Tightrope Motor Bear must ride across the rope and return a clown. Depending on how far the bar travels bonus points are awarded. The captain is fired from the cannon In the Captain Cannon Bonus. A prize is awarded with each object he collides with. The bonus ends the moment he collides with a water barrel.

Virgin Casino can not currently be accessed by Australian, New Zealand or American players, but a range of other online casinos can be located via the Global Gaming Directory.


Virgin Casino Releases Siberian Storm Slot Game...

Virgin Casino released a new slot game entitled Siberian Storm and it is set to cause just that at Richard Branson's very popular online casino.

The new slo game has a Siberian wild life theme to it and includes the mesmerizing MultiWay Extra™ format of wagering where players can win in up to 720 different ways.

The scatter pays and the stacked wilds make sure for an exciting slot game experience. The free spin bonus round gives the player the opportunity to win up to 240 free spins to win a huge reward. During the free spin bonus round, the player begins with 8 free spins. However, these can be re-triggered to attain the potential 240 free spins.

The stand-out features for Siberian Storm include superb graphics, a high quality soundtrack and the chance for players to win very big with a variety of ways to win a cash prize.

In Siberian Storm, players can win by hitting symbols diagonally as well as just from left to right. There is a single lines jackpot of 1,000 coins. This can be won when the player hits five Siberian Storm logos and there is a total jackpot of £250,000.

Siberian Storm is available to play at Virgin Casino right now.

Virgin Casino can not currently be accessed by Australian, New Zealand or American players, but a range of other online casinos can be located via the Global Gaming Directory.

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11/07/2011

MGM Resorts, Boyd Gaming, Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment In Talks For US Online Poker; Casino, by Greg Tingle

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Shares in Bwin.Party have jumped in recent days with news that the company has joined forces with leading casino brands MGM Resorts International and Boyd Gaming to offer online poker to US residents once legislation is passed in the States, a number of experts have advised not to get too excited, too soon.

Land based casino operators MGM Resorts International and Boyd Gaming this past week unveiled a plan to partner with online gambling company Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment, subject to the legalization of Internet gambling in the United States.

Gibraltar-based Bwin.Party, the world's largest publicly traded online gaming company, was formed earlier this year through the merger of Austria's Bwin and PartyGaming.

Bwin.Party would own 65 percent of a start-up company that would offer online poker to U.S.-based players, while MGM would own 25 percent and Boyd would have a 10 percent stake.

U.S. prosecutors earlier this year accused the owners of three of the largest Internet poker companies of tricking regulators and banks into processing billions of dollars in illegal gambling proceeds.

That crackdown derailed a similar deal between online gambling operator PokerStars and Las Vegas-based Wynn Resorts Ltd. Steve Wynn is understood to have gotten out of that deal in approximately one week.

MGM closed its original Internet gambling operations in mid-2003, citing regulatory uncertainties.

"There is now an overarching opinion in Washington that this needs to be addressed," MGM Chief Executive Officer Jim Murren told Reuters in a telephone interview. "U.S. citizens are putting their financial assets at risk on sites that the U.S. government has no comfort over how they are being operated."

Wynn, MGM and other land based casino operators have been lobbying hard in recent years for U.S. legalization of online poker...which they say is primarily a game of skill, rather than other forms of gambling where the customer is playing against the "house."

Their goal is legislation at the federal level, but legalization efforts are also underway in several states.

"Federal legislation is a vastly better solution ... to avoid any ambiguities in laws," Murren said.

Casino companies argue that millions of Americans are already playing online poker on websites operated from overseas and legalization would bring that revenue to the United States, where it could be taxed, jobs would be created and integrity could be assured.

Opponents, including groups like the Southern Baptist Convention, say online gambling is an irresponsible way to raise revenue.

Boyd Gaming and MGM Resorts also said each has agreements to use Bwin.Party's technology under its own brands.

MGM owns 10 casinos on the Las Vegas Strip, ranging from Circus Circus to the Bellagio, as well as casino-resorts in Mississippi and Michigan and joint ventures in New Jersey and Macau, the only place in China where gambling is legal.

Macau is currently seen as a more go ahead region for the gambling business than Las Vegas.

Boyd Gaming, which runs Las Vegas properties that cater mainly to local residents rather than tourists, owns and operates 16 casino properties in six states.

Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment is looking to expand in a number of countries. The United States is their key target, however they also have Australia and New Zealand squarely in their sights.

Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment is known around the globe for brands such as PartyCasino.com PartyPoker.com and World Poker Tour.

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11/05/2011

Marvel Entertainment Movies Become Games At PartyCasino

PartyCasino.com Marvel website PartyCasino.com website

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Marvel Entertainment fans have recently being enjoying playing their favorite Marvel superhero characters at PartyCasino.com - the flagship casino brand of Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment.

Be The Incredible Hulk, Thor, The Amazing Spider-Man, Fantastic Four and more at PartyCasino.com

You can even go for the lucrative Marvel Hero Jackpot.

Check out Marvel slot games today at PartyCasino, via Media Man, and pick up towards $3000 sign up bonus.

Want more? Check out another Bwin.Party owned and operated online casino, Casino Las Vegas, for even more Marvel heroes.

PartyCasino.com is a multi award winning online casino established since 1997. Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment is listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Download Marvel progressive jackpot slots at PartyCasino.com Pick your legend, save the world and play for cash prizes on the range of Marvel slot games today...download Fantastic Four, Hulk, Spider-Man and Thor.

Swing into action with Spider–Man
Become everyone's favourite web–slinger as you play for $5,000 on up to 25 paylines in the amazing Spider–Man online slot game. Set your spider–sense tingling and you could be one of the lucky players who hit a Marvel jackpot every 30 minutes. Catch Spider–Man in your web today and play for the chance to win a fortune with PartyCasino.

The Amazing Spider-Man is a 5-reel, twenty five-paylines ‘Marvel Jackpot’ slot game with 'Spider web Feature' and The Spider-Man Feature that gives you the chance to win extra cash prizes. The Spiderweb bonus feature occurs when Substitute Spider-Man appears on Reels 2 and 4 only. The Spider-Man Feature round is triggered when 3 or more Scattered Logos appear on the reels left to right. Spider-Man Feature has Venom Feature and Free Spin Feature.

Join forces with the Fantastic Four
Marvel comic legends and blockbuster movie heroes The Fantastic Four now come to you in an action–packed online slot machine. Join the Fantastic Four and be part of the defeat of the evil Doctor Doom in the exciting new game. Play up to 25 lines and you could win $5,000 a spin on your way to saving the universe from destruction.

The Fantastic Four Slot is a 5-reel, 25-paylines slot with a 'Fantastic Four' feature game that awards 'Free Spins'. 3 or more scattered logos anywhere on the screen triggers the 'Fantastic Four' feature round. The game also features 5!!! wild symbols - ‘Mr. Fantastic’, ‘The Invisible Woman’, ‘The Human Torch’, ‘The Thing’, ‘Dr Doom’ Wild symbols substitutes for all symbols other than the “Scattered Logo”.

Feel the power of The Incredible Hulk
It's time to get mean and green as you join the biggest superhero of them all in The Incredible Hulk: Ultimate Revenge. The Incredible Hulk Slot Machine has 5 reels, 25 paylines and offers ‘Marvel Jackpot’ and "The Incredible Hulk Feature". Incredible Hulk feature prizes are awarded in the form of Free Spins and win Multipliers. The game also features a wild “The Hulk” logo symbol. "The Hulk" symbol substitutes for all symbols other than the scattered “Explosions” symbol. 3 or more “Explosions” symbol anywhere on the reels triggers the “The Incredible Hulk Feature" round. The prize is doubled when “The Hulk” (wild symbol) substitutes in a winning combination.

Play your part in the legend of Thor
The mighty Thor storms into PartyCasino in this majestic 5–reel, 9–line slots game. Experience the power of the god of thunder and you could win up to 4,000 times your bet.

Thor Slot is a new ‘Marvel Hero Jackpot’ slot machine with a free game feature. The game also features a "Thor" wild symbol which substitutes for all symbols except the “Scattered Logo”. 3 or more “Scattered Logo” symbols anywhere on the reels triggers the free spins in which all wins are tripled.

Marvel Jackpots
Marvel Jackpot actually consists of 3 jackpots at different levels, the levels are - from the lowest - Hero Jackpot, Super Hero Jackpot, and Marvel Hero Jackpot, with the latter being the highest. All 3 jackpots grow progressively as bets are made by players in multiple participating online casinos. For each spin, on any of the Marvel Jackpot games, the house adds a small credit to all running jackpots. All 3 levels in Marvel Jackpot can be won irrespective of hitting any paying combination, while betting any amount on any of the "Marvel Jackpot" slots.

Marvel Jackpot slots is just a part of PartyCasino's massive range of slots and progressive slots, part of the ever–increasing suite of fantastic games. Visit PartyCasino and download the latest games or play games instantly, right on the site.

MARVEL, and all related characters and the distinctive likeness thereof are trademarks of Marvel Entertainment, Inc. and its subsidiaries, and are used with permission. Copyright © 2009 Marvel Entertainment, Inc. and its subsidiaries. Licensed by Marvel Characters B.V. All right reserved.

As Marvel living legend Stan Lee would say, Excelsior!

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IGT Goes 'All In' With Texas Hold'em Heads Up Poker(TM) at World Series of Poker

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Poker Game's Mathematical Model Simulates the Operation of the Human Brain to Give Players Authentic Experience

LAS VEGAS, Nov. 3, 2011 - The over 150 million Texas Hold'em fans around the world will be hootin' and hollerin' at no longer having to wait in long lines to play the tables or lasso up a willing opponent with the debut of Texas Hold'em Heads Up Poker(TM) from International Game Technology (NYSE: IGT). Premiering at the 2011 World Series of Poker at the Rio in Las Vegas on Nov. 5-6, fans can now enjoy everything they love about Texas Hold'em - the strategy, bluffing and tells - in an interactive poker machine.

IGT's Texas Hold'em Heads Up Poker(TM) is the first poker game to use a neural net, a technology-developed mathematical model that simulates the operation of the human brain.
The advanced technology of Texas Hold'em Heads Up Poker(TM) recreates engaging behavioral nuances such as opponent "bluffing" and "thinking" in a scenario that's less intimidating than a live-table experience - making the slot machine inviting to all levels of Texas Hold'em players.

In addition to the innovative technology, a number of other features will have casino-goers strapping on their cowboy boots to test their skills against this highly individualized game:
Striking graphics and player-customizable options - including fun touchscreen good luck charms - will entertain and delight even the coolest poker players.

The Multi-Hit Stud Bonus game doubles the action and increases the player experience.
After the conclusion of a game, the "peek" feature gives the player the choice to see the opponent's cards - even if a showdown did not take place - giving the player insight as to how the opponent plays.

At this year's World Series of Poker, Texas Hold'em Heads Up Poker(TM)will be on display for players, operators and media to try on Nov. 5-6. IGT brand ambassadors will be handing out free play coupons from 4-6 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 5, and from 10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 6.

"Designed to bring all the thrills and high drama of live-action table Texas Hold'em to the slot machine format, players will want to put on their shades and pull down the brim of their hats to hide their tells when they saddle up to Texas Hold'em Heads Up Poker," said Eric Tom, IGT executive vice president, North America Sales and Global Operations. "This is a game that players of every level can test their craftiest bluffing strategies and Texas Hold'em skills against."

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.

Press Release

AGA Statement on the Eve of the World Series of Poker Main Event Final Table


Statement by Frank Fahrenkopf, president and CEO of the American Gaming Association, on the Eve of the World Series of Poker Main Event Final Table

“The World Series of Poker Main Event final table kicks off in Las Vegas this weekend. As the popularity of one of America’s favorite pastimes continues to grow, it should come as no surprise that millions of Americans from all walks of life are expected to tune in to watch the action.

Unfortunately, when these same Americans – plus many more—log on to play poker online, they face a Wild West atmosphere with little or no regulation and where law enforcement has limited ability to protect them. Congress must act to approve legislation allowing states to license and regulate online poker so Americans who play online poker can do so safely with responsible, law-abiding operators.

Establishing federal guidelines to allow state-licensed and regulated online poker would also effectively keep minors from gambling online, prevent fraud and money laundering, address problem gambling and ensure players aren’t being cheated. American consumers deserve to be protected. Licensing and regulation of online poker in the U.S is the only way to do it.”

For more information about how to create a safe, responsible and regulated online poker environment in the U.S., visit the AGA’s Online Poker Headquarters at www.americangaming.org/onlinepokerHQ

The AGA represents the commercial casino-entertainment industry by addressing federal legislative and regulatory issues. The association also serves as a clearinghouse for information, develops educational and advocacy programs, and provides leadership on industry-related issues of public concern.

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11/03/2011

Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment agrees American joint venture with MGM Resorts and Boyd Gaming - 2nd November 2011

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Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment Plc has announced details of a joint venture agreement with US bricks and mortar casino groups MGM Resorts International and Boyd Gaming Corp that will see them offer online poker in America should it become regulated and licensed.

The deal will see bwin.party, MGM and Boyd form a jointly-owned US-based company (‘Federal NewCo’) with bwin.party owning 65%, MGM owning 25% and Boyd owning 10%. Should federal legislation be enacted the joint venture would offer online poker to US players via the World Poker Tour and PartyPoker brands with bwin.party providing the software and support. Should US poker be legalised at the state rather than federal level a new stand-alone company would be created to develop opportunities on a state by state basis.

“Our strategy has been designed to address any and all legislative outcomes, whether federal or state-by-state.” said Jim Ryan and Norbert Teufelberger, the Co-CEOs of bwin.party. “We are particularly excited to be working with MGM and Boyd. Combining their significant assets and regulatory expertise with the strength of our PartyPoker and World Poker Tour brands, all supported by our in-house technology, makes us perfectly positioned for any future opening of the US online poker market.”

In addition to the customer facing deal, bwin.party, MGM and Boyd also revealed details of a two separate 15-year business to business agreements that would “enable them to offer real money online poker services under their own brands in the US using the bwin.party technology platform and associated services.”

Jim Murren, Chairman and CEO of MGM Resorts International, said 'MGM has long been supportive of federal legislation to strengthen UIGEA and provide the needed regulations and consumer protections for online poker. MGM is proud to have bwin.party as our partner as they have the assets and experience that, combined with our brands, can ensure a secure, fair and entertaining online poker experience.”

Keith Smith, President and CEO of Boyd Gaming, added “We believe the right approach to offering legal online poker in the United States is through a federal regulatory structure that ensures the games are conducted with the greatest possible integrity and security. Should Congress enact legislation to legalise Internet poker, this agreement will allow us to partner with the world’s most experienced and prestigious online operator to offer a secure, fair and entertaining experience for players in the United States.”

Bwin.Party also confirmed that it is set to enter a preliminary suitability review with the Nevada Gaming Control Board in order to secure an advanced finding of suitability in anticipation of future US-facing real money poker opportunities.

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