Australian Casino War Goes Soccer Mad With Guinness, by Greg Tingle - 20th June 2010

The world famous Australian casino wars have taken on a new angle, with casino owners, media agents, whales and patrons catching World Cup soccer fever, with double dose of Soccer Roo Mania, a deadly fever. Both Crown Casino and Star City continue their 'State Of Origin' battle, this time utilizing the passion of soccer nuts. Media Man and Gambling911 kick off this special report...

Aussie sisters with soccer roo mania running through their veins have set an unofficial world record for continuous TV-watching after square eyeing through 87 hours of uninterrupted FIFA World Cup and football coverage.

Football-nuts Joanne and Alanah Argyrou, aged 22 and 24, beat two other contenders as they sat for 3.3 days at Sydney's Tabcorp owned Star City Casino, besting Dutch pride Efraim van Oeveren's 86 hours.

The publicity er stunt er achievement, currently awaits confirmation by Guinness World Records, was monitored by a team of officials who ensured the champion sisters did not dare look away from the tele screen for more than 5 seconds!

They were permitted one five-minute break per hour but were allowed no more than five cups of coffee a day. In between World Cup broadcasts, the women watched recorded matches and football documentaries.

Crown Casino Plugs Buys In To World Cup Fever...

As covered by Gambling911 earlier this week, James Packer's Melbourne based Crown Casino has also caught soccer fever, despite crown top brass going more for polo and boating. Just maybe its the European - international influence from Packer mate Damian Aspinall up London way. In any event, crown management, business partners and punters have caught soccer fever, as has Packer's 50% owned Betfair.

Fellow Aussie Adam Santarossa, an up and coming media agent - journo type, is understood to be getting paid for watching the World Cup, in a soccer ball outside Melbourne's Crown.

Santarossa won a competition to become Australia's "Man in the Ball".

He's beeing living inside a replica soccer ball on the public promenade outside Crown Casino, and won't have to bask or beg to get $3000 AUD in cash.

The comp was done via the Aussie edition of soccer mag Four Four Two. It also helps promote Adidas.

The total prize package is valued at $10,000 grant and includes a laptop, plasma television, PlayStation 3, sports games and a jersey signed by Socceroo star Tim Cahill.

"It's not just my dream, it's every football fan's dream," Santarossa said.

He's settling in well to live in the the six-metre fibreglass replica of the Jabulani tournament ball.

Santarossa is understood to be selective as to what visitors he will let in his ball, but at least he's allowed some "within reason". He was disappointed that no sleep over guests were allowed, but at least he has his ball, TV and games to keep him company. No word if he was able to place a bet via Packer's Betfair.

He's also been contributing to sports website portal theroar.com.au and is a commentator on Sydney community radio station 2SER.

The man has left the ball to take a shower at Crown, and will finally escape the giant ball on 12th July.

Crown and co, always concerned for the health of their patrons, guest and partners, saw the Ball Man submit to a medical test, a psych analysis and a police check.

"I actually had to do my best Tim Cahill impersonation, so some crazy things like that," he balled on to press.

"It was a long process but I'm just stoked that I'm finally the one."

More Soccer News...

Socceroos VS Ghana 1-1; Controversial Ref Call Against Kewell; Ball To Hand, Not Hand To Ball!

If guts counts Australia's chances of progress beyond the group phase at the World Cup are definitely alive, but we're optimistic now, having witnessed the Aussie's spirit in the wee hours of the morning.

The Socceroos, reduced to 10 men in Rustenburg for 65 minutes after Harry Kewell's dubious red card, gave a lion-hearted effort VS Ghana which ended 1-1 but could have (would have, should have) delivered a famous against the odds victory. Yeah, Media Man and team are pretty pissed off.

Skipper Lucas Neill genuinely believes another performance like the one against Ghana - this time with 11 players on the pitch for 90 minutes - will bring victory over Serbia and a big chance to move into the last 16 of the competition.

"As a nation we should not give up because this team is not going to give up," he said.

"The reaction and the spirit epitomises what it means to be Australian. We'll fight to the end."

Neill is not daunted by the challenge.

"We've got two bites at the cherry now, two different ways we can qualify from this group. If Ghana beat Germany, and we win by any score, we're through," he said.

"And if Germany really beat Ghana and we beat Serbia convincingly, we're still in it. We believe that and when there's hope, and while we stay positive, positive things happen to positive people."

Aussie Captain Words Of Wisdom And Encouragement...

Neill advised the day before the match that this was going to be the biggest game of his career. He pointed our in straight shooting fashion that he did not want to go down as the captain who led his men to the finals but could not qualify from the group.

He hurt for the fans on the prior FIFA performance. Neill takes his leadership role seriously.

"I got the guys together in the change room and told them it was a defining moment for Australian soccer history, Australia's football history in the World Cup. Today could determine a successful or a failure campaign. We asked for spirit. We got it in abundance."

On The Field...

"It's my job as captain to give the speech before the game,. It's something I thought long and hard about and the words will stay in the team, but I got the reaction that I wanted and as a captain you can't ask any more from your team than to go out and give a performance like that."

Thanks The Fans...

"Two games in a row we've had a phenomenal amount of Australian supporters in the crowd. Australia might only be 20 million people but you can't call us minnows when it comes to football. We bring seas of fans, you know, anywhere in the world and we are no longer a small team in the world of football and people need to recognise that."

Media Man PR Friend Max Markson PR Speaks On Socceroos Sports Business Before Last Nights Socceroos Draw...

Markson, who on occasion has teamed up with Media Man over the years, including on a ambush marketing front... Shane Warne, Bessie Bardot etc (covered yesterday at Gambling911) related campaign with friends, Kym Illman and the Messages On Hold team...

Markson said failure to defeat Ghana would be a commercial disaster for Football Federation Australia (note, not necessarily sports betting by Aussies).

"It's almost like an all or nothing game for them - it's a $100 million game," he said.

"If they get bundled out it will damage soccer's credibility in this marketplace and it will also, I'm sure, damage our hopes of hosting the World Cup in 2022."

On Australia's performance VS Germany...a "reality check" of Australia's standing.

"Welcome to the real world. This is how this sport is and it's not that easy to get through, let alone win the World Cup. The home of soccer, England, haven't won a World Cup since 1966 - sometimes the whole nation falls or dies on every single game they play, never mind waiting four years for a World Cup. If you look at rugby league, there's only really Australia and England and that's about it. Look at cricket and there's half a dozen countries - then you look at soccer and you're competing with every single country in the world Everybody loves winners and in sport especially you love a winner - how demoralising is it to support a team that never wins anything? And that's the nature of soccer, the competition is so tough. Everybody loves an underdog and we're definitely underdogs at the moment, so there's definitely an opportunity here - if we pull it off, it won't be the first time Australia's come from behind. When John Bertrand led Australia to victory in the America's Cup at Rhode Island in 1983, that was enormous and the nation rose as one that day. The day we won the Olympic Games in the 1990s, the nation again was overjoyed, and I think the opportunity is there for that to happen again at the World Cup."

A Media Man spokesman said "Aussies are once again rooting for the Socceroos. Our friend Max Markson is right...Aussies like winners, and we also like underdogs. Little wonder we will have soccer fever, and just quietly, people are looking forward to our next ambush marketing stunt also. It's like Richard Branson's Virgin... the underdog taking on the big boys and winning... just like Gambling911 continues to put the boot into the competition, a fact backed up by ISP stats, Google News and the like. Australian casino king James Packer and his Crown Casino in Melbourne and City Of Dreams Macau are rooting for the Socceroos also. As Markson said, merchandise sales are down at this stage, and half price sales are starting to kick in, but Aussie's still put their money with their mouth is, be with the Betfair, Centrebet, PartyBets, Gamebookers, SBG or other".

The Late News...

1.39 million Aussie's watch Australia play last night

Betting exchange Betfair continue to noticed fans have put more money on their team to lose than win!

So punters, the Aussie casinos win, we win, you win, so do the TV ratings, but the million dollar question remains... with the Socceroos win their next match? Don't be shy, place a responsible wager at your favorite sports betting co today, and may you all wear your team colours with pride.

Go grab a vuvuzela, and if your team is going well, go grab a beer..try to make it a Bavaria Beer. The buxom blonde beer babes and orange mini skirts, and hot legs won us over I'm afraid, as they did with newsrooms around the globe. That's show business.

*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911

*Media Man http://www.mediamanint.com is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. Gaming is just one of a bakers dozen of sectors they cover.

*The writer owns shares in Crown Limited

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