Australian And New Zealand Casino And Gambling News, by Greg Tingle - 16th July 2010

Australia is the source of an interesting mix of news this week. Aussie casino wars, casino tycoons big boys toys, casinos buying into other investments, Aussie poker Twit - ers, rumors and more. Media Man and Gambling911 with your Aussie wrap up...

Australians All Out Of World Series Of Poker...

Aussie cricket legend, Shane Warne aka "The Spin King", Jeff Fenech "The Marrickville Mauler" and Joe Hachem "The Poker Star" are all out of this years WSOP. Insiders advised to see at least a few of them at the Crown Casino Aussie Millions Poker Champion in Melbourne this January. Aussie Millions is Australia's richest poker tournament.

Aussie Joe Hachem Returns To The Age, WSOP Dreams Smashed...

Hachem's WSOP 2010 bid is history but we understand Fairfax Media's The Age is more than happy to have Hachem back to writing duties at the paper. Joe, idea for you... how would you feel about endorsing a casino rooms also, like Mike Sexton at World Poker Tour does... with WTP Casino? Maybe it would be 'The Age Casino'... just kidding, I think, but stranger things have happened.

Lasseters Wharf Casino Buys Restaurant - New Zealand...

Queenstown’s Lasseters casino has purchased one of the resort’s premier restaurants.
Boardwalk Seafood Restaurant heads Adele and Grant Jackson confirm they’ve sold the business to neighbour, Lasseters Wharf Casino. The deal is understood to have been competed in the past 48 hours. Jackson understands the casino plans to reopen the Steamer Wharf eatery and a walkway linking to the casino next month. Boardwalk’s chef Grant took part-ownership of the establishment with his wife a decade ago, and full ownership three years ago. Grant says the deal has been in the offing for 11 months, pending New Zealand Gambling Commission approval. Restaurant numbers have "exploded" in Queenstown during his time at Boardwalk, Grant advised. "A big night used to be 160 to 170 diners – now if we have 100 it’s a bloody good night." The Jacksons have no fixed future plans but intend "looking at every option" once they return from an overseas holiday. More casino deals perhaps? New Zealanders remain on many of the world's top 10 casino and gaming lists, with their passion for a punt up there with Aussies.

Aussie Elle MacPherson Eyes Richard Branson; Plays Backgammon...

'The Body' from down under remains a bit of fixture around the Australian and international casino and gaming landscape. With her adventure with James Packer UK lad Damian Aspinall apparently history, Elle has recently championed Bondi Beach loving Richard Branson, his book and business. Elle, was it Branson's Virgin Casino or Virgin Gaming, or both? Elle enjoys playing backgammon, so maybe an online casino endorsement could be in the works? One little problem, Australia's can't play at Virgin Casino, not yet anyway, so we will leave it to the powers that be.

James Packer and $50M Yacht Spotted On Gold Coast?...

Packer's yacht has been sighted on the Gold Coast, but where's James hiding?

The 50-metre Italian built Mangusta Leopold 165 has the region buzzing and eyeballs googling for the casino and lifestyle billionaire tycoon James Packer. No sign of wife Erica at this stage either. Marina Mirage management is not disclosing if Mr Packer was on board. The close by exclusive Palazzo Versace, a former Media Man hangout, is a logical "hiding place" for Packer, but staffers say no one by the name of "James Packer" name had checked in. Maybe "John Smith" and "Jane Doe" did? Gold Coast is the home of Tabcorp's Jupiters Hotel and Casino. We don't suspect the Packer clan will be paying them a visit, but stranger things have happened. As they say, keep you friends close and your enemies closer. Rumours still persist of Packer to by Tabcorp part of fully, but that's not forecast until circa 2012. No rush James, enjoys your digs, be it sea, land or both.

Mildura Jewel Casino And Media Wars...

The battle for your mind (as Alex Jones puts it) is still on as the Mildura pro and anti casino mobs stick to their guns. A Media Man birdie says that there's more chance of the casino going ahead than not. The anti casino troupe are moving forward on their website "dedicated" to the proposed casino. The working title to the website is 'Sunraysia Against Casinos'.

The pro casino mob have a friend or supporter of sorts in Michael Bailey, Marketing Manager for Launceston’s Country Club Tasmania. He says his city has reaped many benefits, with millions of dollars poured back into the community, since the country club’s boutique casino was established.

Bailey, a former executive with the mainland’s WIN TV network, advised there would always be a minority who would voice opposition, but usually these were people who were not aware of the long-term benefits that multi-million dollar projects brought to a community. Some may also be 'God Squad' or 'Bible Bashers' who just hate casinos with a passion... you know Hellfire and Brimstone stuff. He also tipped there would also be a few "stirrers" with no connection to the region who would jump on the anti-casino bandwagon and voice an opinion. "I’ve heard it all before," he said. "They said the same about Wrest Point… Crown Casino… here in Launceston… the fact that legal gaming venues would draw a gangster element, street crime will rise… all the usual arguments. The fact is that the Australian casino industry is so tightly regulated there is very little margin for criminals to take advantage. There are very few negatives with this sort of development.".

Victorian Premier John Brumby has gone on re Mildura Jewel Casino "If there was clear community support and if there was clear bipartisan support. I have always said personally that I think it is the sort of thing that would attract jobs and investment to the area. So I think it will be good to have the community debate. We will see how people think about this issue in Mildura."

Aussie Casino King, James Packer, head of Crown Limited is quite on the Mildura proposal, but insiders understand he doesn't see it as a threat, but perhaps more of an opportunity and perhaps as more positive buzz for the Australian and Asia Pacific casino industry. Like Crown, Jewel would be more of a total entertainment, lifestyle and tourism experience... not just slots, roulette and poker. Read up on the interesting history of Mildura re gaming...

Gambling911 'Australian Casino Wars: Mildura Media Wars?'

Media Man Profiles


New Zealand


Kings Cross

Media Man

James Packer

John Ibrahim

Elle Macpherson "The Body"

Wrap Up...

Welcome back to Australia Jeff, Joe and Warnie. Got to love the 'Gumleaf Mafia'. Australia's PartyPoker front man Tony G didn't compete, but has a few promotional gigs to keep him busy, when he's not fighting off the ladies. Hachem is expected to write quite a bit on Vegas and the WSOP in the upcoming Melbourne Age. Expect the Australian casino and gaming sector to peg onto the upcoming Australian Federal election, just as Kym Illman has with his recent viral campaign. Illman counts Aussie cricketer - poker star Warnie as a mate. Ah, tiny world. Warnie might be ready to continue discussions with Packer now, last spotted together at Crown Casino a few months back. Virgin Casino might have won an 'Online Casino Of The Month' award last month (even though Aussies can't play there), but this month PartyCasino is holding a lead, and Microgaming powered Captain Cooks Casino is giving them a run for their money. Ah, legendary explorer Captain Cook would be proud. Aussie punters are still calling on a Kerry Packer themed slot to be released, and also have Andre The Giant on their wish list. The good news is that more insiders say that Sly Stallone's Rocky Balboa slot will appear at one of two PartyGaming powered casinos before year end. Last time Stallone visited Australia he was stopped at an airport and searched, with some pharmaceutical products being found. Oh, fellow Hollywooder Robert De Niro (star of 'Casino' and 'The Killer Elite') has been doing Melbourne of late. De Niro owns a restaurant or two in Australia is doing some modest media promos. He's also opened up a couple of film opps for Aussie - Greek actor Firass Durani from 'Underbelly'. Durani played club tycoon John Ibrahim in the most recent 'Underbelly' series 'The Golden Mile. MM mate and client John "Vulcan" Seru also featured alongside 'Our Firass' in the Underbelly series. Gawd its a small world aint it. The rumour Mill says Ibrahim has joined the Media Man - Casino News Media Facebook, with Media Man extending the olive branch, noticing a number of mutual friends (in the real world). MM is said to been keen to meet up with JI soon to discuss various online ventures "ideally suited to existing bricks and mortal establishments at Kings Cross and beyond". Sounds intriguing hey. Readers, know something we don't? Did you get any secret tips from Paul The Octopus or any of his good mates? Smart money on the Australian election - "Jungle Girl" Gillard VS "The Bruiser" Abbott. Tell us in the forum. Have fun, know the odds and keep it legal.

*The writer is a special contributor for Gambling911

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

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