Australian Casino News: Crown Casino And Crown Limited Special, by Greg Tingle - 22nd August 2010

Australian casino, gaming and politic news remains red hot. The Australian Parliament may be hung...with the balance of power scenarios upon us, complete Labor getting a beating from Liberal's Tony "The Bruiser" Abbott and the Coalition...and Crown casino king James Packer is riding the high seas, but its business as usual at Crown Casino and its swinging sister, Burswood Entertainment Complex. Media Man and Gambling911 pick up the baton sticks and plastic handcuffs with this special report on the good, the bad, the ugly and the sexy at Crown Limited aka Billionaire Inc...

World's Top ABBA Show BJORN AGAIN Coming To Crown Casino 'The Palms' This November...

The world's #1 ABBA tribute show, BJORN AGAIN, return to The Palms to present THE ABBA GOLD CONCERT. Bjorn Again will perform all songs from "ABBA GOLD", the definitive collection of ABBA's greatest hits. This album has sold over 26 million copies worldwide and is in the top 30 best-selling albums of all time. This will be an amazing show and a great experience not to be missed. Bjorn Again were formed in Melbourne in 1988 and have performed in over 70 countries to critical acclaim. Bjorn Again have developed a world-wide following, even gaining praise from the original ABBA members, including Benny Anderson who stated: "Fans had better make the most out of Bjorn Again as that's the closest they are going to get to seeing ABBA". Special guest support are The Old Romantics who are a highly entertaining parody of the New Romantic music era in the 80's, featuring songs by Spandau Ballet, Duran Duran and Culture Club. Get ready to have the time of your life! Tickets available from 9:00am 24 August, 2010. Dates: Thursday 18 - Sunday 23 November 2010

Is Crown Casino Management In A Battle With Chef Gordon Ramsay?...What's Cooking?...

That's the question on the lips of Australia's foodie and casino industry. Numerous Australian editors and journalists are now saying the fight is on. Too many cooks in the kitchen, or not enough good ones, and what's happened on eh bean counter (money making and paying) front. Chef Gordon Ramsay is understand to be at war with Crown Casino, and its hotter than Hell's Kitchen. This news comes less than six months after media "custard tart" (Media Man inside joke) launch of his flagship restaurant in the Metropol complex section of Crown. Ramsay's Maze and Maze Grill are rumored (not fact - don't call the lawyers) to be flushing down the loo towards $20 grand a friggen week after the casino invested more than $10 million bucks on refurbishing the eateries and the like, leaked a number of sources, one known to MM and G911 as "Deep Throat" (not real name, nor a star in the movie sharing the same title). The restaurants' financial woes have soured and porked relations between Crown powers that be and the foul-mouthed chef, who are now commenced negotiations over Maze's future! A Network Nine reality TV show was previously on the cards but now looks to be in doubt. Crown pays roughly 6% of gross sales and a small percentage of profits to Gordon Ramsay Holdings, a deal which provides things like branding and marketing. Ramsay is understood to invoice Crown for the salaries of Maze's chef de cuisine Josh Emett and several senior cooks and assorted staffers. Crown is understood to not have its taste buds satisfied from the biz deal in recent supper sittings, as Ramsay's hospitality empire continues to suffer from the global slump in corporate dining. Sweeeet has turned to sour, and figure pointing goes on to who is a goose, turkey. Speculation also runs rife is Maze will last to see this Christmas' turkey roast dinner party. Crown Casino spokesman Gary O'Neill denied that Maze has gone sour. He spoke with Fairfax Media on the matter and advised "I don't know who has been calling you or for what reason but there is absolutely no truth in that accusation whatsoever. Crown has a very good relationship with Maze. It has exceeded our expectations quite significantly. A large number of people are going there." He also said Maze and Rockpool Bar and Grill were Crown's best-performing restaurants, both by patron numbers and dollars spent. He didn't get into what Maze's profits may or may not in fact be, and bean counters are silent. Restaurant deep throats told our friends at Fairfax Media that Maze and Maze Grill, which combined have more than 250 seats, have struggled somewhat to serve 100 covers a day, particularly early in the week. "Obviously winter is a factor and most places are quieter this time of year, but Mr Ramsay has certainly had a tough introduction to Melbourne,'" one local restaurateur shared. A spokeswoman for Gordon Ramsay Holdings said its agreement with Crown was strictly confidential. 'Ms X' she said Maze was meeting expectations. The king of the chefs also faces problems outside Australia. He was recently hit with a tax bill for $US2 million ($A2.3 million) by United States authorities and is now dealing with a series of lawsuits from unhappy creditors. Ramsay was also forced to close his restaurant in Cape Town last month and sold ("fire sale style")his TV production company for £40 million ($69AUD million) just last week. He disclosed that restaurants in New York, Paris, Los Angeles and Prague were "haemorrhaging" up to £200,000 pounds each month at the climax of the financial recession. Last year, Fairfax Media published that other exclusive Crown eateries were struggling, largely attributed to the global economic downturn, including once ultra exclusive Bistro Guillaume, which won Gourmet Traveller's best new restaurant back in 2009. At the time, owner Guillaume Brahimi and Crown management denied any problems, but it has since closed. Funny that. Punters, is Ramsay's goose cooked? Hot air or hot under the collar of bean counters? Off with his head, or not? Got a beef? Tell us in the forum. You be the judge, jury and executioner!

Burswood Casino Accused Thief Hid Jewels Inside Own Body...

Yuk. Those jewels would have sure required some polishing. International readers, please don't confuse the "jewels" with the proposed 'Mildura Jewel' casino in Melbourne, just saying...Western Australian Police have now formally charged a mug er man...with stealing after he allegedly concealed jewellery inside himself after smashing a display case at Perth's Burswood casino. A glass panel in the display case in the gaming area was smashed in the early hours of Saturday, police told press. A suspect was later located but a search failed to find any stolen items until some dislodged from inside him (via his anus - arse we understand), police said. "He was then transported to Royal Perth Hospital for X-rays and further property was recovered," Inspector Gary Lewis advised. 6 rings and a necklace worth a total of $329,000 were recovered and a 29-year-old man is in custody after being charged to appear in court at a date to be determined. That's what we call an expensive and uncomfortable toilet sitting.

Australian Punters Back Coalition To Form Government...

Aussie bookies have installed the coalition as the favourite to form government following an inconclusive result from Saturday's federal election. Sportingbet Australia has the Coalition at $1.40, while Labor is at $2.80. Sportingbet Australia chief executive Michael 'Mr Sums' Sullivan advised it looked very hard for Labor to form government, and punters had instantly backed the Coalition to come to an agreement with the 3 re-elected independent MPs. "The Coalition are a clear favourite, as it is hard to see how a Labor government relying on support from a Green and essentially conservative independents would ever reach a consensus and be able to function effectively," Sullivan said. Sportingbet opened the book on Sunday with the Coalition at $1.50 and instantly took two bets of $5000 at $1.50 and $1.45. A rival agency, Centrebet, has the Coalition at $1.40 and Labor on $2.85. Ah, what a different a few days can make. Who are you picking? Don't be shy.

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Aussie Millions Poker Championship At Crown Casino This January...

Folks, mark it down in your diary. Australia's richest poker tournament is coming back to Crown in Melbourne this January. Americans might be up for a 20 hour or so flight to get down under, but there's nothing on the planet quite like Aussie biffo, and we hear that Tyron Krost, Stewart Scott, Joe Hachem (2005 WSOP champion), Tony Hachem, Tony G, Shane Warne and Jeff Fenech are ready to serve up biffo in giant size quantities. Insiders are hopefully that Annette 15, Doyle Brunson, Daniel Negreanu and Annie Duke will bring their poker feuds down under. Maybe some one will end up in the river! (pun intended).

Readers, is it time for Crown and Burswood to get their own branded online casino games like 'Underbelly' and 'Kerry Packer'? Has Crown now got its security levels to the right level? What other developments would you like to see at Packer's world of entertainment? What's your favorite casino games and why? Tell us in the forum.

James Packer VS Kerry Stokes: ConsMedia War May Erupt...

When now relaxing or make the big decisions at Asia Pacific's most successful casinos, James Packer continues to build up his media empire. Let's take a peek shall we...An understood "peace deal" between Packer and Kerry Stokes over control of Consolidated Media will end next month with the two competitors set to raise the stakes. ConsMedia revealed its annual results yesterday and the executive chairman, John Alexander, said the standstill agreement would not be renewed! A media war to add to the casino wars! "It is a 12-month agreement that will expire and business will continue as usual" he said. Last year, Mr Stokes's Seven Network used a $243 million hostile share raid to increase its stake from just over 4.8 per cent to 19 per cent, then agreed to stop buying ConsMedia shares in exchange for two board seats. With the addition of Ashok Jacob from the Packer camp, this gave the board 10 directors - more than twice the number of the company's employees. ConsMedia's revenue comes from its 25 per cent share of Foxtel and a 50 per cent stake in Premier Media Group, whose other owner is News Limited. Premier produces and buys sporting content for pay television. It generated $447 million in revenue this year, up 2.9 per cent, and contributed $54 million to ConsMedia's net profit, a rise of $1.2 million. The Foxtel share contributed $29.9 million to profits, up $5.1 million. During the year, ConsMedia sold its 25 per cent share in the job site Seek.com for a $305 million profit and sold a Sydney property for $50 million. Despite the sales, the company's net profit fell 8.2 per cent to $392 million, as the previous year was boosted by ConsMedia selling down its stake in PBL Media, which it now values at nil. Punters, its all very complex, but Packer has another war on the horizon, and is set to do more media deals, not just throwing around the dice and shuffling the deck in the casino and gaming sector. You want more... ok, just a teaser.. Packer, through Consolidated Press Holdings, has a 47% stake, up from 38% last July. Channel Seven has a 23% share. Industry analysts expect the buy-back will eventually give Packer a 51% stake and Stokes 25%. What happens next might be up to the Gods. "For Stokes to take out Packer he'd have to offer a pretty big price," 'Mr X' tipped. "Packer's not going to take out Stokes - he could have owned 100% of it previously. So it's whether they get together and privatise it together and take out the minorities, but they'd have to pay a bit of a premium to do that." ConsMedia declared an unfranked dividend of 6¢ to be paid on Red October 15. Hopefully, red turns to green, as it goes in the UFC and formally in the WWE, before blood all but disappeared. Packer's favorite non blood sport is polo, if you forgot, and he also loves sailing the ocean in his prized Arctic P, sometimes catching up with mates overseas like Tom Cruise from 'Top Gun' and 'Mission: Impossible' fame. What Packer has shown is more than possible is cementing his place at the top of the world's gaming, gaming and tourism sector, having the Crown Limited empire ranked in numerous top 10 lists like Forbes, Google and WSJ. That's with or without the media empire arm, recently his media getting a boost from Bondi Beach based media icon David Gyngell, a part of the Media Man "Gumleaf Mafia" media puzzle (ask us over a beer). Packer's main business focus remains casinos with a lifestyle and tourism edge, but continues to hit runs in traditional media and new media. The world awaits a 'Kerry Packer' and 'Underbelly' slot game. Comon' Crown top brass, we know you read this. See you at Bondi Icebergs.. a bit easier than a flight to Melbourne, Perth or Macau...maybe Berg's Gaming hey.

Crown Limited Shares...


Crown Casino Connection Colourful Crimes...

'Crown Casino Client Ferrari Stolen With Virgin Valet'

'Crown Casino Shaft Man Probed and Charged'

Readers, know the odds, bet with your head, not over it, and have fun. Don't mix your passion for casinos and gaming with crime, and don't do anything we wouldn't do. Up for a punt? Perhaps invest in Crown Limited... we have, and we're up front about it. Feeling really brave... try Tabcorp Holdings, but beware... many tipsters say it might be a few years before a predicated Packer buyout of Tabcorp happens, but it's not a lock in. Want more good Aussie fodder... check out Media Man and the 'Australian Casino Wars' portfolio at Gambling911 of course. Good punting and fair winds.

*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911

*Media Man http://www.mediamanint.com is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. They cover a dozen industry sectors including gaming.

*The writer owns shares in Crown Limited

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