Australian Casino News: Burswood Casino Update, by Greg Tingle - 1st October 2010

Australian Casino News: Burswood Casino Update

A big week for our friends at Burswood Casino aka Burswood Entertainment Complex. Crown Limited head honcho James Packer is back in Australia and is showing tremendous leadership in the Australian gaming and entertainment industry. Media Man and Gambling911 trek across to Perth, WA, home of the black swan and West Coast Eagles AFL club with this special report. We've got it all for the loyal and vast audience...

Burswood Casino: Hotbed For Politics, Legal Eagles And Entertainment...

Burswood Casino's 1750 or so gaming machines may sidestep new rules aimed at curbing "problem gambling" (still trying to figure out that) because WA authorities claim they are games more of skill than chance. Yep, its the age old argument of skill VS chance, first championed in poker and online poker circles.

In an interesting development to PM Julia Gillard's promise to roll out "pre-commitment technology" for poker machines by 2014, gaming officials claim Burswood's machines are not pokies.

They state they are electronic gaming machines, which may be excluded from a national clampdown on problem gambling requiring machines to be fitted with technology that will force players to set a limit on how much they choose to lose.

"EGMs must have player interaction and it must not be possible to play the machine without the player making a choice of strategy or predicting an outcome prior to completing the game," a spokesman for the Department of Liquor, Gaming and Racing said.

Conventional poker machines that dominate pubs, clubs (pokie palaces) and casinos up and down Australia's east coast are games of chance, and can be played with one button press per spin, making it easier for players to loose their moolah.

Both the department and Gaming Minister Terry Waldron said they were waiting for more details from Canberra to see how the Prime Minister's pledge would affect WA's machines.

"The Gaming Commission is the gaming regulator in WA, it will respond to any Federal proposals and it will advise the State Government if a proposal is received," Waldron said.

Burswood Casino, which is controlled by one of Australia's wealthiest men, James Packer, declined to comment. On a sidenote, Packer is also friends with Perth billionaire, your friend and ours, Andrew "Twiggy" Forrest (usually holding the #1 position on the Aussie rich list). Forrest, Packer (and Media Man), are known for their passion and support of GenerationOne initiatives, which also include employment in casinos (inc tourism and entertainment) and in the mining sector.

Let's swing into the political aspects...As part of a deal to hang on to power, Gillard verbally agreed to key independent Andrew Wilkie's demand to mandate pre-commitment technology for poker machines by 2014, either in co-operation with the States or legislating over the top of their objections. Exactly how much of the verbal become a legally binding document is now known, but leading Australian legal eagles say the Aussie government may have entrapped itself and will not be able to follow up on its promises to the "casino haters" and "bible bashing" sector.

Wilkie said it was unclear how pre-commitment technology would affect WA's machines, but he planned to visit the State to consider the different specifications.

"If there are any aspects of the WA EGMs that need to be reined in, then they will be," he sprouted off.

Burswood Casino is the only venue in WA allowed to have gaming machines, and recently applied to add another 250.

The machines are the casino's biggest money-spinner, raking in about $210 million in 2008-09.

A Productivity Commission inquiry into gambling earlier this year found Australians lost $19 billion per year on the great Aussie tradition of having a punt.

Online slot games and online sports betting are a couple of the main growth areas, and switched on land based casinos such as those ran by Packer continue to ramp up the entertainment and tourism tie ins, spreading risk, adding value, and creating a more widespread appeal. Packer has a 50% holding in Betfair. PartyGaming are understood to be keen to lock down an online b2b deal with Crown, with talk being a Shane Warne, Underbelly and Kerry Packer themed slot game would being in record business. A Shane Warne poker room deal is on the cards for Crown Casino, however that's not related to any dealings with PartyGaming or any other igaming firm. The Packer - Warne friendship and business mentorship situation has been in place for many years. Both gents are understood to be part of the 'Aussie Gumleaf Mafia', a phrase coined by Media Man International last years, and the rumour mill says the group is currently recruiting new and highly qualified individuals. A certain Bondi Beach beach based world acclaimed photo journalist is on the want and to do list, as is an actor who played a significant role in recent episodes of Underbelly, and another legend of the Australian entertainment industry who also owns a pub and is known for his fund raising for Indigenous Australia and other worthy causes. Hint, that bloke recently celebrated a birthday party where the said Bondi Beach photographer and Media Man was spotted at! No bluff here.

A Media Man spokesperson said "Smart operators such as Crown adapt to the ever changing landscape. It's not just about pokies and casino games anymore. World class acts, be it Crusty Demons, Hulkamania, Puppetry of the Penis, Englebert Humperdinck and Metallica. In Macau Packer concern City Of Dreams has the famed 'House Of Dancing Water', so that may be a sign of things for his Australian casino establishments also. A casino themed reality tv show is also being chatted about by Network Nine and Crown folks who are in the know. Rest assured casino and gambling lifestyle is as solid as ever in Australian culture, despite a small but vocal group of casino haters. Punters are lapping up the casino and entertainment offerings at Crown, and the strong patronage, reviews and revenues are a solid indicator of this."

World Class Gigs At Burswood...

16th October

Crusty Demons

Thirst 4 Destruction Tour
Headlining with Australia's own Evel Knievel - Robbie Maddison!!

Get ready for the most exhilarating, electrifying and action packed Crusty Demons tour to date, featuring a three hour, full choreographed, extreme spectacular.

See the world's greatest freestyle motocross riders performing the most death-defying stunts, including insane black flip combination tricks, minibike chaos, ridiculous stunts, the stunning Crusty Babes and more!

22nd and 23rd October


World Magentic Tour 2010

The long wait is finally over! Hard rock gods Metallica are coming to Australia; their last stop on their epic world tour. Get ready for over two hours of mayhem as Metallica perform material spanning their entire career on a custom built round stage. During the last decade alone, Metallica have played to a collective audience of more than 3.5 million fans and have become one of the most influential bands in the world. Your show ticket entitles you to FREE public transport on the night. Find out more closer to the date.

3rd November

Englebert Humperdinck

Four decades since his debut on the world's stage, Engelbert Humperdinck has sold a staggering 150 million albums worldwide and is now heading to Perth for one show only. With numerous hits to his name including 'Please Release Me', 'Last Waltz' and 'Quando Quando Quando', he reigns as the only artist to keep The Beatles from the top at the height of their fame.

5th November

Puppetry of the Penis

The boys have been getting it out all over the world from the West End of London to Broadway in New York, and now they are heading to Burswood Theatre showcasing the ancient art of genital origami. Come and see the new cast of member manipulators perform the famous Hamburger, the Wristwatch, and the Windsurfer, just to name a few...a hilarious night out for all to enjoy. This is an 18+ only event.

6th November

Brothers in Arms

Classic Albums Live presents the acclaimed best-selling Dire Straits album Brothers in Arms, as performed by ten of Australia's finest musicians. Featuring some of the greatest songs ever including 'Money for Nothing', 'So Far Away', 'Walk of Life', 'Sultans of Swing', 'Romeo & Juliet' and many more, make sure you don't miss this all-star recreation of a truly classic album. See guitar heroes Phil Emmanuel, Stuart French and Rex Goh alongside Kevin Bennett, Andy Bickers, Floyd Vincent, Tony Mitchell, Clare O'Meara, Nik Pringadi and Chris Whitten.

So punters, how did you enjoy today's casino news, Western Australia cowboy style?. What sort of other Aussie special features would you like to see? Tell us in the forum.

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The Late News...

Australian 'Gumleaf Mafia', Media Man and Gambling911 crew hear of yet more employment opportunities at Crown Limited - namely Burswood Casino and Crown Casino, while at the same time strike action threatens Tabcorp's Star City Casino in 'Sin City' Sydney, despite an ambitious and expensive revamp of Star. What happens in Perth and Sydney does not stay there, and is surely going to make its way to Vegas, Atlantic City, Florida and beyond, with significant influence from the Gambling911 powerhouse. Surfs up kangaroos, koalas, goannas, and all manner of Aussie and Yankee critters. Media Man 'Online Casino Of The Month: PartyCasino.com Slot Game Of The Month: The Godfather. Check out the casino reviews at Media Man. Oh, friendly reminder... bet with your head, not over it, and have fun.

*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 and offer political commentary and analysis.

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