NSW Premier delighted with new Sydney casino plans; Packer Crown Limited pending jackpot


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The Australian casino (or gaming) wars have got to a whole new level. It's Packer's Crown VS Echo Entertainment in an almost 'State Of Origin' type battle for the bulk of Australia's land based casinos. One that will take place in a boardroom, rather than on a football field, but make no mistake - it's war.

But, there is no war but peace between Crown Limited and NSW Premiere Barry O'Farrell.

The New South Wales Premier Barry O'Farrell advised he is very pleased with plans for a second Sydney casino at Barangaroo.

James Packer's Crown Casino - Crown Limited gaming giant desires to construct a world class hotel, casino and entertainment complex at the site based Sydney Harbour.

It's a given that Packer has been watching the success of Echo Entertainment's The Star, which overlooks Sydney Harbour - but has recently got itself into a few scandals.

Last week Crown Limited increased its stake in Echo Entertainment, which runs The Star casino.

Mr O'Farrell says the proposal for a second venue would bring jobs and tourism to Barangaroo, however it would need to achieve regulatory approval before moving forward to development.

John Lee from the Tourism Transport Forum says it would add life to the area.

"You only have to go to Melbourne and see that area around the Yarra River, yes there's Crown Casino there, but there is also movie cinemas, bowling alleys - there's all sorts of things that entertain people when they go to the precinct," he said.

"It's actually a place now, or a destination that people love to go to."

Currently the law allows for only one Sydney casino licence until 2019.

Greens MP John Kaye says Sydney does not need a second casino.

"There shouldn't be a back door deal between the Packers and the Premier - this should be a matter of public debate," he said.

"If you put this to the people of New South Wales they will say no to a new casino because they know it increases problem gambling, they know it increases connections to organised crime."

Packer and his team have a history of getting things done... perhaps move than that of say Prime Minister Julie Gillard.

Watch this space.

NSW Premiere Barry O'Farrell applauds Packer proposal for a second casino...

The NSW Premier, Barry O'Farrell, has embraced plans by James Packer's group for a hotel and second Sydney casino at Barangaroo on land set aside as playing fields for office workers.

On Friday Mr Packer's casino group, Crown, advised Mr O'Farrell that Crown wanted a second Sydney casino as part of a hotel and restaurant complex in the centre of the harbourside site, which the Barangaroo Delivery Authority says is intended for "civic, educational and recreation spaces".

Mr O'Farrell said: "I think it's an exciting proposal which could add extra life to Barangaroo, give Sydney another world-class hotel, generate jobs and boost tourism."

The plan also involves building a 5 star hotel well north of the proposed commercial precinct, ensuring guests on upper floors have unobstructed views of the Sydney Opera House and the Heads.

"It's the sort of tourism-related investment we want in Sydney but everyone's aware there are a range of regulatory approvals needed before it could proceed," Mr O'Farrell said.

Those approvals include permission from government bodies for a second Sydney casino because the law now allows only one licence until 2019.

On Friday Crown increased to 10 per cent its stake in Echo Entertainment, which owns the Star casino, and has sought permission from regulators to increase its stake further.

If Crown Limited can gain control of the Star, its executive chairman, Mr Packer, could in fact pursue his plan for a Barangaroo casino to operate under an extended licence for the Star.

He has flagged that such a casino would not need poker machines and could simply have gaming tables, of which the Star can have an unlimited number.

As well as approval for a second casino, Crown Limited or another developer would need the government to change planning rules for the site which now restrict any building to 30 metres high and allow only 60,000 square metres of development in the whole of Barangaroo Central.

Last week a US landscape architect, Peter Walker, who has been retained to design Barangaroo's headland park, revealed that his plans included open playing fields for office workers, similar to the Domain on the eastern side of the central business district.

He has also proposed an outdoor space or amphitheatre for concerts in the central area of Barangaroo, which is proposed as a transition between the commercial towers in the south and the headland park in the north.

James Packer planning $1.5bn casino investment...

Crown Limited plans to spend more than $1.5 billion on building new luxury hotels in Sydney and Perth, after boosting its investment in rival casino operator Echo Entertainment, Crown's executive chairman James packer advised The Australian Financial Review.

Mr Packer's plan to expand the Crown chain beyond Melbourne is part of a campaign to attract wealthy Chinese gamblers aka "Oriental whale VIP high rollers" to Australia's shores, he told the newspaper.

“Australia needs to have truly world-class hotels,” he said, acknowledging that regulators would probably raise competition concerns.

“I want to build one in Perth and one in Sydney to go with what we have in Melbourne. It puts these cities on the map."

Mr Packer's comments come after Crown spent more than $250 million lifting its stake in Echo, which owns The Star casino in Sydney, and Jupiters on the Gold Coast, to 10 per cent, from 4.9 per cent previously.

Echo rejected Mr Packer's call for representation on the company's board.

*the writer is an investor in Crown Limited, Network Ten and Virgin Enterprises


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PartyPoker: Online Poker News - Maximus Pointus March! The Gladiator returns to the arena




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Daily targets now start at just one point - new elite targets for most dedicated

Starts: 00:00 ET on 1st March, 2012
Ends: 23:59 ET on 31st March, 2012

Step into the arena for a month of exciting poker action where you could emerge with prizes fit for a champion. The minimum daily points target is just one point – so all you have to do to receive your first reward is to hit the minimum daily points target for a period of five days. The first reward you could claim is a much-deserved entry into a $500 freeroll.

The more days you earn points on, the bigger your prize. There’s up to $4,000 in cash to be won and anyone who wins a cash prize will also claim a seat in a $25,000 freeroll, giving you even more chances to win.

Finally, we've added a massive incentive for the most dedicated players. Earn 1,200 points on 30 days and you’ll win a WPT package worth $8,000 which you can use for the event of your choice. With March having 31 days, you have an extra day's rest — vital for those dedicated to reaching the very top prizes.

Gibraltar – 23rd February 2012 – ‘The Gladiator’ returns to PartyPoker.com for the month of March and, as ever, only the strongest survive in the online colosseum! In new twists, however, the popular promotion is more accessible than ever with the daily points target now starting at just one point - as well as more appealing to those who want to play a lot with ambitious new targets for the most dedicated players.

A PartyPoker.com spokesman said: “The promotion has been adapted with the most frequent and infrequent players in mind. From the 1st – 31st March all players have to do is opt-in and hit the minimum daily points target of one point and the road to prizes start. With the minimum daily points target at just one point – all you have to do to receive your first reward is to hit the minimum daily points target for a period of five days. The first reward you could claim is a much-deserved entry into a $500 freeroll.”

“The premise of ‘The Gladiator,’ is simple, the more days you earn points on, the bigger your prize. There’s up to $4,000 in cash to be won and anyone who wins a cash prize will also claim a seat in a $25,000 freeroll, providing even more chances to win. We've also added a massive incentive for the most dedicated players. Earn 1,200 points on 30 days and you’ll win a WPT package worth $8,000 which you can use for a WPT Main Tour event of your choice. With March having 31 days, you have an extra day's rest — vital for those dedicated to reaching the very top prizes.”

“For the players that want to push themselves even harder there is an exclusive elite target. Players who earn 1,500 points on 40 days between 1st March and 15th April will win a huge $15,000 WSOP* package**.”

You don’t even have to earn points on consecutive days: we’ll just count up the number of days where you made the targets during the promotion.

For example, if you earn 10 points every day for 10 days, take five days off and then earn 10 points on 10 more days of the promotion, you’ll get the $15 cash prize for earning 10 points on 20 days and entry into the $25,000 freeroll.

Players can keep updated on how many points picked up so far in ‘The Gladiator’ by checking their PartyAccount. Points are not removed from player accounts following the promotion – they all count towards Palladium VIP targets. Step into the arena from 1st to 31st March for a month of exciting poker action where you could emerge with prizes fit for a champion.

*World Series of Poker"® and "WSOP"® are registered trademarks of Caesars Interactive Entertainment, Inc. No license, affiliation, sponsorship or endorsement is claimed, or should be inferred from the use of these trademarks here. We are not licensed by or otherwise affiliated with Caesars Interactive Entertainment, Inc. or the World Series of Poker® in any way.

Shuffle Master to Buy Ongame Network...

American casino equipment manufacturer Shuffle Master is expected to purchase the Ongame Network from online gaming giant bwin.party, according to a report by the UK’s The Sunday Times. The move is likely being made by Shuffle Master as a way to position itself when and if online poker is legalized and regulated in the United States.

The Ongame Network has been on the auction block for a year, a casualty of bwin’s merger with Party Gaming last March 31st. The network was purchased back in 2005 by bwin for £474 million, but that was pre-UIGEA and pre-Black Friday, two dark days in online poker history that have significantly changed the valuation of Ongame. Now, the deal with Shuffle Master looks to be for a mere £13 million ($20 million). Prior to the completion of the bwin/Party union, a bwin spokesperson said that the Ongame Network was considered a “surplus asset” and that it was “no longer needed” by the combined company.

The Ongame Network currently ranks as the 6th largest online poker room network/room in terms of cash game players, according to PokerScout.com. With a seven day average of 2,150 players, it falls just behind PokerStars.it (2,250) and just ahead of Winamax.fr (2,100). PartyPoker, which has remained separate from Ongame, ranks 2nd with a seven day average of 4,750 cash game players.

The problem Shuffle Master will face, however, is that the Ongame Network will likely not be as large after the purchase as it is now, although that is probably reflected in the purchase price. The headline room of the network is bwin.com, whose customers will almost certainly stay with bwin.party after the sale. What remains to be seen is what will happen with the other rooms on the network, particularly Betfair, the best known room after bwin.

Shuffle Master is best known for its automated card shufflers, installed in gaming tables, including poker, in casinos all over the world. The company also operates Shuffle Interactive, a division which offers casino games on a variety of platforms, including PC, Mac, Facebook, iOS, and Android. The games can be licensed by online casinos.

Investment bank Roth Capital Partners said in a research note last week, “We view the interactive gaming opportunity as the most under-appreciated aspect of Shuffle’s growth story.”

Though Shuffle Master and other American gaming companies (such as International Gaming Technology, which bought the Entraction Network for $115 million last May) are making moves under the expectation that the online poker market will open up in the United States, it does not appear that that will happen until at least next year. As we reported this weekend, the disappointing news first came from reliable Las Vegas Review-Journal reporter Howard Stutz, who tweeted, “One Wall Street analyst opinion: Internet poker legalization not being attached to the payroll tax bill means the issue is dead for 2012.” It is not completely out of the question that something could get passed this year, as there are slight hopes that a poker rider could be attached to the Obama Administration’s jobs package or the upcoming cyber security legislation, but those are not strong possibilities. (Credit: Poker News Daily)

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Australian Casino News: The Star, Crown Casino; New Zealand Casino News: SkyCity


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Star casino has 'extreme' party culture...

A former Star employee says the Sydney casino is plagued by a culture of parties, irresponsible gambling and sexual harassment.

The claims come just days after the NSW Gaming Authority announced an inquiry into the casino, following the sacking of its CEO Sid Vaikunta over sexual harassment allegations two weeks ago.
In an interview with Channel 7, former manager Elizabeth Ward said in her 24 years working in casinos she had never witnessed a culture as extreme as that at the Star.

"It's a permanent party," she told Seven.

Another employee who wasn't identified told Seven there was 'chronic drug abuse' within senior management.

He also claimed senior managers were encouraged not to report breaches within the casino.
"There's financial incentives not to report any breaches," he said.

Ms Ward, who worked at The Star for 16 years, claimed in one incident a senior minister from a foreign government was ejected from the casino for gross and obscene behaviour but was allowed to return after complaining to executive staff.

"No matter what you do or what you report or what you see, nothing gets done," she said.
The employees claim high-rollers are protected by senior management, and encouraged to stay at tables for up to 48 hours.

Ms Ward said her investigation of a suspected drug scandal involving a high-roller cost her and her husband their jobs.

She claimed the high-roller was good friends with three casino executives.

"The more I investigated it the uglier things seemed to be getting for me," she said.

The employees said they were willing to testify as part of the Casino, Liquor and Gaming Control Authority inquiry.

Echo Entertainment says the allegations made on Seven News are inconsistent with the findings of the Casino Liquor Gaming Control Authority's recent review of The Star casino licence.

The company says The Star's intolerance of breaches of its Code of Conduct is evidenced by the sacking of its former managing director after allegations were made against him.

It rejected Ms Ward's claim that the jobs of she and her husband were terminated after they investigated a high-roller over a suspected drug scandal.

"Ms Ward was unable to return to work after an eight-month absence and so her employment was ended," Echo Entertainment said in a statement.

"Six months before a restructure of table games Ms Ward's husband asked for a voluntary redundancy and The Star granted his request."

Echo Entertainment did not deny that reporting breaches was entwined with performance indicators.

It said reporting breaches was taken seriously but that a recent report by Ms Gail Furness SC to the Casino Liquor & Gaming Licence Authority did recommend a review of performance indicators for senior staff.

"She observed that The Star had already taken action to substitute a more appropriate KPI (Key Performance Indicators) in place of zero breaches," the company said.

The company also did not deny claims a foreign minister had been readmitted to the casino after being ejected for bad behaviour.

It said: "The Responsible Service of Alcohol is treated seriously and applied uniformly regardless of the status of the client visiting the casino."

Inquiry launched into sacking of casino boss Sid Vaikunta...

AN inquiry has been launched into the circumstances surrounding the sacking of The Star casino's CEO, Sid Vaikunta.

The NSW Casino, Liquor and Gaming Control Authority said today it was establishing the inquiry, with powers conferred by the Royal Commissions Act.

Mr Vaikunta left the Sydney casino amid allegations of sexual harassment.

The casino's owner Echo Entertainment Group announced his departure a fortnight ago, citing his behaviour "in a social work setting".

Barrister Gail Furness SC will run the inquiry.

Melco interested in $1 bln Manila casino project

(Reuters) - A casino operator run by Australian billionaire James Packer and the son of Macau gambling tycoon Stanley Ho has expressed interest in investing in a $1 billion Manila casino project, the Philippine gambling regulator said on Tuesday.

Macau-based Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd MPEL.0 was "very interested" in the project, Cristino Naguiat, chairman of the state-owned Philippine Amusement & Gaming Corp (Pagcor), told Reuters after meeting with Melco officials last week in Manila.

He said Hong Kong-listed Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd (0027.HK) was also interested in a project in the more than 100-hectare Entertainment City near Manila Bay, construction of which is to begin late next year.

Pagcor, the country's largest casino operator, awarded four licenses in 2008 and 2009 to operate casino resorts in the Manila Bay area. Pagcor expects the resorts to generate annual gambling revenue of as much as $11 billion after five years of operation, overtaking Las Vegas.

Pagcor requires a minimum investment of $1 billion from any firm awarded a gaming license, Naguiat said.


Naguiat did not know if Melco was looking for local partners, but said Galaxy was in talks with local groups and "could be" in discussions with local property and leisure firm Belle Corp (BEL.PS) for a partnership.

Belle, controlled by the country's richest man Henry Sy, was looking to lease at least 10 hectares of land from Pagcor for its second casino project in Entertainment City. The project could also cost $1 billion.

Belle is building an integrated entertainment resort complex called Belle Grande Manila Bay, which features a 30,000-square-metre casino, within the Entertainment City.

Three other groups are pursuing developments in Entertainment City, the biggest being the $2 billion casino-hotel project being built by a unit of Japan's Universal Entertainment Corp (6425.OS) set for completion in 2014.

The other developers are Bloomsbury Investments and the joint venture between Genting Hong Kong Ltd (0678.HK) and Alliance Global Group (AGI.PS).

Naguiat said Universal Entertainment remained interested in pursuing its Philippine project despite a much-publicised fight between Japanese gaming mogul Kazuo Okada and his former business partner, Las Vegas casino tycoon Steve Wynn.

Okada owns Universal Entertainment and Wynn is chief executive at Wynn Resorts Ltd (WYNN.O). Both claim the other made improper payments to win favour in their respective Macau and Philippines markets.

"I don't know what's going on between Mr. Okada and Mr. Wynn. We have to be outside that fight," Naguiat said. "From the way I look at it, there was nothing wrong with our transactions with Mr. Okada."

Naguiat said he had discussed the issue with Okada, who promised to pursue his Philippine project. "No change in plans, everything will push through."

Pagcor grew its total revenues by 16.5 percent to a record 36.7 billion pesos last year. It expects revenues to grow at least 16 percent this year.

The season for auction fever about to set in...

THE commercial auction year in Melbourne will start in earnest when Burgess Rawson offers 10 properties, including shopping centres, service stations, and liquor outlets, next week.

The auction will be on Wednesday, February 29, in the River Room at Crown Casino at 11am. Up for sale are a Coles Express at Rye, an office in Cheltenham, a car wash in Springvale, a BP service station in Ballarat and an IGA in Seymour. The interstate properties include a supermarket and warehouse in Queensland, a Woolworths in Launceston and two Dan Murphy's liquor stores in New South Wales.

In Echuca, Fitzroys and Charles L. King & Co will offer four commercial/residential development sites for auction this Saturday from 1.30pm. The property at 557-561 High Street, one of the last development sites in the Port precinct, is expected to fetch more than $2 million. The other sales prices should be between $1 million-$1.8 million.

In Southbank, Savills Australia is marketing a warehouse with development potential close to Southgate and Crown Casino. The property will be auctioned on Thursday, March 8, at 1pm on site, and is expected to fetch more than $950,000. Located at 11-13 Hancock Street, the level warehouse on a 168-square-metre site is zoned Mixed Use (allowing residential and commercial development).

Receivers and managers have been appointed to sell The Avenue, a prominent shopping centre in Sunshine West. Colliers International, under instructions from PPB Advisory, has listed the centre at 136 The Avenue for sale by tender.

The anchor tenant at the shopping centre was a Coles supermarket and was complemented by a strong tenancy mix incorporating a Cellarbrations liquor outlet and other specialty stores.

Knight Frank is to sell an industrial property at Tullamarine. Located at 9 Fellowes Court, the property comprises a clear-span warehouse with a two-level office and loading docks. The expressions of interest campaign closes on March 15 at 5pm. The expected selling price is more than $4 million.

Adelaide Casino earns $19m in first half - 16th February 2012...

SkyCity Entertainment Group is continuing talks with the State Government on the redevelopment of the Adelaide casino.

New Zealand-based SkyCity has casinos in Auckland, Hamilton, Queenstown, Adelaide and Darwin.

Adelaide Casino was the group's best performing Australian asset, lifting earnings 13 per cent to $19.1 million in the six months to December 31 on a 7 per cent rise in revenue of $82.6 million.

SkyCity on Wednesday reported a 17.4 per cent increase in net profit for the first half of the 2011/12 financial year to a record $NZ78.8 million ($A61.81 million).

The group said that since December SkyCity had been working closely with the South Australian casino taskforce regarding the future regulatory framework for the Adelaide casino.

``The outcome of these discussions will allow us to determine whether to proceed or not with progressing our plans for the transformation of the Adelaide casino,'' SkyCity said.

``While we are excited about the outstanding growth opportunity this transformational project potentially represents for SkyCity, shareholders should be assured that this project will only proceed if we can be confident of achieving an acceptable return on the potential investment.''

SkyCity says it could transform the Adelaide casino into a world-class entertainment facility, featuring a five-star hotel, expanded gaming facilities, restaurants and bars, a spa and a roof-top pool lounge.

SkyCity said that since 2010, the Darwin casino had experienced some challenging times caused by a soft tourism market, the high Australian dollar and the ban on live cattle exports.

However, gaming revenues were now returning to growth.

Construction of SkyCity's new Lagoon Resort in Darwin was on budget and scheduled to open in July.

The Lagoon Resort would include special facilities for international gamblers, enabling SkyCity's Darwin property to compete in the international VIP market.

``This, together with the recently announced business class flights direct from Singapore, Darwin's proximity to Asia and the recently announced $32 billion Inpex Ichthys LNG project, gives us confidence that our Darwin property has a very bright future,'' SkyCity said.

Overall, the group said strong first half earnings were driven by the revitalised flagship Auckland casino and hotel complex, the Rugby World Cup finals in New Zealand in October, and continued success in attracting more international gamblers.

SkyCity chief executive Nigel Morrison said the group had enjoyed strong momentum in the six months to December 31, and it had continued into January and February 2012.

SkyCity expected its normalised net profit for the full year to be at the top end of its previous guidance range in the high $NZ140 millions, up from $NZ130.9 million ($A102.68 million) last year.

SkyCity spent $NZ50 million ($A39.22 million) rejuvenating its Auckland operations, including new VIP gaming facilities.

SkyCity said talks were continuing with the New Zealand government over the construction of an international convention centre, which could result in the SkyCity investing $NZ350 million ($A274.54 million) in the project.

Shares in SkyCity were two cents lower at $2.78 on Wednesday.

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SkyCity gives more detail of casino expansion plan...

SkyCity has revealed its vision for the Adelaide Casino, as part of a redevelop the Torrens riverbank precinct.

The company wants to expand the casino to include a hotel, more gaming facilities, VIP suites, more restaurants and bars and a spa and rooftop pool.

It says the work would involve no removal of any part of the current heritage building and its plan would give casino site visitors even better views of the heritage building.

SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison says the redevelopment will not proceed unless the South Australian Government comes up with concessions.

"We're working closely with the casino taskforce in South Australia regarding the regulatory framework for the Adelaide Casino and the outcome of those discussions will determine whether or not we're able to proceed in progressing our plans for the transformation of the Adelaide Casino," he said.

In the first half of the financial year, SkyCity Entertainment Group recorded a net profit of nearly $79 million, a 17 per cent rise, and revenue at the Adelaide Casino was up 6.9 per cent.

Queensland Casinos make pre-commitment...

Voluntary pre-commitment modules will be added to 3000 of Queensland pokies, bringing the percentage of the state's machines with the technology to 18 per cent.

But anti-gambling campaigner, independent federal senator Nick Xenophon, has labelled the move relatively empty.

Retiring state member and the minister responsible for gaming Paul Lucas yesterday announced that Echo Entertainment Group, which owns the Jupiter-branded casinos and hotels in Townsville and the Gold Coast, as well as the Treasury Casino and hotel in Brisbane, would begin rolling out the technology this month.

Mr Lucas said it was part of a $625 million upgrade Echo Entertainment had planned for their three Queensland properties. The allocation of 500 extra gaming machines for their south-east complexes would be conditional on the introduction of the technology.

Mr Lucas said the addition of 500 machines across the Brisbane and Gold Coast casinos had been sourced from "within the current state wide gaming machine cap" and there would be no overall increase in pokies across Queensland.

He said 11 per cent of the state's 44,000 poker machines already had voluntary pre-commitment technology installed and the Echo Entertainment Group's decision brought that figure to 18 per cent or 7800 machines.

"We've seen our problem gambling rates more than halve since 2001," Mr Lucas said.

"What that shows is measures such as voluntary pre-commitment work. That's why we continue to support voluntary pre-commitment but won't be supporting moves for mandatory pre-commitment until more research is done into its effectiveness."

But Mr Xenophon said voluntary pre-commitment did nothing for the gamblers who needed the most help.

"Voluntary pre-commitment is about as effective as voluntary speed limits and voluntary drink driving laws," he said. "It doesn't work and those who need it the most won't do it. So this is a case of more window dressing, more smoke and mirrors, surrounding the real issue."

Fellow independent senator Andrew Wilkie withdrew his support for Prime Minister Julia Gillard's government this month, when he said she reneged on their deal to implement an agreed pokies reform.

The agreement included mandatory pre-commitment for high-loss machines and a one-dollar limit on all other machines, with a May deadline. The federal government effectively walked away from the deal last month.

Mr Xenophon said he still believed major pokie reform was possible in Australia.

"I think it will happen because most Australians want it to happen. But you have the major parties caving into the poker machine lobby."

Release of legal advice on gambling reform...

Bill Shorten, Jenny Macklin - Tuesday, 1 February 2011...

The Australian Government today released legal advice on the Commonwealth’s power to legislate for important reforms to address problem gambling.

The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, agreed with the Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, to commission this legal advice. The Prime Minister and Mr Wilkie also agreed that the Parliamentary Joint Select Committee on Gambling Reform would be informed of the legal advice.

The Australian Government is committed to working with the states and territories and industry to introduce key reforms which address the harm from problem gambling, including a full pre-commitment scheme for poker machines.

State and territory governments are responsible for the regulation of the gambling industry, except for online gambling.

However, problem gambling is a serious issue and the Australian Government believes more must be done to help problem gamblers and their families, particularly by reducing the harm caused by poker machines.

Research shows that three-quarters of severe problem gamblers have problems with poker machines.

Problem gambling can destroy families and ruin lives.

Problem gamblers spend an average of $21,000 a year on gambling. That's a lot of money by anyone’s standards – money that isn’t being spent on food, bills or the family mortgage.

We have written to Mr Wilkie, as Chair of the Parliamentary Joint Select Committee on Gambling Reform, to our state and territory colleagues on the Council of Australian Governments Select Council on Gambling Reform, and to Professor Peter Shergold AC, Chair of the Ministerial Expert Advisory Group on Gambling Reform, to provide them with the legal advice.

The advice from the Australian Government Solicitor confirms there are a range of constitutional heads of power available to the Australian Government, including corporations, trade and commerce, telecommunications, banking, currency, taxation and territories powers.

While this advice identifies the legislative options available to the Commonwealth, the Australian Government remains committed to reaching an agreement with the states and territories to progress these important reforms.

Gambling is a legitimate industry and a valued form of entertainment for many Australians. We will work with industry to implement these reforms in a staged, evidence-based way. We have established the Ministerial Expert Advisory Group on Gambling, chaired by Professor Peter Shergold AC, to seek advice from the industry, academics and gambling support services on how to best implement the reforms.

The Productivity Commission recommended the Commonwealth intervene if the states and territories do not agree to implement gambling reforms Australia wide.

Legislation for National Gambling Reforms, by Jenny Macklin - 17 February 2012

The Australian Government today released the draft National Gambling Reform Bills 2012 which will deliver long-lasting reforms to help the five million Australians affected by problem gambling.

The Bills put into action the reform package the Government announced on 21 January this year, including implementing pre-commitment technology and dynamic warnings on poker machines and introducing a $250 daily ATM withdrawal limit in pokies venues.

The Bills build on the Australian Government’s work on pre-commitment technology through the Council of Australian Government’s Select Council on Gaming Reform. At this forum in May last year, state and territory gaming ministers agreed to support the required infrastructure for pre-commitment technology in all jurisdictions.

These Bills give a clear timeline for the implementation of pre-commitment in pokies venues across Australia.

From next week the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and the Treasury will begin formal consultations with industry groups, manufacturers, community groups and the states and territories on the draft Bills.

Following the consultations, the Bills will be introduced into the parliament in the current session.

The Government has a clear plan to deliver the most significant and far reaching national reforms to tackle problem gambling ever seen in this country.

This is the first time the Commonwealth has taken national action to help problem gamblers and their families.

The draft legislation is available at www.fahcsia.gov.au

New star performers for SA...

SYDNEY, NSW - IGT announces that its set to release of two new games for its IGT bluechip Neo® cabinet in South Australia - taking its SA game offering for this new cabinet to seven since launch last. Age of Shogun™ and Wild Girls™ offer different play styles and game features to excite existing players and attract new ones.

The latest addition to IGT's very successful Shogun-themed games, Age of Shogun™ is a high denomination game featuring three progressive jackpots as well as triple prizes during 25 free games. Wild Girls™ on the other hand, is a low denomination game with a unique feature that offers extra substitutes and an interactive game screen during free games.

Bill Maglaris, IGT's SA State sales manager, commented: "IGT was the first gaming manufacturer to bring 3-level progressive jackpots to South Australia and it's great to see this feature teamed with one of IGT's popular game themes in Age of Shogun. If past Shogun games are an indication, this new game should prove popular with players. Wild Girls offers something new to the low denom market allowing players to collect symbols to gain additional substitutes and providing venues with a configurable hold percentage to suit their individual requirements."

We're pleased to be releasing two more games to our bluechip Neo game library in South Australia. This library now features a mix of denominations and low volatilities to ensure venues can choose games that meet their needs".

IGT is the world's largest gaming manufacturer. IGT Australia is a subsidiary of IGT and has served the local market for over 20 years. IGT Australia delivers the global strength of our parent via innovative products designed to maximise the potential of gaming floors across Australia and New Zealand. IGT's comprehensive range of value added services and systems ensures that venues get the most from their investments.

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Media Man Inks b2b Deal With Jackpot Party - WMS


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Media Man Inks Deal With Jackpot Party - WMS

Media Man, the world renown media, publicity and internet portal development company has today inked a b2b agreement with Jackpot Party - the online arm of gaming firm, WMS.

A Media Man spokesperson said "We are delighted to have finally got in place a b2b agreement with Jackpot Party - WMS. This adds further great value for our clients and online entertainment and gaming audience by offering a range of world class slot games such as John Wayne, Bruce Lee, The Wizard Of Oz and Star Trek."

About WMS

WMS has been a world leader in interactive gaming entertainment since Harry Williams founded the company nearly seventy years ago, in 1943. Harry invented the tilt device for pinball machines, and this revolutionized pinball machines in the United States. The company adopted this spirit of innovation and delivered it to the home video market in the 1980s and 1990s and then to the casino gaming industry beginning in the early 1990s.

Since then, WMS has become a leading supplier of innovative casino gaming machines around the world. Our portfolio of games includes many of the industry's most popular themes, including well-established titles such as Reel 'em In!®™ and Jackpot Party® (which was the naming inspiration behind the Jackpot Party site you're reading now). WMS has also brought to market world famous licensed titles such as MONOPOLY™, TOP GUN™, THE WIZARD OF OZ™, and STAR TREK™, the latter two of which are available to play online at Jackpot Party right now.

Over the last few years, WMS has emerged as the industry innovator in establishing new standards for gaming entertainment with the introduction of four revolutionary technology platforms:

Community Gaming®™
Sensory Immersion Gaming
Transmissive Reels®™ Gaming
Adaptive Gaming®™

As a result, WMS is known worldwide for creating great gaming experiences. Now, with the Jackpot Party online casino (provided by a wholly owned subsidiary of WMS in the licensed jurisdiction of Alderney) you can experience all the benefits of this innovative approach for yourself from the comfort of your own home.

Through imagination, talent and technology, WMS creates and provides the world's most compelling gaming experiences. And now, for the first time ever, these unique experiences are available to you online.

About Media Man

Media Man is a world renown media, publicity and internet portal development company. The own and operate over 20 destination website portals and were established in 2001. Media Man covers a wide array of sectors such as entertainment - celebrity, gaming, technology, business and finance, travel and lifestyle, property and community.

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