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06 April 2010

Australia Gambling On Conspiracy Theory Or Not? by Greg Tingle - 6th April 2010

Readers, make no mistake, we live in volatile times.

The Media Man and Gambling911 (and our lotto mate Pluka Duck), have been inundated with letters of support for our ongoing investigation into online (and offline) censorship, government spooks and Big Brother et al. Folks, the political machines of the world have been busy attempting to stop your poker and casino fun, poker babes, FHM, Playboy... the lot.

Australian and Asia Pacific casino king, James Packer, is dealing with changes better than most, but owning a number of Asia Pacific's casinos and being Australia's 3rd richest man puts you in a stronger position than most. A round of golf with an Aussie politician doesn't go astray either.

You're freedom of speech, freedom of expression and basic human rights are at risk. Never has this been more evident than if your an American, Canadian or Australian reader. Don't get us started on China, but its likely our friends in China will never get to read this article, or see this website, as "The Great Firewall Of China" has quite likely blocked it! Don't laugh, your country may be next, and if your not quite certain as to believe our word on it, read up on some of Jesse Ventura's (former Navy Seal and U.S politician) writings, or better yet, watch his hit TV show 'Conspiracy Theory'. Think Underbelly meets They Live meets Michael Moore, and you're on the right track!

Has your Government (or ISP) blocked your favorite poker, casino and / or porn sites (yet)? If not, it may be just a matter or time... the thought police and "bible bashers" are in full campaign swing. Just wait to you learn what the Aussie's are up to at the moment, and even more scary, its happening on the watch of poker and porn hating Australian prime minister, Kevin Rudd, and second lieutenant, Senator Stephen Conroy (Australian Communications Minister aka Minister Of Censorship And Silly Lists).

Ok, with that Stephen Spielberg sci-fi intro, let's bring it back down to earth with some more traditional hard news out of Australia, with a gambling, government, protectionism twist... it's all about money, power and control, and more money, of course!


Aussie NSW Lotteries Deal Heading For Courtroom

Rival bidders to Tatts Group are considering taking legal action in the Supreme Court of Australia in an attempt to overturn the sale of NSW Lotteries after receiving legal advice that the $850 million sale is illegal!

Sources confirm that bidders have been talking to legal eagles about a possible challenge stemming from the decision of the government and its consultants to allow Tatts Group to throw into its bid pitch a potential $200 million worth of unclaimed prizes, in the final stages of the process. Tatts was allowed to make the move despite all bidders previously being notified that they could not bid for the unclaimed prizes. Are your following this? That's what we thought... stay with us...

The Aussie government says it has legal advice that the sale is in fact legal, despite its legislation indicating unclaimed prizes would go to the taxpayer. WTF?

The Sydney Morning Herald, a Fairfax Media publication, revealed last week claims by industry sources that in the original bids, Centrebet had in fact bid $750 million, G-Tech $730 million and Tatts Group $700 million, but Tatts Group's bid was boosted to $850 million by unclaimed prizes. Bonus hey!

NSW Premier, Kristina Keneally, said on talk back radio that "all bidders in the ... lotteries tender process were given the exact same information and they had the opportunity, all of them, to put in a conforming bid and a non-conforming bid. I'm advised that all of them took the opportunity to do that, and that the Tatts Group proposal was the best in value for the taxpayer."

Bidders dispute this full stop. They advise they were repeatedly told unclaimed prizes would stay with the state and be off-limits.

Speculation exists as to whether Tatts Group had won the right to unclaimed prizes would mean that NSW Lotteries would now be less inclined to publicise large prizes that had not been claimed.

Tatts formally took control of NSW Lotteries on the 1st April. NSW Lotteries press releases called on the winner of $30million on Tuesday night, with a ticket bought in Sydney's inner west, to come forward. An Ashfield couple claimed the prize.

Mike Baird, the opposition's Treasury spokesman, said "This whole transaction is symptomatic of Labor arrogance, incompetence and backroom deals. This ... needs to be exposed and we need to understand what requirements there are of Tatts to ensure unclaimed prizes are given every opportunity to be claimed."

Mr Baird heavily criticised the government for not releasing the legal advice supporting the sale.

Questioned as to why the legals had not been released, a spokesman for the Treasurer said it would be given to the Auditor-General, who is looking into the sale.

Two sets of legal advice to a bidder sighted by The Sydney Morning Herald state the sale is in breach of the Lotteries Act legislation.

Section 27 A of the legislation says money from unclaimed prizes should go to a consolidated fund, as directed by the minister, and liability for that money should rest with the state.

The Opposition Leader, Barry O'Farrell, said that a simple reading of the legislation suggested it would have to be returned to the Parliament and if that occurred, it would then be blocked in the upper house.

The government and opposition are now waiting for the Auditor-General's report.


Aussie Censorship - Online, Offline, And Everything In Between!

Child "Experts" Push To Ban Soft Porn From Newsagents, Service Stations

Fairfax's Media's Mary-Anne Toy broke the story, and we're following up...

Dozens of Australian "child experts" are calling for a ban on the sale of porn magazines such as Playboy and Penthouse and other soft porn material from newsagents, milkbars, convenience stores, supermarkets and petrol stations. No, we're kidding you not.

The group (sounds like a cult or sorts) has requested censorship ministers (Hello again, Mr Conroy) to review the rules on which the so-called lads' mags such as People, The Picture, Ralph and Zoo are reviewed, saying they are increasingly explicit and contributing to the sexualisation of children.

A letter to the standing committee of attorneys-general/censorship ministers signed by a former chief justice of the Family Court, Alastair Nicholson, the chief executive of World Vision, Tim Costello, academics, child professionals and advocates states such material should be restricted to adults-only premises.

They are particularly disturbed by the prevalence of "teen sex" magazines featuring women apparently aged more than 18 but looking younger and styled with braces and pigtails but in highly sexualised poses and sometimes performing sex acts.

Gambling911 readers may recall the hugely popular Maxim poker babes feature. Maxim was not named by the clan, but we suspect they are not fans of poker babes Maxim style. Did we mention Jenny Woo, Pam Anderson, Rebecca Liggero, Bessie Bardot, Paris Hilton, and PartyPoker - PartyGaming sponsored Kara Scott, are competing for this month's Media Man Poker Babe Of The Month Award! Seemed timely to give you the heads up.

Julie Gale, director of the lobby group Kids Free 2B Kids, said easy access to the internet meant young people were experiencing unprecedented exposure to porn images, voluntarily or involuntarily. "But allowing pornography and overtly sexualised images to be sold in the public arena with easy access for children and teens tells them that this is acceptable. It gives it public validation."

Another campaigner, Catherine Manning of Say No 4 Kids, sent a petition with 8000 signatures to the attorneys-general calling for tighter restrictions. Many shops segregated adult material but others did not, she said.

"Exposure to adult sexualised material can send the wrong message to children about what's expected of them as adults. Girls think they should behave like 'porn stars' and boys expect them to."

Friends, coincidence or not in the timing of a proposed Australian internet filter and the calling of banning of soft porn in suburban shops et al? Does the Australian government think the public are totally stupid?

What's Really At Stake? American Living Legend Jesse Ventura Speaks Out...

Thanks to our friends at RT.com (Autonomous Nonprofit Organization)
http://www.rt.com
we have secured the following in writing...

We are being watched more than ever in the US

“There are many of us who don’t believe the status quo of what we’ve been told,” acknowledged former governor of the state of Minnesota, actor and TV host Jesse Ventura in an exclusive interview with RT.

Ventura, who has had explosive encounters with the American mainstream media, called it “soundbite news” and said it cannot be trusted at all.

“Major news organizations have really become almost monopolized. The media today is in creating news rather than reporting it. And that’s very dangerous,” he said.

Jesse Ventura shared that “the Internet is getting super powerful now, and that is what the government has to control next.”

The ex-governor warned that “Whenever government says ‘to keep you safe’ – get ready, because you are going to lose your freedoms.”


Summary: Australian, Canadian and American Readers - What Next?

If you are unhappy with your state and federal governments, let them know. Write, protest... you get the idea

Poker players and online casino players, it may be a good idea to become more familiar with the Poker Players Alliance, and become familiar with their associates in your region. Telephone and write to news media, including newspapers and television, but if your an Aussie, you might find more love with print, as Australian TV stations recently received a big payday courtesy of Senator Stephen Conroy's office and most Australian television stations have been very quite on the subject of internet censorship. The ABC, SBS (multi cultural, diverse and global) and Network Ten (covers poker) are most likely to listen to your concerns. Some talk back radio stations may also give you the time of day. Uncensored websites, bloggers and internet forums are a most effective way of getting your voice heard.

Media Man and Gambling911 recommend that you sign up for a multitude of online gaming accounts, be it PartyGaming, World Poker Tour, PokerStars, Captain Cooks, Betfair, BetUS, PKR... you get the idea. That way you have a number of accounts, so if one or more of them eventually get shutdown, or blocked from your countries "friendly" internet filter, you still have more choices. The late news... Full Tilt Poker investigation on the way in the U.S ...maybe scratch them off your "to do" list! Party rules ok, and I think no coincidence that PartyGaming is powering along and signing Government arm deals globally, most recently in France, as they were able to come to amicable terms with the United States government last year for the tune of $100 million or so. Next stop might be Canada, via way of a Canadian poker tour operation, and no coincidence that Media Man now has a Canadian Media Man website portal. http://www.mediamancanada.com

We encourage you to enjoy your "free" and "uncensored" (or thereabouts) version of the internet while you can.

In the coming weeks and months Gambling911 and Media Man will provide more details on how you can likely stop or reduce internet filtering and the "great firewall" when it comes knocking in your home town.

We leave you with more words of wisdom, just in case Jesse Ventura left you hanging for more!

In the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed (Charles Darwin)

We wish the readership happy hunting, and let's keep the bastards honest. Aussie Aussie Aussie Oi Oi Oi USA USA Aussie Aussie Aussie Oi Oi Oi!

*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911

*Media Man http://www.mediamanint.com is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company

*The writer owns shares in Crown Casino

References: Google News, Fairfax Media, Autonomous Nonprofit Organization, Tru TV

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