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02 May 2010

Australian Casino News Weekly Wrap Up - 30th April 2010

It's been a huge week for Australian gambling, gaming, sports betting and censorship news. This is likely the biggest Australian casino and gambling news week in modern history. Let's see... NRL Melbourne Storm sports betting scandal, Melbourne Gangland Killer Carl Williams dies and gets buried, Sin City Sydney Crime & Corruption Expo, Computer kiosk gambling device tested by law, Aussie Daniel Tzvetkoff to remain in Vegas jail facing money laundering charges, Aussie internet filter delayed for months, Melbourne's Crown Casino to host The Logies tomorrow night, with 'Underbelly' nominated for awards... wait, there's more!...

Australia - Asia Pacific casino king, James Packer and his City Of Dreams Macau also faces its latest challenge with the opening of competitor casino, Marina Bay Sands in downtown Singapore, and New Zealand's SKYCITY was host to the 2010 New Zealand Gaming Expo.

Oh, how could we forget...Gambling911's Jenny Woo, wooing us (and 'Nature Boy' Ric Flair), picked up Media Man 'Poker Babe Of The Month' and PartyPoker's Kara Scott grabbed 'Casino Babe Of The Month', so it was a jam packed week and month.

Media Man and Gambling911 advise its time to take our the probe and dig a little deeper...

NRL Melbourne Storm Sports Betting Scandal...

Apart from whispers in the industry, it all started when punters starting betting on The Storm to take out the "wooden spoon" (last place). A day or two late alarm bells were ringing loud and sports betting outlets effected are estimated to be out of pocket by at least $100,000, possibly at much as $200,000. The Storm are fighting for survival and now allegations are being laid against other NRL footy teams are are also understood to have cheated their way to winning. This story is far from over.

Melbourne Gangland Killer Carl Williams dies in prison bashing; Gets buried in gold coffin

Not a well known gambler, but self described "semi professional gambler" Williams was buried yesterday, in a gold plated coffin no doubt. Police warned the grave diggers and other "need to know" people (like direct family) not to disclose where the coffin is buried. We wonder why... just kidding. Williams luck ran out for good, that much we know. More real life 'Underbelly' news is bound to surface in the near future, helped in part by our sometimes contact Bert Wrout, 'Underbelly' survivor, leaking news and and information to the press. Insiders say the killings are over, and no one is (smartly) willing to attempt to hurt Melbourne "consultant" Mick Gatto.

Sin City Sydney Crime & Corruption Expo - Opens 1st May

Gambling themes and figures a plenty. Touted as the real 'Underbelly' history, focusing on the 1940's to 1980's, George Freeman ('Colourful Racing Identity) and 'Mr Sin' Abe Saffron are the main event (dead) draw cards.

Of all the black-market trades, casinos played the most active role in corrupting police and politicians, paying them thousands of dollars a week in bribes.

Baccarat king Richard Reilly was shot dead in 1967. With him gone, other operators moved in and transformed the city's basic gambling houses into substantial, plush 'Las Vegas'-style casinos. Business-minded criminals such as George Freeman, Lennie McPherson and Stan Smith joined forces to revolutionise gambling and protection rackets in a massive restructuring of the underworld.

Illegal SP (‘starting price’) bookmaking exploited off-track betting restrictions to generate huge profits for savvy criminal operators. George Freeman, at one time the largest SP operator in the state, bought influence by using his ability to guarantee winning bets as a powerful form of bribery. Freeman was not alone. Illegal bookies were both the favoured betting choice for punters and the most consistent earner for Sydney’s criminal syndicates until the 1980s, collectively turning over as much as $6.4 billion in today’s dollars each year. The very integrity of racing was threatened nationwide by corrupt bookmaking that encouraged horse doping and race fixing.

I’m the toughest man in f***king Sydney. I can kill anyone I f***king well want to, but I can’t get my f***king dinner on time!

Lennie McPherson to his first wife, 1960

... there was only one thing I wanted out of life. I wanted to be a crook. Not just any crook, but the crook, the BIGGEST - the man with money, power, influence. Working for a living never entered my head.

George Freeman, 1988

Mr saffron should be employed by the Australian forces as a camouflage expert, sir. He’s done it successfully for many many years.

Jim Anderson, 1983

Website
http://www.hht.net.au/sincity


Marina Bay Sands VS Aussie James Packer’s City of Dreams Macau

The land based casino wars continue to heat up, and 'Our James'... Australian James Packer is in the thick of the action. Packer's Crown Casino faces increased competition down under in Australia from Sydney's revamped Star City, and now Sands has opened in Singapore, in a move that insiders say will lure whales and dolphins away from Crown Macau, but don't underestimate the loyalty to Packer. Many have bet against the Aussie - Asia Pacific casino king before and lost. The Marina Bay Sands in Singapore is one of the biggest and most expensive casinos every built. Having opened its doors two days ago, throwing down the gauntlet... the dust is just starting to settle. Insiders say James Packer is at the top of the list of other operators who need to stay on guard and answer the challenge. Packer has enough top line connections to stay on top and in favor with the whales, should an all out "war" erupt, as is the case in Australia, where Tabcop Owned Star City Casino has now spent $600 on a revamp, part of which is designed to lure "whales" and the world's top entertainers.


Computer Kiosk Gambling Device (Not) Tested By Law (And Returned)

Following our report on the 25th of the month, there's been some very important developments on the legal situation re the internet kiosks located in Australian pubs and hotels that Australia's Tabcorp called a "gambling device". The courts do not agree! Victory for VenueNet and Australian internet lovers... Media Man and Gambling911 with the story...

Yesterday a computer terminal with internet access that gaming authorities claim is an "unauthorised instrument of betting", was reinstalled! A computer being plugged back in is not normally so newsworthy, but because of the gaming, legal and political connection, it is, so there you go! Back to the pub from where you were seized, you good computer. The (kangaroo not) court ordered it, so hop to it son.

The manufacture of the device er machine, VenueNet, has a business arrangement with Darwin-based bookmaker Sportsbet to offer customers access to their betting accounts through the computer kiosk. The full details of the agreement are commercially sensitive in nature, but its a win-win.

VenueNet is hopeful the court's ruling will facilitate a planned roll out by the truck full of some 200 devices er machines.. up and down the east coast of Australia.

The Victorian Commission for Gambling Regulation confiscated the device er machine from the Rising Sun Hotel in South Melbourne last August, after receiving a complaint from Aussie gaming and racing giant Tabcorp, which currently holds Victoria's exclusive retail wagering licence. Tabcorp are also the current owners of Star City Casino in Sydney (which James Packer of Crown is rumored to have an interest in... a deal once stopped by his late farther Kerry, close to a decade ago).

The 'Kiosk Case' as its now known as in gaming circles is seen as being a test of Australian gambling and igaming laws that have failed miserably to keep pace with technology and has raised doubts about the value of the Victorian wagering licence, which is up for tender. Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Senator Stephen Conroy take note "failed miserably"..."raised doubts"... its the Kiosk Case, not the Aussie internet filter case.


Aussie Daniel Tzvetkoff To Remain In Vegas Jail Facing Money Laundering Charges

Tzvetkoff, also exposed as also processing porn company transactions, remains in jail. He faces up to a 75 year term (if he lives that long). Federal prosecutors said that Intabill utilized the automated clearinghouse system to transfer funds between U.S. checking accounts and various Internet gambling businesses, including online gambling and porn. They charge that Tzvetkoff and others disguised those gambling transactions as repayment of payday loans that consumers had taken out online, as well as transferred funds applied to pre-paid debit cards. He was indicted for money laundering.

"Tzvetkoff and his co-conspirators obtained unique websites and toll-free numbers for these shell companies and developed phony websites to make the companies appear to have a valid, non-gambling purpose," the indictment said.



Aussie Internet Filter Delayed

The prospect of Internet filtering in Australia is highly unlikely in either the May or June sittings of Federal Parliament. Online gambling websites were among those that appeared on a leaked list of "banned sites".


Crown Casino to host The Logies This Sunday

Australia's tourism and entertainment icon, Crown Casino, gets to show of its wares on a national and international scale this coming Sunday night, with the TV smash hit 'Underbelly' in line for a number of awards. Folks, this event is all about entertainment, not table games, slots or the bottom line, or at least that's the official world. Mind you, someone has to put the 'Business' in show business, and Crown continues to deliver the goods, year after year.

Media Man and Gambling911 have been hitting the phones and pounding the pavement in order to work out who the smart money is on.

Casino tycoon, James Packer, owner of Crown, enjoys a long and largely very positive history with both Network Nine's David Gyngell, and print press publication, ACP Magazines, not that we are suggesting that would be instrumental in who gets gold, silver or a donut (0).

James Packer owned Crown Casino in Melbourne, will be host to the 2010 Logie Awards on Sunday 2nd May.

'Underbelly', which frequently features gambling (illegal dens in most cases), has been nominated for a modest bush tucker bag full of awards. The list, correct at time of publication:

Asher Keddie (Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities), broadcast on Network Nine is up for
the Outstanding Actress award.

Anna Hutchison, Underbelly: A Tale of Two Cities is nominated for the Graham Kennedy Award for Outstanding New Talent.

'Underbelly' is also up for the Most Popular Drama award.

Bouncers and security...a number of football and cricket stars will be present, many of which are known to get a bit boisterous when on the grog. Please don't bring out the plastic handcuffs, unless absolutely necessary. Mind you, it would make bloody good television and provide plenty of fodder for paparazzi attending the gala affair. Celebs, sportsmen... you've been forewarned.

Bert Newton is hosting this year, being seen by the powers that be as a safe bet. Meantime, Bert's son, Matthew, has recently booked himself into rehab, in a step we applaud. Newton Jr played Terry 'Mr Asia' Clark in 'Underbelly: A Tale Of Two Cities'.

Our loyal and worldwide readership is looking forward to the goss following the event, so have a couple of drinks on us, but don't overdo it either. Drink too much... just slip on over to Crown Towers or Crown Metropol. They will be happy to look after you, for a price.


The Late Mail

Report urges government to take over gambling regulation

A new report urges the federal government to take over the regulation of gambling, which costs Australians $18 billion a year and which states rely on for $4.69bn in tax revenue annually.

The report by Deakin University and the Australia Institute urged the Rudd government to put a 2% tax on all gambling revenue, while using some of that $378 million to give state governments that reduce gambling levels incentive payments to reduce their reliance on tax from poker machines.


Crown Casino Groupier's Scammers Caught

A Crown Casino croupier and his gambling housemate (almost inmate) who teamed up to try beat the house have had the scheme die out.

Quoc Tran, 27, manned the roulette wheel as his mate Hoa Nguyen, 34, placed bets over at least three days in April last year.

A Melbourne court heard while Nguyen placed some legal wagers, other chips downed after Tran called "no more bets" and the ball had landed on its number!

Mr Tran allowed Nguyen to repeat such illegal transactions 15 times, which got them "winnings" of $15,750.

Crown security spied them and called police who arrested the pair, later to plead guilty to charges of theft.

David Grace, QC, advised Nguyen had turned his life around and had also repaid his $7857 to Crown. Nguyen's legal eagle said he had so far repaid $900 bucks.

Deputy chief magistrate Jelena Popovic said the men's efforts went in their favour.

The Footscray pair were released on non-conviction undertakings with orders they pay $750 to the "court fund". Media Man and Gambling911 with them well with their rehab from their past ways.

So readers, er punters, what a week its been. Freeman, Saffron and our old mate, 'Big' Tim Bristow would be proud, and most likely reading the world famous Gambling911 website for updates, if there were still with us. Network Nine's 'Hey Hey' top bloke, 'Pluka Duck', and his handlers, have been reading with great interest.

Till next time, don't do anything we wouldn't do. Know the odds, good hunting and happy punting.

*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911

*Media Man http://www.mediamanint.com is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. Gaming is just one of a dozen industry sectors covered

*The writer owns shares in Crown Limited

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