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28 June 2010

Asia Pacific Sports, Entertainment And Gaming Roundup, by Greg Tingle - 28th June 2010

Punting, sporting and entertainment news junkies, and hard core gamblers, what a week, and what a month its been. The Australian - Asia Pacific connection remains in the thick of the sporting action, even though the Socceroos and New Zealanders are out of the FIFA World Cup. Enjoy the sumo slamming, car rolling, internet filter free report, as Media Man and Gambling911 scour the globe, so you don't have to...

FIFA World Cup Attacks: Aussies Recovering Well But City On Alert For More...

South Africa continues to get mixed reports on its security, especially regarding the safety of tourists. The bush tucker bag of Australian fans who were attacked and robbed in their hotel room are recovering well, but South Africa's reputation regarding safety continues to fall, amid crimes often containing "inside job" elements. Media Man can confirm that the crime problems are far bigger than just the atrocious track record of the now infamous Hamilton Parks Country Lodge in Hazyview, located north-east of Johannesburg.


Aussie Mark Webber Close Call At Valencia...

Aussie Formula One title contender Mark Webber had a lucky escape on Sunday after suffering a massive crash at the popular European Grand Prix. The 33-year-old's Red Bull flipped over on lap 10 of the 57-lapper race after hitting the back of Finnish Heikki Kovalainen. Webber appeared to walk away from the wreck of his car unhurt and was taken away in the medical car as a precaution. The Aussie, who has now slipped to 4th in the overall world standings behind British McLaren duo Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button, and his teammate Sebastian Vettel, had started from the front row on the grid behind teammate Vettel. Webber had a terrible start slipping down to 9th then pitted to be near the rear when he crashed out. Vettel won the race in fromt of Hamilton and Button. Hamilton now leads overall standings with 127 points, ahead of world champion Button on 121.
Vettel's 2nd win of the year lifted him to 3rd on 115 points with Webber fourth on 103. Vettel was wrapt to have secured pole position, as it mean the Red Bull team had pole in every race except Canada where Hamilton had been successful. Vettel set a time of one minute 37.587 seconds towards the end of the qualifying session, quick enough to fend off last ditch efforts from Hamilton and Button, and Ferrari drivers Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa. Vettel, 22, was relieved to be starting at the front again after a number of disappointments in Turkey and Canada, but admitted that he was surprised as many had predicted the Valencia track would suit the McLaren and Ferrari cars. "The last couple of races we didn't have a good run on Saturday, so it is good," said Vettel after qualifying. "These circuits, Canada and here in Valencia, usually wouldn't be our strongest so it's good to put the car on pole and our pace looks good. It was a tight qualifying session in the end. In the first run I had a huge moment in the first sector and I knew I had to put everything in the second run, and it worked. I am happy for today. It was a very tough one here, especially as we reintroduced the F-duct and a lot of other things of the car, and some mechanics had just one-hour sleep." Hamilton started behind the Red Bull duo but capitalised by Webber's crash.

Sumo Scandal Claims Oriental Top Brass Scalp...

Japan's sumo association has announced it will go ahead with a tournament next month despite allegations of wrestlers and coaches betting tens of thousands of dollars on baseball in a widening scandal that has tarnished the image of the ancient sport.

The Japan Sumo Association decided in an emergency meeting Monday to hold the tournament, but kept the option of suspending more than a dozen wrestlers - or about one-third of the top division - along with another dozen coaches, according to media reports.

One arrest has already been made in the betting scandal and police are considering more criminal action pending the outcome of an investigation into the accusations, which first appeared in the weekly press and allegedly involve gangster middlemen.

Stablemaster Otake, who allegedly held the deepest involvement with the baseball gambling scheme submitted a letter of resignation to the association. Police have arrested a former wrestler, Mitsutomo Furuichi, 38, who is accused of demanding hush money from Kotomitsuki to cover up the second-ranking champion's alleged involvement in illegal sports gambling. Public opinion has rapidly turned against the sumo establishment as the gambling scandal widened, with sumo officials perceived to have done little to investigate and publicise the problem. The scandal could torpedo next month's grand tournament, which national broadcaster NHK is threatening to abandon. Big-name sponsors have already turned their backs on the tournament. For the first time since World War II, the sumo association has postponed the announcement of a ranking list ahead of the 15-day July tournament because so many wrestlers face expulsion from the event. Stablemaster Otake is expected to resign, possibly any second, after Gambling911 turns up the heat.


Japan: Saipan Casinos Don't Lure Tourist Nor Turn On Casino Whales...

SAIPAN, Northern Mariana Islands — Legalizing casino gambling in Saipan wouldn't necessarily draw more tourists, according to a Japan-based tourism official for the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. Michael Merner, the Marianas Visitors Authority managing director for Japan, said tourists travel to Saipan for its natural beauty, and glitzy casinos wouldn't fit in. "It's important that Saipan not follow the road of Guam or Hawaii with overcommercialized development," said Merner, of Marketing Garden Ltd. Saipan should "keep its position as a natural paradise, and that doesn't fit the casino image," he said.
The Northern Mariana Islands already have casino gaming in Tinian, and Merner said there's no need to expand it to Saipan. In an informal survey of 10 major Japanese travel agents, Merner said the "overwhelming answer" was that Saipan shouldn't create a casino. The U.S. commonwealth "has a great reputation for its natural beauty. Not so much for the quality of the infrastructure. Not so much about the restaurants. Nature is really its selling point," he said. A measure before the commonwealth's legislature would legalize casinos in Saipan and allow them to operate in hotels with at least 250 rooms. Investors would have to pay a $100,000 nonrefundable casino application fee, and additional licensing fees could reach $200,000. Even though most gambling is illegal in Japan, travel agents believe adding gambling to Saipan's attractions wouldn't entice Japanese visitors, Merner said.


Hong Kong Police Crack Football Gambling Ring...

Hong Kong based coppers advised they have smashed a record breaking 170 million Hong Kong dollar (22 million US dollar) gambling ring that took illegal bets on World Cup football games and horse racing. Authorities arrested four men linked to Hong Kong's notorious triad gangs and seized betting records in the latest in a series of raids that have netted at least three dozen suspects since the tournament kicked off this month. "This is a record for a single raid," a police spokeswoman told wire services. Betting records worth about 32 million US dollars have been seized. Police said they have not finished breaking down the value of wagers put on football versus horse racing in the latest raid. In a joint operation earlier this month, mainland Chinese police arrested at 45 odd people and confiscated 44 million Hong Kong dollars' worth of betting slips in nearby Shenzhen. Punters in Hong Kong, a football and horse racing-mad former British colony, can bet legally on a variety of sports events including the World Cup through the Hong Kong Jockey Club. About 35 billion Hong Kong dollars in legal bets were placed on football matches in 2009, according to Jockey Club figures. Illegal bookmakers are said to offer considerable superior odds, and easier credit terms. Failure to repay can bring horrific punishment!


Malaysia Drops New Gambling Plan Amid protests...

KUALA LUMPUR — Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak advised his government had dropped a proposal to legalise sports betting amid protests by groups who fear it will create more social ills. The uproar over sports betting erupted after Ascot Sports, a company controlled by influential tycoon Vincent Tan, said in May it had been granted a licence to offer odds for the hugely popular English Premier League season. The government denied such a licence had been issued and said that it was still reviewing its decision as Muslim groups, opposition leaders and even members of the ruling government coalition opposed the new licence. "I hereby wish to announce that the government has decided that the licence will not be issued," Najib told state media late Friday. "Although there were groups who supported as well those who did not support or opposed the decision, it was clear to the government that a majority of the people did not agree that the licence be issued to Ascot Sports," he added. Opposition political parties said Thursday they were planning a mass street protest next month against the proposal. "We have too many social problems - drug addiction, free sex and baby dumping," Kamarulzaman Mohamad, youth secretary of the conservative Pan-Malaysia Islamic Party (PAS). "Sports betting will add to our problems as most youths watch football. They will be influenced to borrow money," he added. Party officials have not yet to decided whether the demonstration will be cancelled following Najib's announcement. Malaysia bans its majority Muslims from gambling but allows betting at a casino operated by Genting Group, on the national lottery and on horse-racing. Berjaya, the property-to-gaming group which has a 70 percent state in Ascot Sports, has said the illegal sports betting market in Malaysia was worth as much as 20 billion ringgit (six billion US dollars) a year.


Crown Limited King James Packer Delighted With Photon Group Deal...

Photon's capital raising will be close to $200 million, which could almost double its market capitalisation of $191 million, advised insiders including the in the know News Limited blood hounds. Photon stock was suspended on June 4 at $1.02 a share and the coming capital raising will be at a substantial discount, with the rights issue price less than 50 cents a share. UBS and Macquarie are handling the equity raising which has already won the backing of major shareholders Reg Grundy, James Packer and others. Mr Packer continues his roll of good fortune and is once again ramping up media and new media interests. Media Man continues to become more investor ready, looking to plug into the Packer - Gyngell - Bondi Beach "machine". Gyngell has recently joined the Crown Limited board of directors to mixed media reports, but some close to the action say Packer and Gyng have a "few tricks up their sleeve". The point to the entertainment and lifestyle sector (not just gambling). In a business where trust is important the Packer - Gyng team is an excellent piece of risk management, in a (media) business known for backstabbing and jealously.


Poker News: GSN Airs 2010 Aussie Millions: United States TV Coverage; Aussie TV Misses Out...

American friends, GSN is your station to watch 1 hour specials of the world famous Aussie Millions Poker Championship. Tune in at 9pm Eastern on Saturday night. Aussie Tony G, sponsored by PartyPoker, even gets a Guernsey, even though the show has strong Full Tilt Poker tie ins.

Australian Politics: PM Julie Gillard Puts Kevin Rudd On The Backbench But 'Minster Of Censorship' Stephen Conroy Retains Communications Portfolio!...

Sen Stephen Conroy has somehow survived a cabinet reshuffle from newly crowned Prime Minister Julia Gillard, retaining his role as the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy. Maybe Steve's being listening to Aussie casino king, James Packer! Gillard revealed details of her new ministry at a lunchtime press conference (28th June) noting that "limited changes". If you were Kevin Rudd it wasn't very "limited". Gillard claims "maximum stability in the team" has been achieved. Trade Minister Simon Crean was to take over Gillard's role as Minister for Education, Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations and Minister for Social Inclusion. Crean's Trade portfolio has been merged with Foreign Affairs and will now come under the responsibility of incumbent Foreign Affairs Minister Stephen Smith. Finance Minister Lindsay Tanner, who last week announced his intention to resign from politics, was asked to continue in his role for the remainder of Labor's term in Government. Gillard advised she had no intention to make any further changes to her ministry until after the re-election, should the Labor Government survive..."The premium I have put in making these ministerial changes is on stability. There will be no further appointments to cabinet; there will be no new ministerial appointments; there will be no new parlimentary secretary appointments. The team is the team. Our focus is on election day. We take nothing for granted. If the government is re-elected, then following the re-election, I will shape the team at that point." A role had not been created for deposed Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in the current Gillard ministry. However, she said he would be offered a senior minister position should the Labor Government be re-elected. "I have, in recent days, had conversations with Kevin Rudd about his future," Gillard advised press. "It's his intention to seek re-election as the member of Griffith; consequently, I have told him I would be absolutely delighted to see him serve as a senior cabinet minister in the team if the Government is re-elected." Conroy has exuded confidence in the lead-up to the reshuffle, boasting to SBS Television he had been watching the World Cup rather than jostling for position. Good to hear Steve, we love our sports also.


Aussie Pokie Palace Robbery And Attacks Continues; Another Armed Robbery!...

3 bandits carrying weapons including a machete ordered pokie players onto the floor of a gaming venue in Melbourne's north before stealing a large quantity of cash. Armed crime taskforce detectives said the masked thieves entered the gaming area of pokies venue in Sunset Boulevard, Jacana, near Broadmeadows, just after 10pm carrying a gun and a machete. Patrons and staff inside the club were told to lay on the floor while the robbers grabbed large amount of cash and left on foot. Police advised no shots were fired and no staff members or patrons were pysically injured in the attack, but some were shaken up. A police helicopter and the dog squad was called in to search the area surrounding the club but failed to locate the robbers. Anyone with information can call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or go to crimestoppers.com.au.


UFC: Brock Lesnar VS Shane Carwin - Aussie Love Lesnar But Expect Carwin To Win...

Australian UFC fans have take to the sport in a big way. Earlier this year UFC enjoyed a sell out at the Acer Arena. Tickets were gone in approximaley 1 hour. Media Man has conduced a street survey on Lesnar VS Carwin, and Aussie punters are picking Carwin to win, even though Australian fans are big "marks" for Brock. Carwin's winning streak... the positive momentiam, and being able to match up muscle and abily with Lesnar see Shane a mild favorite at time of publication. Match date: 3rd July.


NRL State Of Origin:

Frantic NSW selectors have named 3 debutant front-rowers in the side to play Queensland in State of Origin III on July 7. Manly co-captain Jason King, Cronulla's Kade Snowden and Parramatta's Tim Mannah, who was named on the bench, will join Penrith winger Michael Gordon in playing their first Origin game in the ANZ Stadium dead rubber. Gordon will be joined by Panthers team-mate Michael Jennings, whose top performances at club level have earned him a guesney.

NSW Team for Origin 3

Jarryd Hayne, Brett Morris, Michael Jennings, Beau Scott, Michael Gordon, Trent Barrett (c), Mitchell Pearce, Jason King, Michael Ennis, Kade Snowden, Luke Lewis, Paul Gallen, Greg Bird. Interchange: Kurt Gidley, Tom Learoyd- Lahrs, Tim Mannah, Anthony Watmough. *Queensland remains heavy favorites


Media Man Profiles

Sumo

Mark Webber

NRL



Wrap Up...

Readers and punters. If your in South Africa for the cup, please take care and exercise extreme caution. All of the attacks in the field are only going to boost the popularity of online sports betting and online casinos, many of which are showcased on the world famous Media Man and Gambling911 website portals. Punters, as always, know the odds and have fun.

*The writer is a special contributor for Gambling911

*Media Man is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. Gaming is just one of a bakers dozen of sectors they cover.

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