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03 July 2010

Australian Gaming And Sporting Round Up, by Greg Tingle - 3rd July 2010

Readers, gamblers and sports nuts, here's your weekly Aussie gambling and sporting round up as Media Man and Gambling911 circumnavigate the southern hemisphere. UFC weekend, Aussie NRL betting scandal update, Aussie casino wars continue and more...

Crown Casino VS Star City Casino "War" With Politics, Legal...

'Sin City' Sydney: Star City has collected only $212,000 in unclaimed winnings since it opened in 1995, while Melbourne rival Crown Casino collects about that amount every calender year!

This huge difference prompted an accusation that the Star Casino may be "pocketing" much of the unclaimed winnings it collects and a call for the Casino, Liquor and Gaming Control Authority to introduce enhanced auditing of the system used.

In NSW, unclaimed winnings include pokies credits left in machines and jackpots that are downloaded to a machine but not collected! They also include what are known as "sleeper" bets on gaming tables left unclaimed.

Greens Party MP, Lee Rhiannon, quizzed the Minister for Gaming and Racing, Kevin Greene...MP Green advised Parliament in June that the fashion Star City deals with unclaimed winnings is not subject to any regulation.

He did state re unclaimed poker machine jackpot "is dispersed back to the jackpot pool if the patron cannot be identified".

Unclaimed pokies credits are deposited into an unclaimed winnings account, while "sleeper" bets are returned to the float of the gaming table.

Victorian legislation dictates that unclaimed winnings at Crown are paid to the Treasury.

Star City estimates it has collected $212,000 in unclaimed winnings in its 15 years, Crown recently revealed it had collected about $1 million in unclaimed winnings in the past 5 years ($200,000 annually).

Ms Rhiannon remarks "Either Melbourne casino patrons are far more forgetful than those in Sydney, or Star City Casino is secretly pocketing … unclaimed winnings."

Spokesman for Star, Peter Grimshaw, rejected the allegation. He said that while he could not comment on Crown's figure findings, he pointed out that it was a much larger casino with 2500 poker machines, compared with 1500 at Star City. Grimshaw said money found on the floor and credits left on a machine or in a coin tray were deposited into an "unclaimed moneys account" which was then dispersed to registered charities. He did not provide a figure for how much has been given to charity, but advised the account now holds about $22,000 grand.

Ms Rhiannon said the retention of some of the unclaimed money such as "sleeper bets" and poker machine jackpots by Star City was "unjustified". She called on the government to introduce the Victorian system of returning the money to the Treasurer.

"This major discrepancy underlines the need for more stringent auditing and a law change to ensure this money does not go to Tabcorp but goes into consolidated revenue," she said.

Mr Grimshaw said any such change was "a matter for Parliament. Star City has a policy of giving all found money to registered charities, so they would miss out from any move to return the funds to consolidated revenue." A spokesman for Mr Greene referred inquiries about changing the rules to the Treasurer, Eric Roozendaal, who is in China on government business. Mr Grimshaw said the gaming control authority could review Star City's unclaimed winnings "at any time". Charities, you might want to contact the casino and the gaming control authority to give them your thoughts and 2 cents worth.


Aussie NRL Sports Betting Scandal Update...

We know you wanted an update... A multi month probe betting plunges on Melbourne to win the "wooden spoon" (loosing team) before the club was stripped of all its comp points has failed to identify any punters with connections to the game or News Limited, the owners of the Storm and 50% stakeholders in the National Rugby League. The case remains open and chief exec David Gallop and the NRL remain keen to learn who was responsible for a number of bets placed in Melbourne and Brisbane that attracted suspicion and worldwide headlines because of the time and manner they were put on. Racing NSW chief steward Ray Murrihy yesterday handed the NRL his report into the alleged betting fix mania but did not name anyone who had backed the Storm to finish last that may have had inside knowledge of the penalties imposed on the club for rorting the salary cap. Allegations that the punishment given to the Storm had been pre-determined before Melbourne chairman Rob Moodie and board member Craig Watts flew to Sydney on 22nd April for meetings with News Limited and the NRL over allegations of salary cap rorts form part of the legal case by the club's four independent directors against the penalties. A series of wagers that stood to win huge amounts if the then competition leaders ran last were laid with Australian betting agencies either late on the night of Wednesday, April 21st or early the next day...before the NRL announced that Melbourne had been stripped of the 2007 and 2009 premierships and forced to play this season for no competition points for "cheating" the salary cap. Among them is a mystery punter who walked into a Melbourne hotel at 9.30pm the night before the penalties were handed down and placed five successive cash bets totalling $200 on the Storm to claim the wooden spoon. At odds of a massive 200-1, the punter holds winning tickets worth $40,000. More than 400 bets are believed to have been laid with Tabcorp, TAB Sportsbet and 14 corporate bookmakers around Australia in the 48 hours leading up to the Storm being stripped of all competition points. Next thing odds fell to 20-1 before suspicions of a sting prompted betting agencies to suspend the wooden spoon market.

Report Findings...

No evidence that any player or official as defined by the NRL rules placed a bet or had an interest in a bet on Melbourne Storm to win the 'wooden spoon' and/or 'miss the eight'; and.

The level of activity on the 'wooden spoon' bet type was consistent with information concerning the gravity of the breach becoming known prior to the Storm informing the NRL of the extent of its breaches at an 11am meeting on April 22.

"The most significant of the bets in terms of timing appear to have been from Melbourne and Brisbane based punters," Murrihy said.

Wires, SMH and News Limited reports have put out there...a punter, alleged to be a league official, stood to win $20,000 from bets placed with online bookmakers from a computer in Brisbane but had ripped up his tickets to avoid detection. However, the bookmaker alleged to have taken the wager said it would be impossible for any punters who had bet online to avoid detection by tearing up their ticket as the Northern Territory Gaming Commission had a record of all transactions. But it seems the identity of the punter who placed the bets totalling $200 in a Melbourne pub will not be known until he or she attempts to collect their $40,000 at the end of the season. Footage taken from CCTV cameras at the hotel did not show the bets being put on.

According to Tabcorp sources, the punter who made the cash bets totalling $200 had a "good knowledge" of the company's procedures. TAB outlets pay out a maximum of $10,000 without requesting photo identification. By placing 5 bets, none of which would return more than the $10,000 limit, the punter may have been trying to avoid handing over his or her identification.

The NRL said Murrihy had spoken to a number of persons who had placed significant bets as well as the integrity departments of betting operators. "The NRL stresses that while people may have gained information from outside of the NRL that led them to speculate on the seriousness of the meeting, the decision to stop Melbourne accruing points in 2010 was not made until the afternoon of April 22, nor were decisions in relation to the club being stripped of both premierships and minor premierships," a media statement issued in the past 48 hours stated.


Internet Addiction Not Linked To Gambling Addiction...

Internet dependence and "problem gambling" are both addictions, but Aussie researchers found no link between excessive Internet use and "problem gambling". Dr. Nicki Dowling of the University of Melbourne and his colleagues did an assessment of a group of uni students down under and determined similar vulnerabilities... attributable to anxiety, stress, depression, loneliness and social isolation...appear to contribute to excesses in Internet use as well as gambling behavior. The researchers conclude excessive Internet use and problem gambling appear to be separate disorders that share common "underlying psychological profiles"! The study was published in the journal Rapid Communication in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking. Oh, punters and gamers also enjoy Facebook, and of course Gambling911 and Media Man are on Facebook also.


Former Australian Prime Minster John Howard (Not Rudd) Not Welcome On Aussie Cricket Board...

The powers that be have spoken loud and clear.... Former Aussie PM John Howard on the Cricket board? No Thanks.... We don't see Kevin Rudd throwing his hat in the ring either. Here's an update...

The Howard controversy which has engulfed world cricket gained diplomatic status on Friday with the prime ministers of Australia and New Zealand supporting the former Aussie PM, whose bid to become ICC vice-president was rejected by the ICC executive board last Thursday. Howard was asked by present Australian PM Julia Gillard to give it another shot, raising the prospect of a protracted battle on racial lines. Meanwhile, new ICC president Sharad Pawar vehemently denied any racial connotation in Howard's rejection. He also shuddered off suggestions that the development would divide world cricket. The Indian cricket board (BCCI) stood behind him, saying, "It's not a diplomatic row as the media would like us to believe," a top BCCI official told TOI. With the Aussie and New Zealand cricket boards expressing shock and resentment over their candidate's failure, Gillard and Kiwi PM John Key echoed..."John Howard, passionate, passionate cricket fan. I share some of the concerns he's voiced publicly about the kind of factors that are influencing this decision," Gillard said on Friday, with Key..."I'd be very happy to offer full support for John Howard to get this role." Meanwhile, former ICC CEO Malcolm Speed's attack on the sub-continental cricket admin following Howard's inability to secure enough votes to become VP trotted around the cricketing world. Australian Speed, who often feuded with BCCI during his term as ICC CEO, even called Pakistan Cricket Board's chief Ijaz Butt a "buffoon" while also saying that two former presidents of the Bangladesh Cricket Board were jailed after a change of government. Butt didn't react but a PCB spokesperson said: "We will not comment on it as we are in the process of confirming the statement carried in the Australian media."


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Virgin Casino Wins Media Man 'Online Casino Of The Month' Award (Finally), Brakes Party Hold...

The PartyCasino VS Virgin Casino online casino wars have been going on for a few years now, much of that time PartyCasino having a lock on the coverted Media Man award. In a shocker, Richard Branson's Virgin Casino toppled Party for June. The new games, excellent affiliate offerings, gameplay, global expansion, addition of the Virgin Gaming arm and outstanding customer experiences were key reasons for the win. PartyGaming's casino got 2nd place, and Captain Cooks casino in 3rd (comon' Aussie's)! Virgin doesn't accept Aussie or American players, but is big in Canada, United Kingdom, South Africa and much of Europe. PartyGaming remains ultra popular in Australia and New Zealand. Read about the PartyCasino VS Virgin Casino war here...

http://www.mediamanint.com/profiles/partycasino_vs.html

Casino Legal and Poker Legal Situation...

Punters, don't forget to follow the laws and regulations in your country, state et al. French readers might want to consult legal eagles, or check with your current online casino or online poker websites of preference. California is the U.S is going to have to wait to see online poker bills passed as reported earlier this week. Check the Gambling911 latest coverage on France here...

http://www.gambling911.com/poker.html


Australian Politics: Julie Gillard Gets Labor Back In Front!...

PM Julia Gillard has reversed federal Labor's fall in the polls and put her party in an election-winning position, according to recent analysis. Reuters Poll Trend combining recent opinion poll results gives the Gillard govt a two-party preferred vote of 51.6%, compared to the Coalition's 48.4% If repeated on election day, the result would see Labor returned to government, but with a reduced majority. It lends weight to Labor's decision last week to dump then prime minister Kevin Rudd for Julia Gillard. The Rudd government's vote had been falling steadily since March. The combined polling also confirms the new Prime Minister's popularity. It suggests 52.2% of voters prefer Julia Gillard as prime minister compared to 33% for Opposition Leader Tony "The Bruiser" Abbott. There is heightened interest in the polls as Prime Minister Gillard decides when to call a federal election due between August and April, but likely to be held before the end of October. Keep checking Centrebet for current odds

Centrebet profile
http://www.mediamanint.com/profiles/centrebet.html


UFC: Dana White Loves Aussie Fans...

"You know over there in Australia, you have real men's men. They're not pussies. Do you even have pussies over there? Guys that go, mmmm, aahhh, I can't go into the outback. They are real men, tough men, who get the sport and like it." Australian fans are expected to bet big on the UFC 115 Lesnar VS Carwin fight, with Lesnar enjoying a slight favorite, is world on the streets and MMA websites and sheets. Aussie Pay TV operator, Foxtel, and its Main Event PPV channel are understood to be getting big numbers, and these are likely to be released within the week following the 115 fight event.


Aussie F1 Ace Mark Webber Fine After Crash...

Mark Webber has played down his 190mph European Grand Prix crash and is fine. Webber is looking forward to continuing on flying the flag for Red Bull Racing. He comments... "Obviously you get a bit concerned when that happens. But fortunately I walked away from it and when you race for as long as us guys do you're going to have the odd big one here and there. I remembered everything". "It certainly takes both of us to have the accident," Webber said. I could have done something different to not hit Heikki as well. Collectively we got involved with each other and certainly it was unnecessary over what was at stake, which was not a great deal. That's the stupid thing about it."


NRL State Of Origin - New South Wales v Queensland - This Wednesday...

NSW selectors have opted for a "something old, something new" approach to Game Three, sacking players, blooding players and recalling players as they battle to stave off an embarrassing 3-0 series nuclear destruction.

Coach info: Craig Bellamy will want to go out with a bang in his final as mentor of NSW. He enters this clash with a terrible 2-6 record for just a 25% return – way down on his 67% winning rate with the Storm. QLD's Mal Meninga now boasts a 71% winning record from his 14 games guiding Queensland.

Queensland remain extremely heavily tipped to win the final clash of the season.

NSW win 2.60
QLD win 1.50


Wrap Up...

The off field action and casino gossip continues to have just as much interest to both the media and public as do the odds, numbers and the odds. As the public continue to become ever increasingly media savy, leaks, hot gossip, inside information and the like is going to be sought after. Some fodder just fills up news bulletins and newspapers, while some is genuine news. Of course, some passionate gaming and sports nuts will endeavor to get there hands on every bit of information they can. It's of course better to have to much info, than not enough, and for these reasons Gambling911 continues to be one of the world's foremost website portals, where the reader or punter can get a global perspective of their passion in a quick, entertaining and informative fashion. Casino and online casino fans, check out the Media Man website too, and remember that not all online casinos are available to Aussies. Gambling911 has all the good oil on the American casino and gambling sector, updated multiply times per day.

Media Man and Gambling911 are website portals covering entertainment, gambling, gaming, sports, politics and much more. 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

*The writer owns shares in Crown Limited and Virgin

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