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19 August 2010

Australian Casino, Gambling And Political News, by Greg Tingle - 19th August 2010

Australia continues to pump out some of the world's most interesting and unique casino, gambling, and political news this week. Melbourne remains on real life Underbelly alert, Mildura may start a pro casino political party, Aussie casino wars and more. Media Man and Gambling911 continue to bring you the best. Aussie casino king James Packer still may be sailing the high seas, but the news rolls on regardless. Load up the sniffer dogs, kangaroos, koalas, Tasmanian devils... it's a whale of a hunting time down under.

Victoria: Mildura Backing Jewel Casino Plan With Political Plan...

Dozens of business interest groups in the north-west Victorian city of Mildura are mobilising behind grand plans for a $400 million plus entertainment complex and casino development in the region. The Progress Mildura group was formed at a meeting of about 50 people 2 sleeps ago, with the goal of supporting the Jewel Casino proposal, seeing the dream become a reality. Committee member Ben Ridley advised the group is trying to clarify government regulations, but isn't ruling out standing or supporting a state election candidate in November. "Once we know what the actual process is that needs to be followed then we will make a decision as to which direction we take," he proclaimed. Update...Candidate May Run...
Progress Mildura was formed at a meet up earlier this week and advised it is in a fact-finding phase about the best way to push for the project to go ahead. Committee member Ben Ridley says the Member for Mildura, Peter Crisp, attended the group's meeting and didn't give a clear indication of whether he was for or against the project! "That probably disappointed a lot of people - I think they probably wanted to know either way if he was for it or against it and I think that's something we really need to assess quite quickly," he said. But Mr Crisp says he does not know enough about the proposal, or whether the Government is intending to allow a second casino licence in Victoria. "Until we know whether there is a second licence on offer and what the terms and conditions are... then we don't know what we are making our minds up on," he said. Ok, tell us the just facts Jack, with a dose of colour.

NSW Lotteries $100,000 Battle With Scratchie Punter...

There's been a number of "false wins" and disputed cases regarding winnings in lotto, casino and online casinos of late. We won't give you a big list, but you wont find campaigns for the bad eggs on the pages of Gambling911, Media Man or Casino News Media. Puter Bale Kuzmanovski was excited when he scratched the lottery ticket his wife had purchased him as a birthday pressie. He eyed off an image of a swimmer next to the word ''bathe''...its a win, so he thought. The size of the prize was considerable. Believing he had won the big one... $100,000 "Kasino" (Media Man tag) Kuzmanovski felt an "explosion of elation". Hold it there...NSW Lotteries argued the point. The swimmer did not match the word "bathe", it argued. The correct image was a bathtub. The symbol Kuzmanovski had chicked sratched was only a winner if it was accompanied by the word "swim". The case then went to the Federal Court and, this week, Justice Steven Rares gave the nod to Kuzmanovski. He ordered NSW Lotteries to pay up the $100,000 prize. The matter began way back in July 2007 when Elizabeth Kuzmanovski bought her husband two $5 Pictionary scratchies from a Parramatta newsagency. After his apparent win, he and his wife turned their thoughts to how they would spend the money...reducing the mortgage, a family holiday to visit his grandmother in Macedonia. But the next day the newsagent put the card through the machine, coming up with the "not a winning ticket" message. Kuzmanovski said he had been deeply angry, felt cheated and spent a sleepless night.
The couple argued in court that "bathe" meaning "swim" was the definition given in at least four dictionaries sold in Australia. Lotteries NSW countered with the Macquarie Dictionary meaning: "Chiefly British: to swim for pleasure". Justice Rares concluded that "an ordinary and natural meaning in Australian English usage of 'bathe' is 'swim'". NSW Lotteries will have to pay 3 years' interest on the prize and the Kuzmanovskis' legal costs. Got to love a happy ending.

Tasmania: Reducing the Impact of Problem Gambling...

New laws come into effect today which will strengthen the gaming exclusions regime for self excluded gamblers.

The Treasurer, Michael Aird, said the new laws were part of a broader package of measures introduced last year to address problem gambling in Tasmania.

“Today’s measures were developed in response to the findings of the first Social and Economic Impact Study, following consultation with the Tasmanian Gaming Commission and key community and industry groups,” Mr Aird said.

“The Tasmanian Gambling Exclusion Scheme will be strengthened by simplifying the types of exclusions available and introducing a minimum period of six months before exclusions can be revoked.

“Currently a self-exclusion notice can be revoked by the person at any time. The new six month minimum requirement will support a person’s decision not to gamble during the early stages of their exclusion where the urge to gamble may be high.

“In addition, there will be a three year maximum period for all exclusions. After three years the exclusion will expire at the time of expiration people will have to re-apply.

“This will help to make sure that information and records, including photos, are kept up to date over time."

Secretary to Cabinet, Cassy O’Connor welcomed the self-exclusion guidelines, which complement the $3.5 million in funding already being spent this financial year for harm minimisation measures.

“If we are to achieve healthy, happy and financially sustainable Tasmanian families, we need to minimise the harm caused by problem gambling,” Ms O’Connor said.

“I am determined to work within government and with the community to move promptly and decisively on this.

“We are committed to progressing reform while continuing to fund prevention, treatment, rehabilitation, research and community information on the risks of gambling.”

A full list of these measures is available at

Coffs Manager Stole To Fuel Pokies Addiction...

A female fed her gambling bug nicking more than $20,000 while working as the manager of an Australia Post outlet, a court has heard. Eve Marie Elworthy has appeared for sentence in the Coffs Harbour Local Court and will find out her fate on 18 stealing charges when she reappears in December. The 46-year-old committed the offences while working as the manager of the Warriwillah Post Office, adjoining a small convenience store, between Bathurst and Orange back in in 2006 - 2007. Police prosecutors proved over the course of 6 months she made multiple copies of money orders paid to the post office, pocketing the proceeds. On one occasion she served a customer, collecting his payment of $581 towards an energy bill. Investigations found she stamped the bill as paid but never processed the payment! Only after the customer received an outstanding bill from Country Energy weeks later was the matter taken up with Australia Post. Elworthy was discovered when Australia Post auditors checked the financial records of the business in January 2007. A sum of $11,754 was found to be missing. In a tape conversation, Elworthy admitted to stealing money and gambling the proceeds at local clubs. The court was told the licensee of the store was required to repay the outstanding amount. In June 2007 the licensee again contacted auditors on the suspicion Elworthy was again stealing money. Another audit was undertaken and a further $8953 was found to be missing. Again in a taped conversation, Elworthy made admissions to making out multiple money orders and keeping the money to pay for gambling debts and bills associated with the general store. She was charged by police with embezzling $7250 between November 24, 2006, and May 4, 2007. In March 2008, Elworthy attended the Taree Police Station to answer to the charges. She has had her case moved to Coffs Harbour since relocating to the area. Elworthy is due to reappear on charges of dishonestly intend to cause a loss to Australia Post on December 8. Granted bail, she has been required to undergo gambling counselling. We wish her well with her challanges.

Kiwi Gambler Screwed By Own Casino Ban...

A bloke who won $NZ60,000 ($48,040) playing poker at an Auckland casino was refused the jackpot because he had banned himself from the premises for gambling too much. Sothea Sinn, 28, scored the prize playing Caribbean stud poker at Auckland's Skycity Casino, but casino staff refused to pay, saying he was banned at his own request, The Dominion-Post newspaper said. "I was absolutely gutted," Mr Sinn told the paper. Mr Sinn said that in 2004 he demanded the casino ban him and his girlfriend because he was gambling too much. He said he thought the ban had expired but casino staff said he had agreed to undergo counselling before re-admission and had not done so. Mr Sinn said he would take his case to New Zealand gambling authorities. G911 and Media Man advised punters to check there bad status with their venues of choice, as to avoid getting screwed. The same system is also applicable to online casinos.

Pokies Get Green Light In Township...

Campaspe Council has given the green light for the installation of 50 electronic gaming machines at the American Hotel in Echuca. The business closed in 2009 but is now planning to reopen, and says the poker machines will form an important part of its financial operations.
At its meeting last night council voted to grant a permit on the condition that a percentage of the gaming machine earnings is returned to the community. Mayor Peter Williams says despite community concerns over poker machines there were no grounds to refuse the application. "A number of councillors spoke about how they do not personally support gambling or gaming machines, however one has to consider this not from a personal position but from a planning position," he said. Other councils have taken note of the case.

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Wrap Up...

Readers... er, punters, what's your view on online poker, online casinos, censorship, internet censorship and freedom of the press? Who will win the Aussie Casino Wars? Do you enjoy adult content (that is legal)? Who are your betting on, and why? Make your voice heard. Tell us in the forum. The big wigs of Australian politics and business read and hang on every word at your beloved Gambling911. From Australia's answer to 'Casino Jack' to 'Outback Jack', they're all here folks. Keep checking daily for updates. Don't forget to use Proxy if need be, depending upon how you like your coffee and internet... filtered or not?

The Late News...

Australian Liberal Party gaining ground in the betting rounds. PartyGaming released Snow Business jackpot slot machine. Australian Liberal Party steering towards full regulation of gaming and igaming sector, if elected to political office. If your going to have a bet, please bet your head, not over it, and for God's sake, have fun.

*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911

*Media Man is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. They cover a dozen industry sectors including gaming and offer political commentary and analysis.

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