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17 November 2010

Australian Gambling And Entertainment News, by Greg Tingle – 15th November 2010

G'day punters, gamers, entertainment news junkies, casino and media millionaires and billionaires, journalists, politicians and one and all. We’re back with yet another jam packed report focusing on “down under” Australia. Gambling law, Mark Webber and F1, pub pokies, poker news, and a whole lot more. Media Man and Gambling911 with the latest and greatest from Aussie land...

Burswood Casino Bandits Targeting Woman Arrested...

We are pleased to report that two mongrel bastard youths have been charged over a series of robberies and bashings targeting women leaving the Burswood Casino in Perth. In the latest incident, a 77 year-old woman from Midvale had her hand bag snatched after arriving home from the casino. A 49 year-old woman from Fremantle, a 63 year-old from Cannington and a 68 year-old from Warnbro were robbed on the doorsteps of their homes last week. An 18 year-old young punk has been charged with two counts of aggravated robbery and a 16 year-old "boy" has been charged with aggravated robbery. Insiders reckon the "boy" will soon become a "man". Word is a few folks in Perth want to teach the punks a lesson...something about a beating to to help turn they into men. They are expected to appear in a Perth court today. All we can say is show no mercy!

Australian Woolworths Supermarket Chain And Aussie Pokies Pubs Doing Well…

Woolworths aka ‘The Fresh Food People’ aka ‘The Fast Cash People’ (satire) has cleaned up in the gaming sector and its New South Wales hotels are kicking ass, having got in place sweet licenses in the past quarter. The ‘fast cash’ operator's Pritchards Hotel, Colyton Hotel, Smithfield Tavern and Blacktown Inn Hotel are among the big gainers, according to rankings of the state's pokie palaces, released by our friends at the NSW Office of Liquor Gaming and Racing. The numbers report the amount of moolah stuffed down the throat of one armed bandits in the 3 months up to September. The stats also show that the state's pub pokie kings, such as Arthur ‘Lucky’ Laundy and Cyril ‘Money Man’ Maloney, have been cunningly jostling for positions as they look to boost their rankings. Laundy was a strong winner, with his beloved Belfield Hotel surging from 48th spot to 13th, with takings estimated to have grown from $70,000 to $105,000 a week. It’s not know if individual pokie game titles such as Cleopatra, Black Rhino, Wheel Of Fortune, Where’s The Gold, Penguin Pays, Gone Fishing or Pink Panther played much of a factor in the jump. Speculation is that it may have been a combination of top games, great staff and service, food and customer friendly hours. Pokie industry knockers might say more money launders hit his hotel more than others, but that’s purely speculative, with not a trace of evidence. We mention this as last month The Sydney Morning Herald, Media Man and others ran stories that suggested some pokie palaces are used as a laundry of sorts for dirty money…. To “clean it”, resulting in a winners payment from over the counters when the cleaning is completed. Back to the list and away from speculation, Maloney's Bondi Hotel fell from 94th to 152nd position, with takings diving in a reverse jackpot fashion from $65,000 a week to “only” $50,000. Maloney has been under the gun financially over the past year, with his bankers urging him to offload some assets to raise cash. His attempts to sell his penthouse apartment overlooking Circular Quay in the Bennelong building, widely known as ''The Toaster'', have failed. Other winners in the latest rankings include Charlie Chan's Bar in the city, the Three Swallows Hotel in Bankstown, and the well known Ashfield Hotel, owned by a former lord mayor of Sydney, Nelson Meers. Those pokie dens to dived include the Stardust Hotel in Cabramatta, owned by the Lubo-Medich family, Scruffy Murphy's in the city, owned by Malcolm McGuinness, and the Golden Sheaf Hotel in upmarket Double Bay. There were 95,605 poker machines in NSW in 2008-09, according to the Department of Arts, Sport and Recreation. Passionate Aussie gamblers gifted roughly $4.8 billion into pokies in clubs and hotels in 2008-09, according to the Productivity Commission inquiry into gambling. Woolworths has about 11,000 poker machines in its 284 hotels across Australia under the Australian Leisure & Hospitality joint venture with the pub pokies king Bruce Mathieson. They advised shareholders last month that its poker machine revenues had jumped by 2% between July and October, when compared with the same time duration last year. Yep, there’s still a dollar to be made in the pub pokie business.

Sin City Sydney: Amsterdam Of The South Pacific!…

Many media and gaming commentators are now calling Sydney the Amsterdam of the South Pacific', and they might just be hinting at something like real life 'Underbelly' or even real life 'Pulp Fiction' and 'Dirty Deeds' type happenings.

Gamblers Paradise...

Ok, there's Star City Casino, the only legal casino in Sydney, but have you heard about the non legal games of poker and two-up at Bondi Beach, Maroubra Beach, Surry Hills, Darlinghurst, Kings Cross and Goulburn? Have you found those illegal slots - one armed bandits at those secret locations in and around Sydney? Word is that are usually back of venue and "invitation only" - mate telling mate, and certainly not advertised. Melbourne, down south in the state of Victorian is understood to not be far behind for those who like a punt, with the Melbourne Cup and James Packer owned Crown Casino being the two most prominent above board (legal) brands. The success of those should tell the reader a thing or two about just how popular gambling remains to be in Australia, financial crisis or not. Website portals with some gambling news and content also remain to be in the Hitwise Australia top ten, year after year. Yeah maties, Australia love a punt.

Sex In The City And Sex In The Suburbs - The Oldest Profession...

A new confidential New South Wales Government document reveals Sydney alone has more than 50% the number of legal brothels than in the whole of Victoria and Queensland combined. In Sydney there were officially 244 legal brothels, with a further 90 complaints about "suspected" illegal brothels. By comparison, all of Victoria has just over 90 legal brothels, while Queensland has 24. All up, NSW has 271 legal brothels, including full-service and "happy ending" massage brothels. Just look for the tantalising and titillating names on buildings and listed in the 'Adult Services' section of the newspapers, we understand you will be on the right track. A few months ago a Gambling911 - Media Man report outlined how Murdoch's News Limited websites came under the spotlight as "porn". It's understood that a couple of well organised 'bible bashers' and 'God Squad' types were behind the outing of News Limited. Adult services and the like are well advertised in Australia, and in recent years mainstream media has been doing strong coverage of risque and adult activities, brands and so on. The last few years of 'Sexpo' has been a huge success, and the Sydney leg of the event is held at Fox Studios, Moore Park. It's almost a "family affair". Oh, for the record Media Man is a former pro active member of EROS - the Australian Adult Entertainment Association, so we know a thing or two about these things. For the record, we are not in the Australian adult entertainment business, but we have covered it from time to time over the years.

Brothels Thriving; Easier And Cheaper To Establish And Run Than Pokie Palace Pub...
The numbers coming in are understood to be the first definitive statistics compiled statewide. Just what law enforcement will do now that they have the hard date remains to been seen. Now get this...only 56 of the state's 152 councils took the time to respond to the survey by the NSW Government. The state's other 96 councils refused or put in in the "too hard basket" or "no comment" category. Country NSW is where a number of the quite councils are based.

A Media Man spokesperson was prepared to go on record with "As is the case with many industries, its often a matter of who you know, relationships, history, associates giving you tip offs and the like. Some things are a pretty exclusive club. Most parts of the world have an underground, hidden industry or two. An underbelly if you will. Sin Sydney is no different but at times its like Sydney likes to show it off. Lad’s mags, internet porn websites, adult directories and even burlesque events may have even fueled it along. A large part of Sydney just loves their vice. To each their own. Sin Sydney seems appropriately named."

Australian Man Of God: Gambling And Arms Not A Cardinal Sin!...

Speaking at an ethics in business lunch early this week, Cardinal George Pell said that gambling isn't intrinsically wrong...unless it becomes an addiction. He added that countries could produce arms morally, to defend themselves, reports the Fairfax Media broadsheet The Sydney Morning Herald. Cardinal Pell said on the proliferation of pokies in NSW Catholic clubs: "I must confess I do feel a bit uneasy about that, but only a bit uneasy,'' he admitted. ''Because culturally I'm an Irish Australian and we grew up gambling." Only when it became an addiction, threatening the well-being of oneself and one's family, did it become a sin. Speaking on "God and Mammon"
need or greed in the big end of town", Cardinal Pell said at the lunch, hosted by Notre Dame University, that as far as the ethics of selling tobacco went, supplying adults who were aware of the risks and still chose to smoke was nothing to rush to the confessional about. And when quizzed about the ethics of selling arms, he hypothesised that global military contractors may in fact be acting on a moral imperative. "I think you can produce arms morally ... You might say in some cases it is necessary. We are a peaceful country. If we were unarmed that would be an enticement to evil people. The best way to stay as we are is to be strong and effectively armed so I think you could make the case," he said. Instead, the cardinal's wrath honed in on corporate fat cat salaries, which were morally suspect, he said.

Pokie Palaces Key In Money Laundering Down Under In New Zealand And Australia Says GamblingWatch...

Gambling lobby group GamblingWatch is becoming alarmed at the evidence that money laundered by criminals provides a significant turnover though pokie machines in Pubs and Casinos. GamblingWatch co-ordinator Dave Macpherson says that in New Zealand and Australia, recent cases and claims are revealing that pokie machines in pubs and casinos are used for laundering the proceeds of illicit earnings by 'P' dealers. Macpherson refers to the $20 million spent at Sky City by two of Auckland's biggest methamphetamine ('P') dealers as a laundering method. Well over 20,000 of these machines are located throughout the country and big and small time dealers can use them to launder thousands and millions of dollars of drug money. Australia is embarking on a programme of introducing pre-commit cards to pokie machines and this has been seen as a "threat" to the money laundering operations of criminals. Macpherson notes that the Sydney Morning Herald reported that industry sources claim that as much as $2 billion is laundered through these machines every year. "This is a frightening figure," says Macpherson. "GamblingWatch has been concerned for years now about the damage done to individuals and families by gambling, especially gambling on pokies. It seems that pokie takings from problem gamblers are actually being bolstered by laundered drug money." This money is the same money that finds its way into community organisations such as schools, hospitals, councils, sports and other community interest groups. The money is highly tainted, not only by the suffering of problem gamblers, their families, friends and workplaces, but also by the fact that sale of devastating drugs such as "P" could be funding community organisations." Macpherson says "this situation is so serious that a Select Committee of Parliament should be making detailed and aggressive enquiries into the source and application of pokie funds." "MP Te Ururoa Flavell's Gambling Harm Reduction Bill would empower such a committee of Parliament to examine all aspects of gambling harm associated with pokies and to get full answers to some very difficult questions. It is crucial that the Bill passes a first reading and goes to Select Committee stage, and we call on the Government to take a responsible stance and support its coalition partner in this effort."

Star City In Sin City Sydney Getting Extra World Class Chefs At Part Of Revamp...

David Chang is set to open his first restaurant outside the USA as he heads a stellar line-up of international and Australian chefs set to open their doors at Sydney's all new Star City in 2011. Chang is the chef and owner of the Momofuku group of restaurants in New York City and his impact on global food trends cannot be underestimated – he was named in TIME magazine's 100 most influential people in the world for 2010. Chang heads a stellar line-up of chefs who today announced they would open their doors at what is set to become a one-of-a-kind lifestyle and entertainment destination when the $860 million redevelopment is complete in late 2011. The line-up of Australian chefs bristles with culinary excitement and adventure with Melbourne's favourite Teage Ezard, Italian maestro Stefano Manfredi, MasterChef darling Adriano Zumbo and Sydney's best-loved Cantonese restaurant, Golden Century, all set to open signature restaurants. Joining David Chang from the USA will be Chase Kojima, a young gun from the Nobu empire who will open a stunning, contemporary Japanese restaurant. Restaurant names, designs and capacities are almost complete and more detailed plans of each individual venue will be available in 2011. Chefs and restaurants to open include: David Chang

It all started when Chang turned his back on fine dining and opened the Momofuku Noodle Bar in New York's East Village in 2004. His Korean upbringing combined with classical technique in the kitchen is emulated the world over. "When I first visited Australia earlier this year, I knew at once there was an affinity. I am delighted to be given the opportunity to share the Momofuku philosophy at this world-class dining destination." Chang's Momofuku Ko in New York has two Michelin stars.

Chase Kojima

Formerly executive chef at Nobu in the Bahamas, Chase will bring his modern-Asian aesthetic to an already eager Sydney audience. Expect ultra-modern design, located at new five-star lifestyle hotel. "Sydney is renowned for its already daring take on Asian cuisine so it's an honour to be able to join the stellar line-up at the reinvigorated Star City," commented Kojima.

This all-star line-up joins Star City's current stable of chefs including executive chef Andy North, plus consultant chef to Fat Noodle, Luke Nguyen of Red Lantern fame. Victor Tiffany, Head of Hospitality, Casinos Division, Tabcorp commented; "It's incredibly exciting to be welcoming such a spectacular roster of global talent to our home. We feel privileged to be working with both our international and local culinary stars, and taking a part in the revitalisation of the Sydney dining scene." Sid Vaikunta, Managing Director, Star City, said; "This is an inspiring milestone as our vision to create a truly international dining and nightlife destination is well underway. Sydney is a world-class destination and we are incredibly proud of the part we will play in keeping this city a truly great place to live and visit for years to come." Located on beautful Sydney Harbour, Star City is the only casino in New South Wales. Star City is being transformed into a one-of-a kind leisure and entertainment destination. The $860 million redevelopment includes the re-orientation of the casino to embrace Sydney's Harbour and city skyline, plus the addition of a new five-star hotel and spa, over 20 restaurants, bars, cafes and improved entertainment and gaming facilities. The work is expected to be completed late 2011. Tabcorp hopes its money well spent, as they look to lure more whales and dolphins (of the human kind) away from James Packer's Crown Casino in Melbourne, and the fight for the high rollers, big spenders continue. The world class chefs snapped up by Star should serve Tabcorp well as they aim to become the new #1 in Australian gambling - casino sector. Best of luck to both Tabcorp and Crown Limited, and may be best super whale win.

Aussie Red Bull Mark Webber Loses; Congrats Team Mate Seb Vettel; No Bull!...

Aussie driver Mark Webber on Monday congratulated his Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel on winning the drivers' title in Abu Dhabi. Webber, 34, and German Vettel had been fighting for the top spot along with Ferrari driver Spain's two-time champion Fernando Alonso and Briton Lewis Hamilton - world champion in 2008 - of McLaren throughout the season. Vettel's victory in Abu Dhabi won him the crown to become the youngest ever champion while Webber finished a distant eighth after an early pit-stop ruined any chance he had of taking the title. Although the two Red Bull drivers had been locking horns throughout the season, Webber congratulated Vettel and insisted that their heated relationship had only helped spur each other on. "I've got to take my hat off to Sebastian because he's done a good job this year," Webber said on his official website. "We've had our ups and downs, but we've pushed each other and it's always rewarding to get out of bed to do that. "It's amazing to think that the only time he led the championship was after the last race, but that's the only time it matters. Well done to him." Webber, who had led the championship at several stages in the season, admitted he was frustrated not to have been crowned champion, but insisted that he would come back stronger and aim to become Australia's first world champion since Alan Jones in 1980. "I'm very disappointed by what happened on Sunday evening, I aimed for the biggest target in motorsport and it didn't work out," he said. "I'm reminded of that great adage - what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Well, I'm still alive and I'm sure I'll bounce back from this season a better driver.
"Right now though, I need a good break. The gas has been wide open since the third week in January and it's been a long season. There's been a lot of travel, a lot of emotion and a lot of effort. It's time for some time out." Many Australians still think Webber will be a future world champion.

Victoria: University of Ballarat Gambling Study...

A University of Ballarat research team is undertaking a landmark study into the community effects of electronic gaming machines. The first-of-its-kind research is focusing on the introduction of pokies into a developing estate at Whittlesea. PhD candidate Deb Greenslade said 40 machines proposed for a local tavern would generate $4 million in losses to players in the first year, and the community is determined to fight the proposal. Greenslade said Victoria had almost 30,000 EGMs, with a high proportion located in disadvantage areas. She said residents of Laurimar Estate opposed the scheme because they feared an increase in hardship on local families, an increase in crime and the introduction of a "known" social problem. Residents also said the project was too large for the housing development and they thought they were getting a small wine bar and not a pokie venue. Greenslade said Victorian gaming machines produced $2.7 billion revenue a year, shared by venues, Tatts and Tabcorp and the state government. More than $1 billion goes to state government revenue. Greenslade said each Victorian machine takes an average of $97,810 per year. Only 33 per cent of adults play pokies with the average loss being $3073 per year. She said weekly players lose an average of $7000-$8000 annually, according to the Productivity Commission. Associated problems include child neglect, depression, family violence, suicide or attempted suicide and relationship problems, according to Greenslade. Project leader Associate Professor John McDonald said the university passed up an offer from the gambling industry to fund the research. He said the university wanted to avoid the conflicts of interest that have arisen with research into alchohol, tobacco and pharmaceuticals being funded by industry heavyweights. The project is being funded by the Australian Research Council along with 25 councils across the state, including the City of Ballarat. Co-ordination is being undertaken by the Victorian Local Governance Association.

Crown Casino News: Can Rachael Finch Sing Asks Audience...

People have been questioning if Rachael Finch could sing. They still area after her weekend performance at Crown Casino. The Miss Universe contender was left blushing when she struggled through a rendition of Fever at the 'Starry Starry Night' gala dinner, sort of forgeting some words say leaks. She did find a friend in significant other Michael Miziner at Melbourne's Crown Casino. Keep trying Rach. Practice makes perfect, we hope.

*Greg Tingle is a Special Contributor to the Gambling911.com website and proprietor of Media Man International

*Media Man is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. They also offer political analysis

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