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11 March 2011

Australian Gambling: Fun, Games And Dramas, by Greg Tingle - 11th March 2011

G'day punters, casino and poker lovers, billionaires, legal eagles, politicians...one and all. Today we have yet another bush tucker bag of interesting and hard hitting Aussie gambling news for you. Media Man and Gambling911 with a man size gambling news meal to satisfy any punters appetite...

Australia has been home to some of the world's biggest and most passionate punters, none more famous or infamous than Australian AFL great Brendan "Punter" Fevola. Sacked Brisbane AFL players Brendan Fevola was requested to leave Crown Casino as the self confessed gambling addict played poker by himself. Yep, poker, not solitaire! Crown spokesman Gary O'Neill says Fevola left of his own volition at around 10.30 am after speaking to the casino's responsible gaming liaison officers.

'Punter' Brendan Fevola Close Call With Suicide...

Sacked Brisbane AFL forward Brendan Fevola has revealed he attempted suicide. Fevola said he tried to kill himself late last year, while drunk, after arguing with his wife over an episode in which he fell asleep while minding their baby daughter. The 30-year-old said it was that incident which prompted him to enter a rehabilitation clinic, although he did not enter the clinic until days later, after a drunken New Year's Eve tangle with police, which eventually led to his sacking from the Lions. The revelation came in a pre-recorded interview, aired on the Nine Network's AFL Footy Show on Thursday night. Earlier on Thursday, Fevola, who has admitted to a gambling addiction and problems with alcohol and depression, was asked to leave Melbourne's Crown Casino, where he was playing poker. While he left voluntarily, his presence in the casino has jeopardised his attempt to revive his football career. Fevola trained with the Casey Scorpions for the first time on Tuesday night and had been hoping to soon sign a contract with the VFL club for this season. But the Scorpions were understood to be reconsidering recruiting the forward on Thursday night, with Fevola's management company admitting his casino visit was a blow to his chances. Fevola's suicide attempt occurred between Christmas and New Year's Eve, sparked by an incident while he was holidaying with his wife Alex and three daughters. Asked by Alex to mind their baby daughter Lulu, while Alex prepared a bottle for her, Fevola fell asleep and Lulu fell off a bed. After arguing with his wife, Fevola said he caught a train home by himself, then drunk several bottles of wine. He said he then "had a bit of a crack at my wrists". Asked if he had been attempting suicide, he said: "that was my intention". Fevola said then he rang Lions football manager Dean Warren in a highly emotional state, before his mother eventually found him lying on the floor. He said in hindsight it was "stupid and immature". "At the time I wasn't thinking straight, but in the situation that I had been with owing people money and stuff through my gambling, it all sort of hit me." In a separate interview, after his casino visit, he attempted to justify his poker playing, saying his psychiatrist had cleared it, as it was betting on horses that had been his main problem. He was hopeful it would not hurt his relationship with the Scorpions. But his management company, Velocity Sports, said it was inaccurate to say his psychiatrist was happy with Fevola playing poker. Velocity's Alastair Lynch said he was extremely disappointed and expected it would hurt Fevola's chances of signing with Casey. "I would have no doubt there will be a number of questions being asked down there tonight," Lynch told Melbourne's 3AW radio. It wouldn't help things, I'm sure." Lynch also said he had advised Fevola against taking a planned overseas (Los Angeles, Las Vegas and / or Macau) trip in the coming days, but the forward still intended to go. "I understand that he's been through a really difficult time and needs a break, but I think there's some real priorities for him and I don't think going overseas just at the moment should be one of those priorities." Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14 or SANE Helpline on 1800 18 SANE (7263). We wish 'Punter' well with his ongoing issues, and are hopeful for a full recovery.


Gold Coast Titans Go Hard And Fast At Jupiters Hotel And Casino Gold Coast...

Ex Gold Coast Titan Mat Rogers was among friends a couple of days ago getting sledged big time. For the recently retired footballing superstar there was no option but to sit there and take it. More than 200 people attended' The Rat's Roas't at Jupiters Casino to pay tribute to a sportsman who played rugby league for the Gold Coast Titans, the Cronulla Sharks, the Queensland Origin team and Australian Kangaroos. He also played rugby union for the NSW Waratahs and Australian Wallabies. It is little wonder then that the line up of roasters included rugby league identities Phil Gould, Wendell Sailor, John Cartwright and Gorden Tallis alongside former Wallabies Ewen McKenzie and Phil Waugh. Tallis, one of the toughest in rugby league, mocked Rogers' performance on the end of some of football's best back lines. "The only reason wingers score tries is because they are marked by wingers," he said. McKenzie said he weird injuries Rogers kept coming up with during his playing days including almost cutting his finger off in a collapsed massage table and hurting himself slipping over in a bath. "He used to have a saying, they don't pay me to train well what else did he get paid for because he never played." Funny shit indeed, but you could tell that some self censorship was used... you know, with all the political correct crap that has hit Australian culture. Some of the real funny shit was talked about off stage when the boys were sinking a few cold ones and all of that. Titans CEO Michael Searle announced Rogers as the club's inaugural inductee into the Titans Hall of Fame. "We are a young club so we don't have a lot of tradition but we do have a lot of spirit," he said. "Thank you Mat for all you've done for this club and for the Gold Coast."

Social Media Websites Haven For Lies; Criminals Love Internet...

We all know the stories. Crims use social media to stalk the journalists and media who helped lock them up, stories the manager will share when complaining about their employees. There is the one with the salesman who scans Twitter for hours. And then there is the pap who harasses a other photographers online. And of course there is the ubiquitous case of the worker that slams the employer on LinkedIn and is fired, thus exacting a morale-busting toll on the employee, the workplace, and the organization. From workplace chaos to conduit for stalking, harassment and other criminal activity, the rise of social networking has its supporters and its detractors. While some lament the greater bandwidth demands, virus/Trojan infiltration, and social engineering (identity theft) issues that can pummel a company’s computer network and employees, along with sapping of productivity and channel for co-worker harassment, others point to the teamwork and mental break productivity enhancement outcome. On the flip side, for some enterprises, the ever expanding world of Facebook and their ilk has encroached into the workplace with devastating professional and personal consequences. Can the likes of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and FourSquare be improved? Yes.

A Media Man staffer shared "Social media has overall been great for us. For media, celebrities, photos, multimedia, sharing mainstream news and even casino and poker news. However, we can also now that that a crime tried to do ID theft against us and has also used a number of social media websites in an attempted to defame us. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.com all took action to close the fake accounts, but we are still waiting I.R.O.C2 to close the fake account and lies, defamation and the like. Some crims also do what is known as "brand hijacking" and create fake brand websites. For the record our company is known as both Media Man Australia, Media Man, and our main gaming brands are Casino News Media and Global Gaming Directory. For the record none of the stafff or management at Media Man Australia or Media Man International have criminal records. There is however one or two jelous people out there who have created fake profiles and lies, and they are fame seekers or the worst kind. The Australian Federal Police and InterPol have been notified, as well as legal eagles and appropriate web hosting companies. Stay tuned. The real Greg Tingle"!

Independent Senator 'Mr X' Doesn't Like Pokies With Smoking Outdoors At SkyCity...

Independent senator Nick Xenophon and South Australian Premier Mike Rann have lashed out at Sky City Casino's "greed" in trying to beat the state government's smoke-free gaming policy. Rann two days ago described the casino's decision to move 20 poker machines to an outdoor courtyard to allow players to gamble while smoking as deliberate and reprehensible. Senator Xenophon said the action was motivated by greed. Within hours of the machines being publicised, South Australia's gambling authority flexed its muscles and ordered Sky City to turn off the outdoor poker machines yesterday morning. Rann told parliament the government was seeking advice on regulations and would take steps to ensure casino poker machine areas remained non-smoking, as they had been since 2008. "If this requires an amendment to the Casino Act 1997, that is exactly what we will do," Rann said. "Frankly, I think the casino knew what it was doing, and I find the practice reprehensible."

Adelaide Sky City Casino Enjoying Outdoors Pokies With Smoking (Part II)...

So called "independent" Senator Nick Xenophon and South Australian Premier Mike Rann are pissed out at Sky City Casino's "greed" (their words) in trying to skip the state government's smoke-free gaming policy. Rann described the casino's decision to move 20 poker machines to an outdoor courtyard to allow players to gamble while smoking as deliberate and reprehensible. Senator Xenophon aka 'Mr X' said the action was motivated by greed. Within hours of the machines being publicised, South Australia's gambling authority flexed its muscles and ordered Sky City to turn off the outdoor poker machines yesterday morning. Rann told parliament the government was seeking advice on regulations and would take steps to ensure casino poker machine areas remained non-smoking, as they had been since 2008. "If this requires an amendment to the Casino Act 1997, that is exactly what we will do," Rann said. "Frankly, I think the casino knew what it was doing, and I find the practice reprehensible." Outdoor poker machines are banned in pubs and clubs in South Australia, but Sky City Casino operates under separate legislation. Rann said Sky City had not formally applied to have poker machines installed outdoors. Sky City general manager David Christian said the casino had notified the Liquor and Gambling commissioner of its plans in December. Senator Xenophon said the government should immediately close the loophole. Well, one loophole closes, and other opens. Always been that way, always will be. Watch the road for potholes on the way to the casino with loop holes.

Star City In Sin City Sydney Getting Good Numbers Say Beancounters; Money Men...

Star City casino might beat its target for 32,000 daily heads, including punters, by next year with the entertainment offering expected to provide the differential element that will draw the masses. Tabcorp chief executive top dog Elmer 'Funky' (satire handle) Funke Kupper has described the punter target for Sydney-based Star City as conservative and believes a strong line-up of entertainment type attractions will help net and lure in customers who will spend more time and money at the casino.
"We're not getting more customers, we're getting a higher yield per customer," Funke Kupper said at the Citi Australia and New Zealand Investment Conference in London.
Funke Kupper said Star City had maintained its daily visitor numbers of about 24,000 despite the property resembling a construction site as it undergoes the peak building activity on its $960 million revamp. Following the massive renovation, punter numbers are expected to jump and Funke Kupper said they could easily exceed initial targets for 32,000 daily visitors and be considerably closer to the 38,000 to 40,000 enjoyed by competitor, Crown Casino down in Melbourne. Revenues at Star City rose 6.5% in the half, helping Tabcorp post a better than expected net profit of $265.5m. The casinos division made the biggest contribution to earnings before interest and tax at $153.9m, up 4.1%. The performance of the casinos division will help seal confidence in Tabcorp's demerger plans to split its casino business...which includes Star City and 3 properties in Queensland...from the wagering and gaming division. One of the main initiatives driving better yields at Star City is the outdoor gaming areas where poker machines and so-called multi-terminal machines have been placed in an atrium area that allows gamblers to smoke. Funke Kupper said the yield from these customers and from the private gaming rooms was "materially higher" than in other areas. The revamped Star City in Sydney's Darling Harbour is expected to open its new gaming floor and restaurants as well as retail outlets by the end of the year. It will feature four signature restaurants by headline chefs such as David Chang, Steve Manfredi, Teage Ezard and Chase Kojima. "From Christmas, we will have the facilities that the property needs in order to attract customers," Funke Kupper said.But he said the renovation at Star City would leave floor space for even more offerings in the future with capacity for another two restaurants and several more retail outlets. With about 80% of the $960m capital expenditure at Star City going towards non-gaming items, Mr Funke Kupper argues it's the entertainment element that will be the differential offering for the casino and there are plans for a 4000-seat events and conference centre to be completed by June next year. Organising a steady stream of concerts and celebrity events will drive traffic to Star City in a way that isn't as evident in Melbourne's Crown casino, Funke Kupper said. "I would say for Melbourne that you have to be always good but in Sydney it's more about more new things, more often.". Yep, the Aussie casino wars continue.

Ex Aussie Soccer Player Jailed For Fraud; Gambling Tie In...

An Australian Institute of Sport graduate who played soccer professionally in Europe has been sentenced to a year in jail over an elaborate fraud scam in Tasmania. The Supreme Court heard Jon Mason, 31, and two friends travelled to Hobart from Sydney three times during 2007 and 2008 to obtain false driver's licences and open bank accounts in fake names. The trio returned to Tasmania in June 2008 and used the documents to obtain $46,000 from Westpac Bank and $32,000 worth of jewellery. Mason was extradited to Tasmania after being released from prison in New South Wales on similar charges. The court heard the former soccer professional became involved in drugs and gambling after a car accident ended his career 11 years ago. He will spend 12 months in jail.


Pokie Machine Makers, Operators And Others Affected By Mandatory Changes To Law...

There's many negatives for Australia's pubs, clubs and casinos full of pokies, but mandatory "pre-commitment" still has quite a few question marks over it. Tabcorp and Tattersalls are already set to lose the monopoly they share on Victoria's poker machine industry next year, the largest single exposure to the industry, effectively immunising them from any fallout. Tattersalls may actually benefit with its poker machine monitoring system, Maxgaming, that touts its "pre-commitment abilities" as well as value-adding services such as wide-area linked jackpots, which are criticised for exacerbating problem gambling. The Woolworths pubs and pokies subsidiary, ALH, will become the largest operator of poker machines in Australia once Tabcorp and Tattersalls lose their monopoly but any impact will be diluted by its much larger grocery business. Australia's leading poker machine makers, Aristocrat Leisure and Ainsworth Game Technology, may be two of a small number of companies to profit from the proposal, which has the potential to drive machine upgrades. Although Merrill Lynch said that a "systems-based solution" where most of the intelligence would be in the network connecting the machines rather than in the machines themselves "would represent a much less significant opportunity for Aristocrat" and other manufacturers. Any remaining impact is limited to the poker machines in Australian casinos, an industry dominated by Tabcorp and James Packer's Crown Ltd. Deutsche Bank says it views the initiatives "as negative for the gaming operators (pubs and clubs) and (gaming machine) manufacturers. We're backing land based casinos to best deal with the proposed changes.

Readers... er, punters, how did you like our report? Will Australia ever get to #1 position for gambling? Tell us in the forum.

If you have a bet, please bet with your head, not over it, and for God's sake, have fun.

*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 sectors covered

Online Casinos, Online Poker and Sports Betting...

Ok readers, we hear you... you also want to know some of the best places to play online (that accept Aussies) if your in or around the Asia Pacific - Australia (including Tassie) and New Zealand, so here it is...

PartyCasino.com (Many of the world's best slot games. Aussies and Kiwi's welcome).

Captain Cooks Casino

Betfair (sports betting only)

PKR.com (poker, slots including Marvel slot games and sports betting)

PartyPoker.com (online poker at one of the world's most respected poker rooms and gaming brands)

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Media Man and Gambling911 remind our readers to keep the following in mind:

Take the time to research and learn games before placing down money

Media Man, Casino News Media and Gambling911 are website portals. Not casinos as such, however are recognised as world leading websites that cover the sector and act as central points to games, news, reviews and more.

Readers... er, punters, how did you like our report? Are Australian casinos the best in the world for entertainment, slots or something else? Tell us in the forum.

If you have a bet, please bet with your head, not over it, and for God's sake, have fun.

*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 sectors covered

*The writer owns shares in Crown Casino

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