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01 April 2011

Australian Gambling Update, by Greg Tingle - 1st April 2011

G'day punters, casino and gambling millionaires and billionaires, sports nuts, politicians, legal eagles, one and all. Australia remains red hot territory for gambling news. We're got the pro club gambling campaign driving forward, NRL sports betting probe developments with a link to Tasmanian "devils" and Aussie pokies manufacture Aristocrat making a comeback, with the pokies boss hitting his own jackpot. All that and more. Media Man and Gambling911 with your gambling and pokies news mix from the land of kangaroos and koalas, with a rabid Tasmanian devil on the loose...


Aussie Media and Racing King John Singleton Drives Forward Pro Pokies Ad Push...

John "Singo" Singleton, who happens to love a punt himself, in the man and the brains behind the $20 million advertising campaign by the Aussie clubs against the Julia Gillard government's slot machine reforms.

The Gillard government is hell bent so it seems to implement the "problem gambling" reforms to retain whatever support might remain from Tasmanian "devil" (satire) "independent" Andrew Wilkie.

Singo's ad firm Banjo has developed a media and public relations campaign to focus on recreational gamblers' fears of having any government 'Big Brother' spying on their betting habits. Yep, we kid you not. Australia's are being spied on, and pokie palaces may turn into one of the ultimate evil "eyes in the sky", that may end up making Google Earth and Google Maps look like child's play.

The Banjo deal for a cool $20 mil, running for 2 years, started with online video and newspaper adverts. It will then pick up even more stream via radio, television, billboards and even pub coasters. Australian newspapers have already been giving the news story strong mileage and its taking on a life of its own, with most gamblers hating what they hear of government 'Big Brother'.

The clubs is dead against a mandatory scheme for players to register before playing poker machines, using so called smartcards (not so smart say European trials) and self-selected gambling limits (which can be manipulated).

A leak said "Clubs Australia said that gambling revenue will drop considerably as recreational gamblers get pissed with the government and clubs, and will take more to online gambling "like a duck to water". This is right on the money and cards. The 'Big Brother' approach is a false solution - actually, its no solution. It's a smokescreen and spin. The public are not that stupid, they are actually quite smart, and Labor has underestimated Australians intelligence once again. No wonder Labor lost the NSW state election".

Singo and a consortium of investors, including the investment banker Mark Carnegie, the retail king Gerry Harvey and ex Qantas chief executive Geoff Dixon, have purchased high-profile Sydney pubs including Kinselas, the Bellevue Hotel and Peakhurst Inn. Singleton also jointly owns the Hotel Steyne in Manly.

He had a strong association with the Labor government under Bob Hawke during the '80s and early '90s, but last year developed ads attacking Labor on health during the election campaign, and earlier joined the mega push against the mining tax with a campaign for a Perth client, tipped to be Andrew "Twiggy" Forrest.

"The government's belated decision to perform a cost benefit analysis on mandatory pre-commitment is back to front,'' a spokesman for Clubs NSW said.

''This sort of analysis should have been done before the government announced it was introducing the technology.

''If that had been done then almost certainly the Prime Minister would never have been conned by Andrew Wilkie into making a commitment that will devastate the club industry.''

The Families Minister, Jenny Macklin, said ''The government's position is clear and has not changed.''


Police Seek Woman Punter Re NRL Cowboys - Bulldogs Betting Scandal...

Police have released CCTV images of yet another punter they want to speak to about an alleged NRL betting scam. The images were captured at a Browns Bay betting outlet in Auckland, New Zealand, between 4.50pm and 5.15pm on August 20 last year - the day before the game between the Bulldogs and North Queensland Cowboys, police advised. The woman was described as being aged in her 20s, with a slim build, shoulder-length hair and of Caucasian appearance. She was wearing a dark-coloured zippered hooded jacket, blue jeans and carrying a red handbag and was seen pushing a young boy in a pram, police said. She returned to the betting facility about 5.35pm on August 21. Police said in a statement that they were not alleging she had done anything illegal, but said investigators wanted to find out who she was so they could speak to her. Player agent Sam Ayoub and ex-player John Elias have been charged in direct relation to the betting inquiry, while now ex-Bulldogs prop Ryan Tandy has been charged with four counts of giving false or misleading evidence to a NSW Crime Commission hearing. Among the charges Tandy faces is one of giving false evidence about having placed a bet on a game between the Bulldogs and Gold Coast, also last year.
The charges against Ayoub and Elias followed an unusual plunge on a betting option that the first points of that game would come from a penalty goal. Tandy was penalised two minutes into the game for impeding Cowboys playmaker Grant Rovelli in front of the posts. The Cowboys were awarded a penalty, but took a tap kick instead of kicking for goal. Tandy, 29, pleaded not guilty to all charges during his appearance in Sydney's Downing Centre Local Court on March 3. Meanwhile, St George Illawarra can finally get down to concentrating on their 2011 following Wayne Bennett's decision to leave the club at the end of the season. The coach's announcement has removed the largest cloud hanging over the Dragons' premiership defence, with the constant innuendo and rumour having played a part in the side's sluggish start to the year. While the issue won't be fully resolved until Bennett reveals where he will coach next season, back-rower Ben Creagh said news of the coach's impending departure would at least focus the players' efforts on getting the most out of the time he had left. While the appointment of Bennett's right-hand man, Steve Price, and the retention of much of the same squad for 2012 should ensure a smooth transition to the new era, the Dragons' best chance to win another premiership in the near future would surely be while Bennett is the man.

Aristocrat Boss Hits The Jackpot...

Jamie Odell, chief exec of Aussie pokie manufacturer Aristocrat, has hit the jackpot on an 'one armed bandit', if you follow the lingo. Odell snatched 24% jump in total pay to $2.5 million last year, despite Aristocrat putting out another very average result. The chief executive's base pay in the period increased 19% to $1.25 million. Aristocrat's normalised profit after tax dropped 53% in 2010. One of the resolutions at the upcoming June AGM in Sydney to be voted on by shareholders is a grant to Odell of 1.02 million performance share rights as part of his long-term incentive package. The rights, which would be granted over a 3-year period, are performance based. If Aristocrat happens to outperform the ASX 100 by more than 10% cent each year, Odell will snatch 30% of the shares. He will get 70% of the shares if he hits certain earnings targets. Will he meet his targets and hit the Gold Mega Jackpot? Stay tuned to find out. Aristocrat is also currently working on a number of b2b deal with online casino operators which are also tipped to return a healthy jackpot to the company, as well as hours of fun for online gamblers.

Readers... er, punters, how did you like our report? 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.

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

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