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20 May 2011

Australian Gambling And Casino News Update, by Greg Tingle - 20th May 2011

Australian gambling and casino news keeps coming thick and fast, as new laws are tipped to be hitting down under in the very near future... mind you, that's story has been around for months, but certainly new developments in the gambling sector are under way in Australia. Media Man and Gambling911 with the catch of the day containing all the gambling news that matters from the land of kangaroos and koalas...

Sky City Group Plans To Build Casino In Darwin; Aussie Casino Wars May Escalate...

Sky City Casino has released previously top secret plans for a 50 million dollar resort - casino featuring villas which could cost as much as two thousand dollars a night. The flashy integrated resort is to be built next to the current land based casino site, at Little Mindil, with the company also looking at the operation of a corporate jet to shuttle VIP whales between Asian cities and Darwin. he Chief Minister Paul Henderson says it's fantastic news for the Territory. "I'd like to congratulate Sky City for their confidence in Darwin and the Northern Territory at a time when it is a bit soft out there. "Whilst we're waiting for the major projects to come online, a final decision from Inpex, you know the banks are being a lot tighter at the moment in terms of their lending so it's hard for developers to get projects off the ground," says Henderson. Penny Tastula is a savvy tourism consultant specialising in domestic and Asian destinations who was involved in one of the losing bids for tourism developments at the Little Mindil site. Ms Tastula says this is a missed opportunity. "We're not getting the high rollers in now, we've got so many huge new casinos opened up in South East Asia, the Marina Bay sands and the one at Sentosa Island, just at our doorstep, what's Darwin going to attract to bring them down, where's the Versace and all of the upper end shops?," Ms Tastula told the press. Ms Tastula says this resort won't appeal to the majority of the domestic tourism market. "We could have had an absolutely amazing four to five star still beautiful resort, strata titled, attracting three to four hundred families to come up at a time and stay. "I wanted to see a resort there that would ... start the mechanics into place to turn Darwin into a destination in its own right," she stated. She advised there's lot's of hotels which allow people to come and stay for three or four days, but nowhere to attract people to stay for two weeks and really explore the Top End of Australia. "What have we got for Little Mindil? Instead of having our catalyst, beautiful long-term holiday resort that was available for Territory families to use, available for visitors all around the world and all around Australia to use, and now we've got a venue where they can have a party for four thousand people twice a year. I mean it still makes me cringe every time I walk past." Media Man staffers were heard saying it sounded like a "very go ahead idea".

Aussie Sports Bosses Worried About Sports Betting...

Think you know all there is about the politics and proposed laws re sports betting in Australia? Think again. The money men - the top brass behind the elite sports codes in Australia just yesterday expressed their unease at the full on advertising delivered by enthusiastic promoter types in the betting agencies. The money stream for the sporting codes has been a financial shot in the arm for pro sports, but many now question at what cost. Most advertising budgets in Australia have slowed over the last few years, but not sorts betting, a close cousin to gambling. Live betting - exotic betting - are the forms of sports betting which have the majority of sports code bosses very worried, and we all know there's been a few scandals with the "exotics", and we're not talking about casino babes or sports babes folks. The prestigious Tattersall's CEO's Sports Luncheon was held yesterday with reps from the AFL, NRL, ARU, FFA and Cricket Australia going on record that they felt somewhat uneasy with the tactics being employed by gambling firms, despite the big bucks they made from the association with sports betting. "I think I speak for all of us when I say some of that more aggressive 'bet now' advertising is concerning us," NRL boss David Gallop said. "We would prefer to see that in a less aggressive mode. But it's difficult when the media outlets are going to take that advertising anyway, so the sports need to be in control of it." After demonstrating initial caution, the Australian Football League has embraced the gambling universe, even permitting teams to accept gambling organisations as jersey, sports and internet sports sponsors, as plugging live odds on the AFL website during matches and showing live match odds on the scoreboard during games as part of an agreement with Betfair. AFL chief exec Andrew Demetriou said it was issue beyond sport. "If it's in your face at the football, it can be really off-putting," he said. "But let's not delude ourselves; don't just concentrate this on the sports. The newspapers are littered with advertising about sports betting. Let's look at issues across the board, not just in sport. We're genuinely trying to do the right thing. Once sports betting became deregulated … everyone became exposed to it, not just kids at the football." Australian Rugby Union top dog John O'Neill stated the massive money being thrown around by gambling firms had inevitably bought them a slice of power. "We certainly do express a view if it's in your face, it's over the top. But that's the level of influence [they now have]," he said. "There is a source of revenue there." Assurances that all professional sporting events are not tampered with by bookmakers - or that players, coaches or officials are not betting on outcomes - has added another layer to the complex relationship between sports and agencies. Cricket Australia exec James Sutherland advised all sports had to retain their integrity to survive. "The critical issue for us is that the success of sport is built on the connection between the fan and the sport. They need to know this is a real contest, this is the real thing," he said. "If there is any question or taint around that then the integrity and value of the sport is significantly downgraded. That's something we're very conscious of. We can't have corruption in our game." Federal Sports Minister Mark Arbib has expressed his support for tougher match-fixing laws, and is due to meet his state counterparts next month. Just when all the confusion will come to an end is anyone's bet. Gambling continues to be one of the world's most successful industries and most popular pastimes, and Aussie gamblers - sports betters are some of the most popular in the world. With the Aussie news media and internet push on it seems unlikely that sports betting offline or online are going to decline in popularity any time soon. All gambling sub sectors are generally on the increase with the public, and now it just seems that all regulations across the board need to get up to speed with the reality of internet sports betting. You can bet legal eagles will continue to be busy and media reports will continue to be pumped out, keeping punters, politicians and all other interested parties abreast of the latest news. What else is left to say than good punting, and bet with your head, not over it. Folks, will it come to pass and become written in law? Tipsters advise we may know in the coming weeks, and no, we are not taking bets on it before you ask, but feel free to check out other gaming and betting promotions right here.

'James-Bond' Style Taxi Security For Aussie Casino Region Drivers...

The exciting trail is to commence in Perth, WA, where James Packer's Burswood Casino seems to attracts a bit of a mug element now and again, scaring off punters and patrons in general. Drivers will trial an Australian-first James Bond-style duress wristwatch that will track them by satellite and record conversations at the press of a button. Burswood Casino has privately sponsored the trial, issuing the devices free to 200 of Perth's 2000 taxi drivers on a first-come, first-served basis. Drivers will pay $1 a day for the service, which will go live after an official launch early next month. Transport Minister Troy Buswell welcomed industry initiatives to improve safety for drivers, and "will take a keen interest in the outcomes of such initiatives". The James Bond style watches will be monitored around the clock by operators at the headquarters of Swan Taxis in Victoria Park. Once the emergency channel is activated, the driver's picture, identity and location will flash up on a computer screen within 1.5 seconds. Staff will be able to listen to the recorded conversations and use their discretion to contact police, Land based casino mongrels, you have been warned.

James Packer's Crown Limited Looking To Spend Hundreds Of Millions To Attract Whales And Dolphins...

JP's Crown Limited is to invest at least another $281 million upgrading its Australian casinos. It is also making acquisitions that include consolidating its ownership of the famous Aspinall's Club in London which is part owned by his mate Damian Aspinall. The new funding is on top of $139 million previously put aside for upgrades of the Crown Casino in Melbourne and Burswood Casino in Perth, showing the company's confidence in the market and its talent in attracting whale VIP's. Crown's buys include the Holiday Inn hotel building and associated assets at Burswood Casino for $79 million. "Burswood will be entitled to a greater share of hotel profits," the company said. A further $81 million will be spent upgrading Burswood's gambling floor, catering, convention centre and VIP accommodation services. Crown Casino down in Melbourne will enjoy $132 million in revamps, with a more extensive investment in the gambling floor and catering, plus new bar and lounge that will feature the colourful Shane Warne and the Aussie ex poker champion Joe Hachem as ambassadors. Further upgrades to its VIP facilities were also announced, including refurbishing the casino's jets. Crown and competitors Tabcorp's Star City had announced upgrades to the VIP gambling businesses to meet growing competition from new casino developments in Singapore and Macau. It was in December when Packer, Crown's chairman, advised Australia would need to work harder to compete with new Asian developments and called on other companies to take up some of the slack. "Australian investment in large-scale tourism attractions has been relatively modest in recent years. In contrast, Crown has been and continues to be a significant investor in Australian tourism infrastructure." Crown will acquire a 100% interest in Aspinall's Club. The land cased casino, which also has an online arm, was owned by the Aspinall's Group, Crown's joint venture with the Packer family friend Damian Aspinall. The venture will use the $55 million in proceeds to pay debt. Don't bet against Packer, he's on a winning steak, and delighted in proving the knockers wrong.

Ex NRL Parramatta Eels Boss Denis Fitzgerald Under Spotlight For Alleged Pokies Deal...

The Sydney Morning Herald broadsheet has obtained financial documents which demonstrate Fitzgerald acquired a substantial number of shares in one of Australia's biggest poker machine provider, Aristocrat, which was subsequently awarded a lucrative contract with Parramatta Leagues club at "the emperor's" (nick name) encouragement. Forms lodged with the NSW Office of Liquor Gaming and Licensing show in 2005 he held Aristocrat shares worth more than $1.3 million. At that time he also had another $1.2 million of holdings in companies which had a commercial relationship with the club; including E Bet gaming systems, the brewer Foster's, Tabcorp and Westpac. By 2008 the value of Fitzgerald's Aristocrat shares were worth a whopping $1.6 million. And it was in that February Parramatta directors decided, despite the losses of the previous year, to replace E Bet as the provider of its poker machines and accompanying IT software. See the full story here

NRL Legend Benny Elias: I'm Sorry For Queensland Flood Gaffe Made At Star City...

Elias advised Murdoch owned The Daily Telegraph that he was deeply sorry a comment he made at a NSW black tie dinner at Star City was misunderstood. A former Balmain and Australian hooker, Elias has sparked the fuse ahead of game one on Wednesday night, telling the Maroons to expect a Blues side that will "make those floods back in Queensland ... look like an absolute mimic". But Elias was today upset he had offended Queenslanders affected by the tragic floods. "I understand some comments I made on Thursday night about Queensland at a NSW State of Origin dinner were misunderstood. I am a passionate Blues supporter and genuinely love this time of year," Elias said. "I've always felt the barbs and banter between the two states adds to the theatre of State of Origin. "But if a comment I made about the Queensland floods was misinterpreted then I genuinely apologise. "I, like the rest of the world, watched on in horror at what unfolded in Queensland during the New Year floods. "I would hate to be seen as being flippant about such a terrible event. I also hope the NSW-Queensland rivalry never dies. It is what Origin is built on. "If I caused offence, I am sorry. It certainly wasn't personal. I will always be passionate at Origin time. Next Wednesday will be no different." Elias told Fox Sports News at the function on Thursday night that Queensland was "cocky" and "arrogant". "I was in Queensland last week and I don’t know why we’ll even turn up," Elias said. "Up there, they’ve won five series in a row; they’ve got Mal (Meninga) as a super coach; (Darren) Lockyer’s finale. They’re just going to go through the motions. Read the full story here

Aged and Community Services Western Australia (ACSWA) Handed Out At Burswood Casino...

Packer's Burswood Casino got an interesting gig recently. The Aged and Community Services Western Australia Awards. Interesting venue for the awards, but it's known that some elders folks are pretty keen on a punt, with pokies, bingo, keno and horse racing being their favs.

Burswood Casino To Crack Down On Smoking...

Western Australia would get the strongest anti-smoking laws in the country under proposals which include a complete ban in outdoor areas where people eat, watch sport or catch buses. The bans are among 15 proposals contained in a Health Department discussion paper being released today, which includes removing a controversial exemption that allows gamblers to smoke in Burswood Casino's high-rollers room. One option is to ban smoking in all outdoor eating areas, which would be an Australian first. "We strongly support these proposals, including banning smoking in Burswood's high-rollers room which exposes staff to smoke just to attract dollars and pander to the big end of town." Dr Mountain said he supported wider bans outdoors because seeing other people smoke gave a visual cue that it was still acceptable to smoke around other people.

Burswood Casino Gets Viva Las Vegas Tonight - 20th May 2011; Then Onto Crown...

Burswood Theatre will come alive with showgirls, magicians and Elvis impersonators for the The Viva Las Vegas Spectacular. Direct from sell-out shows at Melbourne's Crown Casino, the show commences at 8pm with a few tickets still available from Ticketek. Take a trip to Las Vegas without the airfare or expenses. Viva Las Vegas has all the razzle dazzle and glitz of the entertainment capital of the world.The show combines sensational song and dance numbers with exciting specialty acts. Viva Las Vegas will take you on a spellbinding journey to Las Vegas. See the gorgeous Vegas Showgirls in spectacular costumes and dazzling choreography, witness the remarkable illusions of Magic2. Experience the best celebrity impersonators, Tom Jones tribute artist and world class Elvis impersonator Rick Charles performing together with a live band. This is 90 minutes of Las Vegas entertainment, a fabulous night that you will remember forever. Don't miss the Viva Las Vegas Spectacular.

Friday 20 May - Burswood Theatre, Perth
Sat 16 Jul - Palms @ Crown, Melbourne

Punters, as you can see, the trend towards total entertainment solutions in around around the gaming and gambling sector continues, and we're proud to be reporting on it for you maties.

Punters, er readers, stay glued to Media Man reports via Gambling911 for more "can't miss" information on Australian wagering including pokies, gaming, sports betting and casino wars.

*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. Media Man also publishes Media Man News

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