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13 June 2011

Australian Gambling Queens Birthday Special, by Greg Tingle - 13th June 2011


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Australia's gambling sector continues to run at red hot levels. Oh, Happy Birthday Queen... your majesty. Is their a Royal Family slot online yet? Poker news is hotter than casino news this week, with news that PokerStars is to be outlawed in Australia and this weekend the Australia New Zealand Poker Tour is being help at Casino Canberra in the nations capital. James Packer casino king continues to drive forward online business and political fun and games continue. Media Man and Gambling911 chase the hottest gambling news from down under in Australia...

Casino Canberra Gets Australia New Zealand Poker Tour...

Poker players from around the world, many trained up from online poker websites, could lose a bundle in Canberra this weekend. For the couple who don't, they'll walk away with up to $75,000. Most poker players lose, if you didn't know that already. The Australia New Zealand Poker Tour is held annually at Casino Canberra and moves to capital cities around the country throughout the year. More than 130 poker players are competing for the top honours of $75,000 this weekend. From 133 players on Friday, the number will drop to 18 later today, the final day of comp. They'll play until one man is left standing. The prize pool of $266,000 has lured local and international players from the age of 18 to 70. Tourney director Chris Sandeman said the poker players would play for about eight hours a day until eliminated. "They'll do one week worth of work this weekend," he said. ''It's such good money, you can win up to $75,000 in a weekend." Sandeman said 30% of the field were pros who played full time. The rest were considered semi-professionals with day jobs. Knowledge of statistics and the ability to read other players was the key to becoming a poker player. It took a little luck, a lot of skill, patience and the ability to be able to concentrate for long periods to win a tournament. Last year's winner, Jason Grey, walked away with a prize of $100,000.

PokerStars To Be Outlawed In Australia...

PokerStars is to be history in Australia with many online website portals starting to pull off PokerStars promos and articles, also frustrated with not being paid for months. An insider said "PokerStars name is pretty much mud in Australia these days". As previously covered GP Information Services, based in the Erina Heights suburb of Gosford in New South Wales, is according to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission owned by Oldford Group, one of the business entities sought for forfeiture by defendants named by US authorities in the Black Friday indictments. It just happens to provide marketing services for PokerStars in Australia. There's lots of grey area about advertising gambling in Australia, with Media Man legal adviser Nettleton having his phone running hot of late. It's suspected PokerStars is or was a client of Nettleton, who is a partner at Addison's Lawyers. Australian television stations Network Ten and the Nine Network last November escaped a fine re TV adverts with a warning from the country’s media watchdog, which argued they had breached the IGA for promoting Reports in the press show authorities might have problems enforcing laws, whether or not a breach is provable. Comms Minister Stephen Conroy says "As the internet is a cross-jurisdictional medium, it is difficult for Australia to enforce our laws on companies not based in Australia." Other online gaming brands such as Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment, Captain Cooks and PKR can be accessed by Australians, often mentioned on massive website portals that enjoy worldwide audiences, targeting players worldwide, with maps of the world shown to help potential players see the poker and online casino rooms available for their geographic region, with online gaming warnings and disclaimers a plenty, making sure they cover their own ass.

Australian Politics: MP Bob Katte Calls For Moderate Gambling Reform Down Under; Met With Casino King James Packer...

Federal independent MP Bob Katter is pushing for a more moderate package of changes to poker machines. Independent Andrew Wilkie and the Federal Government are planning to introduce a mandatory scheme forcing poker machine players to set betting limits. Katter says he has met casino boss James Packer to discuss the issue. He has told Channel Ten half the clubs in his electorate would close down under the plan. "I can't go the full hog on this now much as I'd like to, much as that is where my sympathies lie," he said. "So I think we've got to have a far more moderate approach. Now just where we pitch that over the next few weeks I'm not too sure."

Types Of Pokies In Aussie Clubs And Casinos...

Wanted to a bit more about 'One Armed Bandits', found in Australian land based casinos, pubs and clubs...Ok, what's you're budget? $150... excellent. Good luck. Hit the pub, or online casino. If you want people interaction the pub is the best bet, but don't forget the online casino 'Live Dealer' options either. Now punter, get yourself in front of a pokie machine. Most pubs usually have about 50 OAB's (one armed bandits). There's all sorts of themed machines. What animal or warrior are you sir? How about you miss? Can we offer you some free chips? How about a $1 beer, as a token of our appreciation. Join our Players Club. It's free to join! Hey, check out the Turtle Treasure, with its cute Disney style graphics. Watch out punter, the next machine is the Black Rhino. Head to African. Oh aw, there's Cleopatra, the Egyptian babe goddess. Hell yeah, its the Rose Tattoo slot, and there's Angry Anderson's angry mug. Listen to those classic tuned being belted out. Go for broke, bet all lines, max bet. Shit I missed the jackpot, but got close. Another 10 spins on max. Yeah baby, 10,000 credits win. Should I "gamble" the win or not. Nah, but I will play another hour. Different machines appeal to different types of personalities. Me, I like Thor, Sinatra, The Godfather, Top Gun and Rambo, but I can only find them online. Cleopatra online is great too, because I can bet more online that at the casino or pub. Gaming firms invest millions of dollars creating machines that will appeal to the punter, old ones and newbies. What will be the next big thing? Burlesque, pro wrestling, Underbelly. According to the Productivity Commission, Australians poured almost $12 billion into electronic gaming machines (EGMs) across pubs, clubs and casinos last year. When compared with total gambling activity, they are far and away the nation’s favourite way to have a punt. So what makes them so enticing? Dr Charles Livingstone, from Monash University’s Department of Health Social Science, has developed research into the themes employed by manufacturers to get people playing their machines. Players get hooked to various machines and themes. If the pub or online casino doesn't have their favorite, they will soon leave for another place that has the one they are looking for. In the online world this is why lots of machines are showcased and reviewed, plus for SEO reasons. Livingstone says "If someone’s favourite machine isn’t available, then quite often they will leave and head for another venue." In research commissioned by the South Australian Independent Gaming Authority, Livingstone found two of the most popular pokies in that state were the Dolphin Treasure and Shogun machines. According to a study released last year by Gambling Research Australia, the most popular themes for gamblers relate to luck or winning money (27%), Egyptian and wildlife nature topics (each 15%) and themes of mystique and magic (11%). Problem gamblers, it reported, are more likely to place importance on a machine’s theme — preferring mystique, love or Asian-themed EGMs. While the study found that far-and-away the most appealing characteristic of a machine was whether it had been "lucky in the past", it also said the impact of branding could not be dismissed. As well as hiding the seriousness of the money factor and probability of winning or loosing, Livingstone says poker machine themes like Dolphin Treasure provide a feeling of escapism from everyday life. He also says different themes appeal to different segments of the gambling market and will cater to their needs: “Games with identical game maths but a different theme are commonly much less successful than the original games from which they’re derived,” he said. "Suggesting that the careful marrying of game maths and theme is a critical element of game design.".

Drip Feeder Machines...

The Dolphin Treasure with its bright blue colours and cute aquatic icons (starfish, seahorses, turtles) plays well to the middle-aged female demographic, says Livingstone: "I’ve seen players scratch the dolphin’s rostrum for good luck." These machines will often pay out in ways that cater to that market, says Livingstone. Machines like the Dolphin Treasure — such as the Indian Dreaming, with its pseudo-spiritualistic theme — offer small and regular payouts to keep players interested. The key to this kind if appeal is achieving maximum time on the machine, says Livingstone. A risk-averse, middle-aged female poker player would prefer to stay on a machine as long as possible, rather than bust out early. Similarly themed machines would include Mermaid, Brazil, Geisha, Fire Dancer. I still like Cleopatra the best.

The Big One...

These are the big wager machines, typically offering a $1 minimum stake for one spin, and are usually aimed at a younger, more aggressive gambling clientele. An example of this is the Shogun (or Shogun 2), which is a more macho-styled machine and will pay out less often but in bigger amounts. Other similarly branded machines include Taipan, Spartan, Heavyweight Champion and King of the Castle. There's a growing trend for Australian punters to hit the internet portals to find the machines they like the most, knowing that more money can be placed online, plus one doesn't even have to leave the home or office to enjoy a punt, and hopefully no fights in the home like at the pub! Do you prefer pokies at the casino, pub, online, or a bit of all the above? Tell us in the forum.

Readers, good punting, know your limits and have fun.

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

*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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