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21 August 2011

Australian Gaming And Casino News; Australasian Gaming Expo Opens, by Greg Tingle - 21st August 2011

Today was a significant day on the Australian gaming industry calendar. It's opening day of the 2011 Australasian Gaming Expo, held at Darling Harbour in 'Sin City' Sydney, Australia. The event comes at a time where the spotlight on the Australian gambling industry may have never been stronger or so politically charged. Media Man and Gambling911 man down under with that and much more...

Australasian Gaming Expo Open Day In Sydney...

Over 150 gaming - gambling exhibitors enjoyed day one at the Australasian Gaming Expo Open Day at Sydney's Darling Harbour. Dozens of big name brands were there including IGT (and its new 'Sex And The City' slot game), Aristocrat Technologies Australia, Ainsworth, Konami, WMS, ShuffleMaster and Bally. Most of the exhibitors were making a return appearance from last year. They were more exhibitors than "punters", however this may change tomorrow (Monday), as the working week down under kicks off. It's a biggie, with over 15,000 square meters decked out in gambling gear. Tomorrow (Monday) and Tuesday are expected to be bigger, with the working week getting on the way. Website: Australasian Gaming Expo


Casino News Media Website Portal Rises In Rankings; On Set To Get Hitwise Listed...

The popular Casino News Media website portal continues to rise in popularity, now attracting almost 2 million hits per month. It's been submitted to Hitwise for an award, following the path of its parent company, Media Man (that's us), who has made the Hitwise finals in the entertainment - personalities category for 6 years in a row.


Aussie Gambling And Sporting Icon Shane Warne To Attend Melbourne Cup Race With Liz Hurley...

Shane Warne aka "Warnie" will be heading to the Melbourne Cup with his women Liz Hurley. It's understood Warne is due to open his themed poker room at Crown Casino during the Spring Racing Carnival, with the likes of Tiger Woods, James and Erica Packer and a bush tucker bag of of local celebrities joining in the fun.


Shuffle Master, Inc. Gears Up for Australasian Gaming Expo with Game-Changing Innovations...

Exhibit Features Impressive Array of Slot Machine Titles, New e-Table Enhancements, the Latest Specialty Game Titles, and Productivity-Enhancing Utility Products...


LAS VEGAS, Aug 17, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Shuffle Master, Inc. (nasdaq global select market:SHFL) announced today that it will display an impressive range of game titles and diverse product innovations at the 2011 Australasian Gaming Expo ("AGE") on August 21- 23, 2011 at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Center, located in Darling Harbour, NSW, Australia.

"The new Equinox cabinet is firing on all cylinders and we are confident that Shuffle Master's AGE lineup has never been better. With a multitude of new games on display, AGE provides a great opportunity to flaunt the strength of our themes and the innovative features our game designers have built into them," stated Adrian Halpenny, President of Shuffle Master Australasia. "We believe that this year's show will be one of the most exciting in our history and will underscore Shuffle Master's deep commitment to making gaming more fun for players and more profitable for operators."

The exhibit will highlight key innovations from Shuffle Master's five product categories:

High-Performance Games for the Equinox(TM) Cabinet

Housed in the stylish new Equinox cabinet, Shuffle Master will showcase its wide variety of slot machine titles that feature stunning graphics, enticing progressive jackpots and rewarding free game features. This year's lineup includes such standalone progressives as: The Pink Panther(R)(1) Returns, Potion Power(TM), and Fortune games; all Fortune games feature a unique active symbol function known as All Up(TM). With the All Up bet, players can select to activate 5 symbols per game from the button panel. The symbols change from various colors to gold and offer greater wins for the amount of gold symbols played.

Players will have a witchingly good time with Shuffle Master's new two-level stand-alone progressive Cats, Hats & Bats(TM), one of the most popular low denomination games of 2011. Players will have the chance to win up to 13 free games and the screen-trembling Bat Splat(TM) feature awards prizes up to 16 times. Players who enjoy Cats, Hats & Bats will no doubt be "ribbeted" by Hubble, Bubble & Trubble(TM). This standalone progressive combines all of the action of Cats, Hats & Bats but centers on berserk frogs.

Shuffle Master will also unveil a new link for the Queensland market, Pirates Revenge(TM), a 50 line 4-level progressive with entertainment galore in the alluring Medallion(TM) feature. Following on from the success of King of Babylon(TM) released in March this year, look out for Wolf Mountain(TM), another 50 cent three-level progressive destined to be a hit.

New e-Table Offerings

Rapid Select(TM) for Rapid Table Games(R) will be front and center at the exhibit and offers anticipated superior flexibility needed in Australasia's busy casinos. Combining a live dealer and a touch-screen electronic betting interface, the Rapid line of electronic table systems is anticipated to dramatically increase game security and productivity by automating the wagering process. Rapid Select is the latest enhancement to the Rapid platform and includes a multigame feature which gives players the flexibility to choose which Rapid game -- Baccarat, Roulette, or Sic Bo -- they would like to play on their terminal, without ever having to leave their seat. Enhanced live statistics are available at the touch of a button and seamless betting can be conducted across multiple games. Operators are expected to benefit from increased reporting functions that enable betting traffic to be monitored by zones. With the capability to accommodate over 300 terminals per table and up to 6 tables of each game type, betting limits can be easily configured to suit each betting position.

"We consistently aim to improve the player experience and Rapid Select's multigame feature empowers the player to conveniently choose what action they wish to partake in," continued Halpenny.

Also highlighted at the show will be Vegas Star(R) Grand Baccarat(TM), a fully electronic baccarat table that combines a virtual dealer on a central plasma screen with individual touch-screen betting terminals and features the enticing Grand Tie(TM) jackpot side bet. The Grand Tie side bet is triggered by tied 8's and 9's. Up to 10 gold cards are dealt with each gold card awarding either a major or mini jackpot, or a bonus credit prize.

The Latest Specialty Table Games

This year's exhibit will feature progressives for some of Shuffle Master's most popular specialty table games such as Ultimate Texas Hold'em(R), Mississippi Stud(R) and Crazy 4 Poker(R). Chip sensors embedded in the table allow players to place an optional jackpot wager to potentially win fixed prizes or a continuously incrementing progressive jackpot. Progressives enhance specialty games by creating additional action, excitement and volatility, therefore increasing profitability for the casino. In addition to showcasing its proven, popular titles, Shuffle Master will also present two new "up-and-comers", Rabbit Hunter(TM) with Bad Beat Bonus and Face-Up Three Card Poker 6 Card Bonus(TM).

"Australian players have an appetite for the excitement that live table games provide and they are adaptive to new games," Halpenny added. "We are confident that our new specialty games and progressives will meet that market niche of players looking for something different."

The Latest Innovation in Shuffling Technology: Intuitive Card Shufflers

World-renowned for their exceptional engineering and unparalleled performance, Shuffle Master's card shufflers are designed to increase table game productivity, profitability and security. The new MD2CR(TM) shuffler will be prominently featured at the show, demonstrating the advanced capabilities of the latest shuffling technology. Utilizing the same optical card-reading technology that has been so successful on the Company's i-Deal(R) shuffler, the MD2CR scans and verifies pre-shuffled blackjack and baccarat decks right at the table. Featuring an innovative platform and gripper system, the MD2CR counts and shuffles up to eight decks of cards quickly and quietly, and significantly reduces wear and tear, making cards last longer.

Key Utility Offerings: Easy Chipper(R) D and i-Verify(TM)

With improved chip handling, better safety features and less moving parts, the new Easy Chipper D provides quick and accurate chip sorting, which increases the number of spins per hour. The Easy Chipper D is also enhanced with an easy to use touch-screen interface that makes it easier than ever to set the machine's features.

The i-Verify, an LCD touch-screen display that is embedded into a felt table, provides increased security and reduces dealer training for "house way" games like Fortune Pai Gow Poker(R) and Fortune San Lo Poker(TM). When used in conjunction with an i-Deal shuffler, the i-Verify tells the dealer exactly how to set his or her hand, according to the prescribed house procedure.

"I am very proud of what the Australasian team has accomplished over the past year, introducing the Equinox cabinet to the market, and further strengthening our market leadership in high-denomination games," commented Shuffle Master's Chief Executive Officer, Gavin Isaacs. "I look forward to what I believe will be very positive reception of our exciting new titles and multiple product innovations at AGE."

Live updates and pictures from Shuffle Master's booth at the show will be available on www.twitter.com/shufflemaster and www.twitter.com/shfl_news .

About Shuffle Master, Inc.

Shuffle Master, Inc. (the "Company" or "Shuffle Master") is a leading global gaming supplier specializing in providing its casino customers with improved profitability, productivity and security, as well as popular and cutting-edge gaming entertainment content, through value-add products in five distinct categories: Utility products, which include automatic card shufflers and roulette chip sorters; Proprietary Table Games, which includes live games, side bets and progressives; Electronic Table Systems, which include various e-Table game platforms; Electronic Gaming Machines, which include video slot machines; and newly introduced i-Gaming, which features online versions of Shuffle Master's table games, social gaming, and mobile applications. The Company is included in the S&P Smallcap 600 Index. Information about the Company and its products can be found on the Internet at www.shufflemaster.com , or on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

(1) The Pink Panther is a registered trademark owned by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Inc.


Underbelly Razor Hits Channel Nine TV Tonight...

One of the leading ladies ruled Sydney's brothels. One ruled its sly grog shops. The other was the one every gangster wanted on his arm. Tilly Devine, Kate Leigh and Nellie Cameron were the brash, sharp-tongued, quick-thinking and ruthless women who ruled Sydney’s underworld in the “roaring” 1920s. Devine and Leigh were the queens of vice. Now they are characters brought to life by Chelsie Preston Crayford, Danielle Cormack and Anna McGahan in the latest and most colourful 13-chapter mini-series of Nine’s dramatised crime franchise, Underbelly. Underbelly: Razor is the cinematic recreation of the book Razor, by Larry Writer, on the beginnings of organised crime in Australia. It took six years to research as Writer delved into the history of the “razor gangs” that battled for control of Sydney’s underworld. Set in one of Sydney’s most colourful eras, the 1920s, Underbelly: Razor tells the story of Devine and Leigh’s battle to reign supreme in a world built on sly grog, prostitution, illegal drugs, extortion and gambling. That battle turned to pure menace when an interloper from Melbourne (Norman Bruhn, played by Jeremy Lindsay Taylor) decided to take the town from the girls. Knowing you could hang for murder and be jailed for possession of a gun, he brought a new weapon – the cut-throat razor. Judging by the movie-length opening episode, the 13-part series will deliver everything viewers have come to expect from the Nine Network’s flagship drama: nudity, sex, violence, drugs, blood, biff, guns and gore – all handsomely packaged in sepia tones and period clobber. The show begins with a naked woman in a bathtub. But the flesh that has become Underbelly’s trademark won’t test tolerance levels this time as much as the bursts of unflinching brutality, especially against women. Viewers aren’t spared the callous beating of a pregnant prostitute, a vicious catfight between Leigh (played by Danielle Cormack) and Devine (Chelsie Preston-Crayford) and the grisly aftermath of a back alley razor attack. The violence is mostly implied, rather than explicit, but vivid enough to have you wincing in revulsion as blades slice through flesh and blood splatters to the ground. Rated ‘‘M’’ for it violence, coarse language, sex scenes and drug use, Underbelly Razor is the most compelling Underbelly since the original series delved into Melbourne’s gangland wars of the 1990s.


Tabcorp's The Star And Friends Get New Future Star Website Teasing What's In Store...

Check out the new website: http://www.futurestar.com.au Also check out the website of Echo Entertainment http://www.echoentertainment.com.au Echo Entertainment is the casino arm of Tabcorp you've likely been reading about for the past few months.

Future Star blurb reads... THIS TOWN NEEDS A NEW STAR. FUTURE STAR IS THE TRANSFORMATION OF
STAR CITY INTO A ONE-OF-A-KIND ENTERTAINMENT DESTINATION COMING LATE 2011.


Crown Casino Spells Out Responsible Gambling On Website...

The clear message reads...

Crown's commitment to Responsible Gaming

Crown is committed to providing and promoting gaming in a responsible manner. A number of responsible gaming initiatives have been introduced. These include:

The Responsible Gaming Support Centre
Referral to a range of support services
The Play Safe limits Program (pre-commitment)
A Self-Exclusion Program
The Chaplaincy Support Service for anyone seeking Spiritual support
Responsible Gambling Code of Conduct
Responsible gaming occurs in a regulated environment where the potential for harm associated with gambling is minimised as customers are informed and can therefore make sensible and rational choices based on their individual circumstances.

The responsible gambler
Is in control
Sees gambling as entertainment, not a job
Doesn't take gambling too seriously
Only gambles with the money set aside for entertainment, not for household essentials
Never borrows money to gamble
Sets limits on the amount of time and money they will spend
Sticks to these limits and walks away when they are reached
Doesn't chase losses
Takes frequent breaks

(tips adapted from "Follow these tips before you gamble" brochure, Responsible Gambling Awareness Week 2010)


Mainstream Gaming Firms Ramp Up Online...

IGT, Aristocrat, Wynn Resorts... you name it. All are diving in deeper into the online gambling spectrum. IGT has dropped the 'WagerWorks' tag, and is now simply known as IGT, pushing along new games such as 'Monopoly You're In The Money'. Aristocrat is to push titles into online casinos, and Steve Wynn's Wynn Resorts is rumoured to be interested in purchasing Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment, however the Wynn - Bwin.Party talk is not confirmed, but has sure been talked about a great amount across the globe over the last week. Watch this space.

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