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21 September 2011

Gaming, Casino, Poker And Entertainment News: Bwin.Party, Full Tilt, Marvel Entertainment, Crown Casino, The Star, by Greg Tingle

Profiles

World Casino Directory Australian Casinos The Star Echo Entertainment Crown Limited World Casino Directory Global Gaming Directory Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment Marvel Entertainment

Bwin.party stocks skyrockets after Schleswig-Holstein online gambling approval...

Bwin.party Digital Entertainment stocks rose over 12% after German state Schleswig-Holstein passed its new online gambling legislation. As reported earlier, the new bill which narrowly passed the Schleswig-Holstein Parliament poses more competition inducing rules and friendlier tax rates.

Bwin.party shares jumped 12.2% Wednesday while Betfair, an online betting exchange company, posted a 3.2% increase. Both Bwin.party and Betfair plan to apply for licenses to operate in Schleswig-Holstein as soon as the bill is implemented in January 2012.

Schleswig-Holstein is the first to implement such online gambling legislation among 16 German states and the remaining 15 continue to pose high tax rates that prohibit healthy online gambling market in the country in general.


PartyCasino Bwin.Party Online Casino Powerhouse Gets New Games...

Party's upped the ante again by adding yet more online casino games to their portfolio. They welcome in 'The War Of The Worlds' , 'Aztec Gold' and 'Loot'En Khanum'. PartyCasino has been awarded numerous industry awards and commendations over the years including Media Man 'Online Casino Of The Month' and EGR 'Socially Responsible Operator Of The Year'. The casino offers a range of slots, table games and also offers poker via its sister website PartyPoker.com


Online gambling site busted in 'Ponzi scheme'...

International online gambling site Full Tilt Poker stole $440 million from players around the world in a Ponzi scheme used to pay lavish fees to board members, US prosecutors said Tuesday.

Full Tilt "defrauded players by misrepresenting that their funds on deposit in online gambling accounts were safe, secure, and available for withdrawal at any time," the US Attorney's office for Southern Manhattan said.

"In reality, Full Tilt Poker did not maintain funds sufficient to repay all players, and in addition, the company used player funds to pay board members and other owners more than $440 million since April 2007."

The senior prosecutor, US Attorney Preet Bharara, said the site's top figures, including famed poker champions Howard Lederer and Christopher Ferguson, "lined their own pockets with funds picked from the pockets of their most loyal customers while blithely lying to both players and the public alike about the safety and security of the money deposited with the company."

In a classic pyramid scheme, gamblers were given the impression that they still had money deposited and were allowed to keep gambling, even when all that remained were "phantom" funds, prosecutors said. The company ended up owing $390 million worldwide, including $150 million to US customers.

"Full Tilt was not a legitimate poker company, but a global Ponzi scheme," Bharara said.

Full Tilt Poker was first sued by federal authorities in April as part of a broader crackdown on online gambling, which the Justice Department says is illegal. The suit was revised and refiled Tuesday in the still developing investigation.

In the original suit, Full Tilt Poker and two other online poker companies -- PokerStars and Absolute Poker -- were charged with bank fraud, money laundering, illegal gambling and other offenses.

Bharara said the Justice Department had filed an amended complaint against Full Tilt Poker to reflect the accusation that the company was running a Ponzi scheme.

Ferguson, the poker world's equivalent of a rock star and known to aficionados as "Jesus," and Lederer were not mentioned in the original complaint against Full Tilt Poker. They are alleged to have been paid $25 million and $42 million respectively by the site.

The amended complaint seeks the forfeiture of dividends received by Ferguson, Lederer, and other directors, and money laundering penalties.

While Internet gambling has been illegal in the United States since 2006, online poker remains a multi-billion-dollar industry with companies using a variety of ways to flout the law, including locating their operations offshore.

The US ban on Internet gambling has been challenged as an unfair trade restriction at the World Trade Organization and some US lawmakers are seeking to have online gambling legalized.


Crown Casino VS The Star Land Based Casino War Continues...

Greg Fraser has an interesting and intelligent article in today's Sydney Morning Herald. James Packer's Crown Limited still has the upper hand over rival The Star in many departments. The article reads...

Crown is still the king of Australian casino businesses.

There is a high-stakes game being played out between Crown’s Melbourne and Perth casinos and Echo Entertainment Group’s newly renamed The Star Casino in Sydney.

Echo has spent $960 million on its upgrade but Crown will have spent almost $2.1 billion across its two casinos by the time everything is finished.

Crown has consistently upgraded its properties to avoid the dangerous ‘‘tired’’ tag that can easily sap patronage and earnings.

The company has always produced a nice mixture of gaming and non-gaming earnings that has become the norm for all casino resorts.

But the headlines usually focus on the glamour and mystique of the high rollers, who last year put about $40 billion on Crown’s gaming tables in Australia.

This lucrative business generated $486 million of revenue for Crown last financial year and should continue to contribute earnings growth following the latest incarnation of its private gaming suites. Read the full article here


World Casino Directory Still A Big Hit With Industry And Punters...

Media Man's World Casino Directory and Global Gaming Directory are still a big hit, according to the numbers. Check out some of the world's best online and land based casino websites here and here.


PartyCasino VS Virgin Casino "War" Continues...

Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment and Richard Branson's Virgin Enterprises Limited are still at it, with both continuing to add new slot games. Bwin.Party's PartyCasino is more established and accepts players from more countries than Virgin, while Branson's Virgin enjoys a strong brand name in hundreds of other sectors. Party consistently offers higher sign up bonuses to new players.


Billionaire Solomon Lew in ugly Crown casino carpark row...

The Herald Sun reports...Billionaire businessman Solomon Lew was allegedly involved in an ugly fight with his estranged son-in-law at Crown casino on Saturday night.

It is believed Mr Lew and Adam Priester were captured on casino security cameras clashing heatedly in Crown's VIP carpark about 9pm. But the two men have given conflicting versions of events.

Mr Priester, a businessman who is separated from Mr Lew's daughter Jacqueline, is believed to have reported the incident to police.


The Avengers hero Chris Evans praises Marvel's Stan Lee...

Chris Evans who brought Captain America to life on the big screen in this year's Joe Johnston directed Marvel Comics adaptation Captain America: The First Avenger has praised Marvel Comics creator Stan Lee, describing him as "amazing".

Lee who has brought to life so many iconic characters over the years recently filmed his cameo in next year's superhero team up The Avengers describing it as "probably the funniest line that I've had to say yet".

Speaking to MTV News Evans said "It's great. He's an amazing human being, the guy is a living legend. He's so positive and so upbeat and so energetic and just a nice man."

Lee will also appear in Marc Webb's The Amazing Spider-Man and previously said it would be his "best cameo yet".

The Avengers sees Evens star alongside Chris Hemsworth, Jeremy Renner, Scarlett Johansson, Robert Downey Jr. and Mark Ruffalo and hits cinemas on May 4 while The Amazing Spider-Man swings into cinemas in 3D on July 4.


Stan Lee talks about his cameos in The Amazing Spider-Man and The Avengers...

Appearing before a capacity crowd on Sunday at the 2011 Montreal Comic Con, Lee spoke about his cameo roles in movies based on the classic characters he co-created, such as Iron Man, X-Men, Spider-Man and Hulk.

“If you blink your eye, you might miss me”, he said, in reference to his brief on-screen appearances. Though Lee, not surprisingly, said that he did enjoy doing them, since “I get to meet all the actors.” He went on, “I just show up on the set and everybody treats me well. And I get my own trailer.” Lee was quick to point out that his cameos are “always big hits”, before jokingly adding, “I wonder if Brad Pitt looks at me and goes ‘hmmm.’”

Lee then really wowed the enthusiastic crowd when he mused, “I don’t know why DC doesn’t ask me to do cameos in their movies. Then their box office revenues would shoot up”. Pausing for audience applause, Lee then added, “Imagine how people would react if they saw me in one of those movies?”

In fact, Lee has made two appearances in DC-related documentaries. He was interviewed in the Shadows Of The Bat: The Cinematic Saga Of The Dark Knight, which appears as an extra on the Special Edition DVD and Blu-ray disc of the 1989 Batman movie. Lee was also interviewed for Kevin Burns’ 2006 documentary, Look Up In The Sky: The Amazing Story Of Superman.

Lee also mentioned his appearances in the upcoming Spider-Man reboot, and the highly anticipated Avengers movie. While he wasn’t able to reveal the details of his cameo in those films, Lee did say, “I tell you this. It is one of the funniest ones I’ve done. It’s about as funny as the one that I did in the new Spider-Man movie which hasn’t opened yet. Spider-Man and The Avengers, remember when you see ‘em, I told you that they are going to get very big laughs.”

The Avengers will arrive in UK cinemas on 27th April 2012, while The Amazing Spider-Man is due out on 4th July 2012.

Stay tuned for American and Australian dates.

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