Thursday, August 30, 2012

Betting firm bwin signs three-year deal with Man United - 16th August 2012

Profiles

Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment PartyCasino.com PartyPoker.com Britain Soccer Betting Sports Sports Betting Affiliates


British online betting firm bwin.party digital entertainment said it had entered into a three-year deal with Manchester United, including the right to run betting kiosks and advertise at the English premier league football club’s Old Trafford home.

Bwin said the deal would also give it the chance to exploit the club’s international appeal to expand in social gaming – free-to-use web games played against other users that offer additional features paid for with online credits.

“Man Utd has 569 million followers outside of Europe, providing us with a great opportunity to offer jointly designed and innovative products in countries that do not yet allow real money online sports betting,” said bwin.party’s co-CEO Norbert Teufelberger.

Bwin, which is already the shirt sponsor of Spanish football club Real Madrid, said football remained key to its long-term future, making up about half of its sports betting revenue in 2011.

Man Utd, which debuted on the New York stock exchange last week, has a series of commercial linkups, including with insurance broker AON, whose name is currently emblazoned on its shirts, set to be replaced on the famous red jerseys by GM’s Chevrolet in 2014.

Website Network

Media Man International

Media Man

Media Man News

Media Man Entertainment

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Cougar at casino - 26th August 2012


Sin City Casinos Nevada United States Games Harrah's Entertainment

A mountain lion has been caught after trying to slip into a casino in Reno, Nevada.

A Nevada Department of Wildlife spokesman, Chris Healy, said the young male cat's behaviour was "almost the equivalent of being a stupid teenager".

Mr Healy said coming-of-age cougars often ended up where they shouldn't after being chased out of a territory by adults.

A wildlife official tags a tranquilised mountain lion that wandered into a Reno casino and hid under a stage.

Guests at Harrah's casino reported seeing the 45-kilogram cat trying to walk into the casino on Friday morning. When the animal couldn't negotiate the revolving door, it hid under a stage in a nearby plaza.

Wildlife officials tranquilised the two-year-old cat and plan to release it into the wild.

No injuries were reported.

Website Network

Media Man Int

Media Man

Media Man News

Media Man Entertainment

Global Gaming Directory

Casino News Media

Poker News Media

Media Man Games

Monday, August 27, 2012

The Expendables 2 snags No. 1 box-office spot for second-straight weekend

Profiles

Movies Hollywood Entertainment The Expendables The Expendables 2 Affiliate Programs Advertising


Sylvester Stallone's "The Expendables 2" snagged the No. 1 box-office spot for the second-straight weekend with $13.5 million. Released by Lionsgate, the film raised its domestic total to $52.3 million after two weekends.

Holdover movies easily led the weekend box office again, as "The Bourne Legacy" landed in second place with $9.3 million, followed by "ParaNorman" with $8.5 million.

Hollywood may have run out of summer hits, but an anti-Obama documentary is helping to fill the gap.

The weekend's new wide releases were overshadowed by "2016: Obama's America," which expanded from limited to nationwide release and took in $6.2 million to finish at No. 8.

The documentary is a conservative critique of what the country would look like four years from now if President Barack Obama is re-elected.

Released by Rocky Mountain Pictures, "Obama's America" nearly matched the $6.3 million debut of the No. 7 movie, Joseph Gordon-Levitt's action tale "Premium Rush," a Sony release that played in more than twice as many theaters as the Obama documentary.

The weekend's other new wide releases opened weakly. Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell's road-chase comedy "Hit & Run," released by Open Road Films, debuted at No. 10 with $4.7 million, and the Warner Bros. fright flick "The Apparition" opened at No. 12 with $3 million.

The weak openings are typical of late August, a dumping ground for movies without much audience appeal as the summer blockbuster season winds down and young viewers switch to back-to-school mode.

But with less competition from Hollywood releases, it also opens the door for surprise successes such as "Obama's America."

"Obama's America" is based on the book "The Roots of Obama's Rage," written by Dinesh D'Souza, who co-directed the movie with John Sullivan.

The documentary now has climbed to a $9.1 million domestic total, with prospects for strong business as the Republican National Convention unfolds over the next few days. (U.S report)

Websites

The Expendables 2

Lionsgate

Media Man International

Media Man

Media Man News

Australian Sports Entertainment

Website Network

Media Man International

Media Man

Media Man News

Media Man Entertainment

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Australasian Gaming Expo report from Sydney; Australia - Day 3 - 23rd August 2012

Profiles

Human Statue Bodyart Sydney Entertainment Australia Gaming Promotions Publicity


Today was the 3rd day for the most high profile and successful gaming expo in Australia - the Australasian Gaming Expo, which is being hosted by the Sydney Convention Centre at Darling Harbour. It's gaming, gambling, technology, sales...even creative arts elements and much more.

It's a key time for the gaming industry in Australia with all the regulation elements, responsible gambling initiatives and such, and most of the big boys of the industry were on hand to show off their wares, with some exhibitors demonstrating significant creative flair to help showoff their latest and greatest wares.

Our friends at Human Statue Bodyart were back again and they had a couple of body models made up in bodypaint (Anastasia as a butterfly and Victoria as a panda) - complete with wings and sparkles, for leading gaming brand Paltronics and its latest game 'Jungle Madness'.

The expo centre itself is huge - 15,000 square metres (about the size of an Aussie Rules football oval) and this provided more than ample opportunity for over 750 slot games on display.

The Australasian Gaming Expo is by far the largest event of its type in Australia and one of the world’s biggest.

We learned through the grapevine that a trip for 2 to Las Vegas will be won by a lucky visitor on each of the 3 days of the Expo, and this is compliments of the Gaming Technologies Association which owns the event. It's understood the winner of the trip will be named later this afternoon.

It's tipped over 20,000 people have walked through the games expo thus far, with those in the business being the majority, and no doubt a few punters, checked through the gates (but note that the games on display do not accept coins or notes).

Well done to everyone associated with the success of the expo and we'll see you there again next year.

Websites

Australasian Gaming Expo

Gaming Technologies Association

PALtronics Australasia

Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre

Human Statue Bodyart

Human Statue Bodyart Flickr

Eva Rinaldi Photography Flickr

Eva Rinaldi Photography

Media Man News

Casino News Media

Website Network

Media Man Int

Media Man

Media Man News

Media Man Entertainment

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Australasian Gaming Expo report from Sydney; Australia - Day 2 - 22nd August 2012

Profiles

Human Statue Bodyart Sydney Entertainment Australia Gaming Promotions Publicity


Today was the 2nd day for the most high profile and successful gaming expo in Australia - the Australasian Gaming Expo, which is being hosted by the Sydney Convention Centre at Darling Harbour.

It's a key time for the gaming industry in Australia with all the regulation elements, responsible gambling initiatives and such, and most of the big boys of the industry were on hand to show off their wares, with some exhibitors demonstrating significant creative flair to help showoff their latest and greatest wares.

Our friends at Human Statue Bodyart had a couple of body models made up in bodypaint (Anastasia as a butterfly and Victoria as a panda) - complete with wings, for leading gaming brand Paltronics and its latest game 'Jungle Madness'.

The expo centre itself is huge - 15,000 square metres (about the size of an Aussie Rules football oval) and this provided more than ample opportunity for over 750 slot games aka "pokies" to strut their stuff.

The Australasian Gaming Expo is by far the largest event of its type in Australia and one of the world’s biggest.

We learned through the grapevine that a trip for 2 to Las Vegas will be won by a lucky visitor on each of the 3 days of the Expo, and this is compliments of the Gaming Technologies Association which owns the event.

We understand that over 16,000 people have walked through the games thus far, with those in the business being the majority, and no doubt a few punters, checked through the gates (but note that the games on display do not accept coins or notes).

Human Statue Bodyart helps make Paltronics...

Gaming firm Paltronics was once again looking for their fair share of attention by having a few body models made up in forest like bodypaint attire to compliment their selection of games, including the very popular 'Jungle Madness'.

There's little doubt that folks Paltronics knew that competitors of sorts, IGT, were going all out with an Elvis promotion (including imitator), and may have also noted their 'Sex In The City' promotional stand from last years show.

It's always good to see Australian companies such as Paltronics take on international giants such as IGT and promotional models are just one of the weapons that gaming companies will continue to employ in the high stakes world of electronic gaming, and the folks from the Human Statue Bodyart creative arts agency certainly helped Paltronics make a positive splash today.

We hear that more bodypainted models are on the cards tomorrow (the 3rd and final day of the expo) so be sure to check the stands, with 11am to 2pm


Shuffle Master promotes The Flintstones Slot...

"We are thrilled to be able to offer such an iconic brand as The Flintstones and we feel confident that it will take center stage at the show," said Adrian Halpenny, President of Shuffle Master Australasia. "Our game development team worked very hard to deliver a final product that demonstrated meticulous attention to detail in order to maintain the high quality and authenticity of the television series. As a result, The Flintstones is a breakthrough product that is not only highly enjoyable to play as a traditional gaming machine, but also brings the much-loved characters to life with entertaining and engaging features."

Since debuting on American television, The Flintstones has endured as one of the most recognized cartoon TV shows of all time and is still shown on TV around the world. The beloved characters of The Flintstones have been a part of our childhoods for decades, and this new game allows us to play and interact with them in new and exciting ways.

Preston Kevin Lewis, Managing Director of Warner Bros. Consumer Products ANZ, said, "It is testament to the enduring nature of The Flintstones brand that the likes of Fred, Barney, Wilma and Betty continue to reach new audiences in diverse areas. Shuffle Master is one of the world's leading gaming suppliers and we're sure these fantastic machines will provide consumers with yet another opportunity to fall in love with The Flintstones."

Designed to make a big impact on the gaming floor with its broad appeal, The Flintstones is a three-level standalone progressive, low-denomination product with a suite of exciting base games and attractive jackpot prizes. It also introduces Shuffle Master's patented new "mini-reel" feature trigger that ignites the player's anticipation during game play.

The game offers three interactive bonus features that provide players with the chance to win jackpots and credit prizes. Each bonus feature evokes classic scenes from the original TV show, such as the ten-pin challenge at Bedrock Bowl, the family night out at The Drive-In and the antics of Fred Flintstone's lovable pet dinosaur in Dino's Dig.

Every element has been carefully crafted to captivate players. The Flintstones will feature themed door trims with matching halo lighting, a unique character marquee with a built-in LCD top box, and re-mastered music and sound effects from the original TV show. The three launch games - Lioness, Peacock Garden and Tiger Power - will be supplemented with more games from Shuffle Master on an ongoing basis to keep the installations fresh and exciting.


Press Release...

IGT Highlights Innovative 3D Gaming Technology and a Star-studded Gaming Lineup at the Australasian Gaming Expo...

LAS VEGAS, Aug. 20, 2012 -- International Game Technology (NYSE:IGT), a global leader in casino gaming entertainment and systems technology, announced today it will deliver new industry firsts for Australia's gaming enthusiasts at the Australasian Gaming Expo (AGE) Aug. 21 – 23 at the Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre in Sydney, Australia.

IGT will launch the 3D gaming technology MLD™ (Multi-Layer Display™), paired with the unveiling of one of the world's most iconic pop culture brands, Elvis The King®. This new title is now available in Australia exclusively on the IGT bluechip Neo® Tower Top cabinet after successful launches in other global markets, along with many new games and products.

"IGT continues to provide our customers with strong game performance, the widest variety of games, the latest in systems innovation and world-class service, all of which will be on display at AGE," said Eric Tom, IGT executive vice president of Global Sales.

"Our research indicates that many players are entertainment seekers who are attracted to iconic brands and IGT delivers this with our pop culture hit Elvis The King®. This game has been adapted to suit the Australasian players' playing style. The 3D capabilities of MLD with Elvis The King® also provides venues with a strong differentiator as they look to broaden gaming's appeal and provide something special for players," said Tom. "Elvis The King® is packed with multiple features and number one hits."

IGT's 3D MLD™ screens take gaming to another dimension in play. The 3D effect is simulated because the content exists on two separate LCD panels; one in front of the other which gives a depth of field, with game elements appearing and moving between the front and back screens. This allows for new game play options and heightened entertainment.

The line-up of over fifty games at AGE reflects IGT's re-invigorated game design strategy with the legendary performance of games such as Siberian Storm® and Dangerous Beauty®. Additional games debuting at AGE include:

Black Widow® – a low denomination game with a 'web capture' feature during free games for the chance to accumulate additional credits.

Dakota Thunder® - featuring the 'Thunder Shudder'.

A global leader in casino gaming entertainment and systems technology, IGT provides a holistic solution to the industry and its strength in gaming management systems and new interactive technologies will also be showcased at AGE.

The IGT Advantage Club® System will be demonstrated with new technologies such as Service Window, a small window that appears on the left hand side of the screen. The Service Window can be used for personalized player messaging and for service requests, adding a unique level of service for venues with the IGT system. The IGT Advantage Club® system is proving to be a winner with clubs in New South Wales.

IGT will again be playing host to industry experts who will present a range of topics including game floor design, customer service and systems. For more details on the free business seminar sessions visit www.igt.com.au/AGE12.


About IGT
International Game Technology (NYSE: IGT) is a global leader in casino gaming entertainment and continues to transform the industry by translating casino player experiences to social, mobile and interactive environments for regulated markets around the world. IGT's recent acquisition of Double Down Interactive provides engaging casino style entertainment to more than 5 million players monthly. More information about IGT is available at www.IGT.com or connect with IGT at @IGTNews or www.facebook.com/IGT.

© EPE, Reg. U.S. Pat & TM O_.

Dangerous Beauty and Black Widow were created by High 5 Games. For more information on High 5 Games, go to www.High5games.com

Pure Depth™, MLD®, Multi-Layer Display® and Actual Depth™ are trademarks or registered trademarks of Pure Depth, Inc. All other trademarks are registered trademarks or the property of their respective owners without the intent to infringe. www.puredepth.com. All trademarks or registered trademarks are owned by IGT (Australia) Pty. Limited or its related entities. All information is subject to change without notice. Game type availability is subject to jurisdictional approval.

Websites

Australasian Gaming Expo

Gaming Technologies Association

PALtronics Australasia

Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre

Human Statue Bodyart

Human Statue Bodyart Flickr

Eva Rinaldi Photography Flickr

Eva Rinaldi Photography

Media Man News

Website Network

Media Man Int

Media Man

Media Man News

Media Man Entertainment

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Australasian Gaming Expo report from Sydney; Australia - Day 1 - 21st August 2012

Profiles

Human Statue Bodyart Sydney Entertainment Australia Gaming Promotions Publicity


Today was opening day for the most high profile and succesful gaming (as in gambling) expo in Australia - the Australasian Gaming Expo, which is being hosted by the Sydney Convention Centre at Darling Harbour.

It's an important time for the gaming industry in Australia with all the regulation elements, responsible gambling initiative and such, and as you would expect most of the big boys of the industry were on hand to show off their wares, with some exhibitors demonstrating considerable creative flair to help showoff their latest and greatest wares.

Our friends at Human Statue Bodyart had a couple of body models made up in bodypaint (Anastasia and Victoria as butterfly's) - complete with wings, for leading gaming brand Paltronics.

The expo centre itself is huge - 15,000 square metres (about the size of an Aussie Rules football oval) and this provided more than ample opportunity for over 750 slot games aka "pokies" to strut their stuff.

The Australasian Gaming Expo is by far the biggest event of its type in Australia and one of the world’s biggest.

We learned through the grapevine that a trip for 2 to Las Vegas will be won by a lucky visitor on each of the 3 days of the Expo, and this is compliments of the Gaming Technologies Association which owns the event.

Over 8,000 people have registered to attend and Day 1 attracted a health crowd, seeings thousands of interested folks, and no doubt a few punters, check through the gates.


Human Statue Bodyart helps make Paltronics...

Gaming firm Paltronics was looking for their fair share of attention by having a few body models made up in forest like bodypaint attire to compliment their selection of games.

There's little doubt that folks Paltronics knew that competitors of sorts, IGT, were going all out with an Elvis promotion (including imitator), and may have also noted their 'Sex In The City' promotional stand from last years show.

It's always good to see Australian companies such as Paltronics take on international giants such as IGT and promotional models are just one of the weapons that gaming companies will continue to employ in the high stakes world of electronic gaming, and the folks from the Human Statue Bodyart creative arts agency certainly helped Paltronics make a positive splash today.

We hear that more bodypainted models are on the cards tomorrow and for the duration of the gaming expo, so be sure to check the stands.


Shuffle Master promotes The Flintstones Slot...

"We are thrilled to be able to offer such an iconic brand as The Flintstones and we feel confident that it will take center stage at the show," said Adrian Halpenny, President of Shuffle Master Australasia. "Our game development team worked very hard to deliver a final product that demonstrated meticulous attention to detail in order to maintain the high quality and authenticity of the television series. As a result, The Flintstones is a breakthrough product that is not only highly enjoyable to play as a traditional gaming machine, but also brings the much-loved characters to life with entertaining and engaging features."

Since debuting on American television, The Flintstones has endured as one of the most recognized cartoon TV shows of all time and is still shown on TV around the world. The beloved characters of The Flintstones have been a part of our childhoods for decades, and this new game allows us to play and interact with them in new and exciting ways.

Preston Kevin Lewis, Managing Director of Warner Bros. Consumer Products ANZ, said, "It is testament to the enduring nature of The Flintstones brand that the likes of Fred, Barney, Wilma and Betty continue to reach new audiences in diverse areas. Shuffle Master is one of the world's leading gaming suppliers and we're sure these fantastic machines will provide consumers with yet another opportunity to fall in love with The Flintstones."

Designed to make a big impact on the gaming floor with its broad appeal, The Flintstones is a three-level standalone progressive, low-denomination product with a suite of exciting base games and attractive jackpot prizes. It also introduces Shuffle Master's patented new "mini-reel" feature trigger that ignites the player's anticipation during game play.

The game offers three interactive bonus features that provide players with the chance to win jackpots and credit prizes. Each bonus feature evokes classic scenes from the original TV show, such as the ten-pin challenge at Bedrock Bowl, the family night out at The Drive-In and the antics of Fred Flintstone's lovable pet dinosaur in Dino's Dig.

Every element has been carefully crafted to captivate players. The Flintstones will feature themed door trims with matching halo lighting, a unique character marquee with a built-in LCD top box, and re-mastered music and sound effects from the original TV show. The three launch games - Lioness, Peacock Garden and Tiger Power - will be supplemented with more games from Shuffle Master on an ongoing basis to keep the installations fresh and exciting.


Press Release...

IGT Highlights Innovative 3D Gaming Technology and a Star-studded Gaming Lineup at the Australasian Gaming Expo...

LAS VEGAS, Aug. 20, 2012 -- International Game Technology (NYSE:IGT), a global leader in casino gaming entertainment and systems technology, announced today it will deliver new industry firsts for Australia's gaming enthusiasts at the Australasian Gaming Expo (AGE) Aug. 21 – 23 at the Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre in Sydney, Australia.

IGT will launch the 3D gaming technology MLD™ (Multi-Layer Display™), paired with the unveiling of one of the world's most iconic pop culture brands, Elvis The King®. This new title is now available in Australia exclusively on the IGT bluechip Neo® Tower Top cabinet after successful launches in other global markets, along with many new games and products.

"IGT continues to provide our customers with strong game performance, the widest variety of games, the latest in systems innovation and world-class service, all of which will be on display at AGE," said Eric Tom, IGT executive vice president of Global Sales.

"Our research indicates that many players are entertainment seekers who are attracted to iconic brands and IGT delivers this with our pop culture hit Elvis The King®. This game has been adapted to suit the Australasian players' playing style. The 3D capabilities of MLD with Elvis The King® also provides venues with a strong differentiator as they look to broaden gaming's appeal and provide something special for players," said Tom. "Elvis The King® is packed with multiple features and number one hits."

IGT's 3D MLD™ screens take gaming to another dimension in play. The 3D effect is simulated because the content exists on two separate LCD panels; one in front of the other which gives a depth of field, with game elements appearing and moving between the front and back screens. This allows for new game play options and heightened entertainment.

The line-up of over fifty games at AGE reflects IGT's re-invigorated game design strategy with the legendary performance of games such as Siberian Storm® and Dangerous Beauty®. Additional games debuting at AGE include:

Black Widow® – a low denomination game with a 'web capture' feature during free games for the chance to accumulate additional credits.

Dakota Thunder® - featuring the 'Thunder Shudder'.

A global leader in casino gaming entertainment and systems technology, IGT provides a holistic solution to the industry and its strength in gaming management systems and new interactive technologies will also be showcased at AGE.

The IGT Advantage Club® System will be demonstrated with new technologies such as Service Window, a small window that appears on the left hand side of the screen. The Service Window can be used for personalized player messaging and for service requests, adding a unique level of service for venues with the IGT system. The IGT Advantage Club® system is proving to be a winner with clubs in New South Wales.

IGT will again be playing host to industry experts who will present a range of topics including game floor design, customer service and systems. For more details on the free business seminar sessions visit www.igt.com.au/AGE12.


About IGT
International Game Technology (NYSE: IGT) is a global leader in casino gaming entertainment and continues to transform the industry by translating casino player experiences to social, mobile and interactive environments for regulated markets around the world. IGT's recent acquisition of Double Down Interactive provides engaging casino style entertainment to more than 5 million players monthly. More information about IGT is available at www.IGT.com or connect with IGT at @IGTNews or www.facebook.com/IGT.

© EPE, Reg. U.S. Pat & TM O_.

Dangerous Beauty and Black Widow were created by High 5 Games. For more information on High 5 Games, go to www.High5games.com

Pure Depth™, MLD®, Multi-Layer Display® and Actual Depth™ are trademarks or registered trademarks of Pure Depth, Inc. All other trademarks are registered trademarks or the property of their respective owners without the intent to infringe. www.puredepth.com. All trademarks or registered trademarks are owned by IGT (Australia) Pty. Limited or its related entities. All information is subject to change without notice. Game type availability is subject to jurisdictional approval.

Websites

Australasian Gaming Expo

Gaming Technologies Association

PALtronics Australasia

Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre

Human Statue Bodyart

Human Statue Bodyart Flickr

Eva Rinaldi Photography Flickr

Eva Rinaldi Photography

Media Man News

Website Network

Media Man Int

Media Man

Media Man News

Media Man Entertainment

Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Big One At PartyCasino At Record Level Of Over $6 Million; bwin enters into digital partnership with Manchester United

Pig's Don't Fly but They Ride Motorbikes!

Profiles

PartyCasino.com PartyPoker.com Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment Slots

The Big One at PartyCasino, the world's largest online casino, currently stands at an unprecedented level of over $6 million - the biggest jackpot currently up for grabs in the online gaming industry and a record high for the site. The previous record jackpot record was hit back in May 2011 when a female customer who had only opened an account nine days before scooped a whopping $4,445,947.4!

The Big One is structured as a five-tiered pool. The highest tier-Colossal Cash-seeds at $1.5 million, the biggest online jackpot seed in the industry. Games in which 'The Big One' can be won include Melon Madness, Snowbusiness, Loot'EnKhuman and the more recently introduced 'Going Nuts' with its screaming squirrels. Now they are joined by brand new slot Roadhogs!

Roadhogs is a five reel, 50 line cartoon slot featuring, you guessed, pigs on motorbikes! The feature is triggered when three or more scattered bike symbols appear anywhere in view - there the player gets to choose any one bike which reveals the number of free spins and multipliers the player has won.

"First it was crazy nutty squirrels and now it is pigs on motorbikes - who thought they could make you a millionaire? Someone is going to seriously have their head in the trough if they scoop over $6 million so get your motor running and head up on the highway!"

PartyCasino.com has the most frequent game launches in the industry and offers over 160 games, including over 100 slots. PartyCasino.com pays out easily over $10 million EVERY DAY to players.

Websites

PartyCasino.com

PartyPoker.com


16 August 2012

bwin enters into digital partnership with Manchester United

Fans offered the chance to win season tickets for United’s twentieth title hunt


bwin, Europe’s leading sports book, today announces a new agreement with Manchester United to become the club’s official online gaming and betting partner. The partnership was launched today at Old Trafford with Man Utd’s manager Sir Alex Ferguson, along with players Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic and Wayne Rooney.

The initial three-year deal will increase the profile of bwin in the UK and many other countries, reinforcing its position as Europe’s leading sports betting brand in football. The sponsorship package positions bwin at the centre of promotional activities for the world’s most popular football club and includes the integration of bwin into United’s website, the creation of co-branded social gaming products, match day perimeter board signage, access to players for marketing campaigns, a range of in-stadia initiatives including bwin-branded betting kiosks and other marketing rights.

To celebrate the coming together of Manchester United and Europe’s leading sports book, bwin is offering fans the chance to win two season tickets to all of Man Utd’s 19 Premier League home games as the Red Devils go for an unparalleled twentieth league title. Runners-up prizes also include 20 signed shirts and 20 free £100 bets. To take part, all fans need to do is place £5 on any Manchester United related bet from a new or existing bwin.com account. Full details can be found at bwin.com/manutd and further updates on Twitter using the hashtag #backmanutd.

Welcoming the deal, Norbert Teufelberger, Co-CEO of bwin’s parent company bwin.party, said:

“Manchester United is one of the biggest names in world sport with a global fan base running into hundreds of millions. We share a passion for football that has always been at the heart of our long term brand development strategy.

“As Europe’s leading online sports betting operator, football is fundamental to our long-term success, making up approximately half of our total sports betting revenue of €261m in 2011.

“As well as supporting our real money gaming business, the agreement complements our recent move into social gaming. Man Utd has 569 million followers outside of Europe, providing us with a great opportunity to offer jointly designed and innovative products in countries that do not yet allow real money online sports betting.”

Manchester United’s Commercial Director, Richard Arnold said:

“bwin has an established and reputable reputation in online gaming in Europe and Manchester United is pleased to be bringing that model to not only the 75,000 football fans who visit Old Trafford each week, but also our huge global audience.

“Like Manchester United, bwin is a leader in its market. It offers an enhanced betting experience with engaging content, utilising the latest technologies and bringing something new to the UK market. This, along with the company’s knowledge of football, is why we chose to align ourselves with bwin and we are looking forward to a successful partnership.”

Website Network

Media Man Int

Media Man Entertainment

Casino News Media

Global Gaming Directory

Media Man Games

Media Man News Update


Profiles Casinos Gaming News Media Man Int News Financial News Casino News Entertainment News Wrestling News

News

PartyCasino Wins Media Man Online Casino Award

PartyPoker And PartyCasino Owner bwin.party Digital Entertainment Plans Return to US Market

The joker in the Packer

Critic's choice: the week ahead in TV

Australia's Echo says full-year net profit at A$42.2 mln

Sacked Star casino boss paid almost $200,000

The Gathering of the Juggalos

Report: CM Punk To Be Aligned With Paul Heyman?, Another Interesting Pairing

Linda McMahon, 2012 Senate Candidate, Wins Connecticut Bid In Race To Replace Joe Lieberman

WWE Pays Tribute To 'Macho Man' Randy Savage, 'Raw 1,000' DVD And Blu-ray Scheduled

Jake 'The Snake' Roberts Discusses Working With Savage, 'Taker, Warrior Costing Him Money, More

Jake 'The Snake' Roberts Discusses His First WWF Run, Hating Snakes, Changing His Physique, More

Former WWE Superstar Speaks Out About WWE's New Top 50 Villains In History List

WWE's Top 50 List of All-Time Villains

Roddy Piper Responds To Being Ranked #1 Villain In Wrestling, Talks Piper's Pit

Actor Attends WWE NXT Event, Potential TNA Star Attending WWE Tryout, Birthdays

WWE Launches Mobile Apps For On-Demand Video And Second-Screen Viewing

The Trump brand moves beyond real estate to sunglasses, bottled water, chocolate bars

"Expendables 2" Cast Talk Muscles, Machine Guns and the "Magic" of Stallone

Hawkins 'in the round' launches spring

Business and finance calendar August 20-24

Tatts sues Vic government for compensation

10 of the world's top airport lounges

Obama: Biden dust up reveals "WWF wrestling part of politics"

World Wrestling Entertainment to co-produce new Scooby Doo film

Google crashes Monster man's party

'The Avengers 2': Vin Diesel To Play Vision In Superhero Sequel?

WWE NXT Star Getting His PHD, Kaitlyn Interviews The Day Cast, WWE On GetGlue

Dwayne Johnson hangs out with Gina Carano in set photo from Fast and the Furious 6

'The Wolverine' Movie, Official Plot Revealed

Outdoor gambling areas escape new smoking ban

Media Man News Archive

Publicist attacked by poison pen

Give him a tingle

Victims' misery a goldmine for chequebook TV

Big Bother

Putting a new spin on an old sales pitch

Whitewash whisper leaves Tingle in the ear

Strong local content

Media Man considering trade sale; open to advisors

Website Network

Media Man Int

Media Man

Media Man Entertainment

Casino News Media

Media Man News

Global Gaming Directory

Media Man Games

Monday, August 6, 2012

Casino News Media: Sydney, Australia; UK, Fiji, Macau, California, U.S

Profiles

Crown Limited Casinos James Packer Property Hotels PartyCasino.com Affiliate Programs Advertising

Crown Limited Does Deal With Barangaroo In Sydney...

In big news today, James Packer’s Crown Limited (ASX: CWN) has struck a deal to build a $1 billion hotel development at Barangaroo, on Sydney’s foreshore. Crown signed an agreement with the developer, Lend Lease Limited (ASX: LLC) earlier today, but said it will only go ahead if Crown gains approval to including VIP gambling facilities (in other words – a casino). Just yesterday, Crown announced that it was spending up to $568m to build a six star hotel at its Burswood casino in Perth.


Work on Fijis first ever Casino to begin...

Work on Fiji’s first casino will begin this month as investors will meet to give contracts to local companies in Denarau this week.

One Hundred Sands – the company behind the project has managed to raise $400million for construction.

However the initial projections for phase one of the project which will see the construction of a convention center, casino and resort is $290m.

Managing Director Larry Claunch says overseas investors are often given misconceptions about Fiji’s investment potential by local private sectors.

“There has been a lot of criticism if we could raise the money in a timely fashion – we have, criticism and comments if we can finish on time – we will – its going to be probably a fastest development anybody has ever seen and it going to be fun to watch.”

Claunch says the current government played a vital role for this investment.

“I didn’t come to Fiji with a though of developing a casino or anything for that matter – I really just came here to eat fresh fish – but after seeing the vision of this government I knew everything was possible and I was all in.”

Five hundred locals will be employed during the construction and around 600 to 850 will be employed at the casino.

The new casino is expected to begin operation from September next year.


Aspers Casino looks forward to end of Games...

Though it’s happening right on the doorstep of his company’s flagship casino, Richard Noble is looking forward to when the 2012 London ­Olympic Games finish.

The chief operating officer of Aspers Group – a joint venture between the Australian Securities Exchange-listed Crown and the Aspinall family, which operates Aspers Casino at Westfield Stratford City next to Olympic Park – says weekly takings and average visitor numbers are down about 20 per cent in the first week of the Games.

When Aspers at Westfield Stratford City, the country’s largest casino, opened on December 1 last year, Noble told The Australian Financial Review it was immediately popular. “In our first three days we had 30,000 visitors which was about 100 per cent above our business case. After that we were averaging 25,000-30,000 visitors per week. But in the last few months we’ve seen the three carparks here at the Westfield get cut down to one and now it is none, so we have been adversely affected.”

There have been restrictions placed on visitor numbers to Westfield Stratford by the London Olympic Games Organising Committee (LOCOG). These include only Games ticket holders being allowed access to Westfield between 8.30am and 5pm on Friday and Saturday.

Noble says this cut down on the ability of regular Aspers patrons to visit the casino. He said it also affecting the numbers of people in the local area attracted to Westfield during the Games, who could have potentially visited the casino for the first time. LOCOG is also likely to institute another similar “lock-out” later this year due to fears about congestion at the mall, which is between Olympic Park and public transport links.

With the Olympics not providing the boost in business once hoped, Noble says Aspers will now concentrate its marketing efforts on the post-Games period. “On the 18th of ­September, after the Olympics and then the Paralympics are over, we will be having a huge relaunch.”

Noble says the casino concentrates on a high volume of customers who spend relatively little. It has a catchment area of 4.1 million people.

“And that is just in the east and the area around, north to Luton and east to Southend,” he said.

“But what’s been surprising and also delightful is that we’ve managed to get a lot of visitors from the west of London as well.”

A change to British gaming laws in 2007 allowed for the casino to be built without previous restrictions that meant patrons had to become members. Aspers also owns casinos in Newcastle, Swansea and Northampton and is planning to open a new venue in Milton Keynes in 2003.

Overall, he says Aspers is pleased about how the Stratford business has performed given it has already expanded since its December 2011 opening. It now has 57 gaming tables, the highest number in Britain, up from 38 when it opened. It has room to accommodate 80 tables. There are also now 138 electronic gaming terminals, up from 92. The site will soon feature a bespoke poker room to go with the sports bar, VIP bar and terrace, which has been hired out to corporate clients for the Games.

But Noble, who is otherwise enjoying the Games, can’t wait until September. “Some of our patrons are not able to get here at the moment but that will change once all this is over.” (The Australian Financial Review)


Police detain 150 in Macau casino raids amid fears of new gang war...

HONG KONG (Reuters) - Police detained more than 150 people in weekend raids on casinos and hotels in Macau after a recent spate of killings raised fears of a new gang war in the world's largest gambling destination.

The former Portuguese territory was gripped by gang wars in the late 1990s and the recent murder of three people in two weeks, thought linked to the gambling industry, comes just months ahead of the release from jail of triad boss "Broken Tooth" Wan Kuok-koi, who wreaked havoc at that time.

About 1,300 people were rounded up on Friday and Saturday in Macau and 150 of those were taken in for questioning in the operation codenamed "Thunderbolt".

"This operation is an annual exercise to maintain public security. It is a joint exercise undertaken by police in Guangdong province, Macau and Hong Kong to crack down and prevent crime in this region," a Macau police spokeswoman said.

In Hong Kong, police raided 21 locations on August 2 as part of the joint operation and arrested 130 people on suspicion of various crimes including money laundering involving HK$300 million (24.77 million pounds), illegal gambling and prostitution.

Police also seized cash, watches and cars worth more than HK$11 million.

The Macau raids came just weeks after a Chinese woman was found murdered in a residential area minutes away from the cavernous gambling halls of gaming magnate Sheldon Adelson's Venetian casino.

That followed the murders of two Chinese nationals at the five-star Grand Lapa hotel in Macau, a one-hour ferry ride from Hong Kong, and an attack at the end of June on a senior figure in Macau's junket industry, which extends credit to rich gamblers.

By contrast, only five homicide cases were recorded between June 2011 and May 2012, according to Macau police statistics.

Macau, which like Hong Kong is a special administrative region of China, has boomed since the 1999 handover from Portugal, with Las Vegas moguls including Adelson and Steve Wynn setting up glitzy casino hotels.

That growth, however, has slowed significantly in the past three months, forcing junket operators into more aggressive debt-collecting tactics.

Many of the smaller junket companies, which collect gambling debts in exchange for a commission from casino operators, are struggling to stay in business.


IGT partners with California casino...

American computerised gaming equipment designer and manufacturer International Game Technology (IGT) has signed a deal that will see the Golden Acorn Casino and Travel Center in California host an online casino application from its Double Down Interactive subsidiary.

Las Vegas-based IGT purchased the casual games developer in January and revealed that the Golden Acorn Casino is set to utilise its technology in order to offer casino players free-play gaming experiences.

“Golden Acorn recognises the opportunity to provide gaming entertainment to its players across various channels,” said Eric Tom, Global Sales Executive Vice-President for IGT.

“This solution is allowing it to grasp an opportunity to evolve as the landscape of gaming also changes permitting it to drive engaging gameplay directly to its casino guests and fans of the Golden Acorn Casino and Travel Center brand.”

IGT stated that the revenue sharing partnership will see Golden Acorn use its own website in order provide players with a ‘truly convergent gaming experience’ that is to include access to a ‘full-casino-style offering of games in one convenient place’.

“Offering the same game titles on the web that we offer inside our casino gives us the unique opportunity to deliver fun and engaging casino-style experiences to our players,” said David Baggerly, Marketing Director for Golden Acorn Casino and Travel Center, which is located 47 miles from downtown San Diego near the Mexican border.

“This is an incredible chance to drive interactive slot culture to our players while allowing them to stay connected to our brand.”

Guests at the Golden Acorn will be able to enjoy online social versions of Texas hold‘em poker in addition to some of IGT's top-performing slot titles including Da Vinci Diamonds and Cleopatra. New games are to be added automatically while first-time users will receive one million dollars in virtual chips.


Development agreement for Bally and High 5 Games...

Bally Technologies has entered into a multi-year agreement with games developer High 5 Games to publish a substantial number of new H5G games under the Bally brand for the worldwide land-based, mobile and online business-to-business casino gaming markets.

“We’re excited to partner with a game creator that has such a world-class track record of developing high-performing and engaging game content,” said Jean Venneman, Vice President of Product Management and Licensing at Bally Technologies. “We look forward to leveraging H5G’s newest game content to help casino operators across the world drive revenues and delight players.”

Ramesh Srinivasan, Bally's President and Chief Operating Officer, added, “The partnership with H5G reflects our commitment to delivering best-of-breed, cross-platform game content to our customers. This promise is reflected in the more than 25 game studios we have established across the globe, augmented by relationships with proven game developers like H5G that enable us to deliver a diverse array of creative, interactive, and exciting game content.”

“We are delighted to partner with Bally Technologies, a long-time leader in the casino gaming industry,” said Anthony Singer, Chief Executive Officer of H5G. “With Bally’s sophisticated new ALPHA 2 game platform, and a new Bally Interactive division committed to mobile, online, and social business-to-business game content, we believe that the sky is the limit for this next generation of H5G games.”


Bwin.party Digital Entertainment Plc : The bearish trend should continue...

07/18/2012
Opinion : Bearish under 115.5 GBp
Target price : 83.4 GBp
Stop loss: 115.5 GBp
LONDON STOCK EXCHANGE

Bwin.party (BPTY) was formed from the merger of bwin Interactive Entertainment AG and PartyGaming Plc in March 2011 to create the world’s largest listed online gaming. Incorporated and licensed in Gibraltar, the Group has over 2,700 employees across Europe, India, Israel and the US. It commands leading market positions in each of four product: online sports betting, poker, casino and bingo with some of the world’s biggest online gaming brands including bwin, PartyPoker, PartyCasino and Foxy Bingo.

A month ago, we forecasted a downtrend with a target price at GBp 102. This target was reached and we reiterate our opinion. In a bearish trend, BPTY continues to decline.

From a fundamental viewpoint, the group is in a bad financial situation. Analysts have recently downgraded their forecasts for earnings per share. This indicator is often a precursor of a declining profitability and a worsening climate of investor confidence. Even if the company has a lot of cash, it is overvalued : BPTY’s PER for 2012 is 38.9x and 16.3x for 2013 and growth rates are low.

From a technical viewpoint, prices are in a downward trend. Moving averages are trending down and put pressure on the stock, which confirms this downward momentum. This trend may continue toward the GBp 95 support. Moreover, the security is testing a pivot point at GBp 102.6 in weekly data and the significant breakdown of this level would be a new bearish signal.

Taking into account fundamental and technical elements, investors can initiate a short position in BPTY with a first target price at GBp 95. If the security crosses this level, the second target price will be the long term support at GBp 83.4. A return towards GBp 115.5, the short-term resistance area, will invalidate the bearish strategy, which justifies a stop loss. (4 Traders)

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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Virgin Games review

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• Hone your bluffing skills at Virgin Games Poker, part of the International Poker Network (IPN). Our Poker room launched in 2005 and is an exciting place to challenge peers and strangers alike on a wide range of online Poker games: Texas hold’em, Omaha, and many more.

Virgin Games provide a safe and sound online gaming environment, with security our top priority. We have achieved exemplary standards in player protection and social responsibility, and have been awarded the GamCare Certification for Remote Gambling.

* Media Man has an online b2b agreement with Virgin Games, as they do with a number of entertainment, gaming and business brands.

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Crown wants world's best hotel for Sydney

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Billionaire casino mogul James Packer says he will build the world's best hotel in Sydney if he gets approval to include a gambling facility for high rollers in the development.

Mr Packer, the executive chairman of casinos operator Crown Ltd, said on Thursday that Crown wanted to build a hotel at Barangaroo South that would attract millions of tourists to Sydney and create thousands of new jobs.

Barangaroo is a residential, office and parkland development currently under construction on Sydney Harbour.

Crown and Lend Lease, the developer of Barangaroo, have signed a two-year exclusive dealing arrangement for the hotel development, but building approvals are still required from the NSW government.

"Sydney deserves one of the world's great hotels on its magnificent harbour," Mr Packer said in a statement.

"My desire is for Crown to build the best hotel in the world at Barangaroo."

Mr Packer said Crown wanted to incorporate a "VIP-only" gambling facility into the hotel, which would require approval from the NSW government and gaming authorities.

He said a facility for high rollers was "necessary to provide the commercial underpinning for any development and for the operation of a world-class six-star hotel resort".

Acting NSW Premier Andrew Stoner appeared to welcome Mr Packer's plan to build a world-leading hotel at Barangaroo, but stopped short of commenting on plans for a gambling room.

"The creation of a hotel of this stature would deliver new jobs in construction, off-site manufacturing and the tourism industry, along with hundreds of millions of dollars for the state economy each year," he said.

Crown chief financial officer Ken Barton told AAP that Crown said detailed costing of the project would be developed in the next two years.

He said if Crown was to operate a gaming facility in Sydney it would require the NSW government to issue a new licence, or it would have to be done as part of the existing licence which is held by Echo Entertainment Group, the operator of The Star casino in Sydney.

"I guess that's part of the two-year program as well: working through a licensing scenario," Mr Barton said.

"If the NSW government were to issue another licence between now and November 2019, it would be exposed to a requirement to pay compensation to Echo."

Asked if Crown had engaged with the NSW government to sound out its attitude towards a second licence, Mr Barton said: "Not in any conclusive way."

Crown operates casinos in Melbourne and Perth and is pushing for a presence in Sydney, where it holds a stake of around 10 per cent in Echo.

Crown has applied to regulators in NSW and Queensland for permission to lift its stake in Echo to up to 25 per cent.

Crown has been upgrading its casinos in Melbourne and Perth in a move to entice more high-rolling VIP gamblers from Asia.

It is planning to spend $568 million building a new six-star hotel at its Burswood complex in Perth.

Shares in Crown closed eight cents lower at $8.39 on Thursday. (AAP)

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Casino News Media: Crown to expand Burswood casino, Entertainment News, gaming, movies...

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Crown to expand Burswood casino...

Casino operator Crown will spend $568 million on a new luxury hotel at its Burswood complex in Perth.

The James Packer-controlled company said Crown Towers Hotel would be the largest in Perth, and create 500 new jobs once completed, plus 700 construction jobs.

Construction of the hotel tower will begin in 2013, with completion expected in 2016.
The development will be built on land currently owned by Burswood, plus land to be bought from the West Australian government for $60 million.

As part of its land purchase agreement with the government, Crown will be allowed to operate an additional 500 poker machines and 130 gaming tables at the Burswood casino.

The new gaming tables and machines will be rolled out over the next five years.

"The new hotel comes at a time when Perth and Western Australia are in desperate need of additional luxury hotel and short term accommodation to satisfy the demands of business travellers and tourists and will put Perth firmly back on the map for leisure travellers seeking exclusive, resort-style experiences," Crown said in a statement.

Some regulatory approvals are required before construction can begin. (AAP)


Packer plans 6-star casino in Perth...

James Packer has vowed not to undertake further luxury hotel-casino developments in Australia without bipartisan support after yesterday securing the backing of the West Australian government to spend $568 million to develop Perth's first six-star hotel.

The hotel, to be built on the Burswood Peninsula and called Crown Towers in line with the flagship in Melbourne, will feature 500 rooms as well as restaurants, bars, resort and convention facilities and take capacity at the casino precinct to 1200 rooms.


Crown set to join the Birdcage party at Melbourne Cup...

Business and gambling mogul James Packer has taken the lead by launching a Crown Casino corporate hospitality marquee in the Birdcage at this year's Melbourne Cup.

Race organisers have been flooded with sponsorship and hospitality deals that will push this year's spring racing carnival revenues 20 per cent above those before the global financial crisis.

It is believed the Victorian Racing Committee, the organiser of the carnival and the race that stops the nation, will soon unveil Crown Casino as a new marquee sponsor at the Melbourne Cup for 2012, along with another 18 new corporate private marquee clients at Flemington.

The decision by Crown to launch its Birdcage tent, which will be along millionaires' row that hugs the racetrack and overlooks the finish line, is part of a broader and deeper push by businesses to hook up sponsorship deals with the 2012 Melbourne Cup as well as ongoing deals that will now stretch out to 2015.

It is understood the Crown Casino marquee will have catering from some of the casino's best restaurants, such as Japanese eatery Nobu, part owned by Hollywood actor Robert De Niro, and popular French establishment Bistro Guillaume.

G. H. Mumm has just re-signed as official champagne sponsor for the next five years, The Age can reveal, while other new or extended sponsorship contracts have been inked by vitamins group Swisse, National Australia Bank, Yellowglen and Australia's largest brewer, Lion.

According to VRC documents, a suite of popular corporate sponsorships for this year's Cup, now less than 100 days away, have already sold out, including the Winning Post enclosure for Cup day, Trackside Enclosure on Stakes day and the private boxes for Derby and Cup days.

This has helped the VRC push its carnival sponsorship revenue up 19.4 per cent on pre-global financial crisis levels, while corporate hospitality revenue is up 32 per cent on 2009.

A study conducted by the consultancy group, IER, claims that the four days at Flemington generated a value-added contribution to Victoria's gross state product of more than $164.5 million - a figure that captures money injected into the Victorian economy from out-of-state visitors.

Victorian businesses also benefited from the $349 million in financial stimulus generated by the carnival, according to the report, while nationally, the economic output generated by spending associated with the carnival reached more than $746 million.

Fashion spending also increased, with racegoers spending $28.5 million ($26 million in 2010) in Victoria on items to wear to the Melbourne Cup carnival, representing an average outlay of $149.78 for each racegoer at Flemington.

Meanwhile, Black Caviar - whose presence at the track would provide a further significant fillip for Victorian racing - is undergoing a battery of tests to determine whether she will continue to race.

After she crowned her unbeaten career with a dramatic win in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot last month, Black Caviar was found to have suffered a number of muscle injuries.

Trainer Peter Moody and the mare's owners are expected to decide soon whether her racing career is over. (Fairfax Media)


Social concerns over proposed casino expansion...

The social welfare charity Anglicare is concerned about plans to add another 500 poker machines and more than 100 gaming tables to the Burswood Casino.

Yesterday it was announced that a 500 room, six-star hotel is set to be built alongside the Burswood casino complex in Perth.

The State Government has sold the land to the James Packer-owned company Crown for $60 million.

The hotel will cost nearly $500 million to build and is due to open in mid 2016.

Crown is also applying for an additional 500 gaming machines and 130 gaming tables.

Anglicare's chief executive Ian Carter says the impact the extra gaming machines will have on families should not be underplayed.

"We don't need an expansion of more opportunities for people to lose money," he said.

"We need to be clear here that the potential for family and marriage break down and for people to get into significant financial difficulty is associated with problem gambling.

"It's an issue in our community we're seeing increasing evidence of gambling opps being made available."

The new development also spells the end of the Burswood golf course.

Jeff McCann from the Burswood Residents Action Group, which has been lobbying to keep the course, says the news has come from left field.

"In many respects we feel deceived and we're very very disappointed," he said.

However, the Premier Colin Barnett has welcomed the development, saying the project will help ease the accommodation shortage in Perth.

"I am told it will be the best hotel in Australia by a significant margin and will do so much to help overcome the high quality shortage of hotel rooms in Perth," he said.

The Tourism Minister Kim Hames says it will help combat the shortage but more needs to be done.

"This will be the start of the change in this," he said.

"We will continue to work as a Government with other sites such as the Elizabeth Quay Development, the sinking of the railway line, East Perth development and of course we have recently announced the FESA house development.

"They will provide opportunities for the future to further address the hotel needs we have in this state." (ABC News)


Six star hotel to be built in Perth...

A 500 room six-star hotel is set to be built alongside the Burswood casino complex in Perth.

The State Government has sold the land to the James Packer-owned company Crown for $60 million.

The hotel will cost nearly $500 million to build and is due to open in mid 2016.

Crown is also applying for an additional 500 gaming machines and 130 gaming tables.

WA Premier Colin Barnett says the development will create 700 construction jobs and a further 500 once the hotel is completed.

"I am told it will be the best hotel in Australia by a significant margin and will do so much to help overcome the high quality shortage of hotel rooms in Perth," he said.

The Tourism Minister Kim Hames says it will help combat the shortage but more needs to be done.

"This will be the start of the change in this," he said.

"We will continue to work as a Government with other sites such as the Elizabeth Quay Development, the sinking of the railway line, East Perth development and of course we have recently announced the FESA house development.

"They will provide opportunities for the future to further address the hotel needs we have in this state."


NRL rejects player gambling research...

Gambling counsellor and former Newcastle Knights player Ashley Gordon says the National Rugby League needs to investigate the impacts of gambling on rugby league players.

Mr Gordon says gambling is having a devastating impact on the lives of some players and their families.

As part of his work with Southern Cross University he put forward a proposal to the NRL to conduct research into player gambling, but it's been rejected.

"I think it has been part of the game and part of the culture for too long," he said.

"I think the NRL are aware of this and really we need to take some strong steps to address the problems.

"I would like to see some research done to the players to provide us with the information on their beliefs and their values around gambling and money and so forth and their behaviour.

"That would give us valuable information to then put in programs and structures."

"We gave them a proposal that was knocked on the head.

"They weren't able to come up with the funds to support that initiative.

"I think it is important to provide the NRL with some important information would have been achieved by this research.

"At the moment it's a band aid solution where someone comes out, talks about the issue and we try and help that individual and then we wait for someone else to come forward with another problem. We need to do more."


Accusations cruise ship ran illegal casino...

The New South Wales Government has ordered an investigation into claims a P&O cruise ship ran an illegal floating casino off the state's south coast.

Last weekend, a P&O cruise ship left Sydney on a three-night cruise, including a stop at Jervis Bay.

Passengers say once at sea they could access up to $5,000 from their credit cards to gamble on games including blackjack, poker and roulette.

Under state laws it is only legal to run casinos on ships that are at least 12 nautical miles offshore.

NSW Gaming Minister George Souris says the waters around Jervis Bay are technically Commonwealth territory, but he has asked the Office of Liquor and Gaming to investigate.

"If it turns out that gambling operations were being conducted in New South Wales territorial waters of the coast line then that is indeed a breach," he said.

P&O says it has always worked to operate within the legislative framework.


Packer jet's close encounter with Virgin...

Details have emerged of a close shave between a corporate jet owned by James Packer's Crown Casino and a Virgin Australia passenger aircraft over the skies of Armidale, New South Wales, late last year.

A report from air safety inspectors, released today, reveals that the Gulfstream IV, which is used to fly Asian high-rollers to Crown's Melbourne casino, and the Virgin 737-800 were flying towards each other on air routes which intersected about 35 nautical miles north-west of the city on October 8.

An air traffic controller identified the situation but the instructions issued to the pilot of the Gulfstream meant that the corporate jet was cleared for descent below the level at which the 737 was flying.

The progress towards what air inspectors term a "breakdown of separation" continued when the controller did not recognise the error during the Gulfstream pilot's read-back of the clearance, the report from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau states.

A breakdown of separation occurred about 3pm when the planes got within 4.8 nautical miles (8.9 kilometres) of each other.

The appropriate separation between planes is 5 nautical miles side by side, or 1000 feet vertically.

Fortunately, an automatic alarm was activated seconds later, and the controller issued an alert to the Virgin pilots advising them that the Gulfstream was at 1 o'clock in their line of vision at 4 nautical miles.

"The pilot of the 737 responded that the traffic was sighted and that a traffic alert and collision avoidance system ... traffic advisory alert ... had been received. This was reported to have assisted the pilot to visually sight the descending Gulfstream IV," the report states.

"Subsequently the controller acted correctly to recover from the ensuing breakdown of separation."

The ATSB's general manager of aviation safety investigation, Ian Sangston, said today that the report highlighted the various layers of defence in a complex air-safety system.

"In a complex situation there are a number of layers of defence ... and where there is an inadvertent slip up on the part of the controller, other layers in the system catch the slip," he said.

The report found no evidence the pilots of either aircraft were at fault.

The Virgin jet was flying from Brisbane to Sydney, while the Gulfstream was operating a flight from Melbourne to the Gold Coast Airport at Coolangatta.

The corporate jet is one of three Gulfstreams – two of which are V versions – the casino owns to fly high rollers to Melbourne from destinations throughout Asia.

In a VIP configuration, Crown's corporate jets can seat about 10 people.

Crown controls 80 per cent of the high-roller market in Australia. (Fairfax Media)


Legal questions over latest Echo plan...

Another day, another theory about the carve up of Echo Entertainment, owner of Sydney casino The Star.

Unfortunately, the latest leaked plan from "well placed sources" suffers a major flaw - it is illegal.

For months, speculation and imaginations have run wild, ever since Malaysian casino group Genting snapped up a stake in Echo and gradually lifted it to 10 per cent, rivalling that of James Packer's Crown Group.

The sudden arrival of the Malaysians threw Packer's neat plan - to gain control of Echo without a takeover offer and then use its monopoly casino licence and its balance sheet to build a glittering new gambling den at Barangaroo - into chaos.

Would there be a bidding war? Or would the pair join forces to carve up Echo?

Given Packer's reluctance to stretch his finances, the latter idea has dominated thinking. Earlier this year, there were reports the Malaysians really just wanted a slice of the action in Macau, where Crown has a joint venture on several casinos with the Ho family. A deal was imminent. Or so we were told. No-one could ever explain the twisted logic of why anyone would buy a stake in an Australian casino group in order to get an advantage in Macau.

This week, reports appeared that Crown and Echo will work together to carve up the VIP market for wealthy Asian gamblers.

If true, that would be a major capitulation on the part of the Echo board and a serious about face after its earlier fierce opposition to Packer's plans. It would also possibly raise concerns from the competition regulator.

But the latest theory, that Genting and Crown have hatched a plan to each buy 25 per cent of Echo and then control the company, would represent a serious breach of the Corporations Act.

Such a deal would make the pair related parties. As a result, they would be prohibited from buying any more than 19.9 per cent between them. And should the pair want to extend beyond that, they would either have to jointly launch a takeover or buy 3 per cent every six months through their joint vehicle.

Both groups have requested regulatory approval to lift their holdings beyond the 10 per cent limit enforced by gaming authorities.

Australian Securities and Investments Commission chief Greg Medcraft recently voiced concerns to a parliamentary inquiry about the latest trend towards gaining control of a company by skirting the takeover laws.

He was specifically referring to Echo and Fairfax Media which has been under siege from Gina Rinehart.

These latest reports should be a red flag to the regulator.

Genting put a serious dent in Crown's Asian expansion plans a few years ago when it beat the Packer organisation for the rights to build and operate a massive new casino in Singapore. And it is no stranger to Australia. It was the original operator of Perth's Burswood casino, now owned by Crown, and was an early key investor in the Queensland-based Jupiters Casinos, now owned by Echo.

As your columnist postulated months ago, the more likely scenario is that Genting has built a blocking stake and will attempt to wrestle the three Queensland casinos out of the group if Packer launches a takeover bid.

But that's just another theory. (Fairfax Media)


Crown gambles on six-star hotel in WA...

James Packer has continued to gamble heavily on luring Asian tourists to his Australian casino resorts, with Crown Ltd announcing plans yesterday to spend $568 million building a six-star hotel at its Perth casino.

The deal with the WA government also includes a boost to its gambling facilities. Crown is also seeking permission from NSW and Queensland gaming regulators to increase its stake in Echo Entertainment from 10 per cent to 25 per cent.

The Echo investment is part of another plan to engage its local rival in a joint venture focused on Asian VIP gamblers. Crown intends to create a billion-dollar luxury destination for Asian high rollers at Sydney's showpiece harbour development, Barangaroo, but needs Echo's casino licence - and money - to do it.

Yesterday Crown announced it had an in-principle agreement to pay the WA government $60 million to acquire land for the planned hotel development.

The government has agreed not to oppose an application for 500 additional gaming machines at the Perth casino and 130 additional gaming tables, Crown said. The application will include plans for private gambling salons for VIP gamblers.

The luxury hotel, to be known as Crown Towers Perth, adds to the $2.2 billion Crown is spending on its two Australian casino resorts in a bid to attract Asian VIP gamblers from the strong competition in Singapore and Macau.

''Our goal is to create an integrated resort capable of competing with the best in the Asian region,'' Mr Packer told a Perth audience last year. He has made no secret of the need to invest heavily in luxury accommodation and facilities to compete in the lucrative global market for China's tourists who are displaying an appetite for travel, gourmet food and gambling.

A third of Crown's Australian revenue last year, about $800 million, was generated from international visitors. Most of this revenue comes from high rollers and other VIP-level customers, but the recent opening of two casino resorts in Singapore has affected Crown's business, especially in Perth. The increase in gambling facilities in Perth will be phased in over five years, subject to the approval of the Gaming and Wagering Commission of Western Australia, Crown said.

Construction of the 500-room hotel on a property near the casino will commence early next year and take three years, according to a statement from Crown.

The development is also expected to include restaurants, bars, resort and convention facilities.

The company's shares closed 2¢ higher at $8.47 yesterday. (Fairfax Media)


TEXT-Fitch Affirms Australia's Crown at 'BBB'; Outlook Stable - 30th July 2012...

SYDNEY, July 30 (Fitch) Fitch Ratings has affirmed Crown Limited's (Crown) Long-Term Issuer Default Rating (IDR) and its senior unsecured rating at 'BBB'. The Outlook on the IDR is Stable.

The Australian gaming and entertainment operator's ratings are supported by its strong market position as the sole licensed casino operator in the states of Victoria and Western Australia. Its gaming assets in Melbourne and Perth have demonstrated consistent cash flow generation, which in part reflect stable and predictable local markets that represent over 50% of consolidated revenue.

Crown has outperformed the Australian industry by increasing market share even as total gaming expenditure in the country has grown at a slower pace than inflation. More significantly, the company has achieved this growth in a period of disruption to its operations as it is in the midst of a significant capex programme.

These strengths are offset by the concentration of operating assets in two casinos from which all of Crown's cash generation is derived.

Crown has planned to incur expansionary capex till FY15 (financial year ending June). As most of the capex will be incurred on existing properties, project implementation risk is minimal. Sizable expansionary capex coupled with annual dividend payout would result in Crown continuing to generate negative free cash flow (FCF) till at least end of FY15. However, Fitch does not expect Crown's financial risk (net adjusted debt to operating EBITDAR) to exceed 2.5x (FY11:1.6x) during this period.


What Could Trigger a Rating Action?

Positive: Future developments that may, individually or collectively, lead to a positive rating action include:

-the completion of the extensive capex that Crown is undertaking. This would need to be combined with ongoing evidence that Crown's focus will remain on lower-risk assets

-Net adjusted debt (excluding working capital cash) to EBITDA falls below 1.75x on a sustained basis

Future developments that may, individually or collectively, lead to a negative rating action include:

-Net adjusted debt (excluding working capital cash) to EBITDA increases above 2.5x on a sustained basis.

-Significant negative regulatory action -Additional material funding of investments


Shane McMahon Note...

YOU On Demand Holdings, a leading Pay-Per-View and Video On Demand platform in China of which Shane McMahon is CEO and Chairman, announced today via a press release that it has signed an agreement to offer Paramount Pictures titles through their Video On Demand and Subscription Video On Demand services in the People's Republic of China. The titles that will be available to YOU On Demand customers include Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol, Transformers, No Country For Old Men and Star Trek.

"Paramount Pictures is one of Hollywood's most iconic studios and we are delighted to offer films from its rich library to our customers," said Shane McMahon. "The addition of Paramount's roster now gives YOU On Demand the most vibrant and compelling titles available in the People's Republic of China."


WWE News: Ric Flair's Daughter Reports to FCW...

WWE may have signed their next huge female star.

Women's wrestling website Diva-Dirt reports that Ashley Fliehr Johnson, the daughter of wrestling legend Ric Flair, made her first official appearance for Florida Championship Wrestling at an event a few days ago.

It was first reported back in May that Fliehr had inked a deal with the company and was expected to join FCW imminently. She will follow in the footsteps of second- and third-generation Divas like Natalya Neidhart, Tamina Snuka, and Shaul Guerrero, who are all currently under WWE contract. (Guerrero is still training in developmental, while Snuka and Neidhart have been on the main roster for some time.)

Fliehr, who has a background in personal fitness, previously found herself in the public eye back in 2008 after an embarrassing—and volatile—family argument in her hometown of Chapel Hill, NC, which ended with the then-21-year-old's arrest. She was later sentenced to probation and ordered to pay a $200 fine over the incident.

At the time her signing was announced, it sparked interest in some circles that the aspiring Diva had elected to go to WWE and not TNA, the company to which her father contracted at the time.

Of course, shortly afterwards it was announced that "The Nature Boy" had acrimoniously parted ways with America's No. 2 wrestling promotion, which may have explained the move.

Although Flair's daughter may be on the FCW roster, his own future in WWE remains up in the air. While the promotion would surely love to have the popular and charismatic legend back—and had jumped at the chance to sign his daughter—the current TNA/WWE lawsuit for issues related to contract tampering looks to have prevented his return for the time being.


Movie News: Top Ten based on weekend estimates (USA)...

1. The Dark Knight Rises (Legendary/Warner Bros) Week 2 [4,404 Runs] PG13
Friday $18.0M, Saturday $25.6M, Weekend $64.0M (-60%), Cume $289.0M

2. Ice Age 4 3D (Fox) Week 3 [3,869 Runs) PG
Friday $4.1M, Saturday $5.2M, Weekend $13.3M, Cume $114.8M

3. The Watch (Fox) NEW 3,168 Runs) R
Friday $4.5M, Saturday $4.9M, Weekend $13M

4. Step Up Revolution 3D (Summit/Lionsgate) NEW [2,567 Runs) PG13
Friday $5.0M, Saturday 3.9M, Weekend $11.8M

5. Ted (Universal) Week 5 [3,129 Runs) R
Friday $2.1M, Saturday $3.0M, Weekend $7.3M, Cume $193.6M

6. The Amazing Spider-Man 3D (Col/Sony) Week 4 [3,160 Run]
Friday $1.8M, Saturday $2.9M, Weekend $6.8M, Cume $242.0M

7. Brave 3D (Pixar/Disney) Week 6 [2,551 Runs] PG
Friday $1.2M, Saturday $1.6M, Weekend $4.2M, Cume $217.2M

8. Magic Mike (Warner Bros) Week 5 [2,075 Runs] R
Friday $800K, Saturday $1.0M, Weekend $2.5M, Cume $107.5M

9. Savages (Universal) Week 4 [1,414 Runs] R
Friday $480K, Saturday $742K, Weekend $1.7M, Cume $43.8M

10. Moonrise Kingdom (Focus Features) Week 9 [853 Runs] PG13
Friday $363K, Saturday $614K, Weekend $1.3M, Cume $38.3M


The Critics’ Top 10 Greatest Films of All Time...

1. Vertigo (Hitchcock, 1958)
2. Citizen Kane (Welles, 1941)
3. Tokyo Story (Ozu, 1953)
4. La R├Ęgle du jeu (Renoir, 1939)
5. Sunrise: A Song for Two Humans (Murnau, 1927)
6. 2001: A Space Odyssey (Kubrick, 1968)
7. The Searchers (Ford, 1956)
8. Man With a Movie Camera (Dziga Vertov, 1929)
9. The Passion of Joan of Arc (Dreyer, 1927)
10. 8 ½ (Fellini, 1963)


The Directors’ Top 10 Greatest Films of All Time...

1. Tokyo Story (Ozu, 1953)
2. 2001: A Space Odyssey (Kubrick, 1968)
3. Citizen Kane (Welles, 1941)
4. 8 ½ (Fellini, 1963)
5. Taxi Driver (Scorsese, 1980)
6. Apocalypse Now (Coppola, 1979)
7. The Godfather (Coppola, 1972)
8. Vertigo (Hitchcock, 1958)
9. Mirror (Tarkovsky, 1974)
10. Bicycle Thieves (De Sica, 1948)

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