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Marriott Launches Hong Kong Disneyland New 2-Day Ticket
(Effective 1 March 2012)
the Magical Escape Room Package to Receive a Complimentary
Upgrade to Hong Kong Disneyland 2-Day Ticket
KONG, Feb 23, 2012 - Working closely with Hong Kong
Disneyland Resort as one of its top-performing hotel
partners, SkyCity Marriott proudly launches Hong Kong
Disneyland's new 2-Day Ticket. Guests can now enjoy
two magical visits to the Park with just one ticket.
the new 2-Day Ticket, which costs only HK$100 more
than the 1-Day Ticket, guests can enjoy flexibility
in visiting the Park on any two days within a seven-day
period. With every purchase of any two Hong Kong Disneyland
Tickets at the concierge, guests will receive a complimentary
special edition Toy Story Land Shopping Bag. Both
1-Day and 2-Day Tickets are now available at the hotel's
concierge (refer to appendix A for price table).
mark the launch of the new ticket type, guests who
pre-book the Magical Escape Room Package to stay at
the hotel between 1 March to 30 June 2012 will receive
a complimentary upgrade from the 1-Day Ticket to a
2-Day Ticket as part of this exciting Hong Kong hotel
deal. Guests can take their time to fully explore
the Park and meet their favorite Toy Story friends
in its latest Toy Story Land.
Magical Escape Room Package is available for booking,
Monday to Sunday, from HK$2,088+ per night. The Package
includes a Deluxe Room one-night stay, two adult Hong
Kong Disneyland Park Tickets and buffet breakfast
for two. Reservations can be made through skycitymarriott.com
or by calling (852) 3969 1888 (refer to appendix B
for room package and promotion details).
just 20 minutes away from the Hong Kong Disneyland
Resort, SkyCity Marriott is one of the closest hotels
in Hong Kong to the theme park. Due to its proximity,
our 5 star Hong Kong hotel is popular among local
Hong Kong residents and short-haul leisure travelers
from South East Asia, who wish to visit Hong Kong
Disneyland and experience five-star luxurious accommodations.
Marriott first launched the Magical Escape Room package
in 2009 and it is has been one of the most popular
room packages, especially among families. The room
package has been specially designed to cater to this
market with the inclusion of Hong Kong Disneyland
Park Tickets and buffet breakfast. To provide a seamless
and hassle-free experience, SkyCity Marriott offers
complimentary shuttle bus service to and from the
Hong Kong Disneyland Resort on a daily basis -- 10am
from SkyCity Marriott to the resort, 8:45pm from the
resort to SkyCity Marriott.
addition to our unparalleled holiday offer for families
and leisure travelers, guests can also enjoy the hotel's
five-star facilities -- 24-hour gym, 27-meter indoor
heated swimming pool, sauna, steam room and Jacuzzi.
For golf enthusiast, the SkyCity Nine Eagles Golf
Course is at the door-step of the hotel. Traveling
out of the hotel is convenient with complimentary
shuttle bus service to Tung Chung MTR station and
the Airport. To reach town, guest can take the Airport
Express Line, which is connected to the hotel via
Hong Kong SkyCity Marriott Hotel Nestled on the edge
of Lantau Island and on banks of the South China Sea,
the Hong Kong SkyCity Marriott Hotel offers a refreshing
escape from the bustling city. A five-star luxury
hotel, the Hong Kong SkyCity Marriott Hotel provides
luxurious accommodations with 658 guest rooms, 13
premium meeting rooms for corporate events, houses
five restaurants for a variety of dining options and
offers pampering spa treats at the boutique Quan Spa.
Transportation to the hotel is a breeze as the hotel
is located next to the Hong Kong International Airport
and is just a 28-minute train ride (Airport Express
Line) away from Hong Kong's central business district.
For the leisure travelers, they can enjoy the convenience
of the hotel being located near Hong Kong's famous
tourist attractions -- Disneyland, Ngong Ping 360
and the Tian Tan Buddha. This modern day oasis is
perfect for conferences, business travelers and leisure
guests seeking the best of both worlds -- the luxury
and convenience of contemporary living set in peaceful
Hong Kong Disneyland Hong Kong Disneyland Resort offers
immersive, unique Disney experiences for all families,
generations and ages to enjoy. Hong Kong is one of
only five locations in the world that is home to a
Disney theme park and the many Disney characters that
are beloved the world over, such as Mickey, Minnie,
Donald, Stitch and Buzz Lightyear. Since the Grand
Opening in September 2005, Hong Kong Disneyland has
received more than 31 million Guests from around the
globe. Through the unique product offering and the
world-class service provided by the 5,000 strong Cast
at the theme park and the two hotels, the Resort has
received outstanding Guest satisfaction ratings and
a range of awards from the hospitality and entertainment
is the world's largest and most populous continent
or region, depending on the definition. It covers
8.6% of the Earth's total surface area, or 29.4% of
its land area, and it contains more than 60% of the
world's human population.
is traditionally defined as part of the landmass of
Africa-Eurasia with the western portion of
the latter occupied by Europe lying east of
the Suez Canal, east of the Ural Mountains, and south
of the Caucasus Mountains and the Caspian and Black
The word Asia entered English, via Latin, from Ancient
Greek (Asia; see also List of traditional Greek place
names). This name is first attested in Herodotus (about
440 BC), where it refers to Anatolia; or, for the
purposes of describing the Persian Wars, to the Persian
Empire, in contrast to Greece and Egypt. Herodotus
comments that he is puzzled as to why three women's
names are used to describe one land mass (Europa,
Asia and Libya, referring to Africa), stating that
most Greeks assumed that Asia was named after the
wife of Prometheus but that the Lydians say it was
named after Asias, son of Cotys who passed the name
on to a tribe in Sardis.
before Herodotus, Homer knew of a Trojan ally named
Asios, son of Hyrtacus, a ruler over several towns,
and elsewhere he describes a marsh as as??? (Iliad
2, 461). The Greek term may be derived from Assuwa,
a 14th century BC confederation of states in Western
Anatolia. Hittite assu- = "good" is probably
an element in that name.
the ultimate etymology of the term may be from the
Akkadian word (w)a?û(m), which means "to
go out" or "to ascend", referring to
the direction of the sun at sunrise in the Middle
East, and also likely connected with the Phoenician
word asa meaning east. This may be contrasted to a
similar etymology proposed for Europe, as being from
Semitic erebu "to enter" or "set"
(of the sun). However, this etymology is considered
doubtful, because it does not explain how the term
"Asia" first came to be associated with
Anatolia, which is west of the Semitic-speaking areas,
unless they refer to the viewpoint of a Phoenician
sailor sailing through the straits between the Mediterranean
Sea and the Black Sea.
Definition and boundaries
Medieval Europeans considered Asia as a continent
a distinct landmass. The European concept of
the three continents in the Old World goes back to
Classical Antiquity, but during the Middle Ages was
notably due to Isidore of Sevilla (see T and O map).
The demarcation between Asia and Africa is the Isthmus
of Suez and the Red Sea. The boundary between Asia
and Europe is commonly considered to run through the
Dardanelles, the Sea of Marmara, the Bosporus, the
Black Sea, the Caucasus Mountains, the Caspian Sea,
the Ural River to its source, and the Ural Mountains
to the Kara Sea near Kara, Russia. While this interpretation
of tripartite continents (i.e., of Asia, Europe, and
Africa) remains common in modernity, discovery of
the extent of Africa and Asia have made this definition
somewhat anachronistic. This is especially true in
the case of Asia, which would have several regions
that would be considered distinct landmasses if these
criteria were used (for example, Southern Asia and
geologists and physical geographers do not consider
Asia and Europe to be separate continents. Physiographically,
Asia is the major eastern constituent of the continent
of Eurasia with Europe being a northwestern
peninsula of the landmass or of Africa-Eurasia:
geologically, Asia, Europe, and Africa comprise a
single continuous landmass (save the Suez Canal) and
share a common continental shelf. Almost all of Europe
and most of Asia sit atop the Eurasian Plate, adjoined
on the south by the Arabian and Indian Plates, and
with much of Siberia situated on the North American
geography, there are two schools of thought. One school
follows historical convention and treats Europe and
Asia as different continents, categorizing subregions
within them for more detailed analysis. The other
school equates the word "continent" with
a geographical region when referring to Europe, and
use the term "region" to describe Asia in
terms of physiography. Since, in linguistic terms,
"continent" implies a distinct landmass,
it is becoming increasingly common to substitute the
term "region" for "continent"
to avoid the problem of disambiguation altogether.
the scope and diversity of the landmass, it is sometimes
not even clear exactly what "Asia" consists
of. Some definitions exclude Turkey, the Middle East,
Central Asia and Russia while only considering the
Far East, Southeast Asia and the Indian Subcontinent
to compose Asia. The term is sometimes used more strictly
in reference to the Asia-Pacific region, which does
not include the Middle East or Russia, but does include
islands in the Pacific Ocean a number of which
may also be considered part of Australasia or Oceania
although Pacific Islanders are commonly not considered
'Asian' as a demonym
The demonym 'Asian' often refers to a category of
people from a subregion of Asia instead of being used
as a mere adjective for anyone from the (Asian) continent.
In British English, 'Asian' usually refers to South
Asian, but may also refer to other Asian groups.
In the United States, 'Asian American' is usually
taken to mean East Asian Americans due to the historical
and cultural influences of China and Japan on the
U.S. up to the 1960s and in preference to the terms
'Oriental' and 'Asiatic'; however, the term is increasingly
taken to include Southeast Asian Americans and South
Asian Americans due to the increasing demographics
of these groups.
of 2007, the largest national economy within Asia,
in terms of gross domestic product (PPP), is that
of China followed by that of India and Japan. In the
late 1990s and early 2000s, the economies of China
and India have been growing rapidly, both with an
average annual growth rate of more than 8%.
in terms of exchange rates (nominal GDP), Japan has
the largest economy in Asia and second-largest of
any single nation in the world, after surpassing the
Soviet Union (measured in net material product) in
1986 and Germany in 1968. (NB: A number of supernational
economies are larger, such as the EU, NAFTA or APEC).
Economic growth in Asia since World War II to the
1990s had been concentrated in few countries of the
Pacific Rim, and has spread more recently to other
the late 1980s and early 1990s, Japan's economy was
almost as large as that of the rest of the continent
combined. In 1995, Japan's economy nearly equalled
that of the USA to tie the largest economy in the
world for a day, after the Japanese currency reached
a record high of 79 yen. But since then, Japan's currency
has corrected and China has grown to be the second-largest
Asian economy, followed by India, in terms of exchange
rates. It is expected that China will surpass Japan
in currency terms to have the largest nominal GDP
in Asia within a decade or two. India is expected
to overtake Japan by 2030.
Asia-Europe Economic Meeting
Association of Southeast Asian Nations
Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement
Commonwealth of Independent States
South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation
Asia is the largest continent in the world by a considerable
margin, and it is rich in natural resources, such
as petroleum and iron.
productivity in agriculture, especially of rice, allows
high population density of countries in the warm and
humid area. Other main agricultural products include
wheat and chicken.
is extensive throughout Asia, except in Southwest
and Central Asia. Fishing is a major source of food
in Asia, particularly in Japan.
Manufacturing in Asia has traditionally been strongest
in East and Southeast Asia, particularly in mainland
China, Taiwan, Japan, South Korea and Singapore. The
industry varies from manufacturing cheap goods such
as toys to high-tech products such as computers and
cars. Many companies from Europe, North America, and
Japan have significant operations in Asia's developing
countries to take advantage of its abundant supply
of cheap labour.
of the major employers in manufacturing in Asia is
the textile industry. Much of the world's supply of
clothing and footwear now originates in India and
Financial and other services
Asia has three main financial centres: in Hong Kong,
Singapore, and Tokyo. Call centres and business process
outsourcing (BPOs) are becoming major employers in
India and the Philippines due to the availability
of a large pool of highly-skilled, English-speaking
workers. The rise of the business process outsourcing
industry has seen the rise of India and China as other
financial centres. Due its large and extremely competitive
information technology industry, Bangalore is often
dubbed as the Silicon Valley of India.
History of Asia
Map of Asia published in 1892.The history of Asia
can be seen as the distinct histories of several peripheral
coastal regions: East Asia, South Asia, and the Middle
East, linked by the interior mass of the Central Asian
coastal periphery was home to some of the world's
earliest known civilizations, each of them developing
around fertile river valleys. The civilizations in
Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley, and the Yangtze shared
many similarities. These civilizations may well have
exchanged technologies and ideas such as mathematics
and the wheel. Other innovations, such as writing,
seem to have been developed individually in each area.
Cities, states, and empires developed in these lowlands.
central steppe region had long been inhabited by horse-mounted
nomads who could reach all areas of Asia from the
steppes. The earliest postulated expansion out of
the steppe is that of the Indo-Europeans, who spread
their languages into the Middle East, India, and the
borders of China, where the Tocharians resided. The
northernmost part of Asia, including much of Siberia,
was largely inaccessible to the steppe nomads, owing
to the dense forests, climate, and tundra. These areas
remained very sparsely populated.
center and the peripheries were mostly kept separated
by mountains and deserts. The Caucasus and Himalaya
mountains and the Karakum and Gobi deserts formed
barriers that the steppe horsemen could cross only
with difficulty. While the urban city dwellers were
more advanced technologically and socially, in many
cases they could do little in a military aspect to
defend against the mounted hordes of the steppe. However,
the lowlands did not have enough open grasslands to
support a large horsebound force; for this and other
reasons, the nomads who conquered states in China,
India, and the Middle East often found themselves
adapting to the local, more affluent societies.
Rabindranath Tagore, the first Asian Nobel laureate.
Languages and literature
Asia is home to several language families and many
language isolates. Most Asian countries have more
than one language that is natively spoken. For instance,
according to Ethnologue, more than 600 languages are
spoken in Indonesia, more than 415 languages spoken
in India, and more than 100 are spoken in the Philippines.
China has many languages and dialects in different
provinces. Korea, however, is home to only one language,
albeit one with high dialectal diversity.
The polymath Rabindranath Tagore, a Bengali poet,
dramatist, and writer from Santiniketan, now in West
Bengal, India, became in 1913 the first Asian Nobel
laureate. He won his Nobel Prize in Literature for
notable impact his prose works and poetic thought
had on English, French, and other national literatures
of Europe and the Americas. He also wrote the Indian
is said to have named another Bengali Indian Nobel
prize winner, the 1998 laureate in Economics, Amartya
Sen. Sen's work has centered around global issues
including famine, welfare, and third-world development.
Amartya Sen was Master of Trinity College, Cambridge
University, U.K., from 1998-2004, becoming the first
Asian to head an 'Oxbridge' College.
Asian writers who won Nobel Prizes include Yasunari
Kawabata (Japan, 1966), Kenzaburo Oe (Japan, 1994),
Gao Xingjian (China, 2000) and Orhan Pamuk (Turkey,
2006) Also,Shirin Ebadi of Iran was awarded the Nobel
Peace Prize for her significant and pioneering efforts
for democracy and human rights, especially for the
rights of women and children. She is the first Iranian
and the first Muslim woman to receive the prize.
2006 Dr. Mohammad Yunus from Bangladesh and Grameen
Bank he established to lend money to poor people especially
women in Bangladesh was awarded Nobel Peace prize.
Dr. Yunus received his Ph.D. in economics from Vanderbilt
University, United States. He is internationally known
for the concept of micro credit which allows poor
and destitutes with little or no collateral to borrow
money. The borrowers typically pay back money within
specified period of time and the incidence of default
is very low.
The story of Great Floods find reference in most of
the regions of Asia. The story is first found in Mesopotamian
mythology, in the Epic of Gilgamesh. Hindu mythology
tells about an avatar of God Vishnu in the form of
a fish who warned Manu of a terrible flood. In ancient
Chinese mythology, Shan Hai Jing, the Chinese ruler
Da Yu, had to spend 10 years to control a deluge which
swept out most of ancient China and was aided by the
goddess Nüwa who "fixed" the "broken"
sky through which huge rains were pouring. The story
is also found in the Tanakh, Bible and Qur'an.
of mythologies native to Asia:
The Mahabharata is a crucial component of ancient
Hindu philosophy.Hindu mythology
Babylonian and Assyrian religion
Yezidis (Modified indigenous Kurdish belief)
Tengriism (Indigenous Mongol, Tartar & Kazakh
Originated in India, Yoga forms an integral part of
Hindu philosophy.Asian philosophical traditions originated
in India and China and cover a large spectrum of philosophical
thoughts and writings. Indian philosophy includes
Hindu philosophy and Buddhist philosophy. They include
elements of nonmaterial pursuits, whereas another
school of thought from India, Carvaka, preached the
enjoyment of material world.
was founded by Chinese philosopher Lao Zi, who lived
605-520 B.C. Buddhism was founded by Siddhartha Gautama,
who lived 563-483 B.C.
the 20th century, in the two most populous countries
of Asia, two dramatically different political philosophies
took shape. Gandhi gave a new meaning to Ahimsa, and
redefined the concepts of nonviolence and nonresistance.
During the same period, Mao Zedongs communist
philosophy was crystallized.
The Abrahamic religions of Judaism, Christianity,
Islam and the Bahá'í Faith originated
in West Asia. The Dharmic religions of Hinduism, Buddhism,
Jainism and Sikhism originated in South Asia. In East
Asia, particularly in China and Japan, Confucianism,
Taoism, Zen Buddhism and Shinto took shape. Other
religions of Asia include the Zoroastrianism, Shamanism
practiced in Siberia, and Animism practiced in the
eastern parts of the Indian subcontinent and in Southeast
30% of Muslims live in the South Asian regions of
Pakistan, India and Bangladesh. The world's largest
single Muslim community (within the bounds of one
nation) is in Indonesia. There are also significant
Muslim populations in China, Iran, Malaysia, the Philippines,
Russia and most of West Asia and Central Asia.
the Philippines and East Timor, Roman Catholicism
is the predominant religion; it was introduced by
the Spaniards and the Portuguese, respectively. In
Armenia, Eastern Orthodoxy is the predominant religion.
Various Christian sects have adherents in portions
of the Middle East, as well as China and India.
large majority of people in the world who practice
a religious faith practice one founded in Asia.
founded in Asia and with a majority of their contemporary
adherents in Asia include:
Bangladesh, India, Pakistan.
Animism: Eastern India, Japan, tribal Philippines.
Bahá'í Faith: slightly more than half
of all adherents are in Asia.
A stone image of the Buddha.Buddhism: Tibet, Bhutan,
Cambodia, China, Japan, Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia,
Myanmar, Nepal, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam,
parts of India and parts of central and eastern Russia
Mahayana Buddhism: Bhutan, China, Japan, Korea, Malaysia,
Singapore, Vietnam, parts of the Philippines.
Theravada Buddhism: Cambodia, parts of China, Chittagong
Hill Tracts, West Bengal, Laos, mainly northern parts
of Malaysia, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Thailand, as well
as parts of Vietnam.
Vajrayana Buddhism: Parts of China, Mongolia, Tibet,
parts of northern and eastern India, parts of central,
eastern Russia and Siberia.
Daoism: China, Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Vietnam.
Hinduism: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Indonesia Bali, India,
Malaysia, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Singapore and
South Asian immigrants in West Asia.
Islam: Central Asia, South Asia, and Southwest Asia,
Maritime Southeast Asia, Mindanao Philippines , Southern
Thailand, Rakhine State Myanmar.
Shia Islam: largely to specific Iran, Azerbaijan,
parts of Iraq, Bahrain, parts of Afghanistan, parts
of India, parts of Pakistan.
Sunni Islam: dominant in the rest of the regions mentioned
Shamanism: Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and
Sikhism: India, Malaysia, Hong Kong.
Yezidi : Iran, Iraq, Syria, Turkey.
Zikri: Pakistan, Iran.
Zoroastrianism: Iran, India, Pakistan.
Religions founded in Asia that have the majority of
their contemporary adherents in other regions include:
Armenia, East Timor, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Lebanon,
Malaysia, Pakistan, Palestinian territories, Philippines,
Russia, Singapore, South Korea, Syria.
Judaism: slightly fewer than half of its adherents
reside in Asia; Israel, India, Iran, Russia, Syria.
Pacific Mega Gambling News Update, by Greg Tingle
- 9th April 2011
NSW War Pokie Laws...
poker machine restrictions proposed by Tasmanian independent
Andrew Wilkie will "annihilate" pubs and
clubs in the Hunter, leaving hundreds out of work,
ClubsNSW Newcastle councillor Jon Chin says. Clubs
Australia is launching a $20 million advertising campaign
on Monday in an attempt to prevent the introduction
of mandatory pre-commitment technology for all poker
machines. Banjo, a John "Singo" Singleton
company is behind the campaign. Mandatory pre-commitment
requires pokies users to commit to a spending limit
before they begin gambling. Once they reach that limit
they will be unable to gamble again until the following
day or longer, depending on what restrictions the
player sets for themselves. Chin said the cost of
implementing the new technology in the Hunter region
would surpass $100 million. This figure did not include
the 40% in revenue clubs would experience once the
restrictions were imposed, he said. "This means
Hunter clubs will lose another $100 million, making
it impossible for us to sustain our businesses,"
he said. Australian Hotels Association Hunter sub-branch
vice-president Bruce Woods said there was no evidence
to suggest the restrictions would discourage people
from gambling. "This won't help pathological
gamblers at all but it will lead to a loss of jobs,"
he said. "We support the clubs' campaign against
this, it will affect pubs just as much as clubs".
Gaming Strong Growth In Asia...
gaming industry has grown into a $US3 billion business
that provides a good standard of living to migrant
workers in Asia who play games all day and sometimes,
all night! Virtual currency is all the rage, it sometimes
gets sold to punters abroad for cash. A World Bank
study demonstrates an emerging industry in which firms
seeking to boost their brands' popularity pay low-skilled
workers overseas to become their Facebook fans or
Twitter followers. The study, Knowledge Map of the
Virtual Economy, is the World Bank's first in-depth
look at the impact of online gaming and social media
in the developing world. Vili Lehdonvirta, a co-author
of the report, advised that the bank should not pour
its money into the industry, because he said the deal
making violated some of the game publishers' terms
of service and was cheating. Known in the business
as "gold farming", the game-playing boomed
in the early 2000s with games like World of Warcraft
and has evolved considerably. Labourers in Asia spend
numerous hours each day advancing through levels of
an online game, picking up gold, swords and gems that
enhance a game player's status. Then gaming studios,
which employ the players, sell those virtual goods
to online retailers. Next step, the retailers sell
on those goods to more than 120 million players globally,
many of them in Europe and North America, who don't
want to play the games day and night to gather their
own. The bank's report indicates that online gaming
has a positive impact in Asia because 70% of the industry's
revenue remains in the gaming countries, with most
of that money going to the gaming studios. Compared
with the $US70 billion coffee market...in which only
a tiny fraction of the revenue remains in the bean-growing
countries...the gaming industry had a "much better
development impact", the report states. A report
survey checks out on a group of 26 players and studio
managers that offers a rough, yet rare demographic
look at their lives. Most of the players work out
of studios in China, in Beijing or Changsha, capital
of Hunan province. They earn an average wage of $US2.70
an hour, $US1 more than Beijing's minimum wage for
part-time factory work. "The larger point is
that online gaming is often viewed as exploitation,
Lehdonvirta said. "Certainly it's not a dream
career, but the players are not at sweatshop levels."
The gaming studios keep about 60% of the industry's
$US3 billion in revenue. Readers, would you like to
be a prize gather for the gaming studios on that level
of pay? Better not answer!
Casino Proposal Has Social Concerns For Kiwi, Samoan
these places have land based casinos - Las Vegas,
Monte Carlo, Macau, Melbourne and just maybe soon
- Apia in Samoa. Some business folks have earmarked
it as a future gambling destination, and Kiwi group,
the Problem Gambling Foundation of New Zealand, is
advising against it, citing social harms of a casino
will outweigh any economical benefits that the Samoan
government will hope to achieve. In an admission of
the dangers of gambling, the proposed casino in Apia
will attempt to bar locals by only allowing the holders
of foreign passports to gamble. Problem #1... many
locals have duplicate passports, so getting in to
a casino for locals may not be that hard, and don't
even bring up the subject of fake ID. Will the region
get a land based casino? Stay tuned for updates.
Australia War On Gillard Labor Government Re Pokie
Australia has declared "open warfare" on
the Gillard government, preparing a $20 million media
campaign to try to stop laws to limit how much punters
can spend on poker machines. Last year "Tasmanian
Devil" (MM satire) independent MP Andrew Wilkie
backed Labor to form a minority government in return
for a clampdown on the use of poker machines. Now,
the lobby that represents clubs and pubs is wrestling
and punching back, with a media blitz targeting Wilkie
and Prime Minister Julie Gillard. Both Wilkie and
Gillard are in big trouble in the popularity polls,
with Labor set to lose the next federal election,
following their NSW loss, where it was bloody and
crimson mass. Billboards, a website, beer coasters
and more It's war on nationwide. The campaign has
been criticised as misleading for claiming punters
will need a licence to gamble. Clubs Australia executive
director Anthony Ball rejects that. "What we
do know is that everyone who plays a poker machine
will need to register and obtain a card, and then
insert it into a poker machine and set a binding limit.
There needs to be player tracking, because how else
does the machine know what the player is doing? It
will have your private details and your gambling history
on it. Now if that's not a licence, I don't know what
is." Under Wilkie's master plan, gamblers would
have to nominate a dollar figure for how much they
are prepared to lose before they start gambling, a
scheme known as "mandatory pre-commitment".
Wilkie wants the law in place by 2014 and he has the
backing of South Australian independent Senator Nick
'Mr X' (MM satire) Xenophon. Senator Xenophon describes
the Clubs Australia campaign as a "joke".
"This industry is willing to spend $20 million
of tax-break money that they get from community clubs
- effectively taxpayers' monies, indirectly - to peddle
lies in terms of a campaign where they haven't even
seen what the final report will say. Whether it's
$20 million or $200 million, this mob can spend as
much as they like, but they can't spin that they are
causing enormous damage out in the community. There
are 300,000 Australians who either have a severe gambling
problem because of poker machines, or are already
showing the signs of one."
Pokie Laws With Cost 10,000's of Aussie Jobs...
Australia advise the changes will cost jobs. They
want it to be a voluntary scheme and have rejected
a government request to hold off on the ad war. "It
will cost jobs, for the simple reason that asking
Australians to sign on to this licence to gamble will
mean they'll do something else," Mr Ball said.
"They'll go and gamble online where none of these
controls exist, or they they'll go to the TAB - they
won't do it at the club.Even the proponent of this,
Andrew Wilkie, is saying that this will cost up to
40% of revenue."
It's all hot fodder in Aussie Parliament too. Liberal
Steve Ciobo sits on the joint committee on gambling
reform, which has been hearing arguments pro and con
against a mandatory pre-commitment scheme. "The
committee was charged by the Labor party with the
responsibility to look at a roll-out of pre-commitment,"
he said. "But Coalition members will be putting
in a dissenting report because the evidence is clear
that it's going to cost jobs, it's going to cost investment,
and I'm concerned based on the evidence that it will
make problem gambling potentially worse." The
committee is due to report in the next few weeks.
The states and territories have until the end of May
to decide if they will agree to the Wilkie-led reforms.
If they refuse, the Commonwealth believes it has the
power to introduce overriding legislation to impose
a national scheme. The pokie industry has shown the
willingness to wrestle all the way to the next election,
and perhaps even beyond. It's the lovers VS the haters.
Who will win, and when will the final victor emerge.
City Entertainment Group Stocks Fall From Sky...
City Entertainment Group, the casino and hotel operator,
fell 0.9% to $3.41 amid media reports that overseas
competitors were looking to hire the 500 staff made
redundant or on leave without pay due to the closure
of the Christchurch Casino. SkyCity owns a 50% stake
in the business.
Bouncer Thought Disabled Bloke Was Drunk...
South Australian man with deasiese cerebral palsy
says he was refused entry to the Adelaide Casino because
the bouncer thought he was drunk. Mark Thiele was
on a big night out with friends when he attempted
to enter the casino, but was refused by a bouncer
aka "gorilla". Thiele says the bouncer mistakenly
thought he was drunk, but the casino is sticking by
its decision. "I had said to the man that I wasn't
a drunk, I was crippled," said Thiele, talking
about his rejection on 7.30 South Australia. "He
had said to me he was convinced I was intoxicated
even though we said that I had only had a few drinks
earlier on in the evening. "So I can't see why
I was singled out and everybody else in my party wasn't.
There was no difference between any of us besides
the obvious. It's a mystery to me really." Last
month, he and his friends had walked to the casino
from the city's Hindley Street entertainment strip
a few blocks away. Thiele has trouble moving his body
and for him, walking distances is a big effort. His
mate Aaron Nettlebeck says the casino bouncer did
not understand. "Walking that sort of distance
does get very, very sweaty over that sort of short
period. It was a bit infuriating that it happened
like that after such a nice evening." Thiele
says he has not had a problem at venues until now.
"For the vast majority it's never been a problem.
Bouncers that I've come into contact with have been
understanding and even let me skip the line a few
times just to put me at ease," he said. "Obviously
it's a stamina thing that I can't walk these long
distances and stand in lines and all of these things."
He says he is considering lodging a complaint with
the commission or under South Australia's liquor laws.The
casino's general manager, David Christian, has offered
an apology of sorts. "It was certainly not our
intention that Mark would have felt discriminated
against and I'm sorry that he does feel that way,"
he said. But he is defending the actions of his staff.
"They believe that they made the right call.
I would believe that with the calibre we have and
the training we put into our security officers, and
the level of management that oversees it, that they
would be right most of the time."
Zealand Christchurch Casino Workers Hurting From Earthquake
and emotional aftershocks are still be felt by the
casino sector after a series of earthquakes that rocked
the Asia Pacific - Japan and New Zealand region. Christchurch
Casino workers are feeling disappointed and even depressed
after having failed attempt to get a bigger redundancy
payday.In excess of 500 formally happy and motivated
casino employees were offered redundancy at the central
Christchurch casino last weekend, which was badly
damaged in the February 22 quake and has stayed closed
ever since the act of mother nature. Anyone who wants
to stay at the casino will be paid their holiday pay
as either a weekly amount or in a "lump sum".
Simply put, they will remain as employees of the land
based casino on leave without pay until the the gambling
den opens again. The SFWU (Service and Food Workers'
Union), which reps for 100 plus casino workers, has
a meeting with the casino's managers on Thursday.
SFWU strategic industry boss Len 'Razor' (MM tag)
Richards said workers were sombre but firm in their
desire about securing a more attractive redundancy
package. The union power that be were also asking
for continued pay for employees that choose to stay
on until the casino opens again. However, he advised
management was not prepared to increase the amount
of redundancy pay for staff, but did agree to request
for a government wage subsidy. Due to a private insurance
deal and policy in place, the land based casino has
not relied upon the $1.5 million government subsidy
available for quake-affected businesses. Richards
stated that the union has contacted earthquake recovery
minister Gerry Brownlee to request assistance to help
pay workers who remain employed. SkyCity, half owner
of the famous Christchurch Casino, has projected a
$130 million plus profit this year. It's not known
how much financially the quake cost Christchurch Casino
or SkyCity. Christchurch Casino top sheep er top dog...chief
executive Brett 'Ask Him' (MM satire) Anderson said
about 70% of employees have indicated they will stay
with the company rather than take the offered redundancy.
He said a number of employees are also being offered
jobs offshore. Anderson elaborated "I'm getting
phone calls from Australia looking for our people
and likewise all over New Zealand, and a few of them
have spread their wings. More than a few have gone
over to the Gold Coast. It's a lot warmer, it's a
lot more stable, you can swim in the sea, the pay
rates are better." Anderson said he still does
not know when the casino will reopen.Employees have
a deadline until Monday to decide whether they will
take the redundancy package or stay on. Yep, it's
the money or the box. Workers who have not contacted
the company by showdown at 5pm on Monday will be deemed
to have left their jobs and will be paid out a four-weeks-notice
payment, along with their annual leave entitlements.
Casino workers, did you get that. D Day is approaching.
Media Man spokesperson said "In the current global
economy anyone with a decent job should be grateful,
especially in the casino or gaming sector. Well done
to Christchurch Casino management for doing their
utmost to assist in their difficult times. Employers
will always want to ask for more... its in the nature.
Land based casinos generally remain popular around
the world so good staff will always be in demand."
Man and Gambling911 wish all parties well with their
dealings, and hopefully some win - win - wins will
still be possible.
Probe Sports Betting Ads...
states are uniting to consider a crackdown on an explosion
in advertising of sports betting, Victoria's Gaming
Minister says. Michael O'Brien last night revealed
the betting blitz on sport was being examined by the
Council of Australian Governments. "There is
growing concern at the extent to which is becoming
inseparable from the coverage of major sporting events.
Kids are being exposed to it constantly just by watching
the footy or cricket," he said.AFL chief executive
Andrew Demetriou said the league had expressed its
concerns to stadium managers. Goal posts, boundary
line fences and scoreboards at the MCG and Etihad
Stadium have been plastered with ads from bookmakers.
Demetriou said the alarm was raised during last year's
Brownlow Medal telecast. "There seemed to be
an enormous amount of (gambling) advertising after
each break," he told press. O'Brien said the
AFL, which enjoys lucrative sponsorship arrangements
with gambling giants, could take responsibility through
its media and stadium deals. "It may be that
there's an opportunity for this influence to be exercised
to ensure the promotion of sports betting isn't allowed
to detract from family-friendly objectives of (such)
sports," he said. This week, former Demon Daniel
Ward revealed in the the newspapers his battle with
gambling. "It's always in your face," he
said of the ads. "It's like being a drug addict
and an advert comes on saying, 'The first 50 people
to ring will get a free bag of marijuana'."
Former Ms Univervese Lookalike Kahili Blundell Wins
Ralph Swimwear Title At Star...
City Sydney babe Kahili Blundell has snatched the
Ralph Australian Swimwear Model of the Year comp.
The Crows Nest bikini super babe bested more than
2000 babes from all over Australia and Kiwi land to
grab the coveted title at Sin Sydney's Star City Casino
on Thurday. "I feel more than special right now,
I'm blown away and so honoured to be given this position,"
Blundell said. "I was expecting him to call another
number and I stood there thinking 27, is that me?
"It's also my boyfriend's birthday, but I realised
it was me and I was shivering." The 21-year-old
Jennifer Hawkins lookalike works as a personal assistant
and dabbles in makeup artistry in her spare time.
Blundell says modelling has been tough, slogging it
out for 3 years. "Since November I've been training
every week for this, thinking about it every night,"
she said. "I've been brought up to eat very healthy,
so I don't have too much trouble doing that, but I
definitely exercise a lot. I've been working very
hard so thank god it's all paid off." The comp
saw the 38 finalists strut their stuff in catwalk
parades. Sex bikinis were all the rage. A select group
of a bakers dozen were picked, then reigning champ
Emmi Moore handed over her sash and championship title
to Blundell. "I've been doing this for three
years now and this is exactly what I've been dreaming
and hoping for," Blundell said. "I'm open
to any opportunity and I love challenges. I've obviously
done well in the bikini field, so I might just continue
on this track for a little while." Burlesque
babe Sina King from Underbelly home Melbourne snatched
runner-up while second runner-up went to 21-year-old
writer - journo type Tiffany Baker from Fremantle
in Western Australia.
Boxer Katsidis To Fight Guerrero In MGM Grand Casino
Las Vegas Bloody Sunday...
under's Australia's Michael Katsidis and his opponent
in Sunday's (AEST) interim lightweight world-title
fight at Las Vegas' MGM Grand Casino, America's Robert
"The Ghost" Guerrero, also have powerful
stories. Guerrero's world was crushed big time circa
2007 when his wife, Casey, was diagnosed with leukemia.
The Californian gave up boxing, giving up his world-title,
so he could be by Casey's side and stay close to their
young children as she underwent a bone-marrow transplant.
Things are now looking up for Guerrero. "Casey
has been cancer free for almost a year now,"
28-year-old Guerrero, the number one ranked lightweight
in the world and a former featherweight and super
featherweight champion, said. Last year Katsidis'
was having a dream run. The likable 30-year-old blokefrom
Toowoomba celebrated his first wedding anniversary
with wife Kumiko. He loved being a dad to their one-year-old
daughter Kalia and was preparing for the biggest bout
of his career, a world-title fight in Las Vegas against
Mexican legend Juan Manuel Marquez. Things quickly
went downhill when five weeks before the Marquez fight
he learned his 31-year-old brother, champion Australian
jockey (horse racing) Stathi Katsidis, had passed
away. Just days later Katsidis' longtime trainer,
Brendon Smith, received two more bad news calls. Smith's
nephew got paralysed from the chest down in an accident
and one of the trainer's former boxers passed away.
"We got it all within three weeks and just before
the Marquez fight," Smith said. Katsidis and
Smith made the call to keep training at their Thai
boxing camp and take on Marquez at the MGM Grand Casino,
a match that would be voted the Fight of the Year
after Katsidis floored Marquez to the mat in the third
round. Marquez guts and balls by getting up and pounding
Katsidis so badly ref Kenny Bayless ended the match
in the ninth round, giving Marquez a ninth round technical
knockout victory. On the eve of the Guerrero fight,
Katsidis and Smith, who kept quite before the Marquez
bout, finally opened up about their personal tragedies.
Katsidis did not sleep two days before the Marquez
fight. "He was emotionally spent before he got
in the ring and to do what he did under the circumstances
was incredible," Smith said. "I believe
if something doesn't kill you it only makes you stronger,"
Katsidis said. Guerrero has 22 knockouts in his 27
professional victories. "This is truly a fight
for boxing fans," Guerrero, who has a 28 win
(18 KO), one loss professional record, said. "You
are going to see two guys go at it and give it their
all." The winner of the match will be named the
interim World Boxing Association and World Boxing
Organisation lightweight champions. Promoter 'Golden
Boy' Oscar De La Hoya has named the MGM card "Action
Heroes", with another Mexican legend, Erik Morales,
fighting Argentina's exciting welterweight contender
Marcos Maidana and in another welterweight battle,
Brooklyn's Paulie Malignaggi VS Jose Miguel Cotto.
The matches will be broadcast live in Australia on
Sunday from 11am AEST by Main Event pay-per-view.
"For a boxing card, sounds like it will be value
for money for a bit of a change", said a Media