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
to Sponsor Fire&Ice 2009
17th December 2008
December 2008 (London, UK) – Ground breaking
Asia-Pacific gaming company AsianLogic will cap their
presence at IGE in January by sponsoring Fire&Ice
on January 28th. Fire&Ice, held each year between
the IGE (formerly ICE) and CAP tradeshows, brings
online gambling executives, operators, affiliates,
media and suppliers together for a decadent evening
befitting an industry which sets the standard for
we are involved in an Asian Poker Tour event or an
industry affair such as ICE, or any marketing endeavor,
we always look to deliver a highly entertaining and
visually stimulating experience to our players, partners
and guests. Fire&Ice is an exceptional platform
to host our VIPs and we’re gearing up for what
promises to be another memorable evening,” says
Tom Hall, CEO of AsianLogic.
Cake Poker Network will be a Fire&Ice sponsor
for the first time this year. Their army of Cake Poker
chefs will serve up a special treat at midnight. “Last
year we reserved a VIP table at Fire&Ice and this
year we realized the benefit of having a slightly
larger presence in front of the who’s who in
the industry,” said the Cake Poker Network Team.
sponsors and the industry make Fire&Ice what it
is, and I’m extremely proud to have first-class
brands on board again this year!” says event
producer Jodie Thind. “How do we top last year’s
burlesque circus at the Hippodrome? To start, we’ve
got an amazing venue and we have amazing sponsors
on board. We’ll announce more details soon but
this year’s event will be one you’d hate
to miss…stay tuned.”
Ice is a free event for all iGaming execs and sponsorship
opportunities ranging in size are still available
for Fire & Ice 2009. Please contact Jodie Thind
for sponsorship opportunities: Jodie@lyceummedia.com
Fire & Ice (www.lyceummedia.com/fireandice)
Fire & Ice is the largest and most decadent iGaming
social event on the entertainment calendar. It brings
online gambling executives, operators, affiliates,
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eighth year Fire&Ice is produced by London iGaming
PR and events specialists, Lyceum Media (www.LyceumMedia.com).
AsianLogic (ALOG) (www.asianlogic.com)
(AIM: ALOG) is a leading online and land-based gaming
company focused on the Asia-Pacific markets. Listed
on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange, it
operates several online casino and online poker brands
and is engaged in the development, operations and
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and sports betting. The Company also owns the Asian
Poker Tour, a premier live poker tournament.
Company also maintains a corporate advisory team specialising
in the gaming sector which is an active investor in
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and analytical services. It enjoys strong commercial
relationships with leading gaming providers including
Playtech and LVS.
The Cake Poker Network (www.cakepokernetwork.net)
Cake Poker Network caters to a select group of partners;
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