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Australia grants visa for Mike Tyson - 10th October 2012

Australia has granted Mike Tyson a visa one week after he was barred from entering New Zealand due to his 1992 rape conviction.

A spokeswoman from Australia's Department of Immigration and Citizenship said today it had granted the former heavyweight boxing champion an entertainment visa to cover the duration of his five-city Australian tour starting next month. She said officials carefully weighed the pros and cons of his visit and of his character given his criminal past.

The spokeswoman spoke on condition of anonymity because of office policy. Tyson was to visit both countries on a 'Day of the Champions' tour.

New Zealand immigration authorities initially granted him a visa before a charity withdrew its support and officials reversed their decision. Tyson served three years in prison for rape.

 

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New Zealand bars Mike Tyson as tour debacle looms - 3rd October 2012

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) - In a reversal, New Zealand authorities on Wednesday barred Mike Tyson from entering the country whose indigenous Maori people Tyson says inspired his facial tattoo.

And a Downunder speaking tour for the former heavyweight boxing champion was threatening to fall apart altogether as Australian immigration authorities said they've yet to decide whether to allow him into that country. Tickets for appearances in New Zealand and five major Australian cities in November are still being promoted by a Sydney agency.

Tyson's 1992 rape conviction would normally prevent his entry in New Zealand and could be grounds for denial in Australia as well. He had been granted an exemption for New Zealand before that visa was cancelled Wednesday, days after the prime minister spoke out against the visit.

Tyson was to speak at a November event in Auckland, the "Day of the Champions," which is being promoted by Sydney agency Markson Sparks!

New Zealand's Associate Immigration Minister Kate Wilkinson said she'd initially granted entry because a children's health charity would get some of the proceeds from Tyson's speech. She said in a statement her decision was "a finely balanced call" but that the charity that would have benefited, the Life Education Trust, withdrew its support Tuesday.

"Given that the trust is no longer supporting the event, on balance, I have made the decision to cancel his visa," Wilkinson wrote in her statement.

The charity's chief executive, John O'Connell, however, said the charity long ago decided not to accept any money from the event due to its concerns over Tyson's character, but that a volunteer trustee had mistakenly sent a letter to immigration authorities supporting Tyson's plans.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for Australia's Department of Immigration and Citizenship said "I can tell you that a decision is still pending" on Tyson's application for an Australian visa.

Tyson's criminal history could prevent him from obtaining an Australian visa. Would-be visitors normally must pass a character test. Those with a "substantial criminal record" - which by the immigration department's definition includes people who, like Tyson, have been sentenced to more than a year in prison - would fail the test. But the department can still use its discretion to grant a visa.

Markson Sparks! has been advertising tickets for Tyson's Australian appearances at between 69 and 300 Australian dollars ($71 and $308).

Colorful promoter Max Markson said he'd been "hoping it might be a smoother run with Mike Tyson" but that he remained confident Australia would grant Tyson a visa and that New Zealand would reverse its decision when he found another suitable charity.

"He'll only be in the country for 20 hours, I don't think he's a danger to anybody, and thousands of people want to see him," Markson said of Tyson's planned New Zealand leg.

Markson said he's continuing to sell tickets to the planned speeches in both countries and that buyers will get a full refund if the shows are cancelled. He said he had immigration lawyers in Australia, New Zealand and the U.S. working on the case.

Speaking to the APNZ news agency this week from Las Vegas before his New Zealand visa was cancelled, Tyson said his tattoo was inspired by those worn by New Zealand's indigenous Maori. In pre-European times, many Maori wore elaborate facial tattoos as a sign of their status in their tribe. Some Maori today who identify strongly with their traditional culture get similar tattoos.

Tyson told the agency that, aside from their tattoos, he knew little about the Maori people "so I'm looking forward to come down there and see them."

Prime Minister John Key spoke to media against the planned visit this week, questioning the decision by immigration authorities and saying he personally disapproved of the visit given Tyson's conviction for such a serious crime.

Before his visa was cancelled, Tyson told APNZ: "Fortunately, I am coming to New Zealand and there's nothing they can do about it and I'm so sorry, I'm sorry they feel disappointed and I'm just living my life."

Tyson was sentenced to six years in prison for the 1991 rape of 18-year-old Desiree Washington in an Indianapolis hotel room. He served three years before being released on parole.

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Melbourne Storm NRL team ink sponsorship deal with Packer's Crown Casino; Sydney news, by Greg Tingle - 31st August 2012

Melbourne Storm Crown Casino Crown Limited

The Melbourne Storm is raking it in, with an extra $1.5 million in with Crown Limited inking as major sponsor for a third year running, while rugby league in Victoria could also benefit significantly.

Thursday's renewal of Crown's only team sponsorship is believed to be valued at $1 million, give or take a few dollars.

The funds boost joins the $500,000 Australian Rugby League Commission chairman John Grant confirmed on Monday would be delivered to all clubs before October 31.

With a back-of-jersey sponsorship still to be sold before the finals, Storm might well collect another payday.

Club chief exec Ron Gauci advised the funds would be used to help expand the code in Victoria, a cause boosted last month with the debut of born-and-bred local Mahe Fonua.

Storm officials aim to fund youth teams down to under-16s and spend up to keep Melbourne "ahead of the pack" with cutting-edge, football-specific technology.

"We'll continue to invest in the organisation. We'll invest both across the football department and administration," Gauci said.

"We want to continue being best practice and continue being ahead of the game. We'll invest in football operations and pathway development.

"We want to extend the Storm brand beyond the under-18s and we've put in a proposal to the Australian Rugby League Commission to facilitate the growth of the game in Victoria and now have the funds to help make that happen.

"For us, any investment needs to have a long-term benefit."

The push from the Government-backed Victorian Major Events Company to secure more State of Origin clashes in Melbourne could reap even more cash for local rugby league.

Plans are in place to establish a youth academy, with only the arrival of sufficient funding needed to make it happen.

Great to see Crown's casino king James Packer sharing the love and funds around to worthy causes.

It's understood that Sydney's South Sydney Rabbitohs management including king bunny, Russell Crowe, are taking an interest in the way The Storm and Crown do things, as you might expect with Rabbitohs also having a sponsorship deal with gaming - entertainment firm - The Star.


Sydney NRL team also has casino deal...

The South Sydney Rabbitohs are continuing to enjoy their sponsorship deal with The Star (formally known as Star City Casino).

NRL top brass has said rugby league has benefitted from its association with betting agencies because it allows better access to information about irregular plunges.

As the Australian and globally economy continue to go through tough times its going to be interesting to see if more NRL teams ink deals with Australian casino or gaming firms. I for would would bet yes.

And what's to become of the Barangaroo 6 star hotel and casino development in Sydney? Could they also become a sponsor of an NRL team? With James Packer in the think of the action one would think so. Keep watching this space.


Media Release...

Exclusive Deal For 6 Star Hotel...

Last week's announcement by Lend Lease and Crown, that they had signed an exclusive agreement to develop a six star hotel at Barangaroo South, has attracted wide ranging media coverage and commentary. Below is a summary of the media releases and media coverage to date.

Following the announcement, the Authority confirmed it will continue to work with Lend Lease, and now their exclusive rights partner Crown, to negotiate a new location for the hotel in Barangaroo South and oversee the appropriate planning applications that must be approved before any concept moves ahead.

Acting Premier Andrew Stoner last week said the development of such a hotel would represent a significant investment in NSW tourism infrastructure, and today’s agreement is a vote of confidence in the NSW economy.

“It is, of course, subject to all the necessary planning and regulatory approvals but Lend Lease already has an existing permit to build a hotel in Barangaroo South and are negotiating with the Barangaroo Delivery Authority to relocate that onshore,” he said.

“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.”

Lend Lease Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Steve McCann, said that Lend Lease and Crown would now work towards achieving the necessary development approvals from the NSW Government for the hotel and jointly develop the concept plan for the hotel. Lend Lease is currently in negotiations with the NSW Government to finalise the hotel location.

“Barangaroo South is a major urban regeneration project that provides a unique opportunity to create a world class commercial, residential, entertainment and mixed use destination on Sydney Harbour. A key part of Lend Lease’s vision for Barangaroo South is to have a high quality international hotel,” said Mr McCann.

*the writer is a shareholder in Crown Limited, Virgin Blue and Ten Network Holdings.

 

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Nine, Fox top 'must-win' NRL rights fight - 21st August 2012

The Nine Network has secured its future by nailing down the NRL broadcast rights in a joint $1 billion deal announced with Fox Sports.

The Australian Rugby League Commission (ARLC) announced on Tuesday that Nine and Fox Sports had secured the NRL free-to-air and pay TV broadcast rights respectively, in a five-year deal worth $1.025 billion.

Nine chief executive David Gyngell says the deal, in which incumbents Nine and Fox Sports trumped bids from the Seven and Ten networks, had been a must-win for Nine but that the price is "fair and reasonable".

"We have certainly stepped up and paid as much money as we could," Mr Gyngell said.

Mr Gyngell also said the deal - the most valuable in the history of rugby league broadcast rights - would be revenue positive.

"This is an exclusive sports rights' deal," he said.

"In this deal, we are the only free-to-air network to have exclusive sport at prime-time."

The agreement comprises $925 million in cash, of which $90 million is paid at the start of the 2013 season, and $100 million in advertising.

Nine will show three free-to-air matches weekly, while Fox Sports will have five a week on pay channels.

Nine will also have State of Origin games and an evening Grand Final.

NRL rights were last secured by Nine and Fox Sports in 2005 in a $500 million, six-year deal.

Nine Entertainment, owned by private equity firm CVC, has about $3.6 billion of debt due for refinancing in 2013 and 2014.

Media buyer Harold Mitchell, executive chairman of Aegis Media, said Nine had not overpaid and would meet its share of the $1.025 billion price tag through advertising revenue.

"Advertising volume hasn't been growing but it hasn't been collapsing," Mr Mitchell said.

"Key to any network's success will be sports programming and (Nine) are a stronger network with it than without it.

"This secures their future."

Mr Mitchell said the $1 billion deal was a positive sign for Australia's advertising market, which was in "unbelievably good shape compared to the rest of the world".

Morningstar head of equities research Peter Warnes said Nine had paid a fair price but also had to secure the rugby league as a key driver of audience numbers.

"Where would Nine be if they lost it? They had to win it," Mr Warnes said.

"I think they've probably paid a fair price.

"Had it been $1.2 billion, it would have been over the top."

Ten Network had been rumoured to have secured a package of NRL games ahead of Tuesday's announcement but is now without either rugby league or AFL, the rights to which are held by Seven.

Mr Mitchell said the NRL deal "places Ten in a difficult position". (AAP)

 

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Online betting firm bwin announces merger with PartyGaming - 30th July 2010

Austrian online betting company bwin announced Thursday it had signed a merger agreement with British rival PartyGaming.

The move, giving bwin a 51.6-percent stake in the new group compared to 48.4 percent for PartyGaming, will become effective in the first quarter of 2011, the Austria Press Agency reported.

"This business combination makes great strategic, operational and financial sense," bwin chief executive Norbert Teufelberger said in a statement.

"We will be in pole position to capitalise on the wealth of opportunities that will flow from the continued evolution and expansion of the global online gaming industry," he added.

PartyGaming chief executive Jim Ryan echoed that sentiment, saying: "The enlarged group will have a winning formula to exploit the growing online gaming market, supported by a strong balance sheet, significant cashflow generation and a highly experienced management team."

The two men will become co-chief executives of the new company, which will have its seat in Gibraltar and be listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Meanwhile, bwin will be delisted from the Vienna Stock Exchange.

The new group will be the largest listed online gaming company.

In late trade Thursday, bwin shares were up 20.35 percent to 42.88 euros in Vienna and PartyGaming gained 19.49 percent to 307.1 pounds in London. (Credit: Fairfax Media)

 

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Media Man Australia and Casino News Media Intend To Sign Exclusive Sports Betting Media and Online Media Deal. Send Your Expression Of Interest Or Proposal To Us. greg@mediaman.com.au or greg@casinonewsmedia.com

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Sports betting to grow despite turbulent economy - 17th December 2008

Punters at the racetrack and the oval won't be put off by tough economic times, while casino and lottery customers will cut back over the next two years, a report predicts.

Revenue from horse and sports betting is expected to grow by 11.9 per cent this financial year, as the sector rebounds from the effects of equine influenza, a report by business analyst IBISWorld says.

IBISWorld industry analyst Angela Kidson said the racing industry had experienced a loss of 9.3 per cent in revenue over the 2007/08 financial year.

"It's rebounding from (fiscal) 2008 which was a terrible year for them with the equine influenza,'' Ms Kidson said.

"That hit the industry very hard: race numbers were down 16 per cent.''

In the 2009/10 financial year, the sector is expected to grow at a slower rate of around 2.5 per cent, buoyed by new interactive digital pay-TV betting sites.

The report anticipates that further interest rate cuts and the Federal Government's stimulus initiatives will increase average household disposable income by 4.98 per cent early next year.

But only a minimal portion of that is likely to be put into pokies or spent on lotto tickets, as disposable incomes are forecast to fall again in late 2009.

 

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Sports betting is the general activity of predicting sports results by making a wager on the outcome of a sporting event. Perhaps more so than other forms of gambling, the legality and general acceptance of sports betting varies from nation to nation. In the United States, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1994 makes illegal to operate a "betting, gambling or wagering scheme", except for in the states of Delaware, Nevada, and Oregon. Nevada, however, is the only state currently allowing sports gambling, while in many European nations bookmaking (the profession of accepting sports wagers) is highly regulated but not criminalized. Proponents of legalized sports betting generally regard it as a hobby for sports fans that increases their interest in particular sporting events, thus benefiting the leagues, teams and players they bet on through higher attendances and television audiences. Opponents fear that, over and above the general ramifications of gambling, it threatens the integrity of amateur and professional sport, the history of which includes numerous attempts by sports gamblers to fix matches, although proponents counter that legitimate bookmakers will invariably fight corruption just as fiercely as governing bodies and law enforcement do. Most sports bettors are overall losers as the bookmakers odds are fairly efficient. However, there are professional sports bettors that make a good income betting sports. (Credit: Wikipedia).