Stevie Wonder

Stevie Wonder



Stevie Wonder sorry for late performance at The Star; Sydney, by Greg Tingle - 27th October 2011

We all used to have a bit of a love - hate relationship with the Sydney venue once known as Star City Casino, but as of late many Australian's have fallen back in love with The Star (and its cousin - The Lyric Theatre).

The love affair has been helped along considerably by quite a bit of celebrity rub off, with names such as musical genius Steve Wonder and Hollywood megastar Leonardo DiCaprio happy to be associated with the Echo Entertainment empire, formally more of a Tabcorp Holdings lock in.

And wait, there's more... next month Hollywood legend Al Pacino will do The Lyric in a unique and intimate performance.

Now, it's time to clear up a little bit of confusion folks.

Mr Wonder has kindly apologised to his loyal Australian fans after taking to the stage an hour late in Sydney on Wednesday night.

Audience members members got edgy and did a bit of heckling after the delay at Star City's Lyric Theatre.

Wonder was quick to bring around his audience.

"We had a few little things happening before so please forgive me," Wonder said when he emerged on stage.

"We're going to do things differently tonight, have some fun."

In between songs with his fans, Wonder played a 20-song set including his hits Superstition, Higher Ground and Signed Sealed Delivered.

The evening also featured cover versions of Michael Jackson's 'The Way You Make Me Feel' and Nat King Cole's 'When I Fall In Love'.

Wonder played a request for actor and good friend Leonardo Di Caprio watching along in the audience, but jokingly told the crowd to "take a chill pill" following their song list demands.

Oh, the official opening of The Darling, the 5 star boutique lifestyle hotel and spa, is on track to go off without a hitch today.

The Star is keen to recoup its almost billion dollar casino revamp investment but Echo Entertainment powers that be tell us that they are in this for the long haul.

Melbourne's Crown Casino, headed up by gaming billionaire James Packer is not about to roll over and die, and is a nose away from getting a leg up on Star with its Melbourne Cup tie in.

Media agencies et al such as Media Man, Casino News Media and Roy Morgan are following the battle between Echo Entertainment - The Star and Crown Limited closely.

Stay tuned to see whose star will shine more brightly as both entertainment complexes scour the universe for the world's most discerning entertainment connoisseurs.


Media Man does not represent Stevie Wonder


The Star

Formally known as Star City Hotel and Casino


The Star The Darling Future Star Echo Entertainment

Artists impression of revamped Star City Casino

Star City Hotel and Casino (artists impression)


The Star Casino; Lyric Theatre To Get Stevie Wonder, Prince Plus Jackpot, by Greg Tingle - 12th October 2011

Sydney’s mega relaunched land based casino and integrated entertainment complex, The Star (ex Star City Casino) is riding a wave of momentum at the moment, and they appear to have a ton of celebrities and world class performing artists lining up to ride of its renewed good name.

Ok, you've likely heard that Leonardo DiCaprio (in Sydney for at least four months filming The Great Gatsby) is spending a whole lot of time there these days (he occupies an entire floor... with a little assist from a model or two from time to time).

We all know Russell Crowe's connection with The Star... South Sydney Rabbitohs enjoy a somewhat controversial sponsorship deal with The Star (owned by Echo Entertainment). The Star is a "Major Home Corporate Partner", or something to that effect. Hey, its all about entertainment isn't it?

Now we learn that musical genius Stevie Wonder is to hold a one-off concert on 26th October. Yes, that's in less than two weeks.

Mr Wonder (real name Stevland Hardaway Morris) will serve up a intimate concert in the 2,000 seat Lyric Theatre at The Star.

Mr Wonder and his promoter will be looking to cash in as much as possible, and since the concert only seats a few thousand people something had to give. That's the ticket prices - coming in at between $255 to $455 per ticket. No, that's not a misprint.

During his career he has sold over 100 million records worldwide and has earned 49 Top 40 singles and 32 number one singles over the course of his career.. He signed with Motown Records' at 11 years of age, and things have been pretty cruisy by entertainment industry standards, ever since.

It should be no surprise that Wonder has a bush tucker bag of awards and commendations to his name. Try 25 Grammy Awards, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, an Academy Award and a Golden Globe (I Just Called To Say I Love You as seen in The Woman In Red motion picture).

The show at the Lyric Theatre is his only concert in Australia, so if you want to witness his magic in person you will just have to pay the big bucks (unless you know someone, as is sometimes the case in the entertainment and media industry).

Rumour: Prince...

It's strongly rumoured that Prince (Prince Rogers Nelson) will also play The Lyric this October or November. It's likely that Prince and his promoters will be watching the success of Mr Wonder's upcoming concert, and ticket purchasing numbers et al. No comment from Prince or his promoter at this stage.

The Lyric: a bit of history...

The Lyric Theatre has a ten year history of welcoming legendary performers from all over the world. Bon Jovi, Michael Crawford, Julio Iglesias and Tony Bennett and a host of others have all graced the stage of Sydney's premiere live entertainment address.

Phantom of the Opera, Oliver, Mamma Mia! and the world premiere of Priscilla Queen of The Desert...all musicals that have dazzled the audiences over the years. That's a strong track record, so if you have the moolah, seriously consider giving them your custom. Heck, any operation prepared to take on James Packer's Crown Casino for your entertainment dollar has a lot of guts and ain't mucking around.

The Star is not, I repeat, Not, an "RSL on steroids" anymore, so come on down and check out the coolest new star in town.

The Star: Casino, entertainment complex, or both?...

Media Man's Casino News Media, the gaming media and entertainment company, has elected to poll readers, entertainment lovers, and gambling fans, to hear their opinions of whether The Star is more about entertainment, gaming, or both? Readers can make their thoughts known by writing to Casino News Media, and contact details for the company are located on their official website. Results will be released in one month.

*The writer owns shares in Crown Limited. They are not a shareholder in Echo Entertainment or Tabcorp Holdings. The writer does not represent Echo Entertainment or Crown Limited.



The Star Casino Hosts Leonardo DiCaprio; Casino VIP Super Whale With Models, by Greg Tingle

Media and insider reports state Leo is dating Sydney model Alyce Crawford, Murdoch's The Daily Tele... that Leonardo DiCaprio has been gifted a whole floor at The Star (formally Star City Casino) to live in during his four-month stay.

He's been bunkered down there since passing on his former Vaucluse digs because of privacy issues (unwelcome paps), casino spies have revealed that Echo Entertainment top brass Larry Mullin was so keen to get DiCaprio under their roof that a whole floor was transformed into a luxury super-suite.

"Mountains were moved," said our friend at The Star, who reckons the famous actor has a private entrance to his Astral Tower pad to evade the paparazzi.

"The entire thing was refurbished and rebuilt from scratch. It cost a fortune but the directive was 'spare no expense'."

Asked about the plush situation for 'Our Leo' at Star, Tabcorp: "No comment."

DiCaprio does apparently say G'day on occasion with casino workers and others who cross his path.

"He was spotted in Black By Ezard and kept his cap on and head down and didn't engage with anyone. And a few nights later Hugh "Wolverine" Jackman was in there and couldn't have been nicer," said the deep throat.

"He was chatting to staff and taking pictures and having a great time. It was interesting to see the difference."

His ex-girlfriend Blake Lively has moved on, as has Bar Refaeli, with the model photographed in an embrace with Pierre Sarkozy, 25, the son of French Prez Nicolas Sarkozy, at the Paris nightclub Rasputin.

Stay tuned as Media Man and its ever growing "spy" network. As 'Our Leo' says, 'Catch Me If You Can' (and no, it won't likely be at The Star casino).


Snoop Dogg Enjoys Time In Australian Casinos; Star City In Sin City Sydney..

With hip-hop stars Snoop Dogg and Nelly have been enjoying their time down under in Australia. At an announced side-show in Sydney's Star City Casino last weekend, the two famed hip-hop stars shocked the crowd when an ensemble of acclaimed Supafest co-stars joined them on stage. Industry luminaries The Game, T-Pain, Busta Rhymes, Fat Joe and Spliff Star all joined in the fun. They wowed fans with an hour of freestyle rapping. The show is already being described as the biggest hip-hop show in Australian history. Star City in Sydney is hoping to look after them again, as is the Tabcorp owned sister casino on the Gold Coast - Jupiters Hotel and Casino.


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Artists impression of revamped Star City Casino


Star City is a five star complex with a casino, restaurants and bars, entertainment venues, hotel & apartments, and banquets & conference centres.



NRL South Sydney Rabbitohs: Star City Casino Partnership!, by Greg Tingle - 28th January 2011

G'day punters, journos, high rollers, sports nuts, casino and football team owners, entertainment news junkies, politicians, insiders, outsiders, politicians, journos... one and all. Today we probe the new and exciting deal between the legendary Aussie NRL footy team, the South Sydney Rabbitohs and the "partnership" with Tabcorp's Star City Casino.

This follow the recent deal between the NRL's Penrith Panthers and Centrebet, with the teams football ground now known as Centrebet Stadium, in a $5 million dollar deal, tipped to secure the financial future of the club. Other clubs and plugging into the lucrative gambling and betting dollars, with more win - wins on the way, but at what cost? Can NRL and betting co exist in a sustainable fashion, without more sports betting scandals on the way.

Centrebet Stadium, PartyGaming Cricket Ground, Paddy Power Park, Betfair Entertainment Centre?! Who know what may be around the corner. Media Man and Gambling911 kick a goal between the posts with this special report...

The tie ins between the National Rugby League and gambling, sports betting et al, continue this week with South Sydney celebrity owner Russell Crowe, tipped to present the Bunnies' new 5-year, multimillion-dollar sponsorship deal with Tabcorp's Star City.

A press conference including Crowe has been scheduled for the Pyrmont's Star City. Souths also yesterday announced the bookmaker, Luxbet (linked to Tabcorp), as a corporate partner for 2011. The online agency will run in house tipping service Bunnybet, taking over from Betezy, which launched the gambling website portal as a joint venture with the Rabbitohs in 2009, in a media campaign pushed far and wide by the Media Man agency, which covers the sector in a fair and balanced fashion, and known to focus on the positives, while also doing hard nosed coverage on the potential dangerous of excess gambling - betting.

The Souths Rabbitohs deals comes only 5 days after the Penrith Panthers announced their Australia-first venue naming-rights contract with a sports betting and gambling company, rebranding their home ground Centrebet Stadium Penrith. The northern beaches based Manly Sea Eagles will also this year have the Centrebet logo on their jumper. No word yet what's happening to the Full Tilt Poker logo that was on East's Rooters players shorts.

This bush tucker bag of NRL - gambling news comes at the same time that a high-profile NRL player is battling a huge problem, dropping at least $1500 a week at Star City. In addition, a police investigation, as well as New South Wales Crime Commission hearings, is not yet complete into irregular betting patterns reported in last year's round-24 match between North Queensland Cowboys and and Canterbury Bulldogs aka 'The Doggies' in Townsville. 'The Doggies' still struggle to live down a football betting and sex scandal from years ago, with the obvious sexual reference tie in off 'Doggie style', a often preferred sexual position of women.

Souths' Rabbitohs new commercial deals also equate to a bit of a back down from Crowe and co-owner Peter Holmes a Court since they proposed to to remove the pokies aka 'one armed bandits' from Souths Leagues Club in 2007. "There is a time and a place for gaming and I don't believe that South Sydney is the time or the place," Holmes a Court said way back then. The club has faced serious cash flow challenges, not to mention a poor win rate over the past years, despite having a club history second to none.

Current Souths chief executive Shane Richardson would not comment on the Star City sponsorship yesterday. NRL chief executive David Gallop mentioned that many of the NRL clubs have corporate partnerships with betting firms and the NRL itself is aligned with TAB Sportsbet, for which that company pays a product fee of 5 per cent of profit on rugby league punting.

Overseas operators such as PartyGaming, Paddy Power and others are said to be keen to get in on the action, and in the meantime the international headlines add fuel to the fire.

Betting agencies associated with the game must sign integrity agreements that insist on co-operation.

"Gambling on sport is as old as sport itself. We have to accept that being able to bet on a game adds a very enjoyable aspect to viewing," Gallop said. "The arrangements that we now have with betting agencies put us in a lot better position not only in terms of being compensated for the use of our intellectual property but also in our ability to access information about irregular betting. We've worked hard with all the sports to get ourselves to that position and indeed some of the matters that have been investigated and are currently being investigated - those investigations have only been possible because of those arrangements. Our ability to get to the bottom of issues … is greatly improved by those arrangements."

Gallop, however, listened to concerns that issues such as "spot betting" were a concern, as was hard core promotion. NRL broadcaster Channel Nine has been criticised for the past 12 months for its commentators' plugging betting options during broadcasts of the game.

"In terms of the promotion of gambling we do have restrictions. Individual players can't endorse individual agencies. There are elements that are concerning such as types of bets and aggressive promotion."

'Gambling Man' (MM tag) Gallop said he was not alarmed by reporting of players with gambling problems. "Our players are a cross-section of the community and there are going to be players with social problems, be they gambling , alcohol or drugs," he said.

Media Man and Gambling911 will continue to revel more details as they come to hand, so don't change your dial.



ANZPT success forces weekly tournaments to be postponed!

The ANZPT Sydney Championships are in full swing at Star City, with six events being played over the last seven days and the Main Event almost a sell out!

Come in over the weekend and be a part of the action. Sunday 3rd May is set to be a very busy day for Poker at Star City with the final table of the ANZPT Sydney Main Event, a Teams Event, Mega Satellite into the next ANZPT event as well as the filming of a final table to award a place in the new reality TV show, ‘The Poker Star’.

Following the huge effort put in by our staff and the enormous support of our regular players throughout the tournament, our weekly Monday and Wednesday tournaments for next week will be postponed. Of course regular cash games will still be available.

Check out for the complete results of the ANZPT Sydney Championships, along with ALL the events information, and a photo gallery of the winners. Visit the site now...but only if you’re game



Star City's $475 million facelift with largest outdoor gaming area, by Justin Vallejo - 24th September 2008
(Credit: The Daily Telegraph)

Sydney's famous skyline will undergo a major facelift as part of a $475 million upgrade to Star City.

But hidden among the glitz and glamour of the new-look casino are plans for the largest outdoor gaming area in NSW.

Once ridiculed as the "Pyrmont Workers Club", the aging casino will undergo a complete overhaul - with these artists impressions revealing the first look at the dramatic changes.

The expansions plans of "Project Star", going on exhibition today , reveal a giant reshaping of the casino to face towards the harbour and Sydney's city views.

A new 309 room hotel on vacant land next to the casino will be the first major five star hotel build in the CBD since the Olympic Games.

Tabcorp's Chief Executive of Casinos Walter Bugno said Star City was now more than 10 years old and was in need an overhaul.

"This is our chance to build a world-class casino and entertainment complex," Mr Bugno said.

"For the first time, Star City will be facing the harbour and the city and that will give us an advantage that no other casino in the world can match."

Star City has included the outdoor gaming proposal in its major development application before the NSW Planning Department after it was rejected by City of Sydney Council in July.

At the time, Lord Mayor Clover Moore called the outdoor gaming area an appalling development that "would prey on the most vulnerable of society" while the NSW Health Department said it failed to meet smoke-free legislation.

It is understood that substantial changes have been made to the original proposal that was withdrawn from the council to ensure it complies with the state's unenclosed space laws.

While new licensing agreements will allow Star City to operate additional tables subject to approval, there will be no increase in the number of poker machines above the current 1500 cap.

About 750 construction jobs will be created over the next three years while another 900 hotel and casino jobs will be created when the expansion in complete in 2011.

A new grand entry to the casino on the harbour side will replace the current staircase while the existing ballroom will be expanded to hold at least 1200 people.

The final floor plans are still being designed but Mr Bugno estimates there would be around 17 restaurants and 11 bars in the new complex.



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The Star, The Darling or any other Echo Entertainment entity are not represented by Media Man