Saturday, February 25, 2012

Leonardo DiCaprio and Steven Spielberg help buy Wizard Of Oz slippers - 23rd February 2012

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Leonardo DiCaprio Steven Spielberg Movies The Wizard of Oz Hollywood Auctions





Leonardo DiCaprio may have returned back to Hollywood from his Great Gatsby assignment in Sydney, Australia, but it hasn't slowed down Leo's pet projects... of the festish like nature.

No, not a fetish for the world's hottest models...Australian, American or otherwise, but of the foot fetish kind - Wizard Of Oz slippers no less.

Judy Garland's sexy ruby red slippers from The Wizard Of Oz have found their way back home.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences says it has acquired one of the four known  surviving pairs of the iconic shoes made for the classic 1939 movie, with the help of Hollywood high fliers Leonardo DiCaprio and Steven Spielberg.

The shoes, regarded as one of the world's best-known film props, are understood to have been worn by Garland's character Dorothy when she clicked her heels three times to return to Kansas from the fantasy land of Oz near the conclusion of the famous movie.

The slippers were previously due to be sold by Los Angeles auction house Profiles in History in December, with an estimated price tag of $US2-3 million. But they did not sell at that time.

Some Hollywood collectibles get their price talked up in an unrealistic fashion, while some can be purchased cheaper than expected.

The Academy, which organises the annual Oscars ceremony, advised DiCaprio and Spielberg headed a group of "angel donors" to purchase the shoes for a planned museum.

Academy officials politicly declined to say how much was paid.

A pair of red test slippers for The Wizard Of Oz from the collection of actress Debbie Reynolds sold for $US612,000 in May 2011.

"Leo's passionate leadership has helped us bring home this legendary piece of movie history," Academy chief executive officer Dawn Hudson said.

"It's a wonderful gift to the Academy museum project, and a perfect representation of the work we do year-round to preserve and share our film heritage."

A Media Man agency spokesperson said "Leo and Steven must really love their shoes. Only they know for sure in they share a foot fetish of sorts, or if it is just a mutual appreciation of Hollywood's rich history. Hat's off to the Hollywood heavyweights who were in the financial position to get the props back to their original home. I'm sure Australia will remind Leo of his good deed when he does the red carpet in Australia later this year".

The shoes, marked "#7 Judy Garland", are said to be the most pristine of the four pairs of slippers known to exist.

One pair is in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC, one is in private hands and another was stolen from the Judy Garland Museum in Minnesota.

The Academy and the Los Angeles County Museum of Arts announced plans in October to establish a museum to display movie-related treasures.

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Jennifer Hawkins Opens Myer Liverpool; Host Of New Beauty And Fashion Brands

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Jennifer Hawkins Models Fashion Brands

Australian model, former Miss Universe and Myer brand ambassador Jennifer Hawkins, attended the official opening of the revamped Liverpool store this afternoon.

Jennifer met fans, shoppers, posed for photos and signed some autographs while celebrating the store’s revamp.

Hawkins advised media she was "thrilled" to be visiting Liverpool Myer.

"I hear the space looks amazing. I am especially excited to visit the fashion and cosmetics floor with all the new brands. I can’t wait to have a little shop," Hawkins said.

The remodelled store sports Australian fashion brands and a refurbished cosmetics hall.

There's four new full-service beauty rooms including facilities for customers who are after a more personalised health and beauty treatment.

Many new brands are now available at Liverpool including cosmetic brand SKII, womenswear brands Guess, Levis, NF by Nicola Finetti, Seduce, Wish and Sportscraft.

So shoppers, those in the west need not feel left out from the fashion and beauty scene any longer. Get yourself down to Myer Liverpool.

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Casino mogul Wynn dumps friend-turned-foe

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Casinos Macau Steve Wynn Wynn Resorts Casino Whales Property World Casino Directory World Directory





Kazuo Okada

Casino mogul Steve Wynn ousted his former friend and partner Kazuo Okada from the board of his Wynn Macau unit on Friday, in the latest twist to a gripping legal joust that shines a light into gaming industry governance.

The board's decision to un-seat Okada was effective immediately, Wynn Macau said in a brief statement to the Hong Kong stock exchange.

The removal of the Japanese billionaire from Wynn Macau's board signals a definitive end to a successful 12-year partnership with Wynn, CEO of parent Wynn Resorts, and could trigger a protracted legal battle.

Despite a very public tit-for-tat spat over donations and alleged "unacceptable conduct" and "inappropriate payments," Okada - an engineer who helped bankroll Wynn's $14 billion gaming empire - is still on the board of Wynn Resorts, which needs to convene a shareholder meeting to remove him.

Wynn Resorts has already forcibly redeemed Okada's nearly 20 percent stake in the company after an internal investigation by former FBI Director Louis Freeh revealed Okada - who made his fortune from pachinko and is CEO of Universal Entertainment Corp - violated U.S. anti-corruption laws.

On Friday, Okada refused to attend a meeting of Wynn Macau's nine-person board, called specially to remove him, and blasted the internal report as being based on "false and misleading assertions."

"Removing him from the board was easy, but the actual legal case could drag on for years," said Victor Yip, analyst at UOB Kay Hian in Hong Kong.

"Everything points against (Okada) now unless he can come up with something new," said Teng Yee Tan at CIMB Securities. "He's fighting alone against all the others."

BUSINESS AS USUAL

The falling-out between the two self-made tycoons was triggered last month when Okada filed a suit against Wynn for blocking access to financial documents related to a $135 million donation by Wynn Resorts to the University of Macau.

Each now claims the other made improper payments to foreign gaming regulators to win favor in their respective Macau and Philippines markets, and the acrimony has attracted the attention of legal regulators and investors worldwide.

On Friday, there was little sign of the boardroom drama on the gambling floors in Macau.

In the upmarket Wynn Macau, gaming tables were packed and business was booming beneath the opulent chandeliers. Crowds of mainland Chinese surrounded baccarat tables, with one chain-smoking gambler in a black leather jacket patiently waiting his turn with a stack of 10,000 chips.

Away from the action, the likely legal showdown will test regulators monitoring the tycoons' operations in Macau and the Philippines, where Okada's Universal Entertainment's $2 billion casino is due for completion in 2014.

The feuding has already drawn attention to possible cultural, as well as legal, differences over business practices in Asia and the United States, and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has said it is investigating Wynn.

A second court hearing on Okada's lawsuit against Wynn Resorts - which had revenues of $5.3 billion last year - has been delayed until March 8.

In Manila, President Benigno Aquino said Cristino Naguiat, the head of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR), the country's gaming regulator, would face a cabinet-level inquiry into allegations he received "inappropriate" payments and gifts from Okada.

"There's a formal process. Let's have the allegations, let him answer it, then we will weigh the allegations versus his defense. We should afford him also the benefit of hearing him out before we can give judgment," Aquino told reporters.

Naguiat has denied receiving bribes, dismissing the allegations as "outrageous, politically-motivated and untrue."

PARTNERS TO RIVALS

Steve Wynn, the Vegas showman known for building high-end properties such as the Bellagio and Mirage, has maintained that Okada - after whom he named his casinos' upscale Japanese restaurants - went against a board decision to pursue a property in the Philippines, making him a direct competitor.

Okada is seeking to file a suit in Las Vegas for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction to protect the interests of his subsidiary, Aruze USA, Inc in Wynn Resorts and to prevent the redemption of its shares.

Estimated to be worth $2.1 billion by Forbes magazine in 2011, Okada made his riches in pachinko - a uniquely Asian game that mixes slot machine style gambling with pinball, and which rakes in about 20 trillion yen ($250 billion) annually - more than the GDP of Hong Kong.

A resident of Hong Kong where he lives with his wife and young daughter, Okada was Wynn Resorts' largest shareholder, holding more than double the stake of Steve Wynn himself.

Wynn Macau shares closed up 1 percent on Friday, outpacing a flat benchmark index. (Credit: Reuters)


Wynn Macau Limited Removes Kazuo Okada from Board of Directors

MACAU, Feb. 24, 2012 - Wynn Macau, Limited, a subsidiary of Wynn Resorts, Limited, today announced that its Board of Directors met today to review Mr. Kazuo Okada's status as a Director of the Company. All of the other Directors voted unanimously to remove Mr. Okada from the Board and the removal is effective immediately.

The Board of Directors issued the following joint statement:

"The Board considered the information disclosed by Wynn Resorts, Limited concerning the independent report (as further described in the 20 February Announcement) commissioned by the Compliance Committee of Wynn Resorts, Limited. After due consideration of the independent report, taking into account the Company's high ethical standards, the Board determined that it was obligated to remove Mr. Okada as a non-executive Director given the unacceptable conduct by Mr. Okada, his employees and associates detailed in the independent report. Accordingly, the Board resolved to remove Mr. Okada as a non-executive Director of the Company."

About Wynn Resorts

Wynn Resorts, Limited is traded on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the ticker symbol WYNN and is part of the S&P 500 and NASDAQ-100 Indexes.

Our Las Vegas operations (Wynn Las Vegas and Encore) feature two luxury hotel towers with a total of 4,750 spacious hotel rooms, suites and villas, an approximately 186,000 square feet of casino space, 35 food and beverage outlets featuring signature chefs, an on-site 18-hole golf course, meeting space, an Ferrari and Maserati dealership, approximately 97,000 square feet of retail space as well as two showrooms; four nightclubs and a beach club.

Our Macau resort is a resort destination casino located in the Macau Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China with two luxury hotel towers (Wynn Macau and Encore) with a total of 1,008 spacious rooms and suites, approximately 265,000 square feet of casino space, casual and fine dining in eight restaurants, approximately 54,200 square feet of retail space, recreation and leisure facilities, including two health clubs and spas, a pool.

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Rudd denies Clubs Australia pokie claims - 23rd February 2012

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Politics Clubs Australia Clubs Gambling





Kevin Rudd says he has never asked any MP to speak to Clubs Australia about pokie machine reforms and has categorically denied claims to the contrary.

"The claims are entirely untrue," a spokesperson for Mr Rudd said in a statement late Wednesday.

"The Foreign Minister has never asked any MP to speak to Clubs Australia at any time on any matter relating to poker machines.

"The Minister would consider the publishing of such a claim as defamation, and would take action accordingly."

The former foreign minister's comments come after the Seven Network aired a statement on Wednesday night by Clubs Australia that claimed the lobby group had met with an MP "close to Kevin Rudd" in November last year.

AAP contacted Clubs Australia late on Wednesday night following the report and was sent a copy of statement.

"Clubs Australia did meet with an MP close to Kevin Rudd in late November which was specifically to discuss the issue of mandatory pre-commitment," Clubs Australia spokesman Jeremy Bath said in the statement.

"It was made clear at that meeting that Kevin Rudd was sympathetic to the concerns of clubs and as Prime Minister he would kill mandatory pre-commitment.

"Clubs Australia was encouraged to continue the campaign and was advised that we should target a select number of MPs.

"Clubs Australia then sought confirmation of Kevin Rudd's support through a known Rudd ally, which we duly received several days later."

In the Seven Network report on Wednesday, Labor backbencher Alan Griffin reportedly confirmed that he had met with Clubs Australia in November, but he denied he was acting on behalf of Mr Rudd.

Mr Griffin reportedly also told the network that he did not mention Mr Rudd during the meeting.

Mr Griffin told ABC Radio on Thursday he met with Clubs Australia twice - including once in his Parliament House office late in 2011.

He said Clubs Australia was visiting a number of MPs at the time.

Mr Griffin said he expressed "concerns about the policy and how it might operate" and the fact there was considerable consternation within the Labor caucus about it.

But he denied he gave a guarantee that if Mr Rudd was re-elected prime minister he would kill the pre-commitment scheme. (Credit: AAP)

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SkyCity Marriott Launches Hong Kong Disneyland New 2-Day Ticket (Effective 1 March 2012)

Book the Magical Escape Room Package to Receive a Complimentary Upgrade to Hong Kong Disneyland 2-Day Ticket

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Hong Kong Hotels Disney World Directory

HONG 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.

With 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).

To 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.

The 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).

Located 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.

SkyCity 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.

In 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 AsiaWorld-Expo.

About 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 tranquility.

About 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 sectors.

Friday, February 24, 2012

PartyCasino News: Escape to Las Vegas with a 5 Star Dream Ticket!

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Escape to Las Vegas with a 5 Star Dream Ticket!

Starts: 00:00 ET, 12th January 2012
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The Vegas Dream Ticket includes flights for you and a friend and a weekend stay in a luxury hotel. We'll even throw in some spending money so you can really live it up Vegas-style. You could hit the casinos, catch a show or party through the night it's up to you!

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Winning a 5 Star Vegas Dream Ticket is easy. Just opt-in and collect as many points as you can between 12th January and 26th March 2012 to go shooting up our leaderboard and into the prize spots:

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Winning a 5 Star Vegas Dream Ticket is easy… Just make your first deposit at PartyCasino and you’ll be entered into a special prize draw held on 30th March 2012.

The first player picked at random will win a VIP Weekend in Las Vegas, plus we’ve got a whole host of cash bonuses for the runners up:

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2nd–11th   $25 cash
12th–21st  $10 cash bonus
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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Marvel Entertainment Movies: Amazing Spider-Man, Avengers, The Wolverine and Ghost Rider




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The Amazing Spider-Man Spider-Man The Avengers Ghost Rider The Wolverine Movies Hollywood

Hollywood is continuing its lover affair with superhero themes, movie revamps and the like, and Australian fans are lapping it up with the superhero jackpot bonanza.

This year we're looking at a bush tucker bag of sequels, prequels, remakes... you name it. The Hollywood studios will be pumping out their best efforts in order to make as much money as they can muster, and who can blame them.

Entertainment kingpin Marvel Entertainment are going to be spinning out their “The Amazing Spider-Man”, hitting us hard with "The Avengers", "Ghost Rider" is about to ride into "Sin City" Sydney, Australia, and then there's Australia's favorite son, Hugh Jackman back in "The Wolverine".

The Warner Bros. - DC Comics tag-team is going to attempt to combat that Marvel onslaught with the next instalment of Batman - "The Dark Knight Rises", but most tipsters are picking Marvel to win the movie superhero fight over DC Comics this year, but time will tell.

Here’s a peek at some of this year’s coming attractions...(US dates)

Nicolas Cage provides a winter warm-up with “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance” (Feb. 17), returning as the bounty hunter from hell on a mission to rescue a child from the devil.

“The Avengers” (May 4), teaming Robert Downey Jr. as Iron Man, Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Chris Evans as Captain America, Mark Ruffalo as the Incredible Hulk, Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow and Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye.

Next is “The Amazing Spider-Man” (July 3), with Andrew Garfield taking over as Peter Parker in director Marc Webb’s new take on how a mutant spider bite turns a teen into a web-slinging hero.

Christian Bale returns as Batman in “The Dark Knight Rises” (July 20), director Christopher Nolan’s third and final tale of the well to do vigilante with all the cool gadgets. Anne Hathaway joins the cast as Catwoman.

After the late Heath Ledger’s Academy Award-winning performance as the Joker in “The Dark Knight,” Nolan went with a lesser-known villain: This time, it’s Bane (Tom Hardy), known to comic-book fans as the brute who breaks Batman’s back and puts him in a wheelchair.

The Avengers are assembling...

Disney released more stills from its superhero superteam movie reving up fans who are eagerly awaiting the answers to the age-old question, who would win in a fight between The Incredible Hulk and The Mighty Thor.

The first image shows Captain America (Chris Evans) in full updated costume and shield, flanked by Avengers teammates Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) and Black Widow (Scarlett Joahnsson), the three heroes walking as if they mean business. The second still is slightly less dramatic, simply showing Thor (Chris Hemsworth) gripping a conference room chair, pondering heavy thoughts next to S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent Coulson (Clark Gregg).

"When you walk out of your trailer and you bump into Chris Hemsworth with the cape on and you see Downey in the Iron Man suit and that’s when you really get excited and you start geeking out a bit,” Evans told The News last year from the film's New Mexico set.

Fans are already starting to geek out, more than two months before the film's May 4 (U.S) release date.

The Marvel Studios movie, which is directed by fanboy favorite Joss Whedon, unites three franchises (Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and The Hulk) within an even bigger franchise that’s expected to be one of the biggest box office hits of all time.

Avengers News cont...

Marvel Studios presents in association with Paramount Pictures “Marvel’s The Avengers”--the super hero team up of a lifetime, featuring iconic Marvel super heroes Iron Man, the Incredible Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye and Black Widow. When an unexpected enemy emerges that threatens global safety and security, Nick Fury, Director of the international peacekeeping agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D., finds himself in need of a team to pull the world back from the brink of disaster. Spanning the globe, a daring recruitment effort begins.

Starring Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner and Samuel L. Jackson, and directed by Joss Whedon from a screenplay by Joss Whedon, “Marvel’s The Avengers” is based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series “The Avengers,” first published in 1963 and a comics institution ever since. Prepare yourself for an exciting event movie, packed with action and spectacular special effects, when “Marvel’s The Avengers” assemble in summer 2012.

Marvel Release Dates Updated (U.S)

In addition to "Marvel's The Avengers," Marvel Studios will release a slate of films based on the Marvel characters including "Iron Man 3" on May 3, 2013; and "Thor 2" on November 15, 2013.


Andrew Garfield as Spiderman Featured in an Avengers (English, 2012) Cameo...

Mumbai, Feb 13, 2012 - A few days ago we reported the rampant Internet rumor that Andrew Garfield’s Spiderman would be featured in an Avengers cameo. All of this was built off a statement made by actress Jenny Agutter who has a small role in the Whedon production. Well, we’ve stumbled across another source who confirms Spider mans cameo in Avengers.

“This will be similar to how Wolverine made a quick cameo in X-Men: First Class and Sony’s going to make sure to promote their new Spiderman movie any way they can. Andrew (Garfield) isn’t a widely known actor so they want to get his face on everything, including The Avengers even if it’s for a couple seconds.”

This is an absolute multiple bonanza for the superhero fans.

Starring Robert Downey Jr., Chris Evans, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Hemsworth, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner and Tom Hiddleston, with Stellan Skarsgård and Samuel L. Jackson, and written and directed by Joss Whedon, “Marvel’s The Avengers” is based on the ever-popular Marvel comic book series “The Avengers,” first published in 1963 and a comics institution ever since.

“Marvel’s The Avengers” is presented by Marvel Studios in association with Paramount Pictures. The film is being produced by Marvel Studios’ President Kevin Feige and executive produced by Alan Fine, Stan Lee, Jon Favreau, Louis D’Esposito, Patricia Whitcher, Victoria Alonso and Jeremy Latcham. The film is distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures.

The movie is to release in India on 27th April, 2011.


The Wolverine Gets Release Date...

It is official, a sequel to that 2009 X-Men Origins: Wolverine movie will be coming to a theatre near you on or around July 26th 2013 (depends if your in the U.S, Australia or elsewhere). After months of production delays, including replacing Darren Aranofsky as director, that cigar smoking, 'bub' saying, furry Canadian Logan will once again rip things up. The film sequel is running with the title: The Wolverine and will take Logan to Japan where he finds a forbidden romance and the Silver Samurai to deal with. Hugh Jackman has already praised the script as being "one of the best we've ever had." This is good news for those fans and critics who felt the first Wolverine movie offering could have been better. We trust that director James Mangold and Hugh Jackman deliver on this to keep both Marvel hardcore and casual fans happy. What the critics will think is anyone's guess, but as a few stars have noted - movies are made for fans (not critics).


'Ghost Rider' movie controversy; Red hot back story...

The new "Ghost Rider" movie's ticket sales are not very strong, but the controversy raging in the comic-book community is like a mega fireball.

The story begins back in 1972, when the flaming motercyclist was created at Marvel Comics by writer Mike Friedrich, editor Roy Thomas and artist Mike Ploog. Comics creators in those days - and often today - don't own anything they create for the major publishing houses, because of a contract called "work for hire." But when the first "Ghost Rider" movie came out in 2007, Friedrich sued Marvel for partial ownership of the character on a technicality - which would result in a windfall from the movie.

He desperately needed the money. Friedrich, now 69, is unemployed, broke and suffering from liver problems. He has been getting through the days by selling autographed "Ghost Rider" items at conventions as a paid guest, which according to documents amounted to a total of $17,000.

But ownership of trademark and copyright isn't something that comics publishers take lightly. Both of the major comic publishers (ala Marvel and DC Comics) make more income from licensing their library of characters than they do selling comic books. Here's the thing: According to U.S. law, failure to defend a trademark can lead to losing it.

So Marvel - and parent company Disney - went after the lawsuit, including a countersuit demanding the $17,000. They were victorious. In December, the court threw out Friedrich's suit and ordered him to pay Marvel. Also, his future income was constrained, in that he can sign and sell only "Ghost Rider" material that he buys retail.

The creative and fan community responded with fury. Blogs across the Internet excoriated Marvel, or started petitions for the $17,000 to be forgiven. Steve Niles, creator of "30 Days of Night," led a charge on Twitter and set up a Facebook page for contributions  (www.steveniles.com/gary.html). Creators such as Gail Simone ("Batgirl") and Jill Thompson ("Scary Godmother") tweeted encouragement. Longtime creators'-rights champion Neal Adams was one of many who auctioned original art, with proceeds going to Friedrich.

As you might expect, there were calls to boycott the new film, "Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance." That might have contributed to the film's disappointing third-place finish on its opening weekend in the U.S, with $22 million at the U.S box office.

If the movie did well, it would still be overshadowed by the back story - comics creators and fans rising up like a tidal wave to help one of their own.

What a red hot and real superhero story.

Check out the "Support Gary Friedrich" Facebook page (www.facebook.com/supportgaryfriedrich) for more.


Marvel Comics and Movies Alive And Well At Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment...

Marvel superhero fans - great news... more superhero themed online games rumoured to be soon hitting PartyCasino. Stay tuned to the Media Man network for more on that.

If it sounds like 2012 is going to be a pretty good year for superhero movies, both on an entertainment front (for fans) and business angle (for studios etc), that's because it is. Enjoy brigadiers, and as Marvel living legend Stan Lee would say - Excelsior!

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PartyPoker: Online Poker News - Maximus Pointus March! The Gladiator returns to the arena

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Daily targets now start at just one point - new elite targets for most dedicated

Starts: 00:00 ET on 1st March, 2012
Ends: 23:59 ET on 31st March, 2012

Step into the arena for a month of exciting poker action where you could emerge with prizes fit for a champion. The minimum daily points target is just one point – so all you have to do to receive your first reward is to hit the minimum daily points target for a period of five days. The first reward you could claim is a much-deserved entry into a $500 freeroll.

The more days you earn points on, the bigger your prize. There’s up to $4,000 in cash to be won and anyone who wins a cash prize will also claim a seat in a $25,000 freeroll, giving you even more chances to win.

Finally, we've added a massive incentive for the most dedicated players. Earn 1,200 points on 30 days and you’ll win a WPT package worth $8,000 which you can use for the event of your choice. With March having 31 days, you have an extra day's rest — vital for those dedicated to reaching the very top prizes.

Gibraltar – 23rd February 2012 – ‘The Gladiator’ returns to PartyPoker.com for the month of March and, as ever, only the strongest survive in the online colosseum! In new twists, however, the popular promotion is more accessible than ever with the daily points target now starting at just one point - as well as more appealing to those who want to play a lot with ambitious new targets for the most dedicated players.

A PartyPoker.com spokesman said: “The promotion has been adapted with the most frequent and infrequent players in mind. From the 1st – 31st March all players have to do is opt-in and hit the minimum daily points target of one point and the road to prizes start. With the minimum daily points target at just one point – all you have to do to receive your first reward is to hit the minimum daily points target for a period of five days. The first reward you could claim is a much-deserved entry into a $500 freeroll.”

“The premise of ‘The Gladiator,’ is simple, the more days you earn points on, the bigger your prize. There’s up to $4,000 in cash to be won and anyone who wins a cash prize will also claim a seat in a $25,000 freeroll, providing even more chances to win. We've also added a massive incentive for the most dedicated players. Earn 1,200 points on 30 days and you’ll win a WPT package worth $8,000 which you can use for a WPT Main Tour event of your choice. With March having 31 days, you have an extra day's rest — vital for those dedicated to reaching the very top prizes.”

“For the players that want to push themselves even harder there is an exclusive elite target. Players who earn 1,500 points on 40 days between 1st March and 15th April will win a huge $15,000 WSOP* package**.”

You don’t even have to earn points on consecutive days: we’ll just count up the number of days where you made the targets during the promotion.

For example, if you earn 10 points every day for 10 days, take five days off and then earn 10 points on 10 more days of the promotion, you’ll get the $15 cash prize for earning 10 points on 20 days and entry into the $25,000 freeroll.

Players can keep updated on how many points picked up so far in ‘The Gladiator’ by checking their PartyAccount. Points are not removed from player accounts following the promotion – they all count towards Palladium VIP targets. Step into the arena from 1st to 31st March for a month of exciting poker action where you could emerge with prizes fit for a champion.

*World Series of Poker"® and "WSOP"® are registered trademarks of Caesars Interactive Entertainment, Inc. No license, affiliation, sponsorship or endorsement is claimed, or should be inferred from the use of these trademarks here. We are not licensed by or otherwise affiliated with Caesars Interactive Entertainment, Inc. or the World Series of Poker® in any way.


Shuffle Master to Buy Ongame Network...

American casino equipment manufacturer Shuffle Master is expected to purchase the Ongame Network from online gaming giant bwin.party, according to a report by the UK’s The Sunday Times. The move is likely being made by Shuffle Master as a way to position itself when and if online poker is legalized and regulated in the United States.

The Ongame Network has been on the auction block for a year, a casualty of bwin’s merger with Party Gaming last March 31st. The network was purchased back in 2005 by bwin for £474 million, but that was pre-UIGEA and pre-Black Friday, two dark days in online poker history that have significantly changed the valuation of Ongame. Now, the deal with Shuffle Master looks to be for a mere £13 million ($20 million). Prior to the completion of the bwin/Party union, a bwin spokesperson said that the Ongame Network was considered a “surplus asset” and that it was “no longer needed” by the combined company.

The Ongame Network currently ranks as the 6th largest online poker room network/room in terms of cash game players, according to PokerScout.com. With a seven day average of 2,150 players, it falls just behind PokerStars.it (2,250) and just ahead of Winamax.fr (2,100). PartyPoker, which has remained separate from Ongame, ranks 2nd with a seven day average of 4,750 cash game players.

The problem Shuffle Master will face, however, is that the Ongame Network will likely not be as large after the purchase as it is now, although that is probably reflected in the purchase price. The headline room of the network is bwin.com, whose customers will almost certainly stay with bwin.party after the sale. What remains to be seen is what will happen with the other rooms on the network, particularly Betfair, the best known room after bwin.

Shuffle Master is best known for its automated card shufflers, installed in gaming tables, including poker, in casinos all over the world. The company also operates Shuffle Interactive, a division which offers casino games on a variety of platforms, including PC, Mac, Facebook, iOS, and Android. The games can be licensed by online casinos.

Investment bank Roth Capital Partners said in a research note last week, “We view the interactive gaming opportunity as the most under-appreciated aspect of Shuffle’s growth story.”

Though Shuffle Master and other American gaming companies (such as International Gaming Technology, which bought the Entraction Network for $115 million last May) are making moves under the expectation that the online poker market will open up in the United States, it does not appear that that will happen until at least next year. As we reported this weekend, the disappointing news first came from reliable Las Vegas Review-Journal reporter Howard Stutz, who tweeted, “One Wall Street analyst opinion: Internet poker legalization not being attached to the payroll tax bill means the issue is dead for 2012.” It is not completely out of the question that something could get passed this year, as there are slight hopes that a poker rider could be attached to the Obama Administration’s jobs package or the upcoming cyber security legislation, but those are not strong possibilities. (Credit: Poker News Daily)

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Call Me Fitz - FX Event At Swifts, Darling Point, Sydney with Jason Priestley

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The grounds of the famous Swifts Mansion were abuzz with fans and media as actor Jason Priestley and a good spread of other actors did the rounds to promote FX's 'Call Me Fitz', in which Priestley stars.

Priestley, better known to Australians and most of the world for his former role in Beverly Hills 90210 has put Brandon Walsh in the history books and has created a cool, dark character in Richard "Fitz" Fitzpatrick.

FX is an upcoming new Fox International entertainment channel which we understand Foxtel are very keen to launch asap.

Promo...

Canadian-American actor Jason Priestley was every teenage girl's poster boy as Beverly Hills, 90210 character Brandon Walsh, one of the show's most popular figures. Priestley's role as Brandon Walsh catapulted him into international fame and since then he has starred in other television shows like Saturday Night Live, Tru Calling, Colditz, Medium and My Name is Earl.

Priestley's brand new television show Call Me Fitz stars him as the main character, a morally bankrupt used-car salesman whose consequence-free life is complicated by the arrival of a do-gooder who claims to be his conscience.

Call Me Fitz is one of many shows to be broadcast on Foxtel's new television channel, FX, which will welcome Priestley to Swifts mansion in Darling Point tonight to celebrate its launch in Australia. The series will have its debut on the channel on Wednesday, March 7 and will be broadcast alongside an array of other popular shows including hit zombie series The Walking Dead.

Priestley will walk the black carpet at this exclusive invitation only launch party at Swifts in Darling Point tonight, alongside Ben Esler, Damon Herriman, Hernan Lopez and Karin Simoncini. Media wishing to cover the black carpet will need to advise Marlene Richardson on the details listed below.

Call Me Fitz synopsis...

A twisted family dramedy about a morally bankrupt salesman who is forced to become business partners with his inner conscience, an off-beat do gooder intent on healing Fitz's mangled psyche, one hilarious disaster at a time.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Virgin boss victorious in .xxx Branson pickle - 21st February 2012

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Cyber-squatter owns diddly-squat in domain ruling

Sir Richard Branson has wrestled a .xxx domain off a cybersquatter in a challenge over richardbranson.xxx.

The Virgin Group founder discovered last week that his Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy complaint with the World Intellectual Property Organisation was successful.

The WIPO panelist handling the case found that the cybersquatter, Australian Sean Truman, lacked rights to the address and had registered it in bad faith.

Truman, who bought the domain four days after the .xxx registry went live last December, said in his defence that he snapped up the address as a "souvenir". He also claimed that Branson had "ample opportunity to register the name if he believed that his rights may be under threat by another person", according to the decision.

But "you snooze, you lose" is not a defence to cybersquatting under the UDRP's rules, and the panelist found in favour of Branson. The domain will now be transferred to Virgin.

But because Virgin is not a porn company, and therefore does not qualify to register .xxx domains, richardbranson.xxx will likely be set as a "non-resolver", meaning it will not work when you type it in your browser address bars.

It is the second UDRP case to have been decided since .xxx first started selling domains last year. The first saw the domain heb.xxx transferred to a Texas-based grocery chain. Other disputed addresses include foxstudios.xxx and kayjewelers.xxx, according to UDRP records. There have been 13 cases filed since 29 December.

Uniquely, the .xxx space has a second way of resolving cybersquatting disputes that is much faster, more secretive, and turning out to be just as popular as the standard UDRP.

This Rapid Evaluation Service, which can take down an obviously cybersquatted domain in as little as two days, has been invoked 15 times so far, according to the National Arbitration Forum, which handles the cases. NAF has taken down 12 .xxx cybersquats since December, according to recently released statistics. Each case took on average two days for a preliminary decision.

Unlike UDRP, which transfers the domain to the aggrieved party, domains seized under the $1,300 RES are turned off permanently, so the winner does not have to pay annual recurring fees.

But RES decisions are not published, so it's not clear which domains were cybersquatted or what rationale the NAF panelists used to suspend the domains. (Credit: The Register)

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The Media Man Network is currently accepting approved advertisers and campaigns - both online and traditional campaigns.

Media Man is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company.

They were established in 2001 and are a multi-time award winner.

Ranked in the Hitwise Australia top ten (entertainment - personalities category), Google 'Best Of The Web', and AllExperts (TV and Radio).

Campaign portfolio includes WWE, UFC, Messages On Hold, Human Statue Bodyart, PartyCasino, Virgin Games, Marvel Entertainment, Aston Martin, Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, PlatinumHD, Ric Drasin, Eva Rinaldi Photography, Music News Australia, Richard Bradley Productions, Gizzi's Cafe, Frank Sinatra Enterprises, Palazzo Versace, IGT and Endemol.

The Media Man website network currently attracts approximately 5 million hits per month.

Media Man is regularly quoted in mainstream media including The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Daily Telegraph, B&T, The New York Times blog, Gambling911, Street Corner and News Limited blog websites.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Australian Casino News: The Star, Crown Casino; New Zealand Casino News: SkyCity

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Australian Casinos casinos World Casino Directory Australia New Zealand






Star casino has 'extreme' party culture...

A former Star employee says the Sydney casino is plagued by a culture of parties, irresponsible gambling and sexual harassment.

The claims come just days after the NSW Gaming Authority announced an inquiry into the casino, following the sacking of its CEO Sid Vaikunta over sexual harassment allegations two weeks ago.
In an interview with Channel 7, former manager Elizabeth Ward said in her 24 years working in casinos she had never witnessed a culture as extreme as that at the Star.

"It's a permanent party," she told Seven.

Another employee who wasn't identified told Seven there was 'chronic drug abuse' within senior management.

He also claimed senior managers were encouraged not to report breaches within the casino.
"There's financial incentives not to report any breaches," he said.

Ms Ward, who worked at The Star for 16 years, claimed in one incident a senior minister from a foreign government was ejected from the casino for gross and obscene behaviour but was allowed to return after complaining to executive staff.

"No matter what you do or what you report or what you see, nothing gets done," she said.
The employees claim high-rollers are protected by senior management, and encouraged to stay at tables for up to 48 hours.

Ms Ward said her investigation of a suspected drug scandal involving a high-roller cost her and her husband their jobs.

She claimed the high-roller was good friends with three casino executives.

"The more I investigated it the uglier things seemed to be getting for me," she said.

The employees said they were willing to testify as part of the Casino, Liquor and Gaming Control Authority inquiry.

Echo Entertainment says the allegations made on Seven News are inconsistent with the findings of the Casino Liquor Gaming Control Authority's recent review of The Star casino licence.

The company says The Star's intolerance of breaches of its Code of Conduct is evidenced by the sacking of its former managing director after allegations were made against him.

It rejected Ms Ward's claim that the jobs of she and her husband were terminated after they investigated a high-roller over a suspected drug scandal.

"Ms Ward was unable to return to work after an eight-month absence and so her employment was ended," Echo Entertainment said in a statement.

"Six months before a restructure of table games Ms Ward's husband asked for a voluntary redundancy and The Star granted his request."

Echo Entertainment did not deny that reporting breaches was entwined with performance indicators.

It said reporting breaches was taken seriously but that a recent report by Ms Gail Furness SC to the Casino Liquor & Gaming Licence Authority did recommend a review of performance indicators for senior staff.

"She observed that The Star had already taken action to substitute a more appropriate KPI (Key Performance Indicators) in place of zero breaches," the company said.

The company also did not deny claims a foreign minister had been readmitted to the casino after being ejected for bad behaviour.

It said: "The Responsible Service of Alcohol is treated seriously and applied uniformly regardless of the status of the client visiting the casino."


Inquiry launched into sacking of casino boss Sid Vaikunta...

AN inquiry has been launched into the circumstances surrounding the sacking of The Star casino's CEO, Sid Vaikunta.

The NSW Casino, Liquor and Gaming Control Authority said today it was establishing the inquiry, with powers conferred by the Royal Commissions Act.

Mr Vaikunta left the Sydney casino amid allegations of sexual harassment.

The casino's owner Echo Entertainment Group announced his departure a fortnight ago, citing his behaviour "in a social work setting".

Barrister Gail Furness SC will run the inquiry.


Melco interested in $1 bln Manila casino project

(Reuters) - A casino operator run by Australian billionaire James Packer and the son of Macau gambling tycoon Stanley Ho has expressed interest in investing in a $1 billion Manila casino project, the Philippine gambling regulator said on Tuesday.

Macau-based Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd MPEL.0 was "very interested" in the project, Cristino Naguiat, chairman of the state-owned Philippine Amusement & Gaming Corp (Pagcor), told Reuters after meeting with Melco officials last week in Manila.

He said Hong Kong-listed Galaxy Entertainment Group Ltd (0027.HK) was also interested in a project in the more than 100-hectare Entertainment City near Manila Bay, construction of which is to begin late next year.

Pagcor, the country's largest casino operator, awarded four licenses in 2008 and 2009 to operate casino resorts in the Manila Bay area. Pagcor expects the resorts to generate annual gambling revenue of as much as $11 billion after five years of operation, overtaking Las Vegas.

Pagcor requires a minimum investment of $1 billion from any firm awarded a gaming license, Naguiat said.

CASINO RESORTS

Naguiat did not know if Melco was looking for local partners, but said Galaxy was in talks with local groups and "could be" in discussions with local property and leisure firm Belle Corp (BEL.PS) for a partnership.

Belle, controlled by the country's richest man Henry Sy, was looking to lease at least 10 hectares of land from Pagcor for its second casino project in Entertainment City. The project could also cost $1 billion.

Belle is building an integrated entertainment resort complex called Belle Grande Manila Bay, which features a 30,000-square-metre casino, within the Entertainment City.

Three other groups are pursuing developments in Entertainment City, the biggest being the $2 billion casino-hotel project being built by a unit of Japan's Universal Entertainment Corp (6425.OS) set for completion in 2014.

The other developers are Bloomsbury Investments and the joint venture between Genting Hong Kong Ltd (0678.HK) and Alliance Global Group (AGI.PS).

Naguiat said Universal Entertainment remained interested in pursuing its Philippine project despite a much-publicised fight between Japanese gaming mogul Kazuo Okada and his former business partner, Las Vegas casino tycoon Steve Wynn.

Okada owns Universal Entertainment and Wynn is chief executive at Wynn Resorts Ltd (WYNN.O). Both claim the other made improper payments to win favour in their respective Macau and Philippines markets.

"I don't know what's going on between Mr. Okada and Mr. Wynn. We have to be outside that fight," Naguiat said. "From the way I look at it, there was nothing wrong with our transactions with Mr. Okada."

Naguiat said he had discussed the issue with Okada, who promised to pursue his Philippine project. "No change in plans, everything will push through."

Pagcor grew its total revenues by 16.5 percent to a record 36.7 billion pesos last year. It expects revenues to grow at least 16 percent this year.


The season for auction fever about to set in...

THE commercial auction year in Melbourne will start in earnest when Burgess Rawson offers 10 properties, including shopping centres, service stations, and liquor outlets, next week.

The auction will be on Wednesday, February 29, in the River Room at Crown Casino at 11am. Up for sale are a Coles Express at Rye, an office in Cheltenham, a car wash in Springvale, a BP service station in Ballarat and an IGA in Seymour. The interstate properties include a supermarket and warehouse in Queensland, a Woolworths in Launceston and two Dan Murphy's liquor stores in New South Wales.

In Echuca, Fitzroys and Charles L. King & Co will offer four commercial/residential development sites for auction this Saturday from 1.30pm. The property at 557-561 High Street, one of the last development sites in the Port precinct, is expected to fetch more than $2 million. The other sales prices should be between $1 million-$1.8 million.

In Southbank, Savills Australia is marketing a warehouse with development potential close to Southgate and Crown Casino. The property will be auctioned on Thursday, March 8, at 1pm on site, and is expected to fetch more than $950,000. Located at 11-13 Hancock Street, the level warehouse on a 168-square-metre site is zoned Mixed Use (allowing residential and commercial development).

Receivers and managers have been appointed to sell The Avenue, a prominent shopping centre in Sunshine West. Colliers International, under instructions from PPB Advisory, has listed the centre at 136 The Avenue for sale by tender.

The anchor tenant at the shopping centre was a Coles supermarket and was complemented by a strong tenancy mix incorporating a Cellarbrations liquor outlet and other specialty stores.

Knight Frank is to sell an industrial property at Tullamarine. Located at 9 Fellowes Court, the property comprises a clear-span warehouse with a two-level office and loading docks. The expressions of interest campaign closes on March 15 at 5pm. The expected selling price is more than $4 million.


Adelaide Casino earns $19m in first half - 16th February 2012...

SkyCity Entertainment Group is continuing talks with the State Government on the redevelopment of the Adelaide casino.

New Zealand-based SkyCity has casinos in Auckland, Hamilton, Queenstown, Adelaide and Darwin.

Adelaide Casino was the group's best performing Australian asset, lifting earnings 13 per cent to $19.1 million in the six months to December 31 on a 7 per cent rise in revenue of $82.6 million.

SkyCity on Wednesday reported a 17.4 per cent increase in net profit for the first half of the 2011/12 financial year to a record $NZ78.8 million ($A61.81 million).

The group said that since December SkyCity had been working closely with the South Australian casino taskforce regarding the future regulatory framework for the Adelaide casino.

``The outcome of these discussions will allow us to determine whether to proceed or not with progressing our plans for the transformation of the Adelaide casino,'' SkyCity said.

``While we are excited about the outstanding growth opportunity this transformational project potentially represents for SkyCity, shareholders should be assured that this project will only proceed if we can be confident of achieving an acceptable return on the potential investment.''

SkyCity says it could transform the Adelaide casino into a world-class entertainment facility, featuring a five-star hotel, expanded gaming facilities, restaurants and bars, a spa and a roof-top pool lounge.

SkyCity said that since 2010, the Darwin casino had experienced some challenging times caused by a soft tourism market, the high Australian dollar and the ban on live cattle exports.

However, gaming revenues were now returning to growth.

Construction of SkyCity's new Lagoon Resort in Darwin was on budget and scheduled to open in July.

The Lagoon Resort would include special facilities for international gamblers, enabling SkyCity's Darwin property to compete in the international VIP market.

``This, together with the recently announced business class flights direct from Singapore, Darwin's proximity to Asia and the recently announced $32 billion Inpex Ichthys LNG project, gives us confidence that our Darwin property has a very bright future,'' SkyCity said.

Overall, the group said strong first half earnings were driven by the revitalised flagship Auckland casino and hotel complex, the Rugby World Cup finals in New Zealand in October, and continued success in attracting more international gamblers.

SkyCity chief executive Nigel Morrison said the group had enjoyed strong momentum in the six months to December 31, and it had continued into January and February 2012.

SkyCity expected its normalised net profit for the full year to be at the top end of its previous guidance range in the high $NZ140 millions, up from $NZ130.9 million ($A102.68 million) last year.

SkyCity spent $NZ50 million ($A39.22 million) rejuvenating its Auckland operations, including new VIP gaming facilities.

SkyCity said talks were continuing with the New Zealand government over the construction of an international convention centre, which could result in the SkyCity investing $NZ350 million ($A274.54 million) in the project.

Shares in SkyCity were two cents lower at $2.78 on Wednesday.

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Contraband Movie Premiere In Sydney Australia With Mark Wahlberg

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Australian big name actor Mark Wahlberg drew a strong crowd at Event Cinemas, George St, Sydney this afternoon with the Australian premiere of the highly anticipated 'Contraband'.

Contraband opens in Australia February 23.

Fans of Marky Mark and as well as those into the thriller genre are going to love this.

Trivia...

Mark Wahlberg is taking his role as a model father seriously...he takes his kids to accompany him to get his tattoos removed!

Promo...

Mark Wahlberg leads the cast of Contraband, a fast-paced thriller about a man trying to stay out of a world he worked so hard to leave behind and the family he’ll do anything to protect.  Set in New Orleans, the film explores the cutthroat underground world of international smuggling—full of desperate criminals and corrupt officials, high-stakes and big payoffs—where loyalty rarely exists and death is one wrong turn away.

Contraband is directed by Baltasar Kormákur and stars Mark Wahlberg, Kate Beckinsale, Ben Foster, Giovanni Ribisi, Lukas Haas, Caleb Landry Jones, Diego Luna and J.K. Simmons.

Director: Baltasar Kormákur
Writers: Aaron Guzikowski (screenplay), Arnaldur Indriðason (film "Reykjavik-Rotterdam")
Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Giovanni Ribisi and Kate Beckinsale

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Monday, February 20, 2012

Casino News: Australia, New Zealand, Las Vegas, Land Based, Online...

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Gaming Gambling Politics Australia New Zealand World Casino Directory





SkyCity gives more detail of casino expansion plan...

SkyCity has revealed its vision for the Adelaide Casino, as part of a redevelop the Torrens riverbank precinct.

The company wants to expand the casino to include a hotel, more gaming facilities, VIP suites, more restaurants and bars and a spa and rooftop pool.

It says the work would involve no removal of any part of the current heritage building and its plan would give casino site visitors even better views of the heritage building.

SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison says the redevelopment will not proceed unless the South Australian Government comes up with concessions.

"We're working closely with the casino taskforce in South Australia regarding the regulatory framework for the Adelaide Casino and the outcome of those discussions will determine whether or not we're able to proceed in progressing our plans for the transformation of the Adelaide Casino," he said.

In the first half of the financial year, SkyCity Entertainment Group recorded a net profit of nearly $79 million, a 17 per cent rise, and revenue at the Adelaide Casino was up 6.9 per cent.


Queensland Casinos make pre-commitment...

Voluntary pre-commitment modules will be added to 3000 of Queensland pokies, bringing the percentage of the state's machines with the technology to 18 per cent.

But anti-gambling campaigner, independent federal senator Nick Xenophon, has labelled the move relatively empty.

Retiring state member and the minister responsible for gaming Paul Lucas yesterday announced that Echo Entertainment Group, which owns the Jupiter-branded casinos and hotels in Townsville and the Gold Coast, as well as the Treasury Casino and hotel in Brisbane, would begin rolling out the technology this month.

Mr Lucas said it was part of a $625 million upgrade Echo Entertainment had planned for their three Queensland properties. The allocation of 500 extra gaming machines for their south-east complexes would be conditional on the introduction of the technology.

Mr Lucas said the addition of 500 machines across the Brisbane and Gold Coast casinos had been sourced from "within the current state wide gaming machine cap" and there would be no overall increase in pokies across Queensland.

He said 11 per cent of the state's 44,000 poker machines already had voluntary pre-commitment technology installed and the Echo Entertainment Group's decision brought that figure to 18 per cent or 7800 machines.

"We've seen our problem gambling rates more than halve since 2001," Mr Lucas said.

"What that shows is measures such as voluntary pre-commitment work. That's why we continue to support voluntary pre-commitment but won't be supporting moves for mandatory pre-commitment until more research is done into its effectiveness."

But Mr Xenophon said voluntary pre-commitment did nothing for the gamblers who needed the most help.

"Voluntary pre-commitment is about as effective as voluntary speed limits and voluntary drink driving laws," he said. "It doesn't work and those who need it the most won't do it. So this is a case of more window dressing, more smoke and mirrors, surrounding the real issue."

Fellow independent senator Andrew Wilkie withdrew his support for Prime Minister Julia Gillard's government this month, when he said she reneged on their deal to implement an agreed pokies reform.

The agreement included mandatory pre-commitment for high-loss machines and a one-dollar limit on all other machines, with a May deadline. The federal government effectively walked away from the deal last month.

Mr Xenophon said he still believed major pokie reform was possible in Australia.

"I think it will happen because most Australians want it to happen. But you have the major parties caving into the poker machine lobby."


Release of legal advice on gambling reform...

Bill Shorten, Jenny Macklin - Tuesday, 1 February 2011...

The Australian Government today released legal advice on the Commonwealth’s power to legislate for important reforms to address problem gambling.

The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, agreed with the Independent Member for Denison, Andrew Wilkie, to commission this legal advice. The Prime Minister and Mr Wilkie also agreed that the Parliamentary Joint Select Committee on Gambling Reform would be informed of the legal advice.

The Australian Government is committed to working with the states and territories and industry to introduce key reforms which address the harm from problem gambling, including a full pre-commitment scheme for poker machines.

State and territory governments are responsible for the regulation of the gambling industry, except for online gambling.

However, problem gambling is a serious issue and the Australian Government believes more must be done to help problem gamblers and their families, particularly by reducing the harm caused by poker machines.

Research shows that three-quarters of severe problem gamblers have problems with poker machines.

Problem gambling can destroy families and ruin lives.

Problem gamblers spend an average of $21,000 a year on gambling.  That's a lot of money by anyone’s standards – money that isn’t being spent on food, bills or the family mortgage.

We have written to Mr Wilkie, as Chair of the Parliamentary Joint Select Committee on Gambling Reform, to our state and territory colleagues on the Council of Australian Governments Select Council on Gambling Reform, and to Professor Peter Shergold AC, Chair of the Ministerial Expert Advisory Group on Gambling Reform, to provide them with the legal advice.

The advice from the Australian Government Solicitor confirms there are a range of constitutional heads of power available to the Australian Government, including corporations, trade and commerce, telecommunications, banking, currency, taxation and territories powers.

While this advice identifies the legislative options available to the Commonwealth, the Australian Government remains committed to reaching an agreement with the states and territories to progress these important reforms.

Gambling is a legitimate industry and a valued form of entertainment for many Australians. We will work with industry to implement these reforms in a staged, evidence-based way. We have established the Ministerial Expert Advisory Group on Gambling, chaired by Professor Peter Shergold AC, to seek advice from the industry, academics and gambling support services on how to best implement the reforms.

The Productivity Commission recommended the Commonwealth intervene if the states and territories do not agree to implement gambling reforms Australia wide.


Legislation for National Gambling Reforms, by Jenny Macklin - 17 February 2012

The Australian Government today released the draft National Gambling Reform Bills 2012 which will deliver long-lasting reforms to help the five million Australians affected by problem gambling.

The Bills put into action the reform package the Government announced on 21 January this year, including implementing pre-commitment technology and dynamic warnings on poker machines and introducing a $250 daily ATM withdrawal limit in pokies venues.

The Bills build on the Australian Government’s work on pre-commitment technology through the Council of Australian Government’s Select Council on Gaming Reform. At this forum in May last year, state and territory gaming ministers agreed to support the required infrastructure for pre-commitment technology in all jurisdictions.

These Bills give a clear timeline for the implementation of pre-commitment in pokies venues across Australia.

From next week the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs and the Treasury will begin formal consultations with industry groups, manufacturers, community groups and the states and territories on the draft Bills.

Following the consultations, the Bills will be introduced into the parliament in the current session.

The Government has a clear plan to deliver the most significant and far reaching national reforms to tackle problem gambling ever seen in this country.

This is the first time the Commonwealth has taken national action to help problem gamblers and their families.

The draft legislation is available at www.fahcsia.gov.au


New star performers for SA...

SYDNEY, NSW  - IGT announces that its set to release of two new games for its IGT bluechip Neo® cabinet in South Australia - taking its SA game offering for this new cabinet to seven since launch last.  Age of Shogun™ and Wild Girls™ offer different play styles and game features to excite existing players and attract new ones.

The latest addition to IGT's very successful Shogun-themed games, Age of Shogun™ is a high denomination game featuring three progressive jackpots as well as triple prizes during 25 free games.  Wild Girls™ on the other hand, is a low denomination game with a unique feature that offers extra substitutes and an interactive game screen during free games.

Bill Maglaris, IGT's SA State sales manager, commented: "IGT was the first gaming manufacturer to bring 3-level progressive jackpots to South Australia and it's great to see this feature teamed with one of IGT's popular game themes in Age of Shogun.  If past Shogun games are an indication, this new game should prove popular with players.  Wild Girls offers something new to the low denom market allowing players to collect symbols to gain additional substitutes and providing venues with a configurable hold percentage to suit their individual requirements."

We're pleased to be releasing two more games to our bluechip Neo game library in South Australia. This library now features a mix of denominations and low volatilities to ensure venues can choose games that meet their needs".

IGT is the world's largest gaming manufacturer.  IGT Australia is a subsidiary of IGT and has served the local market for over 20 years.  IGT Australia delivers the global strength of our parent via innovative products designed to maximise the potential of gaming floors across Australia and New Zealand.  IGT's comprehensive range of value added services and systems ensures that venues get the most from their investments.

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Murdoch to launch Sun on Sunday next weekend - 20th February 2012

Profiles

Rupert Murdoch Media Companies News Corp Australia





Rupert Murdoch and James Packer

The Sunday version of Rupert Murdoch's top-selling British tabloid The Sun will hit the shelves for the first time next weekend, the Australian-born media tycoon's News International has announced.

"Rupert Murdoch said during his visit on Friday that a new Sunday title would be published 'very soon' - and that is a week from today," said an internal memo sent to staff at Murdoch's company.

The Sun's website ran a story saying the paper, called The Sun on Sunday, will be launched on February 26.

News International closed down its News of the World Sunday tabloid last year after revelations of widespread phone hacking by reporters.

At the time both Mr Murdoch and his son James said there were no immediate plans to launch a Sunday paper to replace the News of the World.

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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Media Man News Update

News

PartyCasino Wins Media Man 'Online Casino Of The Month'

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Packer shifts gaming chips

Packer casino hits jackpot in Macau

Shane Warne is shocked by link to porn site

Dame Judi reveals sight scare

Sydney hoteliers move to ban patrons with visible tattoos

Hulk Hogan heading to New Zealand

CHYNA I Got Screwed Over By a Hulk Hogan Imposter

MEL GIBSON Invited to Whitney's Funeral ... He Tried to Save Her

Ex 'Survivor' Producer Bruce Beresford-Redman to Stand Trial for Wife's Death

BRUCE BERESFORD-REDMAN I'm Ready to Talk... for a Price!!!

WWE's Dave Bautista Joins Vin Diesel in 'Chronicles of Riddick 2'

Smashing Pumpkins' Billy Corgan Starts Wrestling Company

George Clooney's Squeeze Stacy Keibler Sparkles in Marchesa at The National Board of Review

U.S. Seizes 16 Unauthorized Sports Streaming Sites Ahead of Super Bowl

Stars turn out for Whitney's funeral

Leaked video shows Rudd swearing

Masked men plunder ancient Olympic artefacts

Daredevil to cross Niagara Falls on tightrope

Shane Warne in internet porn shock over 888 online poker website

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance: Film Review

Bring It Back!: "WWE WrestleFest"

World's Strongest Induction

WWE(R) Annual Shareholders Meeting to Be Held on April 27, 2012

WWE(R) Declares Quarterly Dividend

Search for the 2012 WWE Community Champion begins in the U.K.

Shuffle Master seeking European alliances

Harley-Davidson Joins Forces with Marvel

Survivor producer to face trial for wife's murder

Special investigation: Charities use the hard sell

Revenge consumes 2 million viewers

McCartney honoured on Walk of Fame

Watch the Second Amazing Spider-Man Trailer

PartyCasino Wins Media Man 'Online Casino Of The Month'

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Australian Open Of Surfing; Manly Beach, Sydney, Australia; The Living End Rocks

Profiles

Sydney Manly Music Australia

The inaugural Australian Open of Surfing has hit Sydney, Australia via Australia' home of surfing - Manly Beach.

In excess of 100,000 people are expected to have embarked on Sydney's Manly Beach by the end the nine-day event. Today it looked like 150,000 were at Manly Beach.

Make no mistake - this is Australia biggest surf, skate and music festival combo.

The weather has been changeable throughout the event, but today was blue skys all the way.

Locals supported home grown surfers such as Cooper Chapman, a 17-year-old from Narrabeen.

The youngster came into the competition as a wildcard entrant and surfed one-on-one with world number-two Joel Parkinson.

“I’ve always looked up to (Parkinson), he has been one of my favourite surfers for a long time,” Chapman told the Manly Daily.

Surfing is just one of a number of cool activities.

Skaters (skate board riders) as young as eight, as well as international pro, have been competing for $US50,000 ($47,000) in prize money in the Beach Bowl skate bowl.

The nine-day Australian Open of Surfing has been declared a success by organisers, sponsors and supporters, including the state government's Destination NSW program.

"It brings the best of surf, skate and music to the harbour city, embracing youth culture and promoting the unique energy of Sydney's outdoor lifestyle," says the Minister for Tourism, George Souris, eyeing an extra $6 million tourism boost.

The Manly extravaganza is based on the US Open of Surfing, a week-long celebration of surfing, skating, BMX, fashion, art and lifestyle held annually at Huntington Beach, California.

"It's just huge there. Attracts about a million people," says Jason Haynes, the general manager of surfwear company Hurley, principal co-sponsor with Billabong of the Manly event.

His expectations in Manly are more modest. "We're just getting started. We'd be pleased with 100,000," Haynes says. "So far it ticks all the boxes in terms of location, weather, waves, community support."

The Australian Open - which has been several years and a "substantial", though undisclosed, budget in the making - has been booked initially into the calendar for three years.

"We want it to be part of the calendar. We hope families will book their holidays in Australia round the event," says Bob Hurley, the company's chairman and founder. He also hopes to attract more top male surfers.

Top line music performers are also sharing the stage of success with the surfers and skaters.

Music acts like Sneaky Sound System, Children Collide and Stonefield are entertaining the masses at the event also, with Children Collide and The Living End whipping up a storm this afternoon.

The Australian Open of Surfing concluded today.

Websites

Australian Open Of Surfing

The Living End

Cardinal Spin

Sydney.com

Billabong

Hurley International

Eva Rinaldi Photography Flickr

Eva Rinaldi Photography

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