Crown Casino Refuse Jackpot Payment; ClubsNSW VS PokieAct

Written by:
Greg Tingle
Published on:
Jan/09/2011
Crown Casino

G'day punters, journos, high rollers, politicians, insiders, outsiders... one and all. Media Man and Gambling911 with another hardcore news report hot of the desk...

Crown Casino Refuse Jackpot "Winner"; Wrong Rewards Card!...

Crown casino has thus far refused to pay out many thousands of dollars to an elderly mum (when she was found out to have used her daughter's loyalty card on the winning poker machine.) Crown leaks advise the lady won the 800,000 award points jackpot - worth $8000 grand last Friday but Crown management had told her she had in fact committed fraud! Crown also said the winning jackpot could not be converted into cash. The Crown Signature Club provides points for every dollar spent inside the casino, offering patrons rewards such as free parking, meals and hotel discounts. Folks, you have to read the fine print. Take it from us, its hard to beat Crown, and any casino house for that matter. They are smart cookies to say the least, and that's why Media Man owns some shares in them, and we're up front about it too, unlike some other media companies. Crown spokesman Gary O'Neill said the terms and conditions were made clear to everyone who signed up for the rewards program. "On each machine in that area, the rules of the jackpot are clearly stated, plus at the end of each row of the machines the terms and conditions are clearly explained and the vital term is you must be playing with your own card to be eligible to win," O'Neill said. "As far as we're concerned, the conditions are pretty basic and they're pretty straight forward: to be eligible to get the points you obviously have to have your card in the machine." O'Neill denied the jackpot could be converted into cash, despite a Crown staff member is rumored to have told the press the points could be converted at a rate of 1c a point. "The points go on to your card, it is not a cash jackpot. You don't get money for it." Folks, play by the rules or you could end up very disappointed.

Crown Limited AGM 2010 Recap; Crown Limited Earnings Up...

Folks, Crown is powering along. For those who missed it, and since Crown and 'Our James' remains the talk of the town...Australian casino operator Crown Ltd says revenue from its local gaming and hotels operations since the start of the financial year are up on same period in 2009. Combined gaming revenue from Crown's Melbourne and Burswood casinos between July 1 and November 24 was up abut six per cent on the same period last year, chief executive Rowen Craigie said. Craigie was speaking at the group's annual general meeting in Perth. Non-gaming revenue in the same period was up by about five per cent on the same period last year, excluding the impact of the newly opened Crown Metropol hotel in Melbourne. Including the Metropol, non-gaming revenue was up around 13% on the previous corresponding period, Mr Craigie said. He said turnover from VIP gamblers at the Melbourne and Burswood casinos in the first 21 weeks of the financial year was down 10 per cent on the same period last year. "We are continuing to see an impact from the opening of the two new integrated resorts in Singapore and are yet to capitalise on the opportunity to capture the new business that Singapore potentially offers," Mr Craigie said in a prepared speech. The Metropol hotel, which opened in April, is achieving better than expected occupancy rates and room rates are "firming", he said. Melco Crown Entertainment, in which Crown holds a 33.5 per cent stake, has reported a "broad-based improvement" in the performance of its flagship resort City of Dreams in Macau, the meeting was told. Melco reported improved revenue and earnings in the three months to September 30 compared with the same period last year, Mr Craigie said.

ClubsNSW VS Pokie ACT!; PokieAct Fights Back; Some Documentation Now In Public Domain (Credit: PokieACT)...

Below is my response to an email received on Friday, 7 January around 4:30 in the afternoon. As a matter of professional courtesy, I responded to ClubsNSW's solicitors in the following terms on Sunday morning.

"I refer to your email below. I have not received either your letter nor notification of your letter from Australia Post. My email address is available on the PokieAct.org web site and has been used by the public to contact me.

Please note that because you have stated that your threatening letter is not for publication does not bind me in any way.

The advertisement you attached and commented upon has been revised in accordance with the requirements of Fairfax Media after some debate. To assist you, I have attached the revised advertisement. The revisions may eliminate your concerns.

I reject your suggestion that the advertisement makes any defamatory imputations about ClubsNSW or Mr Newell. There is no allegation that either have concealed anything nor mislead anyone. It is the normal business of ClubsNSW to advocate positions they believe to be in their member's interests and put forward those facts that support that position. In the advertisement, Mr Newell is clearly addressed as chairman of ClubsNSW and in no other capacity. ClubsNSW and Mr Newell as chairman and chief advocate for ClubsNSW are being urged to tell a number of facts that, in my opinion, I consider truths about the pokie gambling pre-commitment reform now being debated.

In substance, you raise four matters of concern to your client. These matters are considered below:

1.

The words you cite ("Casual gamblers won't be inconvenienced. They'll be able to bet safe amounts without a pre-commitment card") as not being presently established are, in fact, an accurate reflection of both the findings of the Productivity Commission and current government policy. Here's the relevant passage from the federal minister Jenny Macklin's speech at Jupiter Casino on 1 December 2010 where she states:

"We also want to minimise the impact on occasional players and overseas visitors. The Productivity Commission’s model would allow occasional gamblers to play outside the pre-commitment system, by purchasing a pre-paid card for example."

This statement was made at the 20th Annual Conference of the National Association for Gambling Studies and was widely reported in the media.

2.

The information about the cost of implementation was obtained as a result of visiting two clubs in Queensland in the company of Rohan Wenn, Senior Adviser to Sen Nick Xenophon. We were both informed by a club manager that the cost of the system in use was $1.50 per day per machine. This system presently provides nearly all of the features of partial pre-commitment as set out by the Productivity Commission. We were informed that alteration to full pre-commitment could be made within the existing pre-commitment system. The present cost of these systems does not take into account the likely economies of widespread adoption or competitive pricing between system suppliers when full pre-committment will be mandated. Those factors are likely to further reduce the cost.

3.

It is open for your client to advocate that the key recommendation and findings of the Productivity Commission about pokie gambling pre-committment are only "conjecture". I do not. I have a high regard for the Commission's research and conclusions. Reports have been published on pre-commitment trials indicating effectiveness that was significant. A report found that for those participating in the system, there was minimal reduction in the pokie gambling spend for recreational and low risk gamblers whereas moderate risk or problem gamblers expenditure was reduced by about 50%. I regard that as significant. In any event, the advertisement prominently indicates that it expresses my opinions. My opinion is reasonably based upon available information.

4.

With regard to the issue of privacy, I again refer to the Minister's speech where Ms Macklin states:

"We will also ensure that the pre-commitment system has very strong privacy arrangements for the data that is collected. The Australian Government has strict privacy legislation to protect people. These are issues that have been successfully resolved in a wide range of areas and we will be applying the highest standards to our gambling reforms."

To speculate that the government will do the complete opposite of what they state is disingenuous. My view is that the Minister is telling the truth.

To indicate that I have any malice whatsoever towards Mr Newell is mistaken. The advertisement addresses Mr Newell strictly with respect to his office as chairman of ClubsNSW. In fact, on the issue of malice, the opposite seems to be the case. Mr Newell declined to attend a meeting with Sen Xenophon if I were to be present. I flew to Canberra and did meet with Mr Ball of ClubsNSW. While there was certainly a conflict of views between myself and Mr Ball, the meeting was cordial and I felt there was mutual respect.

Mr Newell has written an article denigrating my concerns in a ClubsNSW publication. He is recently reported as using the words "panic politics" to describe my endeavours. He is also reported as stating that I have made attacks on his family. This is untrue. As a former editor of the Illawarra Mercury with a high public profile career, I am surprised that, by your letter, Mr Newell seeks to suppress the publication of facts that, in my opinion, are truths of the coming pokie gambling pre-commitment reform even though they run counter to ClubsNSW position. Notwithstanding, I would be happy to meet with Mr Newell at a time and place of mutual convenience. I would welcome a constructive dialogue same as that which has lead to reforms in Woolworths Limited's own pokie policy. Woolworths is Australia's largest pokie operator. My constructive consultation on their gambling policy was publicly acknowledged at Woolworths' recent annual general meeting. My constructive work with Wesfarmers has also been acknowledged.

It is relevant to note the promotional document produced by ClubsNSW that featured former Treasurer Egan was produced while Mr Newell held office at ClubsNSW. That promotion addressed the person ultimately responsible for policy in a similiar manner as my advertisement.

Regarding publication, I am informed that it was ClubsNSW itself that provided and therefor published the advertisement to The Australian. I am not responsible for the consequences of that publication let alone Mr Salusinszky's report. In fact, when asked by Mr Salusinszky whether I believed that Mr Newell had mislead ClubsNSW members I stated that he had not. As mentioned above, it is the normal business of ClubsNSW to advocate positions they believe to be in their member's interests and put forward those facts that support that position. In any event, Mr Salusinsky's report is a matter that you should properly take up with the publishers of The Australian based upon my information that it was your client that provided The Australian with a copy of my proposed advertisement.

It is significant that the editorial column of The Australian noted that a mature community debate was under way of pokie gambling pre-committment reform. This characterisation of the advertisement is correct.

Rather than litigation, I respectfully suggest that the better course of action for your client would be to arrange for a public discussion of the issue of pre-commitment reform. Sen Xenophon's staff have informed me that he would be prepared to participate in such an open forum."

Australia's Next Hot Poker Babe; Casino Babes And Media Babes Welcome...

Poker Babes, casino babes, media babes and such have long long a favorite of Media Man and Gambling911. Some poker brands started to pick up the ball (not balls) and run with it, with PartyGaming and Virgin Games touching of things just a tad risque, but now PokerStars is further raising the bar (so to speak). There is now an opportunity for an Australasian-based hostess to follow the PokerStars (.net) Asia Pacific Poker Tour in 2011 and report back all the excitement from each event, capturing every titillating and tantalising moment. Next year you could find yourself partying hard with the boys and girls of the poker tour, celebs and more. It’s not all just fun and games. There's also the bump and grind and travelling from hotel to hotel, give to give, trying you best to keep everyone happy (but there's only 1 of you). Yes, the money is pretty good and some wonderful tips can be garnered for those friendly, open minded and receptive. Yes, you have to work hard, but some say, Party Harder! Cocktails, fine dining, TV cameras, poker gossip, lots of money and fun. Bring your portfolio, career assets and show 'em what you have. If you've got it, flaunt it! Some production exp would be handy, but not required. Lots of on the job training too!!! Bring your passion for poker and party time, and have fun. You might just be the lass (or lad) they are looking for. Oh, check out the Media Man Poker Babes and Casino Babes portfolio. You know you want to. Let Jenny and the girls on the web Woo you, if you follow our lead. Work hard and play harder! Oh, last thing, this month the Media Man Poker Babe of the Month is meeting stiff competition. A 3 way tie thus far between PartyGaming's: PartyPoker's Kara Scott, Australia's Elle Macpherson (coming from nowhere) and Gambling911's Jenny Woo (for her brains and beauty, and ability to get the scoops with her tempting and crafty ways). Carrie Stroup is also making a late charge, and might be in line for the Media Man encouragement award!

Take the time to research and learn games before placing down money.

Media Man, Casino News Media and Gambling911 are website portals. Not casinos as such, however are recognised as world leading websites that cover the sector and act as central points to games, news, reviews and more.

Readers... er, punters, how did you like our report? How did you see in the new year? Do you like the poker babes and casino babe feature? Is Crown Casino right or wrong in enforcing their terms and conditions? Tell us in the forum.

If you have a bet, please bet with your head, not over it, and for God's sake, have fun.

*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911

*Media Man is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. Gaming is just one of a dozen sectors covered

*The writer owns shares in Crown Limited

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