Tingle: Australian Gambling Regulation Won't Wipe Out Problem Gambling

Written by:
Greg Tingle
Published on:

G'day punters, journos, high rollers, sports news, entertainment news junkies, politicians, insiders, outsiders... one and all. Today we offer up a huge spread of news from down under in Australia. We've got Aussie casino wars, gambling wars, media wars, gaming lovers VS haters, political fun and games and much more. Media Man http://www.mediamanint.com and Gambling911 with your Aussie wrap you have grown to love (if your a journo or punter, not a hater!)

Too Much Gambling And Gaming Regulation Won't Stop 'Problem Gambling'...

Australia's largest poker machine operator has warned against over-regulation of the industry, arguing it will push people to other forms of gambling. The Australian Leisure and Hospitality (ALH) Group, currently 75% per cent owned by Woolworths - has told a federal parliamentary inquiry that it will be impossible to wipe out problem gambling. The company's spokesman, David Curry, says cracking down on one form of gambling will only encourage people to try other things. "There is a wide internet opportunity out there for people. If you over-regulate one part of the business, then people will simply shift and that would be the unintended consequence." ALH described regulation of gambling in Australia as "highly politicised". Curry also warned over-regulation could make the product no longer attractive to recreational players. Already media and gaming insiders point to traditional punters flocking to entertainment, news and gambling related website portals for news, information, tips and game reviews, and the like where punters can then elect to play for free or play for money. Already many traditional news companies as well as new media companies in Australia and New Zealand are starting to dedicate large sections of their website, newspapers and magazines to cover gaming and gambling. A leak advised that even News Limited and Fairfax Media (The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age) even have in-house - in-website gambling and sports betting odds, and strong coverage of the poker and casino industry. One thing is for sure, the battle between gambling and gaming lovers VS haters continues at fever pitch, with a number of politicians being very outspoken about the industry. It's also very big and serious news, and the news media has picked up the ball and continues to run hard with it. The so called "Independent" Senator Nick Xenophon doesn't agree with much information spoken from the pro gambling sector, including the clubs and manufactures. He says the ALH does not understand the problem at hand! Maybe they don't want to understand, or is is 'Mr X' (satire) doesn't want to understand? "This shows either a wilful ignorance or a disingenuousness. "What Woolworths is in effect saying here, through its subsidiary ALH, is that they don't want a level of regulation that will tackle problem gambling effectively. The solution to the risks posed by online gambling is to properly deal with that."

Perth - Western Australia - Kambalda Lotto Player Strikes Gold...

The Goldfields town of Kambalda is in the grip of lotto fever after a local newsagency sold one of two division one winning tickets in Saturday night's draw. The $700,000 prize is the state's first division one win for 2011, the second winning ticket was sold in Perth. Susan Schoch from Kambalda's Good News Newsagency says there has been a steady stream of hopeful locals checking their tickets. "Well the town's buzzing. They're all racing in to check their tickets to see if they're the winner or not," she said. "Someone else has just walked in the door, no they're very excited, something that we really needed I think."

Australian Internet Gambling Would Do Well To Get Regulation; Laws Fallen Behind Reality Says Legal Eagles...

The Australian Productivity Commission report released last year shows online gambling is rising rapidly, and shows no sign of slowing down. The report estimates the "unofficial" online poker and casino industry could be worth as much as $800 million. Dr Sally Gainsbury, a leading researcher in online gambling in Australia, says it is rising about 10% to 20% each year, while the Nielsen Internet and Technology Report found about 30% of Aussies aged over 16 have gambled online. Research also shows that people betting online are becoming problem gamblers to a greater extent than those using land-based venues. "Twenty per cent of people who are gambling online at the moment are in the category of problem gambler," Gambling Help Network chairman Derek Tuffield said. "For people who are land-based gamblers, it's about 1% - so it's a very big difference. "I still think it's a major issue for the Australian Government to look at. It has limited legislation which sits with it at the moment, but the fact that it's so accessible and easy to do, I think we're going to see that climb at a faster rate than land-based gambling." Jamie Nettleton, a legal eagle who has even done work for Media Man Int, a senior counsel specialising in gambling law and marketing - b2b , advises the Government's prohibitionary stance means Australia has fallen behind in the regulation of online gaming. "There's no doubt that at the time this law (against online gaming) came into place, Australia was a world leader in connection to online gambling operations and the rest of the world looked to Australia as a leader," he said. "Australia is now perceived to be a pariah in connection with online gaming operations. That could be viewed favourably on the basis that Australia has taken a very strict approach in respect of the regulation of gambling, but the difficulty is the prohibition just isn't working in practice." Dr Gainsbury agrees the Federal Government has not kept up with the growing online gaming industry. "Australia was initially a real forerunner in terms of regulation for internet gambling in the late 1990s, but then when the Interactive Gaming Act was introduced in 2001, regulation just stopped, policy just stopped - a prohibitionary stance and nothing's happened since then," she said. "Internet gambling is very dynamic and it's moved and changed and participation has increased, so it is suggested that this prohibitionary stance might be outdated and more up-to-date regulation is needed to deal appropriately with online gambling in Australia."

A Media Man Int spokesperson agreed with the legal eagle. "We agree with many aspects of what our legal friend Jamie Nettleton says in regards to internet gaming and gambling. We are global running many .coms, .nets and .orgs. We cover over a dozen different business sectors, gaming and gambling is just one of them. We report the news. We also participate in dozens of affiliate programmes, these days only keeping the best, and we also help put together media, publicity, online and event campaigns. Gambling and gaming is big news. We are not a casino or an adult company. We just cover the sector sometimes and its news, and sometimes showcase different brands. b2b is very popular on the internet. News Limited, Fairfax Media, IGN, Marvel Entertainment and a swag of other companies are big into b2g. Gaming and gambling appears to work better in the b2b - website to website sector better than many other sectors. Travel, magazines, books and burlesque work well too, but gaming seems to be number one at the moment".

NRL Sports Betting Scandal Update...

Mr Ryan Tandy and Brad Murray are of great interest to the NSW Crime Commission hearing as police get ready to blow the lid on it, after a major investigation. The players will front up to the commission this week to be probed about the "irregular betting patterns" on the Canterbury Bulldogs VS North Queensland Cowboys game last August. Those summoned must truthfully answer all questions or will risk going to the can - jail! Police will decide whether to pass information over to the NRL. Police have interviewed more than 80 people after a massive amount of money backed North Queensland to open the scoring via a penalty goal in the round 24 match at Dairy Farmers Stadium. The Cowboys had a opp to do just that after Bulldogs forward Tandy made two mistakes. There were a sloppy play-the-ball and a penalty for not getting off a tackled player quickly enough. However, Cowboys utility Anthony Watts took a quick tap that led to a try and the alleged sting backfired, if you follow. Tandy has denied intentionally giving away a penalty. How do you prove intentionally giving the other team a break. Some things are hard to prove. The betting surge happened just over a month after Canterbury players attended a seminar on the dangers of gambling. "We've made it clear from the outset that we have co-operated at every opportunity with the NRL and the police," Todd Greenberg, Canterbury's chief executive, said. "We're hoping to have the matter resolved as soon as possible, certainly prior to the start of the season." Tandy is contracted to the Bulldogs until the end of 2012. At this time we're not sure if it is "watertight" in nature. A police rep said the investigations were continuing. Last month police issued a photograph of a person of interest, later identified as Murray. The 20-year-old halfback, who placed a bet in a Flemington hotel in Sydney's west, joined Parramatta in the off season after a stint with the Sydney Roosters. The Doggies and Eels are awaiting the outcome of the police investigation before deciding their players' futures. Tandy, Murray and Watts are all managed by Sam Ayoub, who placed a bet on the Cowboys penalty goal option. It is legal for player agents to wager on matches and Ayoub has denied any wrongdoing. It was Fairfax Media who got the scoop on the story re the betting plunge back on August 27, which triggered a meeting of police, the NRL and Australian Jockey Club chief steward Ray Murrihy. Several betting agencies, including TAB Sportsbet, suspended betting on the first-scoring-play option after a deluge of money. Centrebet media representative Neil Evans said his agency's odds on a Cowboys penalty goal were cut from $13 to $3 after the plunge, which came from three Sydney clients. The link between gambling and rugby league was highlighted during the week when the Sydney Morning Herald revealed that Penrith are to rename their home ground Centrebet Stadium, the story hitting numbers entertainment, sports and gambling websites around the world, with it being a strong point of interest at the American Gambling911 website portal. The move has angered the anti-gambling movement. South Australian senator Nick Xenophon has claimed gambling is "ruining the game. 'Mr X' (satire) is not expect to back any Betfair Pink Pigeons are care about NRL, AFL or UFC betting odds, nore does he play online casino games. He is sometimes listed an "Independent Senator', but his views often come across an bias and just trying to push his own agenda. He's currently in a media war and war of world with Australian clubs, ClubsNSW and ClubsAustralia, and shows no sign of quitting - at the time of publication. Australia's are some of the world's most passionate punters and are currently placed in the world's top ten for gambling.

Gambling And Media King James Packer; Becoming Property King Of Sydney...

James Packer is building a space age type home - mansion - bunker, in Sydney's eastern suburbs. He even ordered demolition of two neighbouring mansions. Vaucluse will never be the same again. Now earth-moving equipment has moved in. By the time the job is finished in about 18 months time, the pad will have cost 'Our James' in the region of $50 million. It was circa June 2009 he invested A$18 million on a 6-bedroom 1970s mansion, later snatching up two neighbouring pads for more than A$12 million. His estate is massive and is understood to cover 3345sq m of prime real estate. Packer engaged the services of architect Alec Tzannes to design the new extensions, the same bloke responsible for the Point Piper pad owned by property and financial services king John Symond. It's understood the the who family is really looking forward to moving into the palace with toys, treats and fun for kids all all ages. Wife Erica Packer and the happy couple's children, Indigo and Jackson, are really looking forward to giant swimming pool. Yep, the Packer's continue to make waves in the Aussie media, entertainment and lifestyle sector. A Media Man spokesperson said 'The Packers are really doing it in style. It goes to show you want hard work and smart work can do for a person. It's pretty inspirational, considering what he bounced back from a couple of years ago. As is often the case, James Packer has the last laugh". Packer is expect to sometime show up at the Melbourne Aussie Millions to say G'day on site at his Crown Casino down south in Melbourne. Yep, Packer is on a roll, with no signs of slowing down.

Australia Will Get Gambling Arenas; Aussie Aussie Aussie; Oi Oi Oil...

With Australia being in the world's top 10 gambling nations, it shouldn't shock or surprise that we're tipped to soon have a number of sporting arenas and grounds named after gambling and gaming companies, both national and international brands. Yep, money will talk where B.S sometimes walks. James Packer's Betfair is understood to build upon their Betfair Park branding, Europe's PartyGaming is keen, and currently Centrebet looks to be leading the charge, with many insiders saying its a case of when, not if, for the household name brand. Centrebet already has significant branding, thanks in part to a swag of TV and online adverts, plus who can forget the Centrebet branded part of Network Nine's 'The Footy Show'. The gambling companies already have a number of key targets, and many cash strapped and / or cash handy NRL team and home grounds are near the top of the hit list. For instance NRL team, The Penrith Panthers, are seriously considering having their home stadium named Centrebet Stadium. We kid you not punters. If the deal goes through, they will make history becoming the first major Australian sporting team to snatch a betting firm as the naming-rights partner for a playing venue. Horse Racing already has some naming rights deals with tracks and in the mix such as Betfair Park and then you have races named after gambling brands such as the Lasseters Cup, Lasseters known for its hotel - casino up in Australia's top end. The forecast Betfair deal comes as a police  continue to probe the NRL gambling scandal that from last season following a number of "irregular" wagers was picked up in the Canterbury Bulldogs VS North Queensland Cowboys match up. The Panthers, Centrebet and a swag of gambling companies, have rather pissed off the gambling and gaming haters, who continues to get organised into lobby groups. A Media Man spokesperson such "Many people in and out of news media and gaming, the general public, are starting to get really pissed off at the gaming, gambling and sports betting haters. The bible bashers. Who do they think they are trying to push their beliefs onto others. Many Australians just love a punt, and that's the way it is. Some of the gaming haters have strong ties to church groups and there appears to be some sort of brainwashing system going on. They keep discussing the 'evils of gambling'. I mean, seriously, come on. People know not to over-do it on on the slots, sports events, poker and the like, but the haters keep trying to be the thought police. Gambling companies in Australia have a very high focus on responsible gambling with warnings everywhere. It's great to see the gambling and gaming industry place so much focus on safe better. The sports stadiums will be great for business, , but no one is forcing anyone to have a bet. It's a personal decision, as it always has been. 2011 is going to be a very exciting year for punters, especially those who like to have a bet of sports matches, and television and online website portals and brands will bring it all together nicely". Ric Simpson, Panthers Group chief exec since last July, said a culture change and "renewal of process" across Panthers clubs had improved their situation. Analysts question that was a PR line or absolute truth. Mind you, we don't blame club for trying to focus on positives. "We're probably looking at reducing that loss by somewhere in the order of $8-$9 million," Simpson said. A Media Man spokesperson said "At this stage of the gaming the overseas trend of seeing sports groups and football teams pick up sponsorship and strong branding for gambling, gaming... sports betting companies looks to be moving full speed ahead down under in Australia. Centrebet might become the Bwin of Australia. PartyGaming is said to be currently crunching numbers to see if an Australian sports ground deal is viable. They already have a Aussie Millions former champion sponsored by their poker brand and a couple of Aussie poker players signed up, so anything is possible. James Packer's Betfair, a direct competitor of Centrebet is not likely to take the situation lying down either. Betfair is 50% Packer owned and wants to keep building their sports betting brand, as well as opening up many online casino games in Australia, poker and more. Could an Australian sports stadium ever be known as PartyGaming stadium or WPT Stadium? Not overnight, but never say never, stranger things have happened. It's all going to add a lot of money into the game and business of sport and entertainment, and already our firm is starting to experience some positive spin off benefits. It's all very exciting and profitable".

Shane Warne; Cricket Great And Poker Celeb Wants To Help Australian Flood Disaster Efforts; Warnie Birth's A Non Hair Brained Idea And Hits The Phones...

Aussie cricket test legend Shane Warne has been hitting the phones to his entertainment, media and sports world friends and associates, wishing to support plans for a cricketing 'Big Day Out' that may raise as much as $20 million bucks for those effected in the Australian floods, primarily effecting Queensland banana benders. The news of the Queensland's flood disaster journeyed across to Britain... Pommie Land, and ex fast bowler Darren Gough expressed his significant interest in playing in a Legends Charity Twenty20 match at the Melbourne Cricket Ground later this month. Warnie once again took to Twitter like a duck to water and basically offered his services to an Australian Legends team that may also include Glenn 'Ow Ah' McGrath, Adam Gilchrist, Matthew Haydenand Darren Lehmann. The Pommie team would be almost certainly captained by Michael Vaughan, with Gough and former Test all-rounder Adam Hollioake also confirming their availability less than 48 hours ago. Warnie then contacted Network Nine boss David 'Gyng' Gyngell and event promoter Michael Gudinski to ensure maximum exposure and benefits for the proposed event. Warne was also involved in talks with Cricket Australia boss James Sutherland. Cricket Australia could ratify an Australia-England Legends Twenty20 showdown within days, with Warnie hoping Gudinski can transform the day into a cricketing festival by presiding over a post-match concert. Australia does have a solid track record for raising big bucks when the right group of people from entertainment, media, sports and business are brought together. Cricket's last charity match, for Victoria's Black Saturday bushfire victims back in 2009, raised more than $20 million. James Packer's Crown Limited and The Salvation Army also helped raise towards a million dollars for the bushfire appeals. As a nation Aussies from many walks of life are able to bond together when the going gets tough, with Mother Nature hitting the Aussies for six and then some over the past week. The proposed fundraiser could be staged before the England-Australia one-day international on January 30 for example. A Cricket Australia spokesman was able to confirm planning for the Legends match was under way and offered "It's early but we're looking at co-ordinating a Legends match. We're still to nut out details but James Sutherland had has a chat to Shane (Warne)," the spokesman said. "There will be a series of things leading up to that match that we're going to be doing. We think the Legends match is a great idea so we're working out ways to benefit from that enthusiasm for the people of Queensland. All funds will be going straight to the Queensland Premier's Fund appeal."

Australia VS England Cricket Test Aftermath: Clarke, Hughes 'Supreme Error Of Judgment'...

Michael Clarke and Phillip Hughes made a "supreme error of judgment" in attending functions on the morning of Ashes Tests, according to Cricket Australia's chief executive James Sutherland. The Age reported that the pair attended a Shane Warne Foundation breakfast on Boxing Day, and they were interviewed at 7.30am at Melbourne's Crown Casino, before returning to the team hotel. When the match started three hours later, Hughes slashed to gully for 16 and Clarke wafted outside his off stump to be caught behind for 20. It was all part of Australia's horror innings of 98 after they were sent in by Andrew Strauss, and with the series at 1-1, that morning was a turning point from which the Australians never recovered. Clarke also reportedly attended breakfast functions during the Sydney Test, where he was captain the absence of the injured Ricky Ponting. Sutherland, speaking on the Melbourne radio station 3AW, said it was not a wise move for the players to be involved in such events on the morning of a Test. "That was a supreme error of judgment on their part," Sutherland said. "The players decided that of their own will. I would be surprised if we see that happening again. You don't leave yourself open to the chance of criticism. As a professional footballer, you would never do that." Sutherland also said it was "unfortunate" that the chairman of selectors, Andrew Hilditch, had said publicly after the 3-1 series drubbing that he felt his panel had done a good job. The selectors made some odd decisions, including axing Nathan Hauritz and playing Xavier Doherty and Michael Beer, who took a combined tally 4 for 418. "Andrew's comments were unfortunate, and I think what he was trying to say was the selectors had tried their hardest," Sutherland said. Everyone involved needs to take responsibility for what was a very disappointing performance."

Marvel Slots Maintain Popularity With Australians; More Brands Get Marvel In Fit For Asia Pacific Domination...

Stan Lee's Marvel Comics - Entertainment branded slots have been a big hit since going live into a number of the world's online casinos over a year ago. PartyGaming's PartyCasino http://www.partycasino.com/index.htm?wm=3221754 a favorite with Aussies has hinted that Marvel slot games played a bit part of their success in Australia. Virgin got the slots, but Aussies can't play at Virgin. Perhaps smartly both PKR Casino and Winner Casino has picked up on this fact and is now offering the Marvel slot games to the Asia Pacific region, with Australia's adopting them like a duck to water. A Media Man spokesperson said "Australians just love the Marvel Comics and Marvel Entertainment brands. You just have to look at the popularity of the Marvel blockbuster movies that hit the movie theatres a few times a year. When the Marvel games hit the internet we noticed a spike in numbers, and its been strong ever since. The Winner and PKR brands have smartly worked out that adding Marvel slots to their portfolio should be very good for business. The games can be played for free and played for money, a concept that Australia's have found very appealing. As Stan Lee says, Excelsior!"

Canberra Pubs And Clubs To Be Hit Hard By New Gaming, Gambling Laws; Job Losses Expected...

Canberra based clubs and hotels are facing down the barrel of a gun at a $51million cut to revenue, the result of amendments to national gambling laws, with smaller venues at great risk of becoming history in the battle against poker machines, according to Clubs ACT and local publicans. 11 hotels run 70 of the 5014 gaming machines in the ACT. Moby Dick's Tavern publican Darcy Henry said he would be forced to give up his two gaming machines if new anti-gambling reforms were passed. The new laws, promised to Tasmanian Independent MP Andrew Wilkie in return for support for the minority Labor Government, will force gamblers to pre-commit to a spending limit on their gambling. The technology would link up 200,000 poker machines across Australia to stop gamblers moving from machine to machine if their self-imposed limit had been reached. But licensed clubs have reacted angrily to the proposal. In its submission to the 2011-12 ACT Government budget, Clubs ACT claimed the changes would cost the national industry $4billion annually a 30% decrease. "In the ACT, that would equate to a $51.8million cut in revenue to clubs, with the tax revenue to the ACT Government falling by approximately $11million," the submission said. Clubs ACT estimated it would cost $3000 to retrofit each of the 5014 machines operating in the ACT with the new technology. Maintenance on the system was expected to cost a further $1billion a year nationwide.

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Media Man http://www.mediamanint.com, 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? Will Australian ever get to #1 position for gambling?  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 http://www.mediamanint.com is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. Gaming is just one of a dozen sectors covered

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