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PartyGaming and bwin merge to become bwin.party digital entertainment; Eyes on U.S, by Greg Tingle - 4th April 2011

 

Online gaming companies in for huge 2011, by Greg Tingle - 23rd November 2010

Could online gaming firms be in the mix of the top stockmarket investments to make in 2011?

The listing of Betfair (BET) at the conclusion of October on a fancy multiple and the $3.3 billion megamerger between PartyGaming and Bwin (PRTY), due to complete in the first quarter of 2011, appears to have added spark to the industry of late.

Then there is the prospect, albeit slight, of the liberalisation of the US igaming market which has put the industry firmly on investors' watch list, including ours, for next year.

It is understandable, as even a snapshot look at the stockmarket gains of the world’s biggest online gaming companies between circa 2004-2006 reveals just how quickly fortunes were made and lost.

The iGaming Global Top 30 Index, an index of the stockmarket performance of the biggest 30 online gaming companies, surged 40% between July 2004 and August 2005. This was followed by 12 months of extreme volatility before sinking thanks to a controversial piece of legislation in the US.

Since 2006, online gaming’s real story has been dominated by America’s Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA).

The multibillion-pound global industry virtually collapsed in a heap after its biggest market - the US - was closed down overnight when Congress introduced a surprise clause to legislation in September 2006, in effect making internet betting illegal. Not only was that a blow for investors - it was a hugely expensive one.

British-based companies were among the biggest casualties.

As soon as the London Stock Exchange opened the following Monday morning, shares in PartyGaming - then a FTSE 100 member - dived by 58%, while rivals 888 Holdings (888) and Sportingbet saw their shares slide by 26% and 64% respectively, wiping an estimated £4 billion off the sector's value.

The companies were forced to focus on opportunities in other parts of the world, but the businesses have never fully recovered from the impact of losing their most lucrative market. Last year, online gambling was worth an estimated $5.4 billion (£3.5 billion) overall, a figure that could rise to $12-$16 billion if the market was opened up, analysts say.

Despite the recent loss of a sympathetic Democrat majority in Congress last month, there is renewed hope of floated gambling companies being dealt a good hand on both sides of the Pond.

The new Republican chairman of the House financial services committee is likely to be an old-style Alabaman named Spencer Bachus.

Yet he is likely to listen to the prospects of a reinvigorated gambling sector for the ailing US economy. The Federal government’s non-partisan accountants, the Joint Committee on Taxation, have estimated online gambling could generate between $10 billion and $42 billion in new revenue by 2019, depending on the number of states that opt into a federal regulatory programme.

Yet he is likely to listen to the prospects of a reinvigorated gambling sector for the ailing US economy.

The Federal government’s non-partisan accountants, the Joint Committee on Taxation, have estimated online gambling could generate between $10 billion and $42 billion in new revenue by 2019, depending on the number of states that opt into a Federal regulatory programme.

And you can see why if you glance at the forecast numbers.

With the US nationwide unemployment rate at 10%, 48 of 50 states facing budget shortfalls and a Federal deficit approaching $1.3 trillion, the economic backdrop against which to promote regulation and taxation of internet gambling has arguably never been more favourable.

Yet those companies poised to get a real boost should America legalise online gambling, such as the impressive PartyGaming/Bwin combine, are getting excited about the future.

"We are seeing things from a legislative perspective that are quite exciting for us," says Jim Ryan, chief executive of PartyGaming, whose comments undoubtedly reflect the mood of a growing contingent of gambling operators on both sides of the Atlantic.

There has been speculation that PartyGaming and Bwin have decided to merge at this time precisely because they will be better placed than any other operator to seize a huge market share should the US decide to legalise online gambling. You only have to look at the market share that Party was able to capture by becoming one of the first operators into the online poker market back in 2001.

Analysts agree the enlarged company is in a strong position to exploit the opening up of the US market.

In a note to investors recently, the Morgan Stanley leisure analyst Vaughan Lewis said: "The overall political tide is moving firmly in favour of regulation, rather than prohibition.

"With its expertise... market-leading technology, strong marketing capability and good brands, we think the combined entity of PartyGaming and Bwin would be extremely well positioned to benefit from any market opening in the US. We include nothing in our forecasts for the US, so any new market here is pure upside."

And in a recent Barclays Capital research note, the investment bank said: "In the event of Federal regulation, we believe PartyGaming would be the likely key beneficiary.

"Under this hypothetical scenario, we estimate the potential [underlying profits] uplift could be 94% for PartyGaming and 58% for Bwin and 888. On a state-by-state hypothetical scenario, we estimate the uplift for the group would be considerably lower, but still meaningful."

Meanwhile, at the end of October analysts at Numis published a note saying there is 50% upside potential at Party when the merger with Bwin completes in March 2011. With the shares trading at around 230p at the beginning of November Numis have put a price target of 400p on the stock.

The PartyGaming/Bwin merger has got the other big companies in the sector scurrying around to do similar deals. They don't want to be left behind in what will become a gold rush should the US legalise online gaming.

888 and Sportingbet are also possible future takeover targets as the industry consolidates, but only once their legal liabilities in the US market are cleared. Serious negotiations in the PartyGaming/Bwin merger were only concluded once Party had secured a $105 million settlement with US authorities.

Analysts say a resolution would clear the way for 888 and Sportingbet to re-enter the lucrative US market should moves to overturn the 2006 legislation succeed.

Sportingbet has already acted telling shareholders at its latest results meeting that it had made a £22.8 million settlement with the US Department of Justice over an investigation into illegal internet gambling. The agreement means the firm will avoid being prosecuted in the US for accepting online bets made by Americans between 1998 and 2006.

Sportingbet would hold the most appeal to potential bidders, analysts reckon, pointing to its very strong market positioning in Australia and commenting that Ladbrokes (LAD) and William Hill (WMH) could be interested in a takeover.

Liberum Capital analyst Richard Taylor recently highlighted the strength of Sportingbet’s sports betting business, which he said had one of the best gross margins in the sector at around 10%. In addition, he said Sportingbet’s management was open to a bid, having previously stated up to 55% of their cost base could be removed.

Another former giant of the sector, now somewhat depleted thanks to the UIGEA, is 888.

Analysts say 888's attraction would be the potential for cost savings in a tie-up with a rival online gaming operator, and that Party/Bwin might be a possible buyer. What would make it attractive is that both Party and Bwin use 888 as a supplier.

However, the Shaked family who founded the company, and who control over 50% of the shares, would be looking for a price significantly above the 40p at which the company currently trades.

There have been whispers among London traders in the last few weeks that a £262 million, or 76p a share, cash bid from a much bigger industry player, possibly US entertainment giant Harrah's, which already has close business links with 888 could be on the cards.

Certainly 888 chief executive Gigi Levy has said recently that he looks at consolidation as one of the possible routes to realising shareholder value.

Another giant of the industry looking to become bigger still is the mighty Betfair. Having listed on the LSE at the end of October at 1,300p, the shares soon touched 1,600p-plus, as tracker funds piled in confident it will canter into the FTSE 250 index at the December review with a market value above £1.6 billion.

If things are hotting up at the Federal level for the online gaming industry there are also some exciting developments at state level.

So far in 2010, four states have considered whether or not to legalise some combination of online poker, casino gaming and sports betting: Iowa, Florida, California and New Jersey.

The state making most headway is New Jersey, where internet gambling has been under consideration by lawmakers since 2001. It is finally receiving serious consideration in the state Senate where two bills, which would legalise internet sports betting and casino gaming respectively, have already passed the committee stage this year.

From California to New Jersey to Florida, more state and federal congressmen are taking the reality of a legal online gambling regime a lot more seriously.

Whoever wins the race, state or federal, one thing is clear: more and more stakeholders in the US are finally coming around to understand the risks and implication of a ‘do nothing’ strategy. This is an opportunity cost and gambling companies are getting their bets on regardless.

But ongoing political deadlock clearly poses a real threat to regulatory efforts at all levels of American government. But even as gambling industry stakeholders duke it out in the halls of legislatures around the country, as well as on Capitol Hill in Washington, the very fact that the conflict between them is intensifying signals that interest and investment in pushing for online gaming regulation is rising.

With billions of dollars out there to harvest and market share to win, the entire online gaming sector looks ripe for an upturn in coming months. Investing in online gaming companies has always been a white knuckle ride - and there looks to be every sign this particular circus is once again rolling back into town.

News

Australia Day Special, by Greg Tingle - 26th January 2011

G'day and Happy Australia Day everyone. Ok, we know some of you punters, journos, high rollers - casino whales, entertainment news junkies, politicians, insiders, outsiders and legal eagles are from across the globe are not Australia, nor have ever been down under, but you get the idea. Did you know that some indigenous Australia's call Australia Day 'Invasion Day'! That's because most history books show that Captain James Cook and his crew invaded Australia on this day in 1988. They are known by a new names including the First Fleet, while some aborigines will always think of them and murderous mongrels, who stole their land and pride. It's easy for many of us to get the point of the blackfellas (affectionate). Media Man and Gambling911 with a bush tucker bag full of Australian gambling, casino, poker, media and sports news. Fair winds...

Queensland Banana Bender State: Pub Pokies And Online Pokies Becoming More Popular?...

One armed bandits are maintaining their popularity in 'The Sunshine State'. It's understand that punters might have only a 1 in a million chance of winning really big, lotto - millionaire style, but they just keep coming back for more. Yep, throw another dime in the pokie baby. Queenslanders "invested" close to $2 billion last year as the punters passion for the slots maintained its fever pace. The total pokies expenditure of $1.81 billion was slightly down on the previous year, it was the third year consecutively the number exceeded $1.8 billion. We're also learned that the 2008 figure of $1.83 billion was an all-time record. Now, this is important - those numbers Do Not take into account the rabid take up and roll our of online poker or sports betting. You know, betting over the global medium - the internet. Overall, Queenslanders spent $7 million less on pokies than last year and $28 million less than in 2008, but it still works out at in excess of $150 million every month down the slots August was the year's biggest month for slot gamblers, who put close to $170 million in the throats of the one armed bandits. August was also the biggest month for gamblers in 2008, with more than $173 million lost. Pokies remain by far the most popular games for punters in Australia, bringing in most of the estimated $17 billion spent on all forms of gambling down under each year. Some insiders think that the reduction in official spending was more a sign of the increased popularity of internet and sports-based gambling. Concentrating on pokie figures, it appears Queenslanders gambled more at the height of the global financial crisis two years ago than they did throughout 2010.

Tassie 'Devil' Gambling Tycoon Devilish Quotes...

David Walsh from Tasmania was such a big hit with the readership we thought we would dig up a few more of the red hot 'The Devil's' quotes, that are too good not to share. First a refresher...Art and gambling do mix, at least that's the experience of Brits Damian Aspinall, Phil 'Tuffers' Tufnell, Australian artist Gina Sinozich, Media Man (bodypaint and burlesque "fetish") and Tasmanian gambling whale - tycoon, David 'Wicked' (satire) Walsh. You will pick up on Dave's affectionate nickname by us later. We like you David, ok mate. Tasmania's most famous or infamous gambling figure, millionaire, David Walsh yesterday gave us a peak into his art exhibit...the biggest (and weirdest) private art gallery in Tasmania, if not the Asia Pacific. The $110 million Museum of Old and New Art is nestled on the banks of Hobart's Derwent River.

Quotes By The Tasmanian Devil!...

"FUCK the art, let's rock'n'roll."

"I think formal curation is a form of mental masturbation."

"I'm not really that interested in a bunch of big names. Most of the works are by people most people haven't heard of and still won't have heard of because there's no wall labels."

"I don't want to lose control (or) something that ends up looking like a pale version of the National Gallery of Victoria".

"Subversive adult Disneyland".

"Please see reception if you are planning a pool party or a ritualistic orgy."

"It's the opportunity to mess with your head. I like the idea of people having a couple of beers and looking at the art, having a couple more and changing their mind."

"Just a privileged guy with a megaphone"

"It’s like a rich man’s soap box. I’m standing on my soapbox and I’m shouting my views like they mean something."

"I’ll take all the popular stuff out. And if you go to the toilet two or three times we’ll recommend a good urologist."

“My brother once said about me that I’d rather be outside a barrel pissing in than inside the barrel pissing out. I’m anti this idea that we know what we’re doing with certainty. I kinda think that most things that are good happen to people largely by accident, but then they start looking for explanations. You see the views of rich, successful people on television, and they tell you why they got rich and successful; they don’t interview all the people who went through the same process and didn’t. I think most things are complete crap. I want to show that you can be fortunate without believing that your fortune was anything other than fortune."

"There are so many things we do that we hide from. We hack open cows and eat their guts but we compartmentalise that away from our lives so we can pretend it’s not happening. And on a larger, more important scale, if each of us acted individually to say ‘OK, we f…ed up the atmosphere, it is our personal responsibility’, humanity would behave in a very different way."

"One of the things about having money is that … I feel a bit of guilt and a level of privilege, and it seems to be an obligation to do something, and since art is what I’ve been doing....but it wasn’t really like that. It was: I bought this small gallery, bought a bigger one, and gradually it became something of this scale. It’s become a lot more serious endeavour than I intended it to be. There’s a bit of thumbing my nose at the establishment and trying to bypass academia, but mainly I just wanted it to be a bit of fun. And it is. And it will be."

"The gambling is all a computer thing that is going on right now".

Website

Museum of Old and New Art

Queensland: Cairns Reef Hotel Casino Poised To Raise Big Bucks For Flood Relief On Australia Day...

Punters, let's all spare a thought for those who have been attacked by the floods on Australia Day. Numerous events are being planed around Australia, from 'Sound Relief' to and initiative from the Cairns Reef Hotel Casino 'Bring on the Sun' It will be one of the biggest events on the Australia Day calendar for the city and all funds raised will go to the Premier’s Flood Relief Appeal. There's a good old fashioned sausage sizzle, competitions and female performers including the Marlins’ cheer squad. "The whole idea is slanted towards the female performer," entertainment manager Bruce Stewart said. "We’ve got an eclectic blend of female artists coming to perform as well." Cazalys, El Mundo Tapas Bar and the Marlin Coast Bowls Club will also host events to raise money for flood victims. Cairns Regional Council will hold events across the region, including the ever-popular celebrations on the Esplanade. Mayor Val Schier said the council was expecting a good attendance as usual with residents keen to get outside and celebrate our sunburnt country in the green and gold. "Even last year when it poured, a huge number of people came to the Aussie breakfast; we expect the same will happen this year, rain, hail or shine. It is one of those days where people can come together as a community and help celebrate why it is great to be an Australian. We live in a fantastic country and it is good for people to get out and enjoy it." Pubs and clubs will also get into the Aussie spirit with a number of activities on offer. Paradise Palms Resort and Country Club has a patriotic, fun-filled day planned with activities that pay homage to Australia’s heritage such as the much-anticipated pie-eating competition. "Everybody is welcome to come along and have some fun while tucking into our Aussie selection of meat pies, icy beers, lamingtons and classic Australian music by DJ Danny from Millennium Sounds," director of sales and marketing Darlene Holdsworth said.

Events

Join the celebrations

Paradise Palms Resort and Country Club Australia Day celebrations
What’s on: Australian menu served from noon in Restaurant 59, pie-eating and thong-throwing competitions start at 1.30pm. Pies, icy beers, lamingtons and classic Australian music on offer at the resort.
Time: 12pm. Entry free.

Bring on the Sun at Cairns Reef Hotel Casino
What’s on: Entertainment, sausage sizzle, raffles, jumping castle and more with all proceeds going to the Premier’s Flood Relief Appeal.
Time: 2pm. Entry free.


Shane Warne And Poker Mates Get VIP Star Treatment At Australian Open Tennis Sunday Night...

The spinner got there at 8pm hoping to get star VIP treatment for 14 of his closest mates. In the mix was was Joe Hachem, who he had earlier caught up with at the launch of the Aussie Millions Poker Tournament at Crown Casino. Warne requested an escort (no, not that type silly) when he arrived and posed mostly for photographs with his sunglasses on. He also spent time in Andy Roddick's player's box during his loss to Swissman Stanislas Wawrinka. It been a big couple of days for "poker her" for the legend, playing rendezvous with Liz Hurley in LA. He is expected to play in the second round of the poker tournament and could face off against Gary Ablett Jr and Jeff Fenech tomorrow. Blett made it through to the second round.


Australian Financial Review Goes Gaga For Lady Gaga; Gets Facts Wrong (We Think)...

It took us a few months of going through newspapers but we finally found the AFR to make a slip up, and its a doozy....An article reads "the complex will have a few upmarket bars, including one on the roof, and an events theatre to house live acts – think Lady Gaga – as well as awards nights." With Gaga's level of popularity she would require a much larger venue than Star City. Earlier this year, she - they played two concerts at the Sydney Entertainment Centre, capacity 12,000 or thereabouts. Do the math.

Australia's Kylie Minogue To Do The Colosseum At Caesars Palace Las Vegas: Aphrodite Live...

Mark is down Kylie fans the word over. She's doing Ceasers Sunday May 22, 2011 8pm


Melbourne: Aussie Joker Comedian Performs At Packer's Crown; Raises Cash For Flood Relief...

Melbourne folks at Crown Casino recently enjoyed 'The Jokers Comedy That Rocks' at Crown Casino. James Packer's casino donated all proceeds from last Friday night’s show to Queensland flood victims. Organiser William Leitch has happy with the way things went and showcased an evening with some of the city’s top stand-up artists, including Brad Oakes, Christine Basil and Greg Fleet. It's understood he got close to 150 people to come along, and he may be invited back on upcoming Friday nights.


Top 100 ASX Listed Companies Respond To Flood Cry For Help; Gambling And Gaming Industry Steps Up; Mining Firms and Banking Bastards Lead Charge...

1. BHP Billiton: $1.3 million (in addition, matching employee donations)

2. CBA: $1.35 million

3. Westpac: $1 million

4. ANZ: $1 million

5. NAB: $1 million

6. News Corp: $500,000 and Blue Ribbon campaign

7. Rio Tinto: $1 million ($700,000 to Premier Relief, $300,000 to Emerald community)

8. Wesfarmers: $7.5 million (plus $3.5 million from Coles customers)

9. Telstra Corp: up to $1 million by matching staff contributions (so far $338,000; is also supplying phones and free calls to people affected)

10. Woolside Petroleum: $122,395 (corporate + employees)

11. Woolworths: $6.9 million (matching customer donations in Woolies, Big W, Dick Smith dollar for dollar)

14. Fortescue Metals: Matching staff donations dollar for dollar

15. CSL: $250,000

16. QBE Insurance: not releasing a statement

17. Origin energy: $1 million

18. Macquarie Group: $200,000 (combined staff and company effort with fundraising activities continuing both here and overseas)

19. AXA Asia Pacific: No response

20. Santos: $500,000 plus use of helicopters and vehicles for clean up. Also $50,000 for flooding in WA

21. Coal and Allied Industries: (see Rio Tinto)

22. AMP: $250,000 + matching employee contributions to WA flood appeal up to $250,000

23. Suncorp Group: $100,000 (staff and customers have donated $1.5million)

24. Foster's Group: $500,000

25. Brambles: No response

26. Leighton Holdings: No response

27. Orica: No response

28. Oil Search: No response

29. Stockland: Donated $250,000 to the Premier's flood relief appeal, another $30,000 to the Mayoress Rockhampton regional flood appeal and are matching employee donations dollar for dollar

30. Coca. Cola Amatil: No response

31. Amcor: No response

32. Westfield Retail Trust: No response

33. IAG: No response

39. Crown: Donation tins in Crown complexes and have committed to matching all donations as well as staff contributions

52. Tabcorp Holdings: $1 million

78. Tatts Group: Going to run a dedicated lottery for the Queensland flood appeal where all profits will go to the Premier's Flood Appeal. They ran the same thing in Victoria after the Black Saturday bushfires. It will run on Wednesday 2 Feb in Queensland and is expected to raise $200,000. In addition, another donation will be made from the unclaimed prizes fund of an as. yet undecided amount

79. Fairfax Media: Matching staff donations

100. Seek: Reported it had made a donation to the Premier's Flood Appeal but chose not to disclose how much

Brisbane: Flood Relief Money Gets Spend On Pokies, Vice - Piss Up At Pubs...

It's been reported in a number of Queensland newspapers that the $1000 flood relief grants that went to many good folks in Granville are being used to feed slots and buy piss (beer) rather than food and necessities. Two Maryborough publicans say that in some instances the answer to that is yes, and they are disgusted. One of the publicans was so incensed by the misuse of flood relief money she telephoned Fairfax Media to complain. "A man came in bragging about how he’d got the $1000 payout because he told Centrelink he was stuck in Granville – but he was here the whole time. It makes me sick that people are openly admitting they’ve got the money for nothing, while there are people who’ve died or lost everything." She said Centrelink should have screened the applications more carefully to make sure only people who were genuinely in need received the cash. Another pub owner said his one armed bandits had not stopped buzzing since the grants became available. "We were quiet during the actual floods but this week’s been totally different. The pokies and the bottle shop have been going non-stop." Yeah, Aussie continue to love a punt, rain, hail, shine or flood!

Aussie Millions Game 8 Results...

The London based chap took down the $1,100 8 game mixed event title at Crown Casino in Melbourne adding AUD$23,800 to his almost $1.2 million in career tournament earnings. He entered the final table as the short stack, but managed to grind his way to victory and nudge away Australia's Bruno Portaro for the victory. The event marked Ashby's 8th final table appearance at the Aussie Millions that includes a side-event win back in 2005 and a seventh-place finish in the main event in 2009. Ashby also won his first WSOP bracelet this summer in the $1,500 7 Card Stud event and went well in the $10k H.O.R.S.E. for his biggest career score of $378,027. The 2011 Aussie Millions $1,100 8-Game Mixed event drew 68-players and paid the final 7.

Here are the results:
1 Richard Ashby AUD$23,800
2 Bruno Portaro AUD$16,320
3 Casey Kastle AUD$10,880
4 Daniel Ospina AUD$6,800
5 Oliver Gill AUD$4,760
6 Dane Coltman AUD$3,400
7 Paul Ravesi AUD$2,040

Aussie Main Event Day 1b: PartyPoker And Full Tilt Poker Players Feel The Pain...

PartyGaming's PartyPoker and Full Tilt Poker's powers that be likely won't be celebrating. Ok, they got news coverage and exposure, but its because their players are out. Yep, history maties. Full Tilt went well on Day 1a but Day 1b was rooted. Many of the big name pros went down for the count as locals stepped up. 209 players entered the Crown Poker room but after 7 levels of play, 80 remained. David Oppenheim, Annette Obrestad, Carlos Mortensen, David Benyamine, Andrew Feldman, Steve Yea, Andy Bloch and Gus Hansen were some of the Full Tilt players who died. Other casualties included Luke Santo, Raj Ramakrishnan, George Moussa, Michael Pedley, Graeme Putt, Martin Comer, Dennis Huntly, Jamie Pickering, Bruno Portaro, Casey Kastle, Ben Savage and Tim Marsters. 2005 World Champion Joe Hachem (tweeting he struggled with jetlag following a recent trip to the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure.) Defending champ, 2010 Aussie Millions Main Event winner Tyron Krost (PartyGaming's PartyPoker pro went down too). A new champ will be crowned in 2011 with plenty of Aussies still in contention. The field kicked off with Jeff Rossier in the lead with 154,900, closely followed by Michael Ottobra (143,400) and Martin Drewe, After winning the Opening Event last week and going deep in another event, Drewe is now set in the chip leaders in the Main Event after getting to 136,100. Jay “SEABEAST” Kinkade did nicely with 128,700, Haibo Chu (113,900), Manny Stavropoulos (85,600), Sorel Mizzi (74,400), Michael Egan (61,100), Kent Hunter (56,400), Jeff Lisandro (55,000), Eric Assadourian (50,300), Scott Montgomery (49,200), Chris Ferguson (45,400), Lee Nelson (30,200), Neil Channing (28,800), Roland de Wolfe (26,100), Aleks Brkovic (24,600), Jackie Glazier (21,900), Grant Levy (18,300), Gary Benson (10,500) and Mel Judah (7,200) amongst those who will return on Day 2. The 3rd and final flight of the 2011 Aussie Millions Main will commence Tuesday with another strong field and a few big names expected. Even Van Marcus will front up. Van, is your Red Ferrari safe this time mate? We're looking for more good fodder to write about. How about do a publicity stunt and make world wide headlines ago. Maybe someone at Crown Casino - Crown Limited might be open to it. Stanger things have happened... like Ferrari's getting stolen on site, casino fights and a man getting stuck in the Crown Casino kitchen grease vacuum.

Aussie Millions Event #9 Day 1b: Rossiter In Front...

It was down to business with players investing AUD$10,600 to buy in all with the goal of becoming the 2011 Aussie Millions Champion. 7 seven levels of play, and the 209-player field went to 80. Jeff Rossiter is in front with 154,900. Martin Drewe, 2011 Aussie Millions Event #1 winner with 136,100 - now 3rd on the leaderboard. Australian Jay Kinkade is on 128,700, and European Poker Tour mainstay Jeff Sarwer sits 5th with 120,500. Randy "nanonoko" Lew has 110,000 and Gavin Griffin 101,700 in 9th ninth and 10th place. Sorel Mizzi, Jeffrey Lisandro, Eric Assadourian, Team Full Tilt's Chris Ferguson, Full Tilt Poker Red Pros Scott Montgomery and Roland de Wolfe, Neil Channing, and Lee Nelson have also all made it to Wednesday's Day 2, but it was touch and go for some of them, testing the skill VS luck debate. Full Tilt Poker $25,000 Shootout Invitational winner David Oppenheim, Annette Obrestad, Carlos Mortensen, Andy Bloch, David Benyamine, Andrew Feldman, Gus Hansen, Joe Hachem, and David Steicke all had to say goodnight nurse. PartyGaming's - PartyPoker Tyron Krost was eliminated in a hand VS Gavin Griffin where his Ace-Queen couldn't best Griffin's Aces. The 3rd and final Day 1 flight commences Tuesday in Melbourne, Australia at 12:30 p.m. local time.

Getting board of poker yet? If so, try your luck er skill at Baccarat or Craps. If your more into luck, check out the slots like Cleopatra, Sinatra, Rambo, Goanna Gold and The Terminator. Rumour goes PartyGaming also have, or will soon get, a World Poker Tour themed online slot game. We recommend punters open an account with PartyCasino, PartyGaming and World Poker Tour, just to have all based covered. Party appears to still be the most popular online casino brand in Australia despite big efforts by the likes of 888. Marvel slot games are forecast to be some of the most popular of this year with Captain America and Thor tipped to hit Australia cinema's this year, with Spider-Man also getting a remake. Whatever your casino game of choice, good luck, and let us know how you go guys and girls. Spin to win.

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? 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

 

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5 20,000 16GB iPad 14
6 30,000 WPT entry 20

The feast of presents doesn’t just end here though. Every time a player hits a prize level PartyPoker.com award tickets for the VIP Gift Accumulator prize draw which offers the chance to win a share of $10,000. The more prizes a Palladium VIP earn the more entries they’ll get into the draw, giving more frequent players a better chance of winning the $5,000 first prize, the $3,000 second prize or the $2,000 third prize. Winners will be announced on the 17th December.

Please note that this is an OPT-IN promotion. For more information see: PartyPoker.com

Santa is also coming to PartyCasino.com. Unlike the poker promotion this is open to non VIPs too and runs from the 1st – 14th December, whether you have been bad or good. Points mean prizes including a luxury Caribbean holiday!

See: PartyCasino.com for more information.

Santa’s Party Pack

Prizes whether you’ve been good or bad!

Starts: 00:00 ET, 1st December
Ends: 23:59 ET, 14th December

Santa is making an early appearance. He’s spreading Christmas cheer, handing out killer Christmas presents to non-VIP and Palladium VIP players.

From 1st to 14th December, you can celebrate Christmas in style with a double whammy of festive winning opportunities. There’s a prize giveaway where you can scoop up to 6 prizes, and a massive cash prize draw!

Winning a share of Santa’s Party Pack is simple, and you don’t even have to sit on Santa’s knee! Simply opt-in between the 1st-14th December and collect points by playing your favourite slots and jackpot slots. The more you play, the more prizes you’ll unwrap.

Prize Giveaway

If you’re not a VIP yet, check out the Christmas List below, Santa could bring you up to 5 fantastic prizes worth $1,000:

Points Cumulative prizes
20 $5 cash bonus
100 300 points
500 $50 cash bonus
1,000 $100 free cash
5,000 iPad 32GB WiFi*

*The iPad 32GB WiFi has a cash alternative of $600, this will automatically be credited to your account. Please see T&C’s for details of how to receive the non monetary alternative.

If you’re a Palladium VIP player, check out the Christmas list below. Santa could bring you up to 6 prizes worth $10,000:

Points Cumulative prizes
2,000 $75 cash bonus
3,000 1500 points
5,000 $150 cash bonus
7,500 $250 free cash
15,000 iPad 64GB WiFi**
50,000 Luxury Caribbean Holiday**
(worth $8,500)

**The iPad 64GB WiFi has a cash alternative of $1,000, **The Luxury Caribbean Holiday has a cash alternative of $5,000 these will automatically be credited to your account. Please see T&C’s for details of how to receive the non monetary alternative.

Santa’s Big Prize Draw

What a cracker! But wait…there’s an extra present under the tree – Santa’s Big Prize Draw. By taking part in Santa’s Party Pack, you will be eligible for the draw. The more points you earn the more entries you will receive. Check below to see how much cash you can win:

Non-VIP Big Prize Draw

Every time you earn 20 points during the promotion, you’ll get one entry to the Big Prize Draw. $10,000 will be shared equally between 10 lucky players.

VIP Big Prize Draw

Every time you earn 500 points during the promotion, you’ll get one entry to the Big Prize Draw. $20,000 will be shared between 3 lucky players in the following amounts: 1st - $10,000, 2nd - $6,000 and 3rd - $4,000.

You can collect points on any of our slots and jackpot slots. To join the festivities you need to Opt-In from the 1st-14th December. Win some exceptional presents this Christmas with Santa’s Party Pack.

Good luck and Merry Christmas!

 

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News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Virgin Games Partners With Microgaming - 21st June 2010

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM- Virgin Games (www.virgingames.com), the leading online gaming company, has today announced that it has partnered with Microgaming, the world's largest online gaming software provider. The partnership will allow Virgin Games to further enhance its offering by providing Microgaming's market leading flash casino games to its customers, through Microgaming's pioneering Quickfire software.

Virgin Games has established a direct integration with Microgaming, giving its customers access to a large variety of games that will be launched over the coming months. The first game to be launched is Thunderstruck, a five reel, nine payline video slot game, with a Wild and a Scatter symbol, a Free Spin Bonus Feature and a Gamble feature.

Microgaming is the world's largest gaming software provider and powers over 120 online Casinos, 40 Poker rooms and a number of market leading Bingo sites, worldwide. This integration, using Microgaming's Quickfire software, reinforces Virgin Games strategy to bring its customer a wider choice of game content and follows integrations with top tier content providers such as Wagerworks, Cryptologic, Freemantle and Ash Gaming.

Simon Burridge, CEO of Virgin Games, commented:
"Our customers have told us that they want a wider range of games and specifically they would love to play Microgaming games as a part of the Virgin Games offering. Since the launch of our custom built platform back in 2008, we have been introducing a range of new gaming content to our sites and Virgin Games now has one of the widest ranges of casino and slot games available in the UK. The addition of Microgaming, the world leader in its field, is a big step forward for Virgin Games customers and we look forward to launching its games with a range of promotions over the coming months."
Founded in 2004, Virgin Games has over 1,000,000 players and more than 200 games on its site. A growing selection of games can be found at Virgin Games from a number of games producers including WagerWorks, Cryptologic, Freemantle, Endemol, Ash Gaming and now Microgaming.
To visit Virgin Games go to: www.virgingames.com

Notes to editors

About Virgin Games:
Virgin Games (www.virgingames.com) launched in June 2004 and has quickly established itself as one of the leading gaming websites in the UK. Virgin Games comprises three distinct offerings:

• Virgin Casino, offers content from a range of games suppliers including WagerWorks, Cryptologic, Freemantle and Ash Gaming, bringing consumers classic casino games like Blackjack and Roulette, as well as great feature slots like Monopoly, Rubik's, X-Factor and the highly popular MegaJackpots progressive games, with a current jackpot value of over £2,500,000

• Virgin Poker, part of the Boss Media network, offers a huge array of games and content for beginners through to experienced pros – as well as the most generous loyalty scheme in the industry

• Virgin Bingo, part of the Virtue Fusion network, offers cash prizes worth thousands of pounds in the progressive jackpots, as well as Virgin prize bingo and a range of unique Virgin Games bingo games.

About Microgaming:
Since the company developed the first true online Casino software over a decade ago, it has led the industry in providing innovative, reliable gaming solutions. Thanks to an unrivalled R&D programme, that averages 60 games per year and a unique 'partnership' approach to working with operators; Microgaming software powers over 160 market leading online gaming sites.
The company's front and back-end software supports multi-player, multi-language games - over 450 of them, all uniquely branded and provides platforms for land-based and wireless gaming. Microgaming powers the world's largest Progressive Jackpot Network and has paid out over €265million. In May 2009 it created the biggest ever online jackpot winner with a single payment win of €6.37m.

As a founding member of eCOGRA, Microgaming is at the forefront of an initiative focused on setting the highest standards in the gaming industry, and leads in the areas of fair gaming, responsible operator conduct and player protection. Microgaming has been awarded eCOGRA's Certified Software Seal following a rigorous onsite assessment to ensure that the development, implementation and maintenance of the software is representative of industry best practice standards Microgaming licensees are therefore eligible to apply for the eCOGRA Safe & Fair Seal.

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