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Apr 28, 2017
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Aussie, Rhonda Quinn, Wins 2014 DPA Poker Championship

Written By Carla Harris


Rhonda Quinn has claimed the title of Australian Deaf Poker Champion 2014 at this year’s Deaf Poker Association tournament held in Western Australia.

Quinn made an impressive array of back-to-back wins at the table in this year’s prestigious tournament held at the Crown Perth. In total, Quinn was able to beat a pool of 101 Poker maestros in the main event becoming the third woman in history to claim the prize.

The competition was tough with former Champions Michelle Rowlands and John Girvan on the list of entries as well as prominent names from Europe such as Andrew Mclean and Magnus Olofsson. Nevertheless, Quinn confidently powered through the event defeating all of her opponents.

Quinn’s final blow was delivered on Sunday, 19 Oct, when she ousted Carlos Navarro from New South Wales from the competition who was hot on her heels. She rolled out a Js-5c hand that paired beautifully with the Qd-2c-Jh-5h on the board.

Of considerable note is Quinn’s epically calm reaction to the win against the backdrop of screams and celebrations from her Melbourne Kings team members. She remained still for a good few minutes before requesting a photograph be taken of her on her camera phone.

Running for its 6th successful year, the DPA’s Championship provides the opportunity for deaf and hearing-impaired players who have a passion for the game to use a combination of Australian sign language and regular speech at Poker tables.

Quickly gaining in popularity, next year’s DPA event will be appended to the Australia New Zealand Poker Tour (ANZPT).

James Packer Buys into South Sydney Rabbitohs

Written By Carla Harris

James Packer Rugby Team

The owner of leading gaming and entertainment conglomerate Crown Resorts Limited, James Packer, recently bought ownership in Australia's National Rugby League premiership champions, the South Sydney Rabbitohs. In a deal that was finalized on Thursday, October 23rd, Packer acquired a 37.5 per cent share in the South Sydney Rabbitohs (commonly known as the Souths) from prominent businessman Peter Holmes à Court. The $7.5 million purchase positioned Packer alongside Hollywood movie star Russell Crowe as an official co-owner of the South Sydney rugby club.

His newfound ownership in the Souths has a great deal of personal relevance for Packer, who began working at Crown Resorts Limited under the guidance of his late father Kerry. Before his death in 2005, Kerry Packer had been a longtime fan and supporter ofthe South Sydney Rabbitohs. Over the course of his career, the legendary investment professional helped lead his beloved Souths to anumber of championship performances.

After the October 23rd transaction was complete, James Packer released a statement declaring, "This is a very proud day for myfamily." He went on to discuss his father’s long history and passionate association with Souths. “And now being a co-owner with RussellCrowe and the members,” Packer said, “is an honour and a privilege.”

Forming Blackcourt League Investments in 2006, Russell Crowe and Peter Holmes à Court originally paid $3 million to acquire 75 percent of the Souths. In the wake of the recent deal, ownership of Blackcourt League Investments was equally divided between Packer and Crowe.

Of considerable note is Quinn’s epically calm reaction to the win against the backdrop of screams and celebrations from her Melbourne Kings team members. She remained still for a good few minutes before requesting a photograph be taken of her on her camera phone.

Running for its 6th successful year, the DPA’s Championship provides the opportunity for deaf and hearing-impaired players who have a passion for the game to use a combination of Australian sign language and regular speech at Poker tables.

Quickly gaining in popularity, next year’s DPA event will be appended to the Australia New Zealand Poker Tour (ANZPT).

Echo and Crown Compete for New Brisbane Casino

Written By Carla Harris

Crown Casino

Rival Australian gaming companies Crown Resorts Limited and the Echo Entertainment Group have submitted separate proposals to develop a casino in the Queensland city of Brisbane.

The Queensland government recently earmarked prime waterfront real estate in Brisbane’s central business district for a new gambling and entertainment resort. Upon completion, this complex will occupy a place on the historic Queen's Wharf, an international tourist destination that preserves and celebrates Brisbane's rich legacy while supporting a wide range of heritage buildings, government institutions, and beautiful public spaces.

Both Echo Entertainment and Crown Resorts placed final bids for the casino project on Tuesday, October 28th. According to its comprehensive public proposal, Crown plans to work with its Chinese consortium partner, the Greenland Group, to build a six-star hotel and casino at the proposed site.

Echo reported that it was unable to disclose any specific details about its proposal due to the confidential nature of the government bidding process. However, Echo’s chief executive officer Matt Bekier assured Brisbane residents that the company “put forward a responsible offer that delivers a truly iconic precinct.” He also predicted that the Queen's Wharf project would be a major string to Echo’s bow.

No matter which company ultimately wins the development bid, the moneymaking potential of the proposed Brisbane casino is bound to be significant.

The Queensland government will be completing an extensive evaluation process over the next few months in order to assess each proposal in detail. The preferred plan will be announced in the first part of 2015.

Ex-Tennis Player Nick Lindahl Accused of Match Fixing

Written By Carla Harris

Tennis Match Fixing Scandal

An ongoing investigation into the illegal activities of former professional tennis player and coach Matthew Charles Fox has unearthed new information that implicates his professional associate and friend Nick Lindahl. Previously ranked among the 200 best tennis players in the world, Lindahl competed at the Grand Slam and ATP Tour levels.

In October of 2014, police charged Matthew Charles Fox with drug trafficking and two counts of illegal betting on Australian tournament matches. While appearing at the Melbourne Magistrates Court to plead guilty to these charges, Fox and his attorneys revealed damning information about Lindahl. According to court records, Fox and Lindahl allegedly conspired to fix a prominent match at the 2014 Toowoomba Futures tournament.

Lindahl was the odds-on favourite to defeat Andrew Corbitt at Toowoomba. After informing Fox that he would "tank" the match, Lindahl approached his lower-ranked opponent to ask for his compliance in the match fixing scheme. Corbitt reportedly refused. In the end, however, Corbitt won the competition 6-2 and 6-3. Match officials immediately approached Lindahl after the final volley.

Purana Task Force detectives report that Lindahl and Fox first cemented their match-fixing agreement in 2013. The plan was simple: Lindahl would throw his matches, and Fox would place bets according to the predetermined results. After winning thousands of dollars on these fixed tournament competitions, Lindahl and Feeney both retired from professional sport.

When Fairfax Media attempted to reach Lindahl for comment, he simply hung up the phone. Lindahl has previously released statements insisting that he had no knowledge of the Fox match fixing investigation and that he maintains no lasting links to the tennis community in Victoria.

Hindu Community Takes Offense to Lord Shiva-themed Slot game

Written By Carla Harris

Shiva Online Slot

While many religious groups frown up gambling as a form of entertainment, the Hindu community has taken offense not to the recreational activity itself but rather to one particular Slot game that has been deemed highly offensive due to its use of one of their gods in a Lord Shiva-themed Video Slot entitled “Shiva”.

Shiva is a 5-Reel, 50-Payline Video Slot developed by the German-based game developerMerkur Division of Espelkamp, the Gauselmann Group. It includes a host of popular features including Scatters, Wilds, Free Spins and two Gamble Features, but the theme labeled “mystic, Asian, Indian” uses images of the Hindu god, Lord Shiva, as well as culturally stereotypical images such as monkeys, cobras and the TajMahal, and can be played at numerous online casinos around the world.

According to the Updated News website in Canada, President of the Universal Society of Hinduism, Rajan Zed, labeled the game as “highly inappropriate”. He went on to urge the company and its chairman, Paul Gauselmann, to make a public apology and withdraw the game from its collection. The Hindu statesmen also reminded the developers that, “Hinduism [is] the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about one billion adherents and a rich philosophical thought and it should not be taken lightly. Symbols of any faith, larger or smaller, should not be mishandled.”

This is not the first time this year that Zed has had to speak out against symbols and imagery of the Hindu faith being used in a trivialized manner. Brookvale Union, an Australian brewery based in New South Wales, sold a ginger beer that included images of the two Hindu deities, Ganesh and Lakshmi, in its label design, along with various other Hindu symbols. As reported by the Kemmannu News Network, Zed stated that, “Hindus were for free expression and speech as much as anybody else if not more, but faith was something sacred and attempts at trivializing it tormented the devotees… businesses should be respectful to various faith traditions.”

Brookvale Union were immediately contrite and offered an apology that was accepted by Rajan Zed on behalf of Hindus around the world. They released their apology in an Australian trade magazine, stating that the brewery had “apologized for any distress caused and begun the process of removing the images from the website. We’re lovers, not fighters, we want to make it right… We are now focused on redesigning the Ginger Beer which hopefully all can be happy with!”

Merkur Division of Espelkamp, the Gauselmann Group, on the other hand, has of yet not issued any comment on the offensive Slot game.

New player at Casino-Mate wins $30,000

Written By Carla Harris

Break da Bank Slot Machine

PRESS RELEASE - Christmas came very early for a new player at Casino-Mate. A lucky spin on a popular game famous for dishing out big wins made our player, H.K. from Australia, $30,000 richer. That’s just one more big winner in Casino-Mate’s long list of successes.

It’s not uncommon for new players to find very early success in their gaming at Casino-Mate. Call it beginners luck perhaps, but in the law of odds with regular players striking it lucky as often as they do, it’s only a matter of time before a new player is just as lucky.

H.K. hadn’t been with Casino-Mate for very long before they were playing a bit of an old favourite for so many players, Break da Bank Again. The sequel to the highly successful Break da Bank, Break da Bank Again is all about big money, as the name would suggest. The imagery in the game’s graphics includes piles of gold bars, gold coins and jewels, along with the sturdy metal doors of a bank vault.

Break da Bank Again is a vibrant 9-line, 5 –Reel Video Slot recommended for experienced players or high rollers, but its range of coin sizes and its ease of play mean that anyone could give it a go. For those who aren’t intimidated, there could be some serious rewards in store. The title logo symbol acts as the Wild and delivers 5x Multipliers on all the combinations it completes, as well as up to 25x on line bets during the Free Spins Bonus. Up to 25x Free Spins are activated by the big vault doors during which all wins are Multiplied by 5x. Adding even more bang to this incredible game, there’s a Gamble Feature wherein predicting the correct colour and suit will award double or quadruple the player’s winnings.

There are big rewards in store for new players at Casino-Mate right from the word ‘go’. When they sign on, they can opt for one of two generous Welcome Offers. They can either pick $/€1,400 in Deposit Bonuses, with a 100% Bonus up to $/€100 Free on their first deposit, 200% up to $/€50 on the second, 25% up to $/€500 Free on the third, and 50% up to $/€750 Free on the fourth. Or they can opt for the Freeplay offer of $/€3,000 to play with in their first 60 minutes in the casino, with a chance to keep a portion of the winnings when the time runs out. Plus, new players will also receive 30 Free Spins the epic Game of Thrones™ Online Slot with each of these Welcome Offers.

A range of convenient banking methods are available, including credit cards, web wallets and direct deposits. All personal information is protected with 128-bit SSL encryption, a trusted industry standard also employed by banks, ensuring peace of mind. Should any queries arise, a team of multilingual support staff is standing by around the clock to offer assistance via email, live chat or toll free number..

Microgaming Ushers in 2015 With New Technology

Written By Carla Harris

Microgaming Logo

Microgaming has long been one of the premiere software developers for online gaming sites in the history of the medium. The company's software powers a huge number of the most popular Internet casinos in Australia as well as in Europe and worldwide. Never one to rest on its own laurels, Microgaming recently announced that it is embracing innovation by offering a wide variety of new and exciting features for players in 2015 and beyond.

The first new technology that Microgaming has in store for players in 2015 is called "Fun View." It's a complete overhaul of the company's existing poker table software that is optimized for use on widescreen devices. When Internet gaming first rose to prominence, most home computers had attached monitors in the 4:3 "square" aspect ratio. Now, most monitors and even mobile devices like smartphones and tablets have a 16:9 aspect ratio, which is much more of a rectangular shape.

"Fun View" not only optimizes the interface to take advantage of the newest hardware, but also it offers a complete visual redesign, including crisp fonts, better-looking chips and cards and even graphics that are rendered in a 3D high resolution.

"Fun View" is currently in a public beta program across most of the online casinos that are a part of the MPN platform, but it is expected to roll out to all sites that support Microgaming software in early 2015.

Too Many Regulations in Australian Gambling Market

Written By Carla Harris

Tabs Land Based Store

The world’s largest international bar association, the Association of Corporate Counsel recently published a comprehensive analysis of Australian wagering licensure that reveled a considerable amount of regulatory overlap in the national gaming industry. For years, political watchdog organizations such as the Rights Party of Australia have identified a problematic “regulatory creep” that significantly restricts the activities of all wagering operators that attempt to conduct business within Australian federal boundaries.

Numerous regulatory authorities currently have jurisdiction over Australian companies that support gambling operations. These regulators include each operator’s primary licensing body, its official State/Territory gambling regulator, all pertinent racing and sports controlling bodies, and various non-gambling-specific bodies such the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. In many instances, two or more statutory organizations may enforce requirements that relate to the exact same gambling area or issue.

For example, in 2014, wagering operators faced a number of new challenges from the New South Wales thoroughbred racing regulating body, Racing NSW. The organization introduced a number of new approval conditions, including restrictions concerning the advertising of gambling products and provisions that require operators to accept certain minimum bets. These new stipulations cover the exact same ground as existing requirements that are already in effect under licensing bodies such as the Northern Territory Racing Commission and under federal public policies such as the Australian Consumer Law.

In 2015, Australia will host both the Asian Cup and the Cricket World Cup. By loosening existing restrictions in federal gambling laws and regional licensing stipulations, the country stands to benefit by capturing capitol that would otherwise go to offshore wagering operations.

Fitch Ratings Expects Australian 2015 Gaming Revenues to Rise

Written By Carla Harris

Poker Chips

As part of a comprehensive study of gaming operators throughout the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, the international economic information provider Fitch Ratings recently predicted a four percent increase in gross Australian gambling revenue for the 2015 financial year.

Fitch Ratings is an established authority in the fields of market statistics and independent analysis that has been publishing reliable results for more than a century. Maintaining a truly intercontinental purview, the organization is co-owned by the Paris-based Fimalac and New York-based Hearst corporations.

Fitch’s report on Australian gambling found that, while the gaming industry is expected to grow overall, this growth will be unevenly distributed throughout the country. A December 15 article by The Star Online indicates that the performances of individual Australian casinos largely depend on the macroeconomic outlooks of the states in which they are located. However, there is currently a significant influx of new casinos and new investments in existing casinos throughout the country.

The projected development in the Australian region mirrors similar casino and gambling growth in other APAC markets. After a relatively weak performance in 2014, the APAC gaming industry is expected to bottom out early in the next year and then make a dramatic rebound as negative trends dissipate and new projects are launched. However, not all APAC countries will share in this trend toward general prosperity. Overall gambling revenue in Macao, for example, is expected to fall by four percent in 2015.

Citing ongoing political momentum to legalize casinos throughout the APAC, Fitch Ratings predicts continuing growth far beyond 2015. Like the countries of Vietnam, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Korea, and Russia, Australia is expected to open several new casinos over the next five years.

Australians Compensated After Taking Gambling Addiction Drug

Written By Carla Harris

Gambling Addiction

A large number of Australian citizens reported significant gambling problems after taking a prescription drug that was commonly used to treat Parkinson's disease and restless leg syndrome (RLS).

The drug, manufactured and sold by the multinational pharmaceutical corporation Pfizer under the commercial name Cabaser, has also been linked to multiple cases of sexual addiction. In total, nearly 200 Australians allegedly developed problematic dependencies on sex and/or gambling as a result of long time Cabaser use.

In the beginning of December, Pfizer agreed to settle with 160 Australians who took Cabaser to simulate the effects of dopamine within the human brain. A leading dopamine agonist, the drug mimicked the effects of dopamine to reduce bodily tremors and help patients regain control over their physical movements. Between 1996 and 2010, Cabaser was widely prescribed to individuals who suffer from Parkinson's disease and RLS.

The multi-million-dollar Pfizer settlement comes on the heels of a class action suit that accused the company of blatant negligence after failing to warn consumers about the drug’s dangerous side effects. Speaking through its directing partner Allanah Goodwin, the law firm of Arnold Thomas & Becker alleged that Cabaser caused people to go on "gambling and shopping binges and engage in bizarre hypersexual behaviour without realising it was a side effect.”

Pat Galea is one of the victims of Cabaser’s unique and troubling side effects. After taking Cabaser for nearly 10 years, the 65-year-old Australian resident lost approximately $700,000 on poker machines. Her behavior at the time was certainly out of character. "I'd go any spare moment I was not working,” she reported. “If it was payday I'd put most of it through and then realise I've got bills and rent and petrol to pay. As soon as I had any money, it was gone."