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Gambling On Pre-Commitment Pokies: Lovers VS Haters,
by Greg Tingle - 21st January 2011
On Pub Pokies Gambling Pre Commitment?...
one of Australia's hottest political stories at the
moment. At least, that's the vibe, and its getting
a good run on Aussie talk back radio and inches dedicated
to Australian newspaper print, not to mention the
strong coverage on leading news and entertainment
website portals such as Gambling911, Media
Man, Crikey and 'The Shout'.
- pokie giant ALH (Australian Leisure and Hospitality
Group).... you've got to love the "leisure"
reference, has punished and kicked the head in (figure
of speech: there were no pub fight ok punters) of
the Aussie government plan requiring all gamblers
to nominate how much they are prepared to lose down
the throats of slots - fruit machines aka "one
armed bandits" before trying their luck, starting
it would have a "seriously" negative impact
on most who enjoy getting on the punt pokies style.
ALH, 75% cent owned by Woolworths, who we affectionately
call 'The Fast Cash People' (satire ok guys) advised
the gambling policy was "deeply politicised"
and club and pub owners were being unfairly targeted
while online gaming escaped regulation.
and pubs are of course land based premises on Australian
soil, while online gaming and online gambling no very
few boundaries, with many of the world's largest media
companies, including some in Australia, covering the
sector in both a media, PR, affiliate, B2B and holistic
recent years Australia's Fairfax Media, publisher
of The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, and a number
of online news and entertainment website portals like
Brisbane Times, along with The Daily Telegraph online
and other Murdoch Australian online news entities
have developed dedicated sections on gambling, gaming,
sports betting et al, with punters and readers lapping
it up. Australia's AdNews website is has also taken
on ads, and James Packer's Betfair has promos on a
swag of websites, and on many mainstream TV broadcasts.
Yep, gambling is everywhere, and NRL team, the Penrith
Panthers is tipped to soon have their footy ground
renamed Centrebet Stadium, or something to that effect.
portals like IGN, Virgin and Media
Man Int, are expanding out in a wide variety of
domain name extensions, building brands and reach,
some targeting specific geographic regions. Example:
now has Media
Man Canada.com and well as Media
Man Asia and Media
Man Network, which Virgin has .ca and over 100
variations of its Virgin name, including Virgin Games,
Virgin Casino and Virgin Unite. For the record Virgin
is not currently accepting Australian online players
from what we can gather. PartyGaming, PartyCasino,
and James Packer's Betfair
appear to be some of the strongest online brands that
can accept Australians (and New Zealanders), and online
portals like Media Man list them for educational purposes,
putting the information out to the world via the global
medium - the internet. In many cases casino games
are reviewed listing currency and language options,
as well as play for free or play for money scenarios.
their credit, many of the media and entertainment
companies featuring some gaming and igaming coverage
do support a number of worthy causes, be it The Salvation
Army, Virgin Unite, The Red Cross and GenerationOne,
and some even making cash donations to struggling
charities on the quite, not seeking fame of thanks
for their good deeds.
Casino, home to the Aussie
Millions has an online presence, and has conducted
B2B with the likes of PartyGaming,
where the current champion is an Australian who learned
how to play online with Party's online poker brand.
Crown over the past few years have got into bed somewhat
with online poker firms, accepting "online poker
satellite qualifiers", where players play on
online websites, with the some of the best players
winning seats to the land based poker tournaments.
to the politics of pub pokies, much of the fuss relates
to the Australian government broken promise to the
Australian clubs and pubs sector, while pandering
to the wish list of a certain well known Australian
senator. Many media commentators in Australia said
the senators demands (for securing his vote), accounted
to a version of blackmail! Strong allegations, and
these were carried in about a dozen different media
outlets down under in Australia. The policy itself
was a mammoth clash with the Productivity Commission's
view - policy on the run...a deal struck between the
independent... get read for the name... MP Andrew
Wilkie and the federal government. In exchange for
Wilkie's support, the government promised a "full
pre-commitment scheme" for poker machines by
2014, igniting a war of words and public backlash
from the powerful pubs and clubs sector, with Wilkie
being shouted out of a few meetings with regional
clubs, with Australian pensioners being some of the
most upset, distressed and basically, pissed off,
wanting the Aussie Labor Government thrown out of
ALH Group outlined in its submission to a parliamentary
inquiry, the government's policy would probably be
ineffective and would basically force substantially
higher costs on pub owners, clients, associates and
lengthy Productivity Commission inquiry recommended
"full pre-commitment" by 2016, and the ALH
and others pushed for more research.
ALH is the proud operation of in excess of 12,000
pokies aka "one armed bandits" and 286 pubs.
They are king! Pushing for a voluntary pre-commitment,
ALH advised problem gamblers would still find a way
to bet online where the internet has few boundaries,
where less regulations applied. Online brands such
as PartyGaming, PartyCasino, Captain Cooks, Centrebet
and Betfair are well known, trusted, ethical and popular
with Australians and New Zealanders, with punters
not so keen to try out other lesser known brands.
Nick Xenophon, an anti-poker machine "hater"
(not lover), pointed the finger at Woolworths 'The
Fast Cash People' (satire) of trying to defend the
submission ignored "overwhelming evidence"
that a pre-commitment scheme would help reduce problem
gambling, Senator Xenophon said, likening its stance
to big tobacco firms denying the dangers of smoking.
The question and claim is being investigated with
some journalists not so sure it was "overwhelming
evidence" with some saying it was clever spin,
backed by "junk science" coming out of some
Australian universities known for their dislike of
the gaming and gambling sector.
X' (satire) added "The irony is there are people
who cannot afford to buy food from a Woolworths supermarket
because they are blowing their money on a Woolworths
Xenophon and other anti-pokies groups convinced Woolworths
last year to keep children away from its poker machines.
Woolworths made $176.7 million in pre-tax profits
from its hotels division last financial year. The
pub baron Bruce Mathieson owns the remaining 25 per
cent of ALH.
parliamentary inquiry will hold public hearings in
capital cities next month.
Aussie based legal eagles such as Jamie Nettleton
from Addisons are expecting strong business this year,
as the legal complexities of online vs offline, website
portals vs casinos, affiliate programs, PR VS news
and campaigns et al, continue to get looked at. Our
friend Nettleton has already gone on record that many
Australian laws are outdated and do not basically
cover or apply to the global medium that is the world
wide web. Nettleton is recommending more regulations,
which in turn will help better protect consumers,
and well as help with taxation laws and other business
functions, resulting in a win - win - win.
Land Based Casinos VS Land Based Pokie Palaces: Australian
we know your just begging to get your current Australian
land based casino hotspots back on file, many of which
are massive tourist attractions, so here it is...
Star City Casino (Sydney)
Crown Casino (Melbourne)
Conrad Treasury Casino (Brisbane)
Jupiters Hotel & Casino (Gold Coast)
Jupiters Townsville Casino (Townsville)
The Reef Hotel Casino (Cairns)
Skycity Adelaide (Adelaide)
Burswood Entertainment Complex aka Burswood Casino
Wrest Point Hotel Casino (Hobart)
Country Club Casino (Launceston)
Casino Canberra (Canberra)
Lasseters Hotel Casino (Alice Springs)
Skycity Darwin (formerly MGM Grand Casino) (Darwin)
Tobacco Industry VS Government Wars: Australian Sinners
tobacco industry has launched a fresh and "backdoor"
type attack on legislation to make plain packaging
of cigarettes compulsory, using a regional FTO (free
trade agreement) to which Australia is expected to
sign up to.
giant Philip Morris has used Australia's plain-packaging
laws, set to come into effect next year, to debate
the need for "investor state" provisions
in the upcoming Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement.
This would basically facilitate companies to sue member
governments if they pass legislation curtailing business
Faunce, an Australian Research Council future fellow
at the Australian National University, called on the
federal government to resist the inclusion of investor
state provisions in the agreement. He said the provisions
duplicated ground that had already been covered in
the 2005 Australia-US free trade pact.
can rebut such attempts on the basis that they reopen
the (free trade agreement) negotiations where an investor-state
clause was expressly excluded," Associate Professor
Faunce wrote in a critique published today in the
Medical Journal of Australia.
on the trade agreement - between the US, Australia,
New Zealand and six South American and south-east
Asian countries - intensified last year and are expected
to be completed in September.
a submission on the proposed trade agreement to the
US trade representative, Philip Morris cited Australia's
plain-packaging laws among "initiatives of concern".
company said it supported laws to reduce any harm
caused by tobacco, but opposed "extreme and disproportionate
which has the effect of violating
international law and expropriating intellectual property
Chapman, a professor of public health at the University
of Sydney, said the company's stance was consistent
with the tobacco industry's history of attempting
to use trade agreements to defeat individual countries'
yet another sign of the degree to which the industry
will go to to defeat and delay any measure that will
actually work (to cut smoking rates)" he said.
World Trade Organisation's Uruguay Round had established
the right of countries "to put health considerations
above international trade considerations".
Ranald, of the Australian Fair Trade and Investment
Network, which advises on human rights, and the environment,
said Australia would receive little export benefit
from the treaty because the free trade agreement was
already in place.
we want to say to our government is that we should
negotiate about trade issues but not about social
policies," Dr Ranald said.
Emerson, the Minister for Trade, would not commit
on excluding investor-state provisions from the trade
pact, saying he was not prepared to make policy on
he said Philip Morris would be "whistling in
the wind" if it tried to undermine national anti-tobacco
tobacco industry ie: smoking, has long been linked
to other industries such as gambling (where punters
often chase land based pokies where smoking is allowed),
the sex and fetish industry, fashion (models smoke
instead of eat correctly, not to put on weight) and
motorsport (especially F1), but exposure of tobacco
products on cars has been massively reduced - more
than halved, over the past 5 years, with energy drinks
like Red Bull picking up some of the slack.
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.
er, punters, how did you like our report? Tell us
in the forum.
you have a bet, please bet with your head, not over
it, and for God's sake, have fun.
Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911
Man is primarily a media, publicity and internet
portal development company. Gaming is just one of
a dozen sectors covered
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