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South Australian Casino Boss Fondling Staff Not Welcome, by Greg Tingle - 27th December 2010

Season's Greetings punters, casino and gambling millionaires, billionaires, entertainment news junkies, insiders, outsiders, politicians, journalists and everyone else. It may be the season to be jolly, but at least one South Australian casino boss appears to have gone too far, with revelations coming out he fondled many of his colleagues at a staff Christmas Party. Media Man http://www.AustralianSportsEntertainment.com and Gambling911 putting the toe in mistletoe, with this camel-free report...Ho Ho Ho!...

An Adelaide Casino boss is no longer gainfully employed, getting the "don't come Monday", after being accused of sexually assaulting his workers, including fondling of boobs and tits, and the crotch region no less!

The man... let's call him Mr Grinch, has been accused of sexually assaulting up to half a dozen female staff members otherwise enjoying a work Xmas party at the casino - that started to turn X, in an unwelcome and unwelcome fashion.

It is alleged the casino boss in question got horny and approached the females in a manner not invited or welcome. The actions included fondling breasts, kissing, placing his fingers between buttocks, and would you believe in one instance he had the nerve to lift up a dress, snatching at her vagina - towards several women at the private Xmas event.

The numerous complaints were communicated to casino management after the end-of-year get together at popular West Tce nightclub HQ on the 13th December (unlucky for some).

It is understood some of the incidents occurred in the presence of the women's partners who were also invited to come along to the event. The casino would not confirm whether the boss had been sacked or had voluntarily resigned from his position at the North Tce gambling den, but it is believed he had earlier been suspended over the matter.

"Adelaide Casino has been made aware of an alleged issue relating to a staff member and has undertaken due process to resolve it," a statement, released by the casino through Norwood PR firm communikate et al, said.

"The staff member involved in the alleged incident is no longer an employee of Adelaide Casino or the Skycity Entertainment Group."

Casino staff were last week "gagged" from providing information about sexual incidents.

Effectively a media ban is in place, as far as staff talking to newspapers or online media outlets, or any other media from what we can pick up.

The casino powers that be advised it had moved quickly to resolve the complaints but would not comment on whether counselling had been offered to the alleged victims, due to issues of privacy.

"We take any matter regarding our staff very seriously and it is our priority to ensure the issue is resolved quickly and with sensitivity to those concerned. In the interests of privacy to the individuals involved, Adelaide Casino does not feel it is appropriate to comment further at this point."

Skycity Entertainment Group employs more than 1000 staff at the Adelaide Casino.

On a more positive note...

Adelaide's SkyCity Casino Celebrates 25 Years Of Neon Lights; Cheap Eats And Drinks And Profits..

Punters wander through the Adelaide Casino, spotting a table or pokie that tickles their fancy.

"Where's Cleopatra" shouts one punter. "Online casinos are better", remarks a younger player. "I told your staff I wanted the Sinatra slots", shouts the passionate gambler, chasing the big one, betting close to max bets on all lines.

It's neon lights, game jingles, screams, ohs, ahs and plenty of staff to service the patrons and keep em happy and begging for more.

The visitors enter chasing their dreams, but few get 'the big one, only to try again in a day or two. It's open almost every day or the year (not Christmas Day and Good Friday).

Overseeing the action is GM David Christian.

"It's not a weekday job. You can't go home on a Friday night and not have to worry about anything until Monday - the better run casinos are the ones where senior management do live it."

Assisted by close to 1100 staff, Christian runs the show in the 6000sq m building; the majority of which the public never will see. Behind the scenes are corridors and offices are surveillance officers, wardrobe staff, government regulators, chefs, croupier trainers... you name it Jack.

The casino first opened on December 12, 1985. It was very special, enhanced by the fact it was the second casino to open down under in Australia - after Tasmania's Wrest Point in 1973.

A few things have changed over the years, with the ability to detect cheats more easly being up the top of the list.

Richard Krawczyz is manager of the casino's security and surveillance. His team of 90 staff monitors the building's 620 CCTV cameras. They are always on the lookout for cheats - big or small.

"(Scamming) doesn't happen as much as you see on TV. But the issue is that there is a core group of a couple of hundred people, who work internationally to try to cheat casinos and cheat other customers."

Krawczyz discloses the Adelaide Casino has been the victim of cheating before. "I'll be honest, we've had thefts and we've had issues with staff. Before my time, we had a roulette clocker, a member of the public who had a little mechanical device trying to clock the speed of the roulette wheel, which would then predict potentially where the ball would drop. But we're in a fortunate position that Adelaide, from a cheats perspective, is the last place I would be coming. At less busy times (when some tables are not in use), we may have two really busy, active tables, high in play, and they're being watched every second."

Insiders may have heard that scams to hit overseas casinos in recent times have included an electronic arm hidden under a suit that swaps cards. Surveillance cameras struggle to see it.

"We knew about that on the day this bit of equipment was being used in Asia", Krawczyz says of the way casinos across the world share information. The surveillance team also is expert at behavioural analysis. "The way people sit at tables, how they play with their chips, the way they converse with other individuals, how long they sit at a table without having a bet, someone doing a lap of the building; surveillance will monitor an individual until they are comfortable with their behaviour.

"On the whole, however, people are boring...they just want to come and play."

Devine sees the often talked about high-roller room.

In the Grange Room about 420 locals (but only 100 at a time) are allowed to gamble in more privacy than is available on the main floors.

Some of the famous punters who have tried their luck in the Grange Room include former Aussie PM Bob Hawke, singer Robbie Williams and Formula One grand prix driver Nigel Mansell.

The International Room is where the mega wealthy from around the world come to play. They are the "super whales".

The whales usually come in from China, but also Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong and Korea, with most international high rollers choosing to play baccarat.

The casino prides itself on its responsible gambling policy, with a solid investment in staff training, to help stop big problems, almost before it starts.

The casino recently celebrated its 25th birthday with a 7.6m chocolate cake. The cakes details are: 540 eggs, 18kg of couverture chocolate, 45kg of caster sugar, 36kg of flour and 24 litres of oil... and a partridge in a pear tree (just kidding).

Wrap Up...

Readers... er, punters, how did you like our report? Have you been naughty or nice? Did Santa give you what you had hoped for? 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.AustralianSportsEntertainment.com is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company. They cover a dozen industry sectors including gaming and offer political commentary and analysis.

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Pete Peterkin, The World's Most Versatile Entertainer/Impressionist tours Adelaide - August 2008


Adelaide is the capital and most populous city of the Australian state of South Australia, and is the fifth-largest city in Australia, with a population of over 1.1 million in 2006. It is a coastal city situated on eastern side of Gulf St. Vincent on the Adelaide Plains, north of the Fleurieu Peninsula, and west of the Mount Lofty Ranges, which rise to around 700 metres (2,300 ft).

Named in honour of Queen Adelaide, the consort of King William IV, the city was founded in 1836 as the planned capital for the only freely-settled British province in Australia. Colonel William Light, one of Adelaide's founding fathers, is said to have designed the city and to have chosen its location close to the River Torrens. Inspired by William Penn, Light's design set out Adelaide in a grid layout, interspaced by wide boulevards and large public squares, and entirely surrounded by parkland. Early Adelaide was shaped by religious freedom, hence its moniker "The City of Churches," as well as a commitment to civil liberties. Today Adelaide is known for its many festivals as well as for its wine, arts and sports.

As South Australia's seat of government and commercial centre, Adelaide is the site of many governmental and financial institutions. Most of these are concentrated in the city centre along the cultural boulevard of North Terrace, King William Street and in various districts of the metropolitan area.

History

Prior to British settlement, the Adelaide area was inhabited by the Kaurna Aboriginal tribe (pronounced "Garner" or "Gowna"). Acknowledged Kaurna country comprised the Adelaide Plains and surrounding regions - from Cape Jervis in the south, and to Port Wakefield in the north. Among their unique customs were burn-offs (controlled bushfires) in the Adelaide Hills which the early Europeans spotted before the Kaurna people were pushed out by settlement. By 1852, the total population (by census count) of the Kaurna was 650 in the Adelaide region and steadily decreasing. During the winter months, they moved into the Adelaide Hills for better shelter and firewood.

South Australia was officially settled as a new British province on 28 December 1836, near the The Old Gum Tree in what is now the suburb of Glenelg North. This day is now commemorated as Proclamation Day in South Australia. The site of the colony's capital city was surveyed and laid out by Colonel William Light, the first Surveyor-General of South Australia, though the design may be by the architect George Strickland Kingston . In 1823, Light had fondly written of the Sicilian city of Catania: "The two principal streets cross each other at right angles in the square in the direction of north and south and east and west. They are wide and spacious and about a mile long", and this became the basis for the plan of Adelaide. Light chose, not without opposition, a site on rising ground close to the River Torrens, which became the chief early water supply for the fledgling colony. "Light's Vision", as it has been termed, has meant that the initial design of Adelaide required little modification as the city grew and prospered. Usually in an older city it would be necessary to accommodate larger roads and add parks, whereas Adelaide had them from the start. Adelaide was established as the centre of a planned colony of free immigrants, promising civil liberties and freedom from religious persecution, based upon the ideas of Edward Gibbon Wakefield. Wakefield had read accounts of Australian settlement while in prison in London for attempting to abduct an heiress, and realised that the eastern colonies suffered from a lack of available labour, due to the practice of giving land grants to all arrivals. Wakefield's idea was for the Government to survey and sell the land at a rate that would maintain land values high enough to be unaffordable for labourers and journeymen. Funds raised from the sale of land would be used to bring out working class emigrants, who would have to work hard for the monied settlers to ever afford their own land. As a result of this policy, Adelaide does not share the convict settlement history of other Australian cities like Sydney, Perth, Brisbane and Hobart.

Adelaide's early history was wrought by economic uncertainty and incompetent leadership. The first governor of South Australia, John Hindmarsh, clashed frequently with Light. The rural area surrounding Adelaide city was surveyed by Light in preparation to sell a total of over 405 km² of land. Adelaide's early economy started to get on its feet in 1838 with the arrival of livestock from New South Wales and Tasmania. The wool industry served as an early basis for the South Australian economy. Light's survey was completed in this period, and land was promptly offered to sale to early colonists. Wheat farms ranged from Encounter Bay in the south to Clare in the north by 1860. Governor Gawler took over from Hindmarsh in late 1838 and promptly oversaw construction of a governor's house, Adelaide Gaol, police barracks, hospital, and customs house and a wharf at Port Adelaide. In addition, houses for public officials and missionaries, and outstations for police and surveyors were also constructed during Gawler's governorship. Adelaide had also become economically self-sufficient during this period, but at heavy cost: the colony was heavily in debt and relied on bail-outs from London to stay afloat. Gawler was recalled and replaced by Governor Grey in 1841. Grey slashed public expenditure against heavy opposition, although its impact was negligible at this point: silver was discovered in Glen Osmond that year, agricultural industries were well underway, and other mines sprung up all over the state, aiding Adelaide's commercial development. The city exported meat, wool, wine, fruit and wheat by the time Grey left in 1845, contrasting with a low point in 1842 when one-third of Adelaide houses were abandoned.

Trade links with the rest of the Australian states were established with the Murray River being successfully navigated in 1853 by Francis Cadell, an Adelaide resident.

South Australia become a self-governing colony in 1856 with the ratification of a new constitution by the British parliament. Secret ballots were introduced, and a bicameral parliament was elected on 9 March 1857, by which time 109,917 people lived in the province.

In 1860 the Thorndon Park reservoir was opened, finally providing an alternative water source to the turbid River Torrens. In 1867 gas street lighting was implemented, the University of Adelaide was founded in 1874, the South Australian Art Gallery opened in 1881 and the Happy Valley Reservoir opened in 1896. In the 1890s Australia was affected by a severe economic depression, ending a hectic era of land booms and tumultuous expansionism. Financial institutions in Melbourne and banks in Sydney closed. The national fertility rate fell and immigration was reduced to a trickle. The value of South Australia's exports nearly halved. Drought and poor harvests from 1884 compounded the problems, with some families leaving for Western Australia. Adelaide was not as badly hit as the larger gold-rush cities of Sydney and Melbourne, and silver and lead discoveries at Broken Hill provided some relief. Only one year of deficit was recorded, but the price paid was retrenchments and lean public spending. Wine and copper were the only industries not to suffer a downturn.

Electric street lighting was introduced in 1900 and electric trams were transporting passengers in 1909. 28,000 men were sent to fight in World War I. Adelaide enjoyed a post-war boom but, with the return of droughts, entered the depression of the 1930s, later returning to prosperity under strong government leadership. Secondary industries helped reduce the state's dependence on primary industries. The 1933 census recorded the state population at 580,949, less of an increase than other states due to the state's economic limitations. World War II brought industrial stimulus and diversification to Adelaide under the Playford Government, which advocated Adelaide as a safe place for manufacturing due to its less vulnerable location. 70,000 men and women enlisted and shipbuilding was expanded at the nearby port of Whyalla.

The South Australian Government in this period built on former wartime manufacturing industries. International manufacturers like General Motors Holden and Chrysler (now Mitsubishi) make use of these factories around Adelaide completing its transformation from an agricultural service centre to a twentieth-century city. A pipeline from Mannum brought River Murray water to Adelaide in 1954 and an international airport opened at West Beach in 1955. An assisted migration scheme brought 215,000 immigrants of all nationalities to South Australia between 1947 and 1973. The Dunstan Government in the 1970s saw something of an Adelaide 'cultural revival' - establishing a wide array of social reforms and overseeing the city becoming a centre of the arts. Adelaide hosted the Australian Grand Prix between 1985 and 1996 on a street circuit in the city's east parklands, before losing it to Melbourne. The 1992 State Bank collapse plunged both Adelaide and South Australia into economic recession, and its effects lasted until 2004, when ratings agency Standard & Poor's reinstated South Australia's AAA credit rating. Recent years have seen the Clipsal 500 V8 Supercar race make use of sections of the former Formula One circuit and renewed economic confidence under the Rann Government.

Geography

Adelaide is located north of the Fleurieu Peninsula, on the Adelaide Plains between the Gulf St Vincent and the low-lying Mount Lofty Ranges. The city stretches 20 km from the coast to the foothills, and 90 km from Gawler at its northern extent to Sellicks Beach in the south. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the Adelaide Metropolitan Region has a total land area of 870 km², and is at an average elevation of 50 metres above sea level. Mount Lofty is located east of the Adelaide metropolitan region in the Adelaide Hills at an elevation of 727 metres. It is the tallest point of the city and in the state south of Burra.

Much of Adelaide was bushland before British settlement, with some variation - swamps and marshlands were prevalent around the coast. However, much of the original vegetation has been cleared with what is left to be found in reserves such as the Cleland Conservation Park and Belair National Park. A number of creeks and rivers flow through the Adelaide region. The largest are the Torrens and Onkaparinga catchments. Adelaide relies on its many reservoirs for water supply, with Mount Bold Reservoir and Happy Valley Reservoir together supplying around 50% of Adelaide's requirements.

Climate

Climate of Adelaide

Adelaide has a Mediterranean climate, where most of the rain falls in the winter months. Of the Australian capital cities, Adelaide is the driest. Rainfall is unreliable, light and infrequent throughout summer. In contrast, the winter has fairly reliable rainfall with June being the wettest month of the year, averaging around 80 mm. Frosts are rare, with the most notable occurrences having occurred in July 1908 and July 1982. There is usually no appreciable snowfall, except at Mount Lofty and some places in the Adelaide Hills.

Urban layout

Light's Vision

Adelaide is a planned city, designed by the first surveyor-general of South Australia, Colonel William Light. His plan, now known as Light's Vision, arranged Adelaide in a grid, with five squares in the inner City of Adelaide and a ring of parks known as the Adelaide Parklands surrounding it. Light's design was initially unpopular with the early settlers, as well as South Australia's first Governor, John Hindmarsh. Light persisted with his design against this initial opposition. The benefits of Light's design are numerous; Adelaide has had wide multi-lane roads from its beginning, an easily-navigable grid layout and a beautiful green ring around the city centre. There are two sets of 'ring roads' in Adelaide that have resulted from the original design. The inner ring route borders the parklands and the outer route completely bypasses the inner city through (in clockwise order) Grand Junction Road, Hampstead Road, Ascot Avenue, Portrush Road, Cross Road and South Road.

Urban expansion has to some extent outgrown Light's original plan. Numerous satellite cities were built in the latter half of the 20th century, notably Salisbury and Elizabeth on the city's northern fringes, which have now been enveloped by its urban sprawl. New developments in the Adelaide Hills region facilitated the construction of the South Eastern Freeway to cope with growth. Similarly, the booming development in Adelaide's South made the construction of the Southern Expressway a necessity. New roads are not the only transport infrastructure developed to cope with the urban growth, however. The O-Bahn Busway is an example of a unique solution to Tea Tree Gully's transport woes in the 1980s. The development of the nearby suburb of Golden Grove in the late 1980s is possibly an example of well-thought-out urban planning. The newer urban areas as a whole, however, are not as integrated into the urban layout as much as older areas, and therefore place more stress on Adelaide's transportation system – although not on a level comparable with Melbourne or Sydney.

Government of South Australia

The Adelaide metropolitan area is divided between eighteen local government areas, including, at its centre, the City of Adelaide, which administers the CBD, North Adelaide, and the surrounding Adelaide Parklands. It is the oldest municipal authority in Australia and was established in 1840, when Adelaide and Australia's first mayor, James Hurtle Fisher, was elected. From 1919 onwards, the City has had a Lord Mayor, the current being Lord Mayor Michael Harbison.

Adelaide, as the capital of South Australia, is the seat of the Government of South Australia. As Adelaide is South Australia's capital and most populous city, the State Government co-operates extensively with the City of Adelaide. In 2006, the Ministry for the City of Adelaide was created to facilitate the state government's collaboration with the Adelaide City Council and the Lord Mayor to improve Adelaide's image. The state parliament's Capital City Committee is also involved in the governance of the City of Adelaide, being primarily concerned with the planning of Adelaide's urban development and growth.

Demography

As of 2006 Census, Adelaide had a metropolitan population of more than 1,105,839, making it Australia's fifth largest city. In the 2002-2003 period the population grew by 0.6%, while the national average was 1.2%. Some 70.3% of the population of South Australia are residents of the Adelaide metropolitan area, making South Australia one of the most centralised states. Major areas of population growth in recent years were in outer suburbs such as Mawson Lakes and Golden Grove. Adelaide's inhabitants occupy 341,227 houses, 54,826 semi-detached, row terrace or town houses and 49,327 flats, units or apartments.

Persons of high-income are concentrated on the coastal suburbs (such as Brighton and Glenelg), eastern suburbs (such as Tusmore and Norwood) and south-eastern suburbs (such as Burnside and Waterfall Gully). Almost a fifth (17.9%) of the population had university qualifications. The number of Adelaideans with vocational qualifications (such as tradespersons) fell from 62.1% of the labour force in the 1991 census to 52.4% in the 2001 census.

Over half of the population identifies as Christian, with the largest denominations being Catholic (22.1%), Anglican (14.0%), Uniting Church (8.4%) and Eastern Orthodox (3.8%). Approximately 24% of the population expressed no religious affiliation, well above the national average of 18.7%.

Overall, Adelaide is ageing much more rapidly than other Australian capital cities. Just over a quarter (26.7%) of Adelaide's population is aged 55 years or older, in comparison to the national average of 24.3%. Adelaide has the lowest number of children (under-15 year olds), which composed 17.8% of the population, compared to the national average of 19.8.

Overseas-born Adelaideans composed 23.7% (262,367) of the total population. The north-western suburbs (such as Woodville and Athol Park) and suburbs close to the CBD have a higher ratio of overseas-born residents. The five largest groups of overseas-born were from England (7.3%), Italy (1.9%), Scotland (1.0%), Vietnam (0.9%), and Greece (0.9%). The most-spoken languages other than English were Italian (3.0%), Greek (2.2%), Vietnamese (1.2%), Mandarin (0.8%), and Cantonese (0.7%).

Economy

Adelaide's economy is primarily based around manufacturing, defence technology and research, commodity export and corresponding service industries. It has large manufacturing, defence and research zones. They contain car manufacturing plants for General Motors Holden and Mitsubishi, and plants that produce electronic systems that are sold worldwide for applications in medical, communications, defence, automotive, food and wine processing and industrial sectors. The revenue of Adelaide's electronics industry has grown at over 15% per year since 1990. The electronics industry in Adelaide employs over 13,000 people, which is more than the automotive industry. Almost half of all cars produced in Australia are made in Adelaide. The global media conglomerate News Corporation was founded in and until 2004 incorporated in Adelaide and is still considered its 'spiritual' home by Rupert Murdoch. Australia's largest oil company, Santos (South Australia Northern Territory Oil Search), prominent South Australian brewery, Coopers, major national retailer Harris Scarfe and Australia's second largest listed investment company Argo Investments Limited call Adelaide their home. The collapse of the State Bank in 1992 resulted in large levels of state debt (as much as A$4 billion). The collapse had meant that successive governments had enacted lean budgets, cutting spending, which had been a setback to the further development of the city and state. The debt has recently been reduced with the State Government once again receiving a AAA+ Credit Rating. The South Australian economy, very closely tied to Adelaide's, still enjoys a trade surplus and has higher per capita growth than Australia as a whole.

Adelaide is home to a large proportion of Australia's defence industries which contribute over AU$1 billion to South Australia's Gross State Product. 70% of Australian defence companies are located in Adelaide. The principal government military research institution, the Defence Science and Technology Organisation, and other defence technology organisations such as Tenix are located in Salisbury near RAAF Base Edinburgh and others such as Saab Systems near Technology Park. The Australian Submarine Corporation, based in the industrial suburb of Osborne was charged with constructing Australia's Collins class submarines and recently won a AU$6 billion contract to construct the Royal Australian Navy's new air-warfare destroyers.

There are 466,829 employed people in Adelaide, with 62.3% full-time and 35.1% part-time. In recent years there has been a growing trend towards part-time (which includes casual) employment, increasing from only 11.6% of the workplace in 1991, to over a third today. 15% of workers are employed in manufacturing, 5% in construction, 15% in retail trade, 11% in business services, 7% in education and 12% in health and community services. The median weekly individual income for people aged 15 years and over is $447 per week, compared with $466 nationally. The median family income is $1,137 per week,compared with $1,171 nationally. Adelaide's housing and living costs are substantially lower than that of other Australian cities, with housing being notably cheaper. The median Adelaide house price is half that of Sydney and two-thirds that of Melbourne. The 3 month trend unemployment rate to March 2007 was 6.2%. The Northern suburbs' unemployment rate is disproportionately higher than the other regions of Adelaide at 8.3%, while the East and South are lower than the Adelaide average at 4.9% and 5.0% respectively.

Education

School education in Adelaide is provided by a variety of public and private schools, which are the responsibility of the State Government. These schools operate under the South Australian Certificate of Education (SACE), or with the International Baccalaureate(IB) Diploma Programme. Adelaide has the highest number of IB schools in Australia.

The higher education system in Adelaide is extensive, with five out of eight centres of TAFE South Australia in the city itself. They specialise in non-university higher education offering a viable alternative. Adelaide is home to campuses of all three of South Australia's universities. The University of Adelaide is a member of the Group of Eight and is the third-oldest university in Australia. It has five campuses in the Adelaide area; one being its primary campus on North Terrace and another being the National Wine Centre. The University of South Australia was formed in 1991 from a merger between the South Australian Institute of Technology and the South Australian Colleges of Advanced Education. Four of its five campuses are located in Adelaide, with two in the city-centre itself. Flinders University, located in Bedford Park, is named after British navigator and explorer Matthew Flinders and was founded in 1966. It is a mid-sized institution with a medical school at the adjacent Flinders Medical Centre. Leading US private university Carnegie Mellon established two Adelaide campuses in 2006 offering both Australian and US degrees. The Heinz School Australia specialises in IT and government management and is based in Victoria Square, while another campus at Light Square specialises in new media and entertainment. These institutions attract students from across Australia and around the world, contributing to Adelaide’s international recognition as a ‘City of Education’.

The SABRENet optical fibre network interconnects Adelaide's university campuses, technology parks, research precincts, TAFE colleges and some high schools.

Culture

While being primarily a British colony, Adelaide attracted immigrants from many non-English speaking countries early on, including German Lutherans escaping religious persecution in Germany. The first German Lutherans arrived in 1838, bringing with them the vine cuttings that they used to found the acclaimed wineries of the Barossa Valley. After the Second World War, Italians, Greeks, Dutch, Poles, and possibly every other European nationality came to make a new start. An influx of Asian immigrants following the Vietnam War added to the mix. These new arrivals have blended to form a rich and diverse cuisine and vibrant restaurant culture.

Adelaide's arts scene flourished in the 1970s under the leadership of premier Don Dunstan, removing some of the more puritanical restrictions on cultural activities then prevalent around Australia. Now the city is home to events such as the Adelaide Festival of Arts, Fringe Festival, Adelaide Film Festival, Adelaide Festival of Ideas, Adelaide Writers' Week, and the Feast Festival amongst others. WOMADelaide, Australia's premier world music event, is now annually held in the scenic surrounds of Botanic Park.

The annual Royal Adelaide Show, first held in 1840, began as a simple event for the state's farmers to show off their produce. Over time, it grew into a more general commercial fair held in early September in the inner suburb of Wayville, with carnival rides, food and entertainment surrounding the more traditional agricultural exhibitions and competitions.

The music of Adelaide has produced various musicians who have achieved both national and worldwide fame. Notably the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, the Adelaide Youth Orchestra, The Mark of Cain, The Superjesus, Testeagles, The Angels, Cold Chisel, and Eric Bogle. American artist Ben Folds considers Adelaide his second home, epitomised in his song "Adelaide" and resides here with his Adelaide-born wife for a number of months each year. Famous rocker, Jimmy Barnes spent most of his youth in the northern suburbs of Elizabeth. The first Australian Idol winner, Guy Sebastian hails from the Adelaide suburb of Golden Grove. Hardcore metal band I Killed the Prom Queen also emerged from Adelaide and the popular Australian hip-hop outfit Hilltop Hoods come from Blackwood.

Media

Newspapers in Adelaide are dominated by News Corporation tabloid publications - Adelaide being the birthplace of News Corporation itself. The only South Australian daily newspaper is The Advertiser, published by News Corporation six days a week, while the Sunday paper is the Sunday Mail. There are eleven suburban community newspapers published weekly, known collectively as the Messenger Newspapers, also published by a subsidiary of News Corporation. A recent addition to the print medium in the city is The Independent Weekly, providing one alternative view. Two national daily newspapers are circulated in the city: The Australian (Monday–Friday) and its weekend publication, The Weekend Australian (Saturday), also published by News Corporation, and The Australian Financial Review published by Fairfax. The Adelaide Review is a free paper published fortnightly, and other independent magazine-style papers are published, but are not as widely available.

All of the five Australian national television networks broadcast both analogue PAL and high definition widescreen digital services in Adelaide. They share three transmission towers on the ridge near the summit of Mount Lofty. The two government-funded stations are ABC TV and SBS TV. The Seven Network and Network Ten both own their Adelaide stations (SAS-7 and ADS-10 respectively). Adelaide's NWS-9 is affiliated with the Nine Network and was owned by Southern Cross Broadcasting until the sale to WIN Corporation in May 2007. Adelaide was also notable for two of their news services' longest-serving newsreading duos - at Seven, Jane Doyle and Graeme Goodings presented together from 1989 to 2003, when Goodings had to quit because of bowel cancer (John Riddell has since sat in the weeknight chair with Doyle). At Nine, Rob Kelvin and Kevin Crease presented together from 1989 to early 2007 when Crease retired and later died. Kelly Nestor currently sits in the weeknight chair along with Kelvin. Adelaide also has a community television station, C31 Adelaide. The Foxtel pay TV service is available as cable television in a few areas, and as satellite television to the entire metropolitan area. It is resold by a number of other brands, mostly telephone companies.

There are twenty radio stations that serve the entire metropolitan area as well as three community stations that serve only parts of the metropolitan area. Of the twenty full coverage stations there are six commercial stations, six community stations, six national stations and two narrowcast stations.

Sport

The main sports are Australian rules football and cricket Adelaide hosted the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix from 1985 to 1995 on a street circuit in the city's eastern parklands. The Grand Prix became a source of pride and losing the Grand Prix to Melbourne in a surprise announcement left a void that has since been filled with the highly successful Clipsal 500 V8 Supercar race event, held on a modified version of the same street circuit.

Adelaide is the home of two Australian Football League teams: the Adelaide Crows and Port Adelaide Power. A local Australian rules football league, the SANFL, is made up of nine teams from around Adelaide.

Adelaide's professional soccer team Adelaide United play in the A-League, at Hindmarsh Stadium with a capacity of 16,500, one of the few purpose built soccer stadia in Australia. The club was founded in 2003.

The Adelaide 36ers and the Adelaide Lightning play in national basketball competitions, with home games at the Distinctive Homes Dome and the Adelaide Thunderbirds play in the national netball competition, with home games at ETSA Park. Most large sporting events take place at either AAMI Stadium (formerly Football Park) or the historic Adelaide Oval, home of the Southern Redbacks Cricket Team. Adelaide hosts an international cricket test every summer, along with a number of One Day International cricket matches. While Memorial Drive Park hosts the Adelaide International, a major mens tennis tournament in the leadup to the Australian Open.

Adelaide has hosted the annual Tour Down Under bicycle race since 1999, an event which has gradually built an international reputation with each successive year it has been held. It is also host to the popular Bay to Birdwood run, featuring vintage and veteran cars from around the world.

Infrastructure

Health

Adelaide's first hospital is the Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH), founded in 1840, it is one of the major hospitals in Adelaide and is a teaching hospital of the University of Adelaide. It has a capacity of 705 beds. Two other RAH campuses specialising in specific patient services located in the suburbs of Adelaide - the Hampstead Rehabilitation Centre in Northfield, and the Glenside Campus Mental Health Service. The other three largest hospitals in the Adelaide area are The Women's and Children's Hospital (305 beds), which is located on King William Road in North Adelaide; the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (340 beds), located in Woodville and the Flinders Medical Centre (500 beds), which is located in Bedford Park. These hospitals are also associated with medical schools - the Women and Children's and Queen Elizabeth with the University of Adelaide and the Flinders Medical Centre with Flinders University.

In June 2007 The State Government announced a series of overhauls to the health sector that would see a new hospital constructed to replace the Royal Adelaide Hospital on the old railyards west of the Adelaide Railway Station. The new 800 bed hospital will cost AU$1.7bn, and be controversially renamed the Marjorie Jackson-Nelson Hospital, after the Governor of South Australia.

In addition to these changes, major upgrades would see the Flinders Medical Centre become the primary centre for health care in the southern suburbs while upgrades for the Lyell McEwin Health Service in Elizabeth would see that become the centre for the north. While the trio of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Modbury Hospital and Noarlunga Hospital would become specialist elective surgery centres. The Repatriation General Hospital would also expand its range of specialty areas beyond veterans' health to incorporate stroke, orthopaedic rehabilitation and aged care.

Transport

Being centrally located on the Australian mainland, Adelaide forms a strategic transport hub for east-west and north-south routes. The city itself has a limited public transport system, which is managed by and known as the Adelaide Metro. The Adelaide Metro consists of a contracted bus system including the O-Bahn Busway, metropolitan railways, and the Adelaide-Glenelg Tram, which has also now been extended as a metropolitan tram through the city center. Road transport in Adelaide has historically been comparatively easier than many of the other Australian cities, with a well-defined city layout and wide multiple-lane roads from the beginning of its development. Historically, Adelaide was known as a "twenty-minute city", with commuters having being able to travel from metropolitan outskirts to the city proper in roughly twenty minutes. However, these roads are now inadequate to cope with Adelaide's growing road traffic.

Adelaide has one freeway, the South Eastern Freeway, connecting the city with the Adelaide Hills and beyond to Murray Bridge and two expressways; the Port River Expressway connecting Port Adelaide and Outer Harbor to interstate routes and the Southern Expressway, an interchangeable one-way road connecting the southern suburbs with the city proper. The Gawler Bypass skirting Gawler is another expressway style, high speed inter-urban corridor. A third expressway, the Northern Expressway (formerly the Sturt Highway extension), a northern suburbs bypass route, connecting the Gawler Bypass to Port Wakefield Road, is due to start construction in 2008. There are also plans for major upgrades to busy sections of South Road, Adelaide, including road widening and underpasses of Anzac Highway, Grange Road, Port Road and the Outer Harbour Railway Line, during the first stage.

Adelaide International Airport, located in Adelaide's west, is Australia's newest and most advanced airport terminal and is designed to serve in excess of 5.8 million passengers annually. The new dual international/domestic terminal replaces the old and ageing terminals known locally as the 'tin sheds', and incorporates new state-of-the-art features, such as glass aerobridges and the ability to cater for the new Airbus A380. The airport is designed to handle 27 aircraft simultaneously and is capable of processing 3,000 passengers per hour. Unusual for a major city, it is located only about seven kilometres from the CBD.

Utilities

Adelaide's energy requirements are met by a variety of companies who separately provide for the generation, transmission, distribution and retail sales of gas and electricity. Some of the major companies are: TRUenergy generate electricity; ElectraNet SA transmit electricity from the generators to the distribution network; ETSA Utilities (formerly a government-owned company which was privatised by the Olsen Government in the 1990s) distribute electricity from transmission companies to end users; and AGL who retail gas and electricity. Substantial investment has been made in maintenance and reinforcement of the electricity supply network to provide continued reliability of supply.

Adelaide derives most of its electricity from a gas-fired plant operated by TRUenergy at Torrens Island, and also by power stations at Port Augusta, Pelican Point, and connections to the national grid. Gas is mainly supplied from the Moomba Gas Processing Plant in the Cooper Basin, and is piped to Adelaide and other areas within the state. A small part of supply also comes from wind turbines at Sellicks Hill, and a trial of more turbines on city buildings is underway.

Adelaide's water supply is gained from its reservoirs: Mount Bold, Happy Valley, Myponga, Millbrook, Hope Valley, Little Para and South Para Reservoir. Further water demands result in the pumping of water from the River Murray. The provision of water services is by the government-owned SA Water. (Credit: Wikipedia).

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Article

When casino glamour came to Adelaide, by Brad Crouch - 2nd May 2009
(Credit: News.com.au)


It was the night of nights in Adelaide - every man thought he was James Bond, every woman a princess - and a fortune was won and lost. Mostly lost.

The opening of the Adelaide Casino at 9pm on December 12, 1985, was about the biggest thing to hit Adelaide since the Buffalo.

Two years after the Labor government under John Bannon passed the Casino Bill, the doors to the money pit finally opened.

In flowed some 3000 people, packing the former city railway station - the men resplendent in dinner suits, the women glamorous in ballgowns.

Mr Bannon strode into the two-up pit, took the kip, flipped two Australian pennies and with the prophetic cry "Come in spinner" unleashed gambling on a previously staid state.

Chairman of casino licence holder AITCO, Ian Weiss, had promised the casino would be "the most elegant venue of its type in Australia".

"It will be styled along the lines of traditional European casinos as distinct from the Las Vegas mood other casinos in this country have agreed to match," he said at the time.

"It will be housed in a building with a fine architectural style, and the decor will be both elegant and opulent."

And so it was. The elegance and opulence were undeniable. The grand railway station had been redeveloped - at a cost of $25 million - into a setting worthy of Mr Bond.

The grand marble entrance hall, three colossal chandeliers each made up of 27,000 crystals and 90 globes, plush timber panelling, rich carpets and fabrics . . . the casino oozed class. Even the two-up pit incorporated joinery detail from old railway ticket counters.

Then opposition leader John Olsen, who stood with Mr Bannon in the pit as he tossed the pennies at the opening while MCs Bob Francis and Anne Wills watched, recalls the night fondly.

"The mood was one of excitement, intrigue and curiosity; a casino coming to Adelaide was a novel policy direction, it certainly broke new ground," he said.

"On opening night I was in the two-up pit with John Bannon and, as I recall, Bob Francis was the MC - it's the only time I've been in a two-up pit. But like all things new in entertainment, once the novelty wears off unless it reinvents itself and maintains interest it tends to fade, and I think that's what happened with the casino.

"Every state ended up with a casino, all attempting to attract high rollers from overseas, and that started to change the concept a bit; it changed, and that was a marketing strategy of the operators."

It took surprisingly little time for the glamour to tarnish as the casino got down to the core business of separating people from their money.

Within a week of the black-tie opening people were getting in wearing hot pink tank tops, shorts, faded jeans, T-shirts and sandshoes, with then-PR manager Wendy Greiner - now Burnside mayor - saying the only exclusion was thongs.

Of course, not everyone dressed down; but the Casino Royale atmosphere was being watered down.

Then complaints started to emerge, such as from the man who said he had lost $70,000 within weeks and was now ruined. Problem gambling had arrived.

But this didn't stop hordes of people passing through its doors - 2.5 million visits in the first year. Many were drawn simply by curiosity and the chance to party from midday to 4am every day of the year except Christmas Day and Good Friday.

While the casino had a high-rollers' room it faced significant hurdles in attracting "whales", the big-spending gamblers who bet in sums most people could retire on.

With casinos sprouting up in other Australian capitals closer to the free-spending millionaires of Asia, in particular, the casino needed to concentrate on its home market.

This meant luring punters to play two-up, craps, baccarat, mini-dice, chocolate wheels, blackjack, roulette, big-and-small plus Keno.

The minumum bet of $1 for many games was attractive to many.

In 2000, thing stook a new turn, with the licence-holders selling their initial $25 million investment to New Zealand's SkyCity Entertainment Group for $185 million. SkyCity operates a string of casinos and quickly embarked on morphing its new Adelaide operation into its own casino culture.

A $13 million renovation which opened in 2001 made it clear Ian Weiss' vision of the casino as an elegant European model was long gone. The chandeliers were put in storage, cars on swivelling pedestals were on offer and flashing lights were everywhere. James Bond was out: Las Vegas was in.

However, the operators also included corporate responsiblity in the makeover which turned the "dowdy dowager into a glitzy tart", as it was described at the time.

There were clocks. A problem gambler program. Cheap meals. Smoke-free areas. New furniture and carpet. Well-trained and groomed staff. Clear signs. Tourism plans.

The high-rollers' room remained decorated to a style worthy of discreet chic, while the marvellous marble hall with its huge dome remained a showpiece and a home for entertainment events. The shift obviously worked. Revenue for the year to June 30, 2001, was $83 million.

Within three years it had jackpotted to $110 million (including $99 million from gambling) as punters voted with their pockets.

For the year ending June 30, 2008, total revenue from Sky City Adelaide was $118.2 million, including $103.5 million from gambling.

This comprised $57.3 million from machines and $56.5 million from tables for a total of $113.8 million, less GST of $10.3 million, to reach the total of $103.5 million. The balance of $14.7 million in overall revenue came from food and beverages.

While popular with punters, the casino has proved popular with politicians, who quickly became addicted to the river of gold it sent into state coffers.

In recent years, SkyCity Adelaide has paid about $20 million a year in state tax, is the state's 10th largest employer with about 1000 jobs, and has periodically embarked on expensive upgrades creating more jobs, tax and prosperity while offering entertainment and cheap meals. A more recent shift to concentrate more on gambling and less on nightclub entertainment saw revenue soar 20 per cent in the year to February, despite the impact of non-smoking laws.

Last year, the casino's owners cancelled a planned $30 million carpark upgrade and now are reviewing the business, with the possibility of shifting to larger premises with its own hotel. Whatever is decided, it won't be a huge gamble.

Regardless of the premises, a casino licence is about as close as you get to a licence to print money.

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