Thursday, December 27, 2012

Bwin.party digital entertainment deal with casino in Belgium

Bwin.party digital entertainment deal with casino in Belgium



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Bwin.party digital entertainment deal with casino in Belgium...


Bwin.party put a plug on any possible criminal charges in Belgium against its chief executive by doing a deal with a licensed land-based casino operator that permits it to continue taking bets from Belgian citizens.

Norbert Teufelberger was last month quizzed by Belgian police in Brussels after attending an online gambling conference. He had until Monday to answer further questions about the company’s operations in Belgium.

Bwin.party has been on a blacklist of gambling operators taking bets in Belgium without a licence. Online gambling licences are only available to operators holding an offline gambling licence.

The company has now in effect achieved this by doing a deal with Belcasinos, a subsidiary of the land-based casino operator Groupe Partouche.

In a statement, Bwin.party advised Belcasinos was one of only four land-based casino operators eligible for an online gambling licence. Commercial terms of business were not disclosed.

Bwin.party advised that it had received approval for its alliance from the Belgian Gambling Commission and that the commission would be removing the group from its blacklist.

“The group and the commission have also agreed to drop all pending legal disputes and the group has begun to adapt its systems in order to comply fully with the prevailing licensing regime,” Bwin.party said.

The detention of Mr Teufelberger prompted Bwin.party and other online gambling companies to accuse the Belgian authorities of intimidation, and to appeal to the European Commission to insist that Belgium comply with EU laws on market competition.

Mr Teufelberger and co-chief executive Jim Ryan said: “Following recent developments in Belgium and after further dialogue with the local regulator, we have put our differences of opinion behind us and are now focused on the immediate commercial opportunity.

“Together with our new partner we are now in the process of securing the necessary approvals to meet the requirements set by the BGC and do not expect any interruption to our service for customers in Belgium.”

Gambling operators are under massive pressure in the European region – faced with regulators determined either to impose stiff tax burdens on online gambling, or restrictions on the companies that can apply for licences.

New stringent gambling regimes in Germany and Greece have prompted Betfair to pull out of those markets. Betfair this week said the “challenging” climate in Europe meant it would focus solely on regulated markets.

William Hill has also pulled out of Greece, where regulators have threatened penalties or criminal sanction on operators without licences.

In the meantime, bwin.party Digital Entertainment and a swag of other gambling companies continue to look for new opportunities and markets, with countries such as Canada, Australia and New Zealand all understood to be regions of great interest.

Bwin.Party operate popular gambling websites such as PartyCasino.com and PartyPoker.com


Stay turned to Media Man, Casino News Media and Global Gaming Directory for developments.


Media Man 'Online Casino Of The Month'...

Media Man's top online casino choice: PartyCasino.com PartyCasino is a multi-time Media Man 'Online Casino Of The Month' winner and have also won awards from EGR. Earlier this year PartyGaming merged with Bwin to create the worlds leading igaming company, Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment.



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Monday, December 24, 2012

Virgin Games review

Website: VirginGames.com

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Since 2004, Virgin Games, a wholly owned Virgin Group company, has been spreading the Virgin love in the gaming world with online casino, online bingo and online poker games, as well as the brand new Virgin mobile casino.

Like our bearded boss, we love nothing more than fun, which is why we have games to suit every need, loads of freebies and a truckload of signup and weekly bonuses.

The fun goes away if the price isn't right though. Thankfully, in true Virgin fashion, that’s where we make a difference. Virgin Games offers great value for money, with small stakes (from 1p) available, no fees on cards, regular promotions and our unbeatable trademark loyalty scheme: V*POINTS, famously more rewarding than your Nectar card.

• Virgin Games Online Casino was launched in 2004 and offers over 300+ games from most industry leading software suppliers, with new games added every single week. Online slots, roulette, blackjack, bingo, scratch cards, video poker, instant win, £1,500,000 + progressive jackpots…You name it, chances are we’ve got it.

• Virgin Mobile Casino, the new kid on the block, went live in 2011. A unique mobile casino games entertainment platform, it is accessible from most smartphones (iPhone, Android, Blackberry and any web kit enabled mobile phones) and tablets, including iPad, Android, RIM and Windows touchscreen devices. Visit m.virgingames.com from your mobile device to get started.

• Virgin Games Bingo launched in May 2005, has climbed the UK bingo sites popularity ladder at breakneck speed. Virgin Bingo is about more than just 90, 80 or 75 ball games though, with hundreds of exciting slots, instant win, scratch cards and side games itching to be played.

• Hone your bluffing skills at Virgin Games Poker, part of the International Poker Network (IPN). Our Poker room launched in 2005 and is an exciting place to challenge peers and strangers alike on a wide range of online Poker games: Texas hold’em, Omaha, and many more.

Virgin Games provide a safe and sound online gaming environment, with security our top priority. We have achieved exemplary standards in player protection and social responsibility, and have been awarded the GamCare Certification for Remote Gambling.

* Media Man has an online b2b agreement with Virgin Games, as they do with a number of entertainment, gaming and business brands.

Website: VirginGames.com

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Wednesday, December 12, 2012

James Packer going to Hollywood to help make movies; Big money still talks in showbiz

James Packer going to Hollywood to help make movies; Big money still talks in showbiz...

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Movies Hollywood James Packer Crown Limited Entertainment



Casino and gambling tsar James Packer is heading for Hollywood, establishing up a production company with blockbuster director Brett Ratner.

The billionaire is joining forces with Ratner to form RatPac Entertainment, which will make independent films.

A spokesman for Mr Packer confirmed the partnership with the 43-year-old director and producer, describing it as "a small private investment".

Mr Ratner, who directed Rush Hour, Red Dragon and X-Men: The Last Stand, told the Hollywood Reporter Ratpac will develop, produce and finance films on its own and in partnership with Hollywood studios.

‘‘We intend to build a major independent film company which not only has the ability to fully finance its films but which also offers creative independence for its filmmakers,’’ Mr Ratner said in a statement.

Fusion Strategy managing director Steve Allen advised Mr Packer’s move into the film world was unexpected but not overly surprising considering that his family, particularly his father Kerry Packer, had previously been involved in the industry.

‘‘The Packers do have a long history, his father more than he, of getting into the film, mini series and television production business because it was, at least, very attractive from an investment and tax point of view,’’ he said.

The Packers have also invested in Hollywood studios, such as Lionsgate, in the past but that may have been to align supply contracts with the Nine Network when they owned it, Mr Allen said.

He said it was highly likely that Mr Packer had received some recommendation from one of his Hollywood friends, such as Tom Cruise, about Mr Ratner before deciding to go into business with him.

‘‘There would have had to be some connection,’’ Mr Allen said. ‘‘He would have known the people or liked them or Tom Cruise, his supposed mate, would have said these are good people to get into business with.

‘‘There has to be a reason. He doesn’t do things on whims. He’s not like his father.’’

While the film industry would appear an odd fit with Mr Packer’s main business interest, Crown Casino, Mr Allen said they were both essentially in the entertainment industry.

‘‘It’s an odd fit but I guess drawing a long string to the bow it’s all entertainment,’’ he said.

But he said the film industry was always risky as bankable stars and high profile directors do not guarantee hits.‘‘It’s a high risk, but can be a high profit, business,’’ he said.

‘‘There’s nothing certain in show business.’’

Oh, don't be surprised to see Packer push forward with Hollywood themed slot games - both landline and online. A Media Man spokesman said "Rest assured Packer will find a ways to tie in gambling with movies and you can bet it will make sense financially as well as have artistic merits. Make no mistake - money still talks in Hollywood, and with Brett Ratner being his partner, this new venture is tipped for mega success, even in a volatile industry such as movie making."

Stay tuned for more Packer action in Hollywood right here with Media Man.


News Update...

GAMBLING and media tycoon James Packer has turned his sights to the film industry, throwing his dollars behind Hollywood mover n shaker director Brett Ratner...

The Crown chairman has teamed up with Rush Hour director Brett Ratner to form RatPac Entertainment, a company that will produce and finance blockbuster films. The pair reportedly have already two films in production.

A spokesman for Mr Packer, who was unavailable for comment yesterday, confirmed the partnership, noting it was a "small private investment". It is understood Ratner and Mr Packer have struck up a friendship in recent times.

The move comes just months after Mr Packer sold his remaining stake in his family business Consolidated Media Holdings and amid Crown's campaign to build a hotel and casino development at Sydney's Barangaroo.

In a statement, Ratner said he and Mr Packer "intend to build a major independent film company which not only has the ability to fully finance its films, but which also offers creative independence for its filmmakers".

It's not the first time the Packer name -- synonymous with TV and media ownership -- has been linked to the film industry. Kerry Packer, James's father, bought a stake in film studio New Regency Productions in the mid-1990s. In 2008, three years after his father's death, James is reported to have sold the 25 per cent share for $348 million.

Don't know about you, but wouldn't it be something to see a gambling themed movie put together by Packer and Ratner. Can you imagine the merchandise spin offs like movie themed slot games. Who wouldn't pay for that.

Plus, with Packer involved any Hollywood projects are going to get news media coverage, and at this stage of the game it's likely going to be positive.

Watch out Hollywood - there's a few new kings in town... gives new meaning to the term "Gumleaf Mafia", which the Media Man agency has been pitching around for a few years now.

Might be time for Media Man and friends to start being more pro active in Hollywood again. Watch this space.

*the writer owns shares in Crown Limited

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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Media Man entertainment, Hollywood, gaming, sports and wrestling news

Entertainment, Hollywood, gaming, sports and wrestling news; WWE, boxing, UFC..

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Rock's 2013 schedule...



Pro wrestling and movie fans - add yet another production shoot to The Rock's commitments in First Quarter 2013. Rock noted Sunday during a "Rock Talk" Twitter Q&A that filming begins in February on his new TNT show, "The Hero."

"I wanted to create @TheHeroTNT to entertain millions & give people a shot at personal greatness. We shoot in FEB!" Rock tweeted. "My schedule is hellacious & my goals I've chosen to achieve are HARD. So, my daily focus on training is my anchor."

As for the first month of 2013, Rock reinforced that he's anticipating facing C.M. Punk, who is currently injured, for the WWE Title at the Royal Rumble.

"I can't wait to face @CMPunk for the @WWE Championship at Royal Rumble. Been training for months for this moment," Rock tweeted.

His favorite artist: “Sam Cooke is my fav artist. #Soul I love ALL genres of music – from hip hop to orchestral to traditional country..”

If he would post for Playgirl: “I’d pose for Playgirl, but there just ain’t enough pages to showcase me baby! << TONS of cheese on that answer.;).”

His upcoming movies: “Im excited for all my 2013 movies: SNITCH, GI JOE, PAIN & GAIN & FAST 6. Tons of hard work & eager for you to see… FAST 6 is gonna be killer. Stakes are higher, cars are cooler and Im tougher than a 2 dollar steak well done. Michael Bay’s PAIN & GAIN is a very unique & cool movie. The most challenging role I’ve ever played. April 2013.”

His new show on TNT, The Hero: “I wanted to create @TheHeroTNT to entertain millions & give people a shot at personal greatness. We shoot in FEB!”

His favorite co-star: “In Hollywood, I’ve been lucky to work w/ so many talented & beautiful leading ladies, but #JulieAndrewsIsQueen”

Future plans: “As an actor, producer or even in @WWE – the goal is to be a positive force & entertain the world. And keep growin!”

In addition to filming new movies and squeezing in WWE appearances to hype the Rumble and WrestleMania 29, Rock will also be promoting movies scheduled for theatrical release.


The Rock comments on heat with CM Punk...

When quizzed on Twitter if he has heat with Punk - Rock replied, "Of course not my friend. I love Phillip & he loves me."


WWE announcer Jim Ross blogs on The Rock and CM Punk...

What will close the Royal Rumble: "Already getting questions about what attraction will close the show at WWE Royal Rumble, @CMPunk vs. @TheRock or the Rumble match? I haven't a clue nor do I care as either choice would be fine with me but if I had to guess I'd guess it would be the WWE Title bout. Again, don't know and don't care as I will be watching one of my favorite PPV events of the year.

"My guess is that Punk will push Rock inside the ring from bell to bell unlike Rock has been pushed since, arguably, the @steveaustinBSR days. That's not taking any thing away from @JohnCena who wrestles at a different pace that Austin did or Punk likes to. How does even an athlete as gifted as @TheRock prepare for what awaits inside the 20 foot ring? Cardio is great but nothing replicates wrestling long matches better than wrestling long matches."


Mark Wahlberg and The Rock pump iron for Michael Bay's 'Pain & Gain'...



Based on a 1999 Miami New Times story, Pain & Gain is an action comedy that follows a pair of bodybuilders who turn to extortion, kidnapping, and murder. The film has long been the Transformers director’s passion project. In 2007, Bay told media that he became attached to the movie because he loved the characters, promising there wouldn’t be too many explosions. “It’s like a mixture of Fargo and Pulp Fiction and it’s all true,” he said. “And they’re all knuckleheads. It’s a fun character piece. No action. One car crash.” The movie tag-line - "Their American Dream is Bigger than yours".


50 Cent says boxing should be more like WWE...

World famous music rapper 50 Cent has an idea to make professional boxing regain some of its past popularity. That suggestion is to become more like WWE. In a news article with USA today, the rapper turned boxing promoter suggested the sport entwine some WWE like theatrics to spice up the struggling sport. 50 Cent went on to state that the mainstream public doesn't question the validity of boxing like they do professional wrestling. The statements made by 50 Cent are somewhat valid.

It's true that boxing may need to step up their overall game if they want to compete with the combative, circus like World Wrestling Entertainment and Ultimate Fighting Championship. Vince McMahon transformed pro wrestling in the mid eighties and revolutionized the sport that was formerly held in smoky bingo halls across the country. The Ultimate Fighting Championship league followed suite several years later. The flashier more pronounced representation led to a lucrative television series, engrossing merchandise deals and high pay per view buy rates. Professional boxing has been dragging its feet and hasn't hoped onto the sports entertainment bandwagon. If history is any indication, what worked for WWE and UFC, could also work for boxing.

50 Cent also mentions that pro boxing will not suffer from a more sports entertainment atmosphere because the public does not question the validity of professional boxing. This statement is untrue. For too many decades to list there has been reports of pro boxers taking a dive and mysterious phantom punches. If boxing does add more entertainment to their pay-per-views and programming, they do run a risk of being lumped into the predetermined world of pro wrestling.

If you need proof of this possibility, one needs to look no further than Vince McMahon's foray into football. His XFL league took a more sports entertainment approach to pro ball. Despite being legitimate, the American public found the XFL to be somewhat tainted because of its new approach. The XFL didn't last more than one season and is widely considered a flop. WWE's Vince McMahon cut his losses and run - returning focus to pro wrestling WWE style.

50 Cent is on the money when he says boxing needs to add some entertainment to make it more hip and relevant. But they have to be cautious - it could make or break the already damaged sport which continues to take a weekly and monthly but kicking from the WWE and UFC in ratings, advertising rates, viewership, and just about any other sector you want to take a jab at.


Garry Cook to Expand UFC in the UK...

Global Director of UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship), Marshall Zelaznik, advised that the hand over to the UK under former Man City CEO Garry Cook will break new boundaries.

Cook has recently spent some time in Las Vegas, USA, to plan his strategy.

The UFC has already announced an event that will take place at Wembley Area on Feb 16th.

Cook said that “While we are working on finalising the fight card, UFC and fight fans can rest assured that we will bring another compelling card. You can bet that with us returning to London we will bring top fighters from the UK and around the world”.

Cook elaborated saying that there is a high demand for UFC events in London, the last event was wold-out (Bisping vs. Akiyama) and Cook believes they’ll have no problem selling tickets for future events.

Zelaznik recently said that the UFC has “a very good foothold in England” but he thinks that due to Cook’s insights into the England’s sporting culture he will take the UFC to “even greater heights.” Zelaznik went on to say that he believes under Cook the popularity of UFC will continue to grow in England and that more events will take place in the future.


2012 WWE Slammy Awards Taking Place On Next Week's RAW...

WWE has announced that the 2012 Slammy Awards will take place during next week's show from the the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA.

WWE will be using their RAWactive features and the WWE App for fan interaction during the Awards.

Sting Potentially Negotiating With WWE...

Is there anything happening?

- There has been speculation that WWE has been pursuing Sting for the WWE Hall of Fame and even a possible match at WrestleMania XXIX. This was due to Triple H recently mentioning him in interviews, WWE.com mentioning Sting more often than usual, and the fact that Sting's yearly TNA deal ends at the end of 2012. According to a source in the writing team, there is no truth to the rumors that he is coming in. A source stated the following…

"The current TNA lawsuit has everything frozen for the moment. WWE will not even internally discuss Sting. That just won't happen. Until this lawsuit settles, finishes or is dismissed, there's no way any discussion about Sting is going to happen. His name has never come up, and I can practically guarantee you that it won't."

The source also added the following…

"The idea of Sting vs. Undertaker, Sting vs. Punk, or Sting vs. Cena was something a lot of the young writers were dreaming about until a senior member reminded them there's not a chance of it happening this year."


2013 WWE Studios movie releases; Wrestling and movie connection; Dwayne Johnson thoughts...




WWE Studios has released the full line-up of their 2013 movie releases, some of which will be theatrical releases and others will be straight-to-DVD.

If the last few years of WWE Studios flicks are anything to go by, it will be a mixed bag, but the good news is that there should be one or two gems and pleasant surprises in there... not just B and C grade stuff. Wrestling fans... you got to wonder what it would take for 'The Rock' to sign up to Vince McMahon's WWE Studios - even for 1 or 2 films. Maybe the answer is more money than McMahon is currently willing to offer 'The Great One'. Speaking of The Rock, be sure to check out 'The Hero' when it finally hits television. Time will tell if it finally makes it to Rupert Murdoch influenced Foxtel, but it stands to reason if the public let Foxtel know they want more of 'The Rock', it may help achieve the positive result that fans are looking for.

The following is the 2013 WWE Studios movie schedule:

- "No One Lives" (Jan. 2013): WWE star in supporting role is Brodus Clay. - "Dead Man Down": WWE star in supporting role is Wade Barrett. - "Marine 3: Homefront": WWE star in the leading role is The Miz. - "12 Rounds 2: Reloaded": WWE star in the leading role is Randy Orton. - "The Hive": WWE star in a supporting role is David Otunga, plus Halle Berry in a leading role. - "Leprechaun: Origins": WWE star in the leading role is Hornswoggle. - 2014: Scooby-Doo themed movie when "Scooby Do and the Gang go to WrestleMania."

Keep checking the WWE Studios Facebook and Media Man network www.mediamanint.com for updates.


WWE World RAW Tour: Tours Australia in July 2013...



Presented by: WWE & Dainty Group

WWE’s unique brand of action packed entertainment is returning to Australia with WWE RAW.

Fans will be able to see all their favorite WWE Superstars and Divas including John Cena®, CM Punk™, Ryback™, Rey Mysterio®, The Miz™, Dolph Ziggler™, Kofi Kingston™, Zack Ryder™, Eve™, R-Truth™, AJ™ and many more*. * Line-up subject to change

TOUR DATES*: Friday 26 July - Rod Laver Arena Melbourne Saturday 27 July - Allphones Arena Sydney Sunday 28 July - Brisbane Entertainment Centre Monday 29 July - Adelaide Entertainment Centre Tuesday 30 July - Perth Arena


Foxtel to launch a new movie service...



Foxtel will launch a simplified movie service for its subscribers from next year.

The new Movies & Premium Drama package will replace the Showtime and Movie Network services, Foxtel announced on Sunday.

It will offer high definition ad-break free movies as well an increased On Demand offering.

Those who subscribe for the package will have access to seven Foxtel movie channels and the dedicated premium drama channel, showcase, which will screen award-winning drama series, many of which will be broadcast express from the US.

Foxtel chief executive Richard Freudenstein says this will change the way Australians will be able to experience movies.

"Our research told us customers want one destination for their movies, as well as simple navigation to find the movie they feel like watching. The seven dedicated and intuitively themed movie channels will ensure we make it as easy as possible for people to find and watch the movie they feel like watching," Freudenstein said in a statement.

Current subscribers to both movie packages will automatically receive all seven new Foxtel movie channels as well as showcase, World Movies and the two +2 channels (Premiere and showcase).

The new package will be available from January 1.


Richard Branson's £1 Million Wager on Virgin...

Billionaire Richard Branson is willing to bet that his flagship airline has a future—at least until 2018.

In a web blog post Monday, Branson proposed a £1 million ($1.6 million) wager with the chief executive of British Airways’ parent company (IAG), Willie Walsh, after Walsh said that Delta Air Lines (DAL) would likely acquire control of Branson’s Virgin Atlantic “and suggested the deal could ultimately see the end of the Virgin Atlantic brand,” the Guardian reported Dec. 9.

“This is wishful thinking and totally misguided,” Branson wrote on his company’s website, referring to the airline as “my baby.” “Will BA never learn? Let’s see how much they believe this. Let them put their money where their mouth is.” The Virgin Group founder is offering to pay the money to British Airways if the Virgin Atlantic name disappears within five years. If not, Branson proposed that BA pay Virgin employees the same amount. A British Airways’ representative in New York did not immediately return a call or e-mail seeking comment.

Delta is negotiating with Singapore Airlines (SIA) to acquire that carrier’s stake in Virgin Atlantic, according to media reports. On Monday, Bloomberg News reported that Delta is close to a deal and would pay $300 million to $500 million for Singapore’s 49 percent stake. Such a move would help Atlanta-based Delta bolster its presence at London Heathrow, one of the world’s most congested airports. In his comments to the newspaper, Walsh said, “I can’t see Delta operating the Virgin brand—Delta believe they are the No. 1 airline in the world.”

Walsh’s comments came as Virgin Atlantic announced plans to begin offering its first domestic service next spring, with as many as two dozen daily flights among Manchester, London Heathrow, and Scotland. The new flights, operated by Aer Lingus (AERL), would help to feed domestic traffic to Virgin’s long-haul service from London, which suffered a blow when British Airways’ parent, International Consolidated Airlines Group, acquired British Midland International.


*Special thank you to WWE, Pro Wrestling Torch, Wrestling Inc, Jim Ross and Google News for assistance and references in compiling this news report.

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Monday, December 10, 2012

Bwin.party Digital Entertainment Plc : Directorate Change

Bwin.party Digital Entertainment Plc : Directorate Change - 5th December 2012...


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Bwin.party Digital Entertainment Plc : Directorate Change...


B.bwin.party digital entertainment plc ('bwin.party' or the 'Company' and, together with its subsidiaries, the 'Group')

Directorate change

Jim Ryan has announced his intention to retire from his role as Co-CEO of bwin.party and return to Canada with his family. He will retire on 15 January 2013, at which time Norbert Teufelberger, currently Co-CEO, will assume the new role of Group CEO.

Commenting on today's announcement, Simon Duffy, Non-Executive Chairman said:

"Having lived and worked in Gibraltar for the past six years, initially as CEO of St Minver, Jim joined PartyGaming Plc as CEO in June 2008. Following the merger with bwin Interactive Entertainment AG in March 2011, he became Co-CEO of the enlarged Group. Together, he and Norbert have been instrumental in overseeing the integration of both companies as well as the launch into a number of newly regulated European markets and driving the Group's strategy to re-enter the United States should appropriate legislation be enacted. As the merger integration approaches its final stages, and having secured a series of strategic partnerships including MGM, Boyd Gaming, United Auburn and Zynga, Jim now wants to return to Canada with his family.

"The transition to regulated markets is continuing and we are entering a period of intense product and technology innovation that will now be led by Norbert Teufelberger, whose experience, as one of the pioneers in online gaming, is probably unrivalled.

"Together with Norbert, Jim has been a driving force behind the merger. His expertise and passion for the Group's gaming products have been instrumental in ensuring that the merger integration has proceeded as planned, putting the Group in an excellent position to remain at the forefront of the global online gaming market.

"The Board and I would like to thank Jim for his invaluable contribution and wish him every success for the future.

Norbert Teufelberger, Co-CEO, commented:

"Jim has been an excellent business partner over the past two and a half years. His experience, drive and vision have proven to be a huge asset for our company and I have had the pleasure of working with him side-by-side, both as a colleague and a good friend. We wish him every success in whatever he decides to do next.

Jim Ryan, Co-CEO, said

"Being Co-CEO of bwin.party has been my dream job. As we approach the final stages of our merger integration I am immensely proud of what we have achieved and know that with Norbert at the helm, the business is in excellent hands and is particularly well-placed for the future. Having given over 11 years of my life to the online gaming industry, I am now looking forward to returning to Canada and enjoying more time with my family.


Bwin.party Digital Entertainment co-CEO to step down...

Norbert Teufelberger will become the sole CEO of e-gaming company bwin.party after Jim Ryan, currently co-CEO, retires in January, the company said. Ryan and Teufelberger have co-run the company since March 2011, when it merged with PartyGaming. The company has partnerships with MGM Resorts International and Boyd Gaming Corp.


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Friday, December 7, 2012

WWE News: Yahoo - WWE - Rolling Stones PPV; WWE Network news update, WWE Studios...

WWE News: Yahoo - WWE - Rolling Stones PPV; WWE Network news update; 2013 WWE Studios movie releases; Wrestling and movie connection; Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson thoughts...

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World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. : Yahoo! Brings Fans the Exclusive Global Online Live Stream of the Rolling Stones 50TH Anniversary Concert on December 15...

Yahoo! Inc. and WWE® (NYSE: WWE) today announced the exclusive global online live stream of the Rolling Stones 50th anniversary concert, an historic pay-per-view special that will take place on Saturday, December 15 at 9 p.m. ET/ 6 p.m. PT on Yahoo! Music (http://music.yahoo.com).

Rolling Stones at London's O2 arena. Opening night of the Stones '50 and Counting' tour on November 25, 2012. Credit: Brian Rasic

Rolling Stones fans can come to Yahoo! for historic footage including past concerts, band interviews and backstage access. Beginning at 8:30 p.m. ET/ 5:30 p.m. PT on December 15, fans can watch an exclusive special entitled Countdown to the Rolling Stones, featuring pre-show activities and a countdown of the 10 greatest Rolling Stones moments of all-time.

The Rolling Stones concert is the latest in a series of exclusive special music events accessible to millions of viewers on Yahoo! From concerts such as the Clinton Foundation 10th Anniversary and iHeart Radio festival, to red carpet premieres for "Twilight: Breaking Dawn" and "The Hunger Games," Yahoo! brings our users their latest entertainment obsessions and their time-honored favorites, across computers and mobile devices.

"The Rolling Stones' music has crossed generations and the world and Yahoo! is excited to bring this very special music event to our global audience," said Erin McPherson, Vice President and Head of Yahoo!'s video and originals. "The Rolling Stones are living legends, and we are honored that the band and WWE chose us to be a part of their 50th anniversary celebration."

"We are pleased to partner with Yahoo!, a global leader in digital media, to bring the Rolling Stones pay-per-view online to millions across the world," said Vince McMahon, Chairman and CEO, WWE. "Our partnership will create unprecedented reach for this historic event."

WWE, the world's pre-eminent provider of pay-per-view programming, in partnership with Dainty Group and Endemol, will distribute the pay-per-view event globally. For additional information on how to watch the pay-per-view event in your market, please visit www.rollingstones.com/watch. And the Official Rolling Stones app is now available on the App Store http://bit.ly/UaJTNQ.

WHAT: Yahoo! Music (http://music.yahoo.com) to host the exclusive pay-per-view live stream of the Rolling Stones' 50th Anniversary concert from The Prudential Center.

WHEN: Saturday, December 15, 2012, at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT.

WHERE: Concert to be streamed globally on Yahoo! Music (http://music.yahoo.com).

About WWE

WWE, a publicly traded company (NYSE: WWE), is an integrated media organization and recognized leader in global entertainment. The company consists of a portfolio of businesses that create and deliver original content 52 weeks a year to a global audience. WWE is committed to family-friendly entertainment on its television programming, pay-per-view, digital media and publishing platforms. WWE programming is broadcast in more than 145 countries and 30 languages and reaches more than 600 million homes worldwide. The company is headquartered in Stamford, Conn., with offices in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, London, Mumbai, Shanghai, Singapore, Istanbul and Tokyo.

Additional information on WWE (NYSE: WWE) can be found at wwe.com and corporate.wwe.com. For information on our global activities, go to http://www.wwe.com/worldwide/.

About Yahoo!

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WWE Network: CFO reveals why WWE is pushing forward with Network plans...

WWE CFO George Barrios talked in-depth about why WWE decided to push forward with WWE Network plans during a presentation at the 40th Annual UBS Global Media conference in New York this week.

"We just believe there is too much there potentially not to keep pushing at it," Barrios said after acknowledging industry resistance to some of the Network models. "The drag on earnings is painful. It's painful to investors. It's painful to us but we just believe payoff could be too large so we are going to continue to push on that."

Barrios stressed throughout the presentation that WWE believes the more content they produce, the more revenue they can generate in the long-term because "the value of content is being driven up by the proliferation of distribution outlets."

In WWE's case, distribution would include a future Network, standard TV & PPV outlets, YouTube, Hulu, WWE App, and any other way consumers can consume video content.

"Wherever the video is being monetized, we see that the real opportunity," Barrios said. "We see growth there. Very high operating margins because we create our content once and then monetize it in a variety of those different platforms and also we have the ability to mine a significant library."

One of the library-related initiatives is creating new TV shows based on the existing content, such as turning the Monday Night Wars into a new series updated for this decade. Barrios revealed that the show is currently in production and will examine 2000-2001 leading up to WWE buying out WCW to "win the war."

"So we have done a good job but really we have only skimmed that library. So as we started thinking about best ways to monetize and there is different ones, there is big output deals you could sign is one example, the network, just we kept coming back to that as being the biggest bang for the buck. Now we don’t view the network as a catalog network. There will be powerful, compelling exclusive original content that will be the core because otherwise people aren’t going to either watch it in the numbers you want or pay for it if you go that model.

But we can wrap around some very fresh, compelling content that’s created from our 100,000 hour library. So for example, one of the shows that’s in production right now and it's tested really, really well in our focus group is the Monday Night Wars. It will be an episodic series, number of episodes be determined but somewhere between 10 to 15 episodes that looks at the year 2000 and 2001 battle between Ted Turner and Vince McMahon when they were on competing networks fighting for audience.

So there are some really cool things going on in the ring but there are some really interesting things going on outside the ring that would appeal to a slightly different audience and the lapse fan I talked about before, one of the kernels that we found was that the lapse fan really would be into reliving that a little bit. Especially parents with their kids on what to be able to talk to their kids about things that they were seeing and watching and so on.

So we think the network allows you to take thousand hours of the program which is a lot but it gives us that opportunity to own our content and also maximize significant amount of it. So that’s where that came from. It’s the ability mine that catalog in a fresh new way and also put new content out there."


Wrestling Legend Jake "The Snake" Roberts's talks life in DDP "Accountability Crib?...

Newsday's Josh Stewart filed a report on following around Jake Roberts for 24 hours as Roberts attempts to get in-shape and clean up his life inside the "Accountability Crib" hosted by Diamond Dallas Page. The following are five new things learned about Roberts and the house based on Stewart's report.

Former WCW wrestler Glacier is also staying at the house attempting to become a instructor for DDP's "DDP Yoga" program. A frequent visitor is former WWE wrestler Sinn Bodhi, who was also Roberts's personal babysitter during a recent booking in Las Vegas. “I’m in Vegas drinking water,” Roberts quipped recalling his night inside a Vegas club. “I’ve ruined my life."

Filmmaker Steve Yu, who is documenting Roberts's attempt at recovery, estimates the full recovery process will take one year.

Roberts has bone spurs in his left shoulder that will eventually require surgery. Currently, the injury slows him down during his daily DDP Yoga exercises.

Roberts received a phone call from one of his old drug dealers on Thanksgiving Day. "I told him the bad news,” Roberts said of trying to clean up. “Well, the good news for me.”

-- Roberts is on speaking terms with three of his eight children. After having a conversation with them about his recovery on Thanksgiving, Roberts noted, "They told me how proud they were of me" before pausing to compose himself. http://www.newsday.com/24-hours-in-diamond-dallas-page-s-accountability-crib-with-jake-the-snake-roberts-1.4289421


2013 WWE Studios movie releases; Wrestling and movie connection; Dwayne Johnson thoughts...




WWE Studios has released the full line-up of their 2013 movie releases, some of which will be theatrical releases and others will be straight-to-DVD.

If the last few years of WWE Studios flicks are anything to go by, it will be a mixed bag, but the good news is that there should be one or two gems and pleasant surprises in there... not just B and C grade stuff. Wrestling fans... you got to wonder what it would take for 'The Rock' to sign up to Vince McMahon's WWE Studios - even for 1 or 2 films. Maybe the answer is more money than McMahon is currently willing to offer 'The Great One'. Speaking of The Rock, be sure to check out 'The Hero' when it finally hits television. Time will tell if it finally makes it to Rupert Murdoch influenced Foxtel, but it stands to reason if the public let Foxtel know they want more of 'The Rock', it may help achieve the positive result that fans are looking for.

The following is the 2013 WWE Studios movie schedule:

- "No One Lives" (Jan. 2013): WWE star in supporting role is Brodus Clay. - "Dead Man Down": WWE star in supporting role is Wade Barrett. - "Marine 3: Homefront": WWE star in the leading role is The Miz. - "12 Rounds 2: Reloaded": WWE star in the leading role is Randy Orton. - "The Hive": WWE star in a supporting role is David Otunga, plus Halle Berry in a leading role. - "Leprechaun: Origins": WWE star in the leading role is Hornswoggle. - 2014: Scooby-Doo themed movie when "Scooby Do and the Gang go to WrestleMania."

Keep checking the WWE Studios Facebook and Media Man network www.mediamanint.com for updates.


WWE Title reigns...

Wrestler - days holding title * Diesel - 358 * Hulk Hogan - 364 * Randy Savage - 371 * CM Punk – 380 plus * John Cena - 380 * Pedro Morales – 1,027 * Bruno Sammartino – 1,237 * Hulk Hogan – 1,474 * Bob Backlund – 2,135 * Bruno Sammartino – 2,809


TNA Wrestling Signs Deal To Release Lottery Cards...

TNA Wrestling has signed a contract with MDI Entertainment to offer lottery cards featuring the wrestling organization's biggest stars. The following press release was issued Tuesday.

MDI Secures IMPACT WRESTLING Superstars and Experiential Prizes for Exciting New Instant Games

MDI Entertainment, LLC, a subsidiary of Scientific Games Corporation, has signed an agreement with TNA Entertainment, LLC, dba IMPACT WRESTLING, to offer lotteries branded instant games featuring some of the biggest names and most recognizable imagery in professional wrestling today.

The agreement makes the names and likenesses of more than a dozen wrestling superstars, as well as the logos, marks and artwork of IMPACT WRESTLING, available to lotteries worldwide.

Stars like Hulk Hogan, Kurt Angle, Sting, Jeff Hardy, Matt Morgan and Bobby Roode are included, and can be used on instant tickets and promotional materials, as well as in television and radio commercials. They also are available for personal appearances and public service announcements to promote the good causes lottery games support.

"We are extremely pleased to have secured this license, and to be able to give lotteries so many noteworthy options to promote games associated with it," said Steve Saferin, President, Properties Group and Chief Creative Officer for Scientific Games.

"In addition to providing the biggest names in wrestling today, IMPACT WRESTLING is offering extraordinary marketing support and incredible prize opportunities. This gives lotteries a chance to reach and inspire wrestling fans – including the often elusive 18-34 age group – in very powerful ways."

IMPACT WRESTLING President Dixie Carter stated, "Working with MDI provides a new marketing platform for IMPACT WRESTLING to connect with our fans through the state lottery programs. Our fans avidly invest in our superstars as they appear on SPIKE TV every Thursday and travel the country on the IMPACT WRESTLING LIVE WORLD TOUR."

IMPACT WRESTLING will work with MDI and lotteries to create 2nd Chance prizes that can include merchandise and trips where winners will be treated to a live taping of the IMPACT WRESTLING television show, a backstage tour and a chance to meet wrestling talent. "IMPACT WRESTLING" is a weekly, two-hour show appearing during prime time on SPIKE TV.

A "Contract-for-a-Day" prize also can be created, in which the winner will be given the trip, plus an on-camera cameo role to be included in an IMPACT WRESTLING pay-per-view live show.


Triple H Doesn't Want Sting To Re-Sign With TNA...

Triple H is apparently among many that are hoping that Sting might pass on renewing with TNA when his contract expires at the end of the year. According to a source, WWE would like to present Sting with a multi-faceted licensing deal which would include incorporating him into their Mattel deal and home videos. It would also likely include an induction into the WWE Hall of Fame.

Signing Sting to a deal is apparently not a high priority for Vince McMahon, whereas Triple H is said to hold Sting in high regard.

Triple H has also been pursuing wrestling legend Bruno Sammartino for the WWE Hall of Fame, but its unclear at this point if Bruno is going to sign on this year, or any other.


John Cena takes over Saturday morning on The CW: * WWE U.S report - not relevant for Australian television...

Members of the Cenation: fetch your remotes, set your alarm clocks and be sure to tune in to "Cena Saturday"!

Iconic WWE Superstar John Cena will host Vortexx on The CW on Saturday, Dec. 8 from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. ET. Watch the 10-time WWE Champion introduce exciting kids' programs like "Justice League" and "Iron Man" before he steps in the ring to face Heath Slater on WWE Saturday Morning Slam at 10 a.m. With hours of action-packed children's television programming, special profiles on the Cenation leader and much more, "Cena Saturday" simply can't be missed!

Saturday, Dec. 8 is your only chance to see John Cena host Vortexx, but check out all the thrilling shows that you can watch on The CW this and every Saturday morning.

7:00 a.m. - 7:30 a.m. (Educational and Informational Hour) — "Cubix" In a world full of robots, an ingenious young boy named Connor and his miraculous transforming robot Cubix must combine forces, along with the help of their human and robot pals, to save the day when the evil Dr. K plots to steal the mysterious power source known as Solex.

7:30 a.m. - 8:00 a.m. (Educational and Informational Hour) — "Rescue Heroes" The Rescue Heroes are a crack team of international emergency response professionals who travel the globe to help those in danger. Equipped with the latest up-to-the-minute knowledge, high-tech hardware and cutting-edge technology, they are dedicated to promoting safety and saving lives everywhere.

8:00 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. — "Power Rangers: Lost Galaxy" The massive spaceship Terra Venture represents mankind's greatest accomplishment as it traverses the galaxy. When this tremendous achievement is threatened by dangerous aliens, led by the insect-like villain Scorpius and his daughter Trakeena, a new team of Power Rangers from different walks of life unite to become the Galaxy Rangers in a saga that will take them to undiscovered worlds and even other galaxies.

8:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.— "Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL" Yuma Tsukumo is a young duelist who strives to become the Duel Masters champion. During a duel with a school bully, a mysterious spirit called Astral appears before him, and helps him to win. Astral explains to Yuma he is searching for his lost memories, which have been transformed into 99 Xyz Monsters cards called Numbers and have been scattered across the globe. To recover his memories, Astral teams up with Yuma to retrieve the Numbers cards. Using the powers of Zexal, the two must compete with Numbers Hunters, who seek to claim the Numbers cards for themselves to destroy Astral's home world.

9:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. — "Iron Man: Armored Adventures" Tony Stark, teenage heir to a billion-dollar corporation, must take on the mantle, and formidable armor, of Iron Man when his father mysteriously disappears. Along with his teenage friends, James Rhodes and Pepper Potts, Iron Man must save the world from a multitude of villains and balance the pressures of teenage life with the duties of being a superhero.

9:30 a.m. - 10:00 a.m. — "Justice League Unlimited" The "founding members" of the Justice League, Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Martian Manhunter, Green Lantern and Hawkgirl continue to defend the planet from every known threat. Along the way, they are aided by a large number of other superheroes from the DC Universe, including Aquaman, Black Canary, Captain Marvel, Supergirl and more. Not only does the League clash with their famous nemeses, like Brainiac, Lex Luthor, Mantis and many others, but also the building tensions between the Justice League and a secret government agency known as Project Cadmus brings heightened conflict to a series where every child's favorite superheroes are called to action.

10:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. — "WWE Saturday Morning Slam" "WWE Saturday Morning Slam" packs the riveting in-ring action, the larger-than-life WWE Superstars and WWE’s kid-friendly entertainment into the fastest, most energy-filled half-hour on television. WWE Superstar profiles, behind-the-scenes footage and an exclusive WWE match every week will all combine to make "WWE Saturday Morning Slam" the perfect destination for the youngest viewers in the WWE Universe.

10:30 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. — "Dragon Ball Z Kai" The epic adventure continues as the famous martial artist Goku and his son Gohan are shocked when they learn that Goku belongs to an alien race called the Saiyans, who are bent on destroying the Earth. Father and son travel the galaxy, battling Saiyans and other enemies in their heroic attempt to save the world from total destruction.

11:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. — "Yu-Gi-Oh! Classic" "Yu-Gi-Oh!" tells the tale of Yugi Moto, a young boy who solves an ancient artifact known as the Millennium Puzzle, causing his body to play host to a mysterious spirit. Yugi and his friends love playing the card game Duel Monsters, and with the help of his doppelganger, Yugi becomes the most famous duelist in the world. When Yugi learns that the spirit inside his puzzle is actually an unnamed pharaoh from Egyptian times, he and his friends attempt to help the pharaoh regain his memories.

11:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. — "Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL"


WWE World RAW Tour: Tours Australia in July 2013...

Presented by: WWE & Dainty Group

WWE’s unique brand of action packed entertainment is returning to Australia with WWE RAW.

Fans will be able to see all their favorite WWE Superstars and Divas including John Cena®, CM Punk™, Ryback™, Rey Mysterio®, The Miz™, Dolph Ziggler™, Kofi Kingston™, Zack Ryder™, Eve™, R-Truth™, AJ™ and many more*. * Line-up subject to change

TOUR DATES*: Friday 26 July - Rod Laver Arena Melbourne Saturday 27 July - Allphones Arena Sydney Sunday 28 July - Brisbane Entertainment Centre Monday 29 July - Adelaide Entertainment Centre Tuesday 30 July - Perth Arena


*Special thank you to WWE, Pro Wrestling Torch, Wrestling Inc, Jim Ross and Google News for assistance and references in compiling this news report.

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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Australian and international gaming, business and interactive entertainment news

Australian and international gaming, business and interactive entertainment news: Crown Limited; Echo Entertainment, IGT, Virgin Games, Aussie Millions, Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment, WWE, THQ, Marvel Entertainment, Disney, Warner Bros and more...Media Man reports


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Contender in Echo Entertainment CEO race drops out: report...


An undisclosed senior United States casino executive has emerged as the frontrunner to replace departing Echo Entertainment Group Ltd chief executive Larry Mullin after frontrunner Grant Bowie reportedly pulled out of the selection process, according to News Limited owned newspaper The Australian.

The New Zealand-raised Mr Bowie is president of US giant MGM Grand's Macau operations, and was seen as an ideal candidate given his record in Australia while working with Park Place Entertainment and Asian experience.

With Mr Mullin set to depart the company January 31, Echo is expected to name his replacement by the end of the year.

Marina Bay Sands casino head Andrew MacDonald and Skycity Entertainment's Nigel Morrison had been named as candidates, and the leading internal candidate is Echo chief financial officer Matt Bekler, according to The Australian newspaper.


IGT debuts trio of mobile slots...

American computerised gaming equipment and systems designer and manufacturer International Game Technology (IGT) has released mobile versions for three of its most popular slots.

Las Vegas-based IGT stated that Elvis: A Little More Action, Wolf Run and Kitty Glitter have been ‘optimised for the industry’s fastest growing sector’ and are now ready for users of iOS and Android-enabled smartphones and tablet devices to enjoy via its remote game server Casino series.

“The size of the mobile market is expanding by the day and a selection of superior branded content and consistently high performing games helps make IGT a driving force behind this growth,” said Leigh Nissim, Interactive Commercial Director for IGT. “Choosing the right casino game supplier in the world of mobile gaming is crucial [and] our experience, expertise and compliance record at IGT is second to none.”

Elvis: A Little More Action is a 50-payline slot with stacked wilds that features audio from one of Elvis Presley’s most recognisable tunes, A Little Less Conversation. It also offers players up to 255 free spins via its Free Spins Bonus. IGT described the 40-payline Wolf Run and the 30-payline Kitty Glitter slots as two of its ‘all-time best performers’ and revealed that the mobile new versions come complete with the titles’ expected free spins bonuses.


Three New Games Launch on Virgin Mobile Casino...

Virgin Games, the leading online gaming company, has today announced the release of three new mobile games - Elvis, Kitty Glitter and Wolf Run. All are by leading game developer, IGT, and will be available exclusively at Virgin Mobile Casino.

Virgin Mobile Casino, which now accounts for more than 10 per cent of Virgin Games' gross revenue, was launched in December of 2011 to offer a range of slots, table and instant win games. It currently has content partnerships with both IGT and Microgaming, with the intention of introducing additional partners later down the line in order to offer the same variety and choice through the Mobile app as customers experience at the web based Casino.

Joshua Morris, Commercial Director at Virgin Games, commented: "The three latest mobile games to be added to Virgin Mobile Casino continue the trend of bringing our best games from the web onto mobile. We are already seeing 10% of our gross revenues come from Mobile in less than a year since launch and with the addition of top titles such as those launched today we are strengthening our position as a multi-game aggregator."

Virgin Games has attached its single wallet system to the new mobile product, meaning its players use the same account to play at Virgin Casino, Virgin Bingo, Virgin Poker and now mobile casino. Customers can register, manage their account, play for bonuses, deposit and withdraw seamlessly, whether they are on the web or on the move. Launched in 2004, Virgin Games is one of the UK's leading online gaming sites.


Aussie Millions Poker Tournament coming up...

The Aussie Millions (Jan 17th – 3rd Feb): Held at the awesome Crown Casino, the average temperature in Melbourne in January is about 26 degrees. Not only that the tournament runs at the same time as the Australian Open Tennis. Sweet!


PKR Gains Five Millionth User; 3-D Online Poker Room Hits Milestone After Seven Years...

PKR, the 3-D online poker room, has registered its five millionth user. The website was launched in 2006.

Simon Prodger, marketing director for the company, said, “We’re delighted to hit this major milestone, and we look forward to continuing to welcome more and more poker players from around the world to PKR.

“We have a range of marketing initiatives and product developments scheduled for launch in 2013 that we’re sure will continue to grow the PKR brand, including new TV advertising campaigns and the eagerly-awaited launch of our first mobile poker product.”

The company, which is hosting the upcoming World Poker Tour Dublin event, recently told the E-Gaming Review newsroom that it had launched a seven figure investment prospectus.

PKR told the industry magazine it had been unofficially searching for an investor for two years and it was not ruling out a sale.


Crown Limited sweet tax deal?

In Australia, Crown Ltd.’s controversial ‘unsolicited proposal’ to build a second casino in Sydney won’t be of much benefit to the taxpayer, according to ex Citigroup analyst and current independent research consultant Jenny Owen. Crown’s plan is for an international VIP-focused casino, meaning the applicable tax rate would be 10%, about one-third the rate applied to other gambling revenue, like most of the action going on down the street at Sydney’s existing casino, The Star. Ms. Owen told the Sydney Morning Herald this made for "a very attractive business model, certainly one that I would have thought would go to public tender and should attract a reasonably significant license premium. Clearly that doesn’t appear to be the case.". Time will tell as "It sure looks like the casino - hotel will be going ahead" according to a Media Man gaming spokesperson.


Online Gaming Execs Respond to Detention of bwin.party CEO...

Leaders of the world’s top online gaming firms are mad as hell and they’re not going to take it anymore. In response to last Tuesday’s detainment of bwin.party co-CEO Norbert Teufelberger in Brussels, Belgium, 14 executives from 12 internet gambling companies penned a public letter to the Financial Times saying that enough is enough when it comes to European Union (EU) countries ignoring EU law.

To recap, Teufelberger was set to make the closing remarks at Responsible Gaming Day, put on by the European and Betting and Gaming Association (EGBA), of which he is Chairman, when he was detained by Belgian police. The authorities reportedly kept him for two hours (he was allowed to make his speech first), questioning him about bwin.party’s activities in Belgium.

bwin.party has found itself on the short end of extremely strict Belgian gaming regulations, which, among other things, require online poker operators to have a brick-and-mortar presence in the country in order to be granted an online gaming license. Only six operators – PokerStars.be, Poker770.be, Partouche.be, Win2day, GoldenPalace.be, and Unibet – have received licensed. To make matters worse, some of bwin.party’s websites have been put on the Belgian Gaming Commission’s (BGC) blacklist. Despite the blacklist status, bwin.party has continued to operate in Belgium.

While Belgium’s regulations may be cut and dry, they are not without controversy. bwin.party, as well as other gaming companies and organizations, feel they run contrary to EU law and have been fighting them for several years.

Norbert Teufelberger himself was one of the 14 executives to sign the letter to the Financial Times, along with co-CEO Jim Ryan. The others were:

Michael Carlton – CEO, Victor Chandler International Denise Coates and John Coates – Joint CEOs, bet365 St├ęphane Courbit – President, Betclic Everest Group Canel Frichet – CEO, Winamax Noel Hayden – Managing Director, Gamesys Denis Kelly – CEO, Stan James Brian Mattingly – CEO, 888 Holdings Andrew McIver – CEO, Sportingbet Magnus Silfverberg – CEO, Betsson Ralph Topping – CEO, William Hill Ed Ware – CEO, 32Red

In the letter, which was posted at FT.com, the executives expressed their resentment towards both the EU Belgian law enforcement, saying, “While the Belgian authorities are free to intimidate Europe’s leading online gaming groups with threats about the consequences of challenging their domestic gambling laws, the European Commission has yet to receive an answer to its own concerns regarding the regulatory regime in Belgium that have remained unresolved since issuing its detailed opinion back in 2009.”

The letter reminded the Financial Times’ readers of the complaints against Belgium two years ago, quoting the head of the European Commission, Michel Barnier, from 2010 , “’…ensuring compliance of national law with the Treaty on the Functioning of the EU (TFEU) is a prerequisite of a successful EU policy on online gambling…if blatant infringements persist, I will not hesitate to propose to my colleagues that the appropriate proceedings be taken or relaunched.’”

The letter concluded, “We hope that the commission will now enforce compliance with the European treaty and do so swiftly. Countries such as Belgium and Greece that are in clear breach of EU law and that are seeking to enforce those laws domestically are likely to be at the top of the list. The time for polite rhetoric is now over. It is time for deeds not words.” (Poker News Daily)

THQ being sued by tattoo artist...

Chris Escobedo, creator and owner of Elite Tattoo, has sued THQ because one of his tattoos has been used by the developer in their game, UFC Undisputed 3 without his consent.

His tattoo, a lion, has been used on the arms of current welterweight champion of UFC Carlos Condit in the game. Escobedo claims that THQ never came to him to seek permission to use the tattoo in the game.

People often believe that they own the images that are tattooed on them by tattoo artists,” said Escobedo’s lawyer Maria Crimi. “In reality, the owner of the tattoo artwork is the creator of the work, unless there is a written assignment of the copyright in the tattoo art.”

Escobedo said: “I would not have agreed to the recreation of the tattoo by an animator.”

Well, it certainly is a violation of the copyrights, as silly as it may seem.

"WWE ’13" receives rave reviews from video game gurus..

“WWE ’13,” available in stores now, gives WWE fans the most seamless, realistic and exciting WWE video game experience to date. With the new addition of WWE Live, enhanced Predator Technology and an enormous Creation Suite and talent roster based on the Attitude Era, it’s no surprise that “WWE ’13” is a hit with reviewers. Look at what some of the leading reviewers have to say about “WWE ’13” and pick up your copy today!

IGN Review score: 8.4 out of 10 “At its core, ‘WWE ’13’ continues last year’s legacy with already solid gameplay refined via a few new moves. Aptly named OMG Moments let you tackle opponents through barricades and break the ring with top-rope suplexes, while the creation suite has been slightly upgraded with improved arena types that should facilitate better community creations.” (MORE)

Game Informer Review score: 9 out of 10 “I’ve always pointed to 2000’s WWE No Mercy as the best wrestling game I’ve ever played, but nostalgia is certainly a factor in that. After playing ‘WWE ’13,’ I’m hard pressed to think of a more enjoyable and complete wrestling game in history.”

Official XBOX Magazine Review score: 8 out of 10 “Of particular note is the game’s superb single-player experience, which should serve as the foundation for all future endeavors. If anything, the smart objective design and use of archival WWE footage makes us want more.”

AtomicGamer Review score: 8 out of 10

Bleacher Report Review score: 8 out of 10

Canadian Online Gamers Review score: 85/100

Click Online Review score: 4.5 out of 5

GamesBeat Review score: 86/100

GamesRadar Review score: 4 out of 5

IRB Gamer Review score: 4.5 out of 5

PlayStation Official Magazine – UK Review score: 80/100

RTV Review Score: 4 out of 5

TotallyGN Review score: 8 out of 10

Disney honors Black Friday in Avengers Alliance, Gardens of Time et al...

When it comes to the biggest shopping day of the year, Disney ain't playin' no games ... or something like that. The company's social gaming arm has lots planned for Black Friday in its most popular Facebook games, namely a number of enticing deals for in-game boosts and items for Marvel: Avengers Alliance, Gardens of Time, Ghosts of Mistwood and Blackwood & Bell Mysteries.

Each game will offer reduced prices on in-game currency in addition to specific offers for in-game goodies. Here's the list of the delectable deals straight from Disney and Playdom:

Marvel: Avengers Alliance: Starting Nov. 23, Mockingbird will be on sale for all players until Nov. 26. Mockingbird was originally only available as the ultimate reward for achieving 15 mastery stars in the first Special Operation, but starting on Black Friday, players will have four days to recruit this secretive S.H.I.E.L.D. Agent from the Heroes section and get her before she is gone.

Ghosts of Mistwood: From Black Friday through Cyber Monday on Nov. 26, the hit Facebook game, Ghosts of Mistwood, will be having a special Black Friday bundle sale to help players solve the mysteries of Mistwood Estate. Players can gobble up lantern oil, coins, special ingredients and a Limited Special Stardust Relic for a limited time in the Market and at a festive price.

Gardens of Time: For Disney Social Games' super sales weekend, Gardens of Time players will be able to purchase any of the in-game gold decoration items at a discount when sending them to their friends. That's over 100 items discounted for this offer.

Blackwood and Bell & Threads of Mystery: Two more amazing hidden object games from Disney Social Games, Blackwood and Bell & Threads of Mystery, will be having sales on in game gold. Players need to head on over to take advantage of these limited time Black Friday Sales.


Tolkien's estate sues over Hobbit gambling games...

JRR Tolkien's estate is suing the makers of The Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies for allegedly overstepping their merchandising rights by making gambling games based on the books' characters.

Tolkien's family and publisher HarperCollins are suing Warner Brothers, its subsidiary New Line Cinema and Saul Zaentz for $80 million.

In papers filed in a Los Angeles court, they accuse the defendants of copyright infringement and breach of contract.

They say the companies are entitled to develop and sell only tangible merchandise such as clothes, figurines and stationery, not downloadable video and gambling games.

The Tolkien estate has asked for an injunction on such products, which it claims have caused irreparable damage to the author's legacy and reputation.

"Not only does the production of gambling games patently exceed the scope of defendants' rights, but this infringing conduct has outraged Tolkien's devoted fan base, causing irreparable harm to Tolkien's legacy and reputation and the valuable goodwill generated by his works," the lawsuit stated. The suit claimed Warner Brothers has earned millions of dollars from legal merchandise licensing revenue related to The Lord of the Rings trilogy of films, which have grossed nearly $3 billion at the global box office.

Representatives for Warner Brothers, Tolkien's estate and HarperCollins were not immediately available for comment.

The lawsuit comes a week ahead of the New Zealand premiere of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the first of a new trilogy of films returning to Tolkien's world of elves, goblins and wizards of Middle Earth, based on the Lord of the Rings prequel novel, The Hobbit.


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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Online gamer bwin.party defends stance in Belgian licence row - 14th November 2012

Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment legal news...


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Online gamer bwin.party defends stance in Belgian licence row...


Online gaming company bwin.party digital entertainment PLC defended its actions today after Belgian authorities questioned its co-CEO for two hours in an escalating dispute over licences.

Co-CEO Norbert Teufelberger has now left Belgium, after the authorities took advantage of his presence at a conference to summon him for questioning on Tuesday.

"The request to attend the interview arose from the Belgium Gambling Commission's view that bwin.party was in breach of the country's gambling legislation," the company said in a statement.

"Bwin.party maintains the position that it is acting and has always acted in compliance with applicable laws," it added, saying it planned further talks with the Belgian gambling authorities.

The case brings into sharp focus the risks faced by companies in the growing online gaming sector that operate in countries where regulations are either unclear or restrictive.

Bwin, the world's largest listed online gaming group, is in dispute with Belgium over licences, and access to three of its websites has been blocked this year.

The company says the ban is costing it 700,000 euro ($1 million) per month in revenues.

Bwin.party says rules in Belgium do not comply with European law.

"We have been at the forefront of regulatory change in Europe for several years and we have licences in Gibraltar, Alderney, Denmark, France, Germany (Schleswig-Holstein), Italy and Spain," Teufelberger and co-CEO Jim Ryan said.

"We continue to strive for a regulatory framework in European Member States that is compliant with EU law."


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Saturday, November 3, 2012

Australian gaming, casino and property wars; James Paker, Crown Limited, Barangaroo...

Australian gaming, casino and property wars; James Packer, Crown Limited; Barangaroo, Zynga, Marvel Entertainment - Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment and much more from 'Sin City' and the land down under...

The Media Man agency has another look at the world famous Australian casino wars.

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Shareholders approve Murdoch buyout of Australia's CMH...

Shareholders in James Packer's majority-owned Consolidated Media Holdings on Wednesday voted overwhelmingly in favour of a US$2 billion takeover by Rupert Murdoch's News Limited.

The deal will see News, the Australian arm of News Corp, emerge with 50 percent control of Foxtel, the country's biggest pay TV operator, and all of Fox Sports. Telecommunications giant Telstra holds the other half of Foxtel.

"At the meeting held today CMH shareholders approved the scheme of arrangement... under which News Pay TV Financing Pty Ltd, a 100 percent owned subsidiary of News Corporation, will acquire all of the shares in CMH," the subscription TV-focused media firm said in a statement.

CMH said 90.13 percent of shareholders present or voting by proxy at the meeting voted in favour of the deal, with 99.91 percent of all votes cast in favour.

It will be taken to the Federal Court of Australia on Friday for formal assent and lodged with the securities regulator the same day, with the intention that trading in CMH's shares cease by the end of that day.

CMH said the deal, which has already been cleared by the competition and investment regulators, was expected to be implemented on November 19.

The Aus$3.45-per-share deal was in little doubt given CMH's largest shareholders -- James Packer's Consolidated Press Holdings (50 percent) and Kerry Stokes' Seven Group Holdings (25 percent) -- had already indicated their approval.

Seven had wanted to mount a rival bid but it was knocked back by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

It will be the first time in a century that the Packer family will have no media interests in Australia, apart from a small stake in the Ten Network.

For News Corp, the takeover is its most significant investment in pay television since its bid to buy out British Sky Broadcasting broke down.

Consolidated Media chairman John Alexander told shareholders ahead of the vote, which was held in Perth, that board members unanimously supported the takeover.

"I think that when you get an offer which basically makes overwhelming sense -- and our two biggest shareholders thought it made overwhelming sense, the independent expert thought it made overwhelming sense -- you have to act in the best interests of shareholders," Alexander was quoted in The Australian newspaper as saying after the meeting.

Consolidated Media Holdings was formed when Publishing and Broadcasting Ltd, founded by Packer's grandfather Frank and run by his father Kerry, a one-time arch-rival to Murdoch, changed its name in 2007.

Since Kerry's death in 2005, billionaire Packer has been moving away from the family's traditional media business and focusing on creating a worldwide gambling empire.

He has casino interests in Australia and Macau, the world's biggest gaming hub, and is pushing to build Sydney's second casino as part of a huge gambling and hotel development on the harbour foreshore.


Critics slam approval process for Packer casino...

Critics of James Packer's plan to build a second Sydney casino say the billionaire has had a free ride through the planning approvals process.

The New South Wales Government and Opposition have both thrown their support behind the project, which would see a high-rollers' haven built at the northern end of the CBD - right on Sydney Harbour.

Mr Packer thanked both the Liberal and the Labor parties for their support.

But current and former politicians are questioning why the community apparently had no say in approving the development.

Mr Packer already owns Crown in Melbourne, the casino in Perth, and has a large stake in BetFair. He also has casino interests in London, Las Vegas and Macau.

The proposal for the Barangaroo site in Sydney is a little different, in that mug punters will not be allowed in through the front door.

"We don't want a customer that can't afford to be there," Mr Packer told a business dinner.

"There's a lot of people out there who can afford it and who you're selling adrenalin to, and they're happy to pay for that experience."

'Appalling process' Sydney's Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the city's people have been locked out of the approvals process, and it has been too easy for Mr Packer.

"I think if Australians, if ordinary punters want to go to the casino they should be able to," she said.

"I think the process is appalling. This is a site, it's public land, it's probably one of the most important sites in Australia, it is harbour-side, adjacent to the global city of Australia, and yet there's no consultation.

"The Government knows that before it came to office... there was real concern in the Sydney community about the process that the previous Labor government had gone through, and they came in saying that they were going to do it differently.

"And here we have a situation, this major, major development where there's no tendering and there is no public consultation and it's all been done behind closed doors and it's been done by both the major parties to Jamie Packer.

"I just think the people of Sydney will be appalled by what is going on."

Crown predicts when it is finished, the casino complex could inject $400 million into the local economy and support 1,400 jobs.

But former federal opposition leader John Hewson says whichever way you look at it, the approval looks bad.

"Perception is the problem here, people perceive that Packer's bulldozed this through," he said.

Wealth and power

Current Greens MP John Kaye went further, saying the integrity of the political process was being undermined.

"Mr Packer's wealth and Mr Packer's power has given him an easy access to the second stage of the O'Farrell Government's process," he said.

"There will be no public consultation on whether we have a second casino or not, that's now a done deal, with four parties in the New South Wales Upper House signing off on it.

"At least there should have been a debate."

Mr Hewson dealt with the late Kerry Packer during the tender process for Sydney's first casino.

On ABC Local radio recently, he was scathing in his assessment of the latest approvals process - especially of James Packer's assumption he would win any tender process.

"I think that's the height of arrogance and I think it pre-judges the processes of government," Mr Hewson said.

"It's not clear to me that an international gaming group wouldn't have been an effective competitor, we don't know that.

"We've been told it wouldn't apply but we don't know that.

"It reminds me of his father telling me in pretty colourful language that you know the country doesn't need pay TV, but if we have to have pay TV I'm going to own it.

"And it's that sort of arrogance, there's sort of two sets of rules, one for the Packers and one for the rest of us."

But there is a long way to go before anyone starts building anything. This is the first approval in a three-stage process.

Still to come is a tick-off by a Government-appointed panel and a design competition for the six-star hotel.



Australian casino king James Packer defends Sydney casino bid process; Entering virgin territory...



Tycoon James Packer has defended the way he and the New South Wales Government have gone about securing a second Sydney casino at a new harbour-side development.

Recently the New South Wales Government gave a preliminary tick of approval for the casino-hotel proposal at the Barangaroo site.

The Government says any new casino will not be allowed to start operation until 2019 because of an exclusivity arrangement with Star Casino.

And the project will not go out to tender - although Mr Packer insists he would have won any tender had it been conducted.

Recently Packer told a business dinner in Sydney that he was not just interested in making money, but wanted to build something "special" on the site at Barangaroo.

"I spent a lot of time in casinos as a kid with my dad, and I ended up thinking, f***, this must be a good business," he said.

"My dad was a lot smarter than I am and a lot more successful than I'll ever be, but he got his adrenalin rushes from going to a casino.

"That's the customer that we want. And there are a lot people out there who can afford it, and who you're selling adrenalin to, and they're happy to pay for that experience."

Mr Packer and his gaming company Crown Limited are having an especially good run of luck.

He says the latest project has been given the preliminary tick not because of lobbying, but because it is a really good idea.

This is more than just about money for me. My dad was a larger-than-life figure and I think this is my chance to do something that is special.

"The Labor Party and the Liberal Party were prepared to look at this – or the Labor Party especially – in a bipartisan manner and Premier O'Farrell was willing to say 'let's just do it'," he said.

"There's three stages, and we've got to get through stages two and three ... Premier O'Farrell's made it very clear that we're not done and I don't think we're done, we're a long way from done, but we've had a very good day."

Mr Packer also defended his decision not to wait for a competitive tender process.

"The unsolicited proposal legislation was designed for good ideas and this is a good idea and we took advantage of the legislation that was in place," he said.

"So I think frankly if there was a tender it would be very hard to see how we wouldn't have won it."

So far, the gaming venue has been touted as one that would lure high rollers, especially international tourists, and it would not have pokies.

But Mr Packer says that could change.

"This is not an economic no-brainer," he said.

"You know, there has never been a casino in the world built for a billion dollars without slot machines.

"So we're entering virgin territory, and we're sitting there and saying we'll wait until 2019, as we should."

At the same time as promising to give Sydney an economic kickstart, he says he wants to be the one to leave a legacy in keeping with his father's.

"This is more than just about money for me," he said.

"I am a great believer in Sydney, this country has been incredibly kind to my family, this city has been incredibly kind to my family.

"My dad was a larger-than-life figure and I think this is my chance to do something, you know, that is special."


CALIFORNIA ONLINE POKER ASSOCIATION COLLAPSES...

They certainly had noble intentions, but the ride is over for the California Online Poker Association after several million dollars spend and a handful of failed legislative bills caused the organisation to cease its lobbying efforts.

COPA had poured a lot of money into ensuring that online poker was both legalised and regulated in the state, but after spending $1.2 million on its efforts in the first half of 2012 alone without making any headway, it was decided that the group must fold.

Despite outspending companies like Chevron and the California Teachers Association, COPA’s two-year run saw a handful of proposed bills fall through the legislative cracks as interest dissipated or the state could not agree on the financial rewards for those who were involved.

COPA’s operating agreement had stated that the organisation would dissolve if significant progress had not been made by January 2013, but the decision was made to pull the plug ahead of schedule earlier this month, with Ryan Hightower, the group’s spokesman, confirming: “The decision was based upon insufficient progress within the legislature towards the passage of an online poker bill.”

The San Manuel and Morongo tribe who had affiliated themselves with COPA, however, are not giving up the fight just yet and have stated that they believe it is only a matter of time before online gambling happens in California. If legislation does change after 2013’s proceedings, don’t be surprised to see the efforts of COPA and its partners reassessed in light of the new online climate.



Marvel Entertainment Movies: Amazing Spider-Man, Thor 2, The Avengers Et Al Boost Popularity Of Marvel Slot Games...

The Media Man agency reports that Marvel themed online slot games across the network, and featured at partner, PartyCasino.com , are boosting the popularity of the superhero themed online slot games. Bwin.Party currently offers The Incredible Hulk, Thor, The Amazing Spider-Man and Fantastic Four, with more expected to soon hit the popular gaming and entertainment website destination.



Zynga partners with bwin.party to offer real-money gaming...



Social gaming giant Zynga has signed a partnership agreement with bwin.party digital entertainment to launch real-money poker and casino offerings for the UK market.

'Bringing together Zynga's expertise in social gaming with the top international real money gaming operator is the best way to create the highest quality gaming experiences for our players in the UK,' said Barry Cottle, Executive Vice President, Corporate and Business Development, Zynga. 'Partnering with an established leader like bwin.party is a strategic and prudent way for us to enter a key RMG market while giving local players the real money games they've been asking us for.'

The new real-money poker and 180 game casino suite are set to launch in the first half of 2013 and will include table games such as slots, roulette and blackjack. Zynga also revealed that it will also offer UK players the first-ever, online FarmVille-branded real money slots game.

'Today's announcement is another example of our success in leveraging our assets through strategic blue-chip partners,' said Jim Ryan and Norbert Teufelberger, Co-CEOs of bwin.party. 'Zynga is the world's leader in social games with hundreds of millions of active players worldwide and a significant player base in the UK. We are delighted to have been selected as their chosen partner for this important step in their evolution, and hope to expand our relationship into other products and markets.'

*Media Man is a shareholder in Crown Limited, Network Ten and Virgin

*Media Man has conducted b2b with Bwin.Party Digital Entertainment, Crown Limited, Virgin Enterprises Limited and Marvel Entertainment

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