Sunday, April 29, 2012

Media Man News Update - 30th April 2012


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Casino controversy continues...

Affluent Chinese tourists are a significant component for James Packer’s hopes to construct a second Sydney casino at Barangaroo.

Mr Packer has found opposition to his plans for a second harbour-side casino in the form of Tourism Queensland chairman, Don Morris.

Consumer research provided by Tourism Australia supports Mr Morris’ claims that Chinese tourists are not visiting Australia just to gamble and visit casinos.

“Our traditional European, British and US markets have long been seduced by the uniqueness of Australia's easygoing, class-free culture. And the Chinese are the same, with this research ranking 'laid-back and easygoing' as their key motivator for visiting Australia, after safety,” Mr Morris told The Australian.

Mr Packer disagreed and said that without proper infrastructure, accommodation and entertainment “we will not get the tourism growth Australia deserves”.

He has support from Tourism Australia chairman and Crown board member Geoff Dixon.

“The Crown, Burswood and Star complexes are a lot more than casinos; they are integrated resorts that provide some of the best restaurants, convention and meeting facilities in Australia,” Mr Dixon said.

“To get very desirable venues you often need revenues from casinos."

Mr Packer said the rising middle class tourists spread throughout China and Asia “wants luxury hotels, great restaurants, high-end retail and an entertainment experience which usually includes the opportunity to have a gamble”.

Mr Dixon agreed claiming “they [high-end Chinese travellers] want all the things our research says, such as the environment and good food, but also many of them do desire the opportunity to visit casinos”.

Despite his lack of encouragement for a second Sydney casino, Mr Morris supported Mr Packer’s suggestion of a new hotel in Sydney.

“A new major Sydney hotel of the superb standard of Melbourne's Crown Towers would provide a vital and overdue tourism impetus to Sydney and benefit immensely the entire Australian tourism sector.”


The Darling in Sydney wins Best New Hotel Design at Asia-Pacific International Hotel Awards...

Sydney's new 5 star hotel The Darling, designed by Cox Richardson Architects has won the Best New Hotel Construction and Design 2012 at the Asia-Pacific International Hotel Awards in Kuala Lumpur.

The Star commissioned renowned building corporation, Brookfield Multiplex, to interpret and execute the designs by Cox Richardson Architects, to produce a contemporary hotel integrated within the existing complex.

The Darling has been designed as a stand-alone hotel, with its own arrival experience, amenities and alluring personality. It is the first five-star new build hotel in Sydney since the 2000 Olympic Games.

Two-part in its design, The Darling has a distinctive inverted glass tower resting on a sandstone podium and features 171stylish and spacious rooms and suites, an infinity pool and a luxury 16 room spa. The Darling is also home to Sokyo, an exciting new contemporary Japanese restaurant and bar.

Echo Entertainment Group CEO, Larry Mullin said the industry award is recognition of The Darling’s distinctive design and a tribute to the hard work and dedication by a strong team of builders, designers and visionaries.

“We are very proud to receive this prestigious award and I would like to thank everyone involved, including our partners, Brookfield Mulitplex, Cox Richardson and Laurence Lee.

“We set out to create an iconic hotel at The Star that was sympathetic to its surroundings, while breaking the mould in terms of design and construction. The result we think is an innovative and aesthetically beautiful building that appeals to business and leisure travellers looking for something different to chain hotels.”

The International Hotel Awards recognise the most outstanding hotel projects across Asia Pacific which have been singled out for their green credentials, excellent architectural merit and design. Eighteen different countries took part in this year’s competition with judges reporting keen competition across the board.

Located on the edge of Sydney’s harbour and a key feature of The Star’s $870 million redevelopment, The Darling Hotel and Spa features 171 rooms and suites complete with views of the harbour and city skyline. The rooms and suites are designed to feel like a home away from home for both business and leisure travellers.

Built in addition to the existing hotel and apartments, The Darling brings the total rooms and suites at The Star to over 650 across three towers.


Poker Legend “Amarillo Slim” Preston Passes Away...

In saddening news from the state of Texas this morning, 1972 World Series of Poker Championship Event victor, four-time WSOP bracelet winner and Poker Hall of Fame member “Amarillo Slim” Preston has passed away after a lengthy illness. The legend of the poker world was 83 years old.

Last weekend, Preston was entered into hospice care, battling cancer and heart problems. Buoyed by several friends in the poker community, including his old “road gambler” running mate Doyle Brunson, Preston seemed to improve over the past week. The announcement of his passing was provided to poker player Scott Clark, who also stated that full details regarding the passing of a poker legend would come later today from the family.

Born Thomas Austin Preston, Jr., in Arkansas in 1928, the man who would become “Amarillo Slim” was known for his propensity to make outlandish prop bets as well as his tremendous skills on the felt. Joining up with Brunson and another former World Champion-to-be, Brian “Sailor” Roberts, the trio would tour the Southwest as the original Texas “road gamblers,” traveling to poker games to make a living. Although the trio would eventually break up their partnership (after they lost their bankroll in Las Vegas, a story told by Brunson in several arenas), they would continue to remain friends and earn their legends during the early years of the World Series of Poker.

“Amarillo Slim” first earned attention during the 1972 WSOP Main Event, taking down the championship for his first ever bracelet. He was able to parlay that victory into a celebrity status, appearing on talk shows including The Tonight Show and movies to promote the game of poker. He would also continue to excel on the tables, taking three more WSOP bracelets, with his last victory coming in 1990 in a $5000 Pot Limit Omaha tournament.

Preston was also very influential in other poker endeavors. He was responsible for several poker books, including Amarillo Slim’s Play Poker To Win. One of his most popular literary efforts was his autobiography, Amarillo Slim In A World Full Of Fat People, which he detailed his career on the tables and with his prop bets. As recently as 2007, Preston released an e-book co-written with Joe Brent Riley.

“Amarillo Slim” also played host to the Super Bowl of Poker which, at the time, was one of the biggest tournaments around until it cancellation in 1991. That tournament was won by actor/poker player Gabe Kaplan on one occasion and accounted for three of poker legend Stu Ungar’s ten career victories.

Over the span of his tournament poker career, Preston was able to cash in tournaments around the world. On the WSOP stage, “Amarillo Slim” was able to cash eleven times, with his most recent cash coming in 2007 in the Seniors Event, and was still racking up those cashes as late as 2009, when he finished in fourth place in an event on the Venetian Deep Stack Extravaganza schedule. Overall, the career earnings for Preston may not be impressive ($587,568, according to the Hendon Mob database), but his overall impact on the game of poker might arguably only be rivaled by Chris Moneymaker’s historic 2003 WSOP Championship victory.

Comments regarding Preston’s passing have poured in across social media. Poker pro Bernard Lee simply stated, “RIP Amarillo Slim, one of the first poker superstars,” over his Twitter feed. Brunson himself recounted a story on his personal blog of a robbery the twosome had gone through in the early 1960s, while others paused for a moment in memory of one of poker’s all-time greats.

Poker News Daily would like to pass along our condolences to the Preston family during this saddening time.

UPDATE: The Preston family has released a statement through Nolan Dalla, the Media Director for the WSOP, stating the following:

“We hope everyone will remember our beloved Amarillo Slim for all the positive things he did for poker and to popularize his favorite game – Texas Hold’em.” (Poker News Daily)


The Avengers versus The X-Men...

In the late '60s, the legendary comic artist Neal Adams was lured by the irrepressible Stan Lee to reinterpret the Marvel comic of his choice.

He chose the then least-successful comic, The X-Men, which the company was phasing out. Lee's response, according to Adams: "Why don't you do the last two X-Men and then do an important book like The Avengers?"

"I actually did 10 issues," Adams says. "It was after those 10 issues that everybody and their brother became fans of The X-Men and every new artist wanted to do The X-Men."

In 2012, the "important" comic finally gets its own movie, with The Avengers finally hitting the screen (after a warmup that included two Iron Man movies, two Hulks, Captain America and Thor). The erstwhile expendible X-Men franchise, meanwhile, will flex its muscles again next summer when Hugh Jackman dons his adamantium claws for The Wolverine. And, not to miss a marketing opportunity, Marvel released an Avengers Vs. X-Men comic book series last month.

Herewith, a thumbnail comparison of the two Marvel franchises on film.

THE AVENGERS

Born: September 1963 in Avengers Comics #1.

Original Members: Iron Man, The Hulk, Thor, Ant-Man, Wasp

Related Movies This Century: Seven (The Avengers, Two Iron Mans, Hulk, The Incredible Hulk, Thor and Captain America)

Domestic Box Office: $1.26 billion (source: Box Office Mojo)

You Don't Want To Make Him Angry: Hulk

Boy Scout: Captain America

Fanboys Drool Over: Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow

Brains Behind The Operation (Onscreen): Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson)

Brains Behind The Operation (Real life): Joss Whedon (Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Firefly)

Oscar Cred: Gwyneth Paltrow (won), Robert Downey Jr. (nominated twice), Mark Ruffalo (nominated), Jeremy Renner (nominated twice), Samuel L. Jackson (nominated)

Evil British Actor: Tom Hiddleston as Loki

Best Cameo By Marvel Founder Stan Lee: Tony Stark mistakes him for Hugh Hefner on a red carpet in Iron Man

THE X-MEN

Born: September 1963 in X-Men Comics #1

Original Members: Cyclops, Marvel Girl, Angel, Beast and Iceman

Related Movies This Century: Five (X-Men, X-Men 2: X-Men United, X-Men 3: The Last Stand, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, X-Men: First Class)

Domestic Box Office: $932 million (source: Box Office Mojo)

You Don't Want To Make Him Angry: Wolverine

Boy Scout: Cyclops

Fanboys Drool Over: Famke Janssen as Jean Grey, Rebecca Romijn as Mystique

Brains Behind The Operation (Onscreen): Prof. Xavier (Patrick Stewart)

Brains Behind The Operation (Real life): Bryan Singer (first two movies).

Oscar Cred: Halle Berry (won), Anna Paquin (won), Ian McKellen (nominated twice), Ellen Page (nominated), Hugh Jackman (hosted), Jennifer Lawrence (nominated)

Evil British Actor: Ian McKellen as Magneto

Best Cameo By Marvel Founder Stan Lee: Hot dog vendor in X-Men; old man watering his lawn in The Last Stand.


Avengers does well at Aussie box office...

The hugely anticipated mega-blockbuster The Avengers has wreaked havoc at the Australian box office, breaking $6 million on the film's Anzac Day opening.

It puts the 3-D action flick at No.2 on the list of all-time best Australian box office openings behind Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, which took $7 million on its first day in July last year.

The Joss Whedon-directed superhero mash-up is now on track to fly past The Hunger Games to be the year’s biggest box office smash.

The Avengers, which features Australian Chris Hemsworth as Thor, Chris Evans as Captain America, Robert Downey Jr as Iron Man, Mark Ruffalo as The Hulk, Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye and Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow, is the latest in a long line of superhero films to come out of the Marvel comics stable.

However, its one day figure easily surpasses the combined individual opening days of each of the the studio's movies — Iron Man 2, which took $1.813 million in 2010, last year's Thor ($1.3million) and Captain America: The First Avenger ($0.86million) and 2008's The Incredible Hulk ($0.37million) for a total of $4.357 million.

It also represents the best opening day for Disney Studios, taking the number one position from The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe ($3.5 million).

The film's performance is remarkable given that Anzac Day trading restrictions in Queensland and Victoria meant cinemas could not open until after 1.30pm. And WA is contributing a large proportion of the takings, with Innaloo the third top Event Cinemas location in the country behind Sydney’s George Street multiplex.

Event Cinemas WA area manager Stephen Lamb said Gold Class sessions were sold out weeks in advance and the fight for seats was at Boxing Day levels.

WA Hoyts marketing co-ordinator Alex Biddle also reported bumper sales: "Hoyts Cinemas across WA saw their Xtremescreen and IMAX cinemas teeming with enthusiastic cinemagoers" while Ace Cinemas marketing and promotions manager Karen Smith added: "This film has certainly pumped up our box office and engergised the cinema viewers' batteries."

Senior vice president and managing director of The Walt Disney Company John Cracknell said the success of The Avengers was testament to "fabulous storytelling with a blockbuster cast and world-renowned director".

Whedon is best known as the creator of the cult television series Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spin-off Angel.

He co-wrote and produced the horror film The Cabin in the Woods, which is due for release in Australia in July. (The West Australian)


Heroic effort as The Avengers tops box office...

Marvel's long-awaited and much-hyped all-in superhero pic The Avengers has recorded the second-highest local one-day haul in history, taking just over $6 million on Anzac Day.

With Joss Whedon at the helm and a budget of around $US220 million, expectations for the film are high, and its Australian result is bound to settle a few nerves ahead of the film's US opening on May 2.

For the record, the film with the highest one-day opening in Australia is Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, which took $7.092 million on July 13, 2011. But The Avengers pipped it in per-screen terms, taking an average of $9668 on each of its 621 screens, versus Harry's average of $9716 across 730 screens.

Of the top 10 opening days, the best per-screen average remains the $12,336 recorded by Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers on 424 screens on December 26, 2002. Adjusted for inflation, that is the equivalent of roughly $16,000 per screen today.

It doesn't have the clout or the saturation exposure of The Avengers, but the week's second-placed film made a very solid bow. The Lucky One is Australian director Scott Hicks' adaptation of Nicholas Sparks' (The Notebook) novel, and it proved something of a lucky charm for him, taking $3.59 million with the week’s best per-screen average of $14,027.

The weepy about an Iraq war veteran (Zac Effron) who goes in search of the woman he thinks magically saved his life also opened strongly in the US, recouping its estimated $US25 million budget in a week. It was a strong start for the Shine director's first film since 2009's The Boys Are Back.

At No. 3 was Battleship, sailing on with $3 million in its second week and a total of $8.4 million.

The Hunger Games did $2.16 million in its fifth week, taking its total to $29.12.
Fleshing out the top five is American Pie: Reunion, which took $2.1 million in its third week for a total of $13.42 million.

Australian Box Office (April 19-25)

1. The Avengers (M) - $6,003,882
2. The Lucky One (M) - $3,586,273
3. Battleship (M) - $3,020,666 ($8,420,129 after 2 weeks)
4. The Hunger Games (M) - $2,160,941 ($29,117,930 after 5 weeks)
5. American Pie: Reunion (MA15+) - $2,152,882 ($13,428,159 after 3 weeks)
6. Dr. Seuss' The Lorax (G) - $2,097,817 ($15,110,737 after 4 weeks)
7. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel (PG) - $1,892,057 ($17,228,059 after 5 weeks)
8. Titanic 3D (M) - $1,402,489 ($6,493,694 after 3 weeks)
9. Pirates! Band Of Misfits (G) - $1,241,266 ($5,963,905 after 3 weeks)
10. Mirror Mirror (PG) - $863,978 ($5,939,508 after 4 weeks)
Source: Motion Picture Distributors Association of Australia (Fairfax Media)


Out of the picture for Melbourne films...

Melbourne's major film studio has called on the Federal Government to ramp up its support for international flicks shot locally.

Major overseas productions have shunned Docklands Studios Melbourne since 2010’s Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark, as the high Aussie dollar has eroded competitiveness.

Studio chief executive Rod Allan has responded by lobbying the government to increase its location offset rebate from 16.5 per cent of what film productions spend in Australia to 30 per cent, to entice more acclaimed directors, actors and producers to our shores.

Mr Allan said he was hopeful of an announcement to this effect in next week’s Federal Budget.

But a spokeswoman for Arts Minister Simon Crean, Angela Dorizas, did not commit to any increased support when contacted by Leader last week.

Ms Dorizas said the government’s backing for the sector, including the 16.5 per cent offset, was at record levels.

She said the upcoming Hugh Jackman blockbuster The Wolverine would be shot in Sydney - thanks to a one-off payment of $12.8 million to bring it to Australia - leading to investment of $80 million and 2000 Australian jobs.

Despite the recent lack of international interest in Melbourne, Mr Allan said Docklands Studios was busy with television productions and a feature film - I, Frankenstein, starring Bill Nighy and Aaron Eckhart - which qualified as local due to a large contingent of Australians on the team.

“This year has been good. At one point every available space was hired, but the business is naturally cyclical,” Mr Allan said.

Established in 2004 and run by the State Government, Docklands Studios hires out five giant soundstages.

Major international productions filmed there include Ghost Rider, starring Nicolas Cage, and the Steven Spielberg-produced US TV series The Pacific.

TV productions now using the space include Winners and Losers and Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation.

The state’s peak film body, Film Victoria, did not respond before deadline.


Olympics security: surface-to-air missiles could be stationed on the rooftop of apartment block...

Surface-to-air missiles could be stationed on the rooftop of an apartment block in east London as part of Britain's air defences for the Olympics, the country's military confirmed on Sunday.

About 700 people living at the building in Bow - about 3.2 kilometres from London's Olympic Stadium - have been contacted and warned that the weapons and about 10 troops are likely to be based at the site for about two months.

In a leaflet sent to residents, the ministry said the venue offered an uncluttered "view of the surrounding areas and the entire sky above the Olympic park".

Troops plan to conduct tests next week at the building, an upmarket gated apartment complex, to determine if the high velocity surface-to-air missiles will be stationed on a water tower attached to the site's roof.

Britain has previously confirmed that up to 13,500 troops are being deployed on land, at sea and in the air to help protect the Olympics alongside police and security guards.

Defence Secretary Philip Hammond has said Typhoon fighter jets, helicopters, two warships and bomb disposal experts will also be on duty as part of the security operation.

"As announced before Christmas, ground-based air defence systems could be deployed as part of a multilayered air security plan for the Olympics, including fast jets and helicopters, which will protect the skies over London during the games," the Defence Ministry said in a statement.

"Based on military advice we have identified a number of sites and, alongside colleagues from the Metropolitan Police, are talking to local authorities and relevant landowners to help minimise the impact of any temporary deployments."

However, the ministry insisted that "no final decision on whether or not to deploy ground-based air defence systems for the games has been taken".

Resident Brian Whelan said those who lived at the site were wary about the plan.

"From the few people I've spoken to, and the security we have here, they're not happy about it," he said. "I don't think it needs to be here at all."

The leaflet insisted there would be no hazard to those living in the building.

It said the missile system would be "only authorised for active use following specific orders from the highest levels of government in response to a confirmed and extreme security threat". (AP)


Paul Orndorff Slams Bret Hart, Warrior, Ric Flair & More...

"Mr. Wonderful" Paul Orndorff was a guest on Inside The Ropes' 15th episode, where he talked about several topics and slammed a few legendary wrestlers. His interview stars 42 minutes, 20 seconds in.

On facing Ric Flair for the NWA World Title in 1982: "He was just another body. Some are better than others. I believed in making it look real. I was probably hard to work with because I wanted it to make real and I knew how to wrestle."

On working the first Wrestlemania in the main event: "It was special. There were so many people. It was the largest crowd to ever watch it. And then the pay per view of it was just ungodly. This was my opportunity to be really noticed and be seen. My paycheck….it was huge. I made more money in that 30 minutes than I did in a whole year with the NWA. People expected it and they were gonna get it from me."

On working with Mr. T: "I wasn't crazy about it. I was very protective WrestleMania 1of the business. I was taught that. You take care of it. You don't give out all your trade secrets. But then again you look at somebody like Ric Flair and you can say how can you hide something when they look like that? So I guess I started to give in a little bit."

On the transition in WWF from wrestling to entertainment in the 1980s: "It depends on your personality. I protected it. To me that wasn't protecting it. As you can see right now, because they didn't protect it, where it is now, there's only two shows now. Look how many there was, there was one in every state, now look where it is."

On Vince using bigger guys like Warrior: "I thought it was the worst move they could've made. Vince did it on purpose. He did it so he could be the only one."

On Warrior: "He never paid his dues. You gotta pay your dues, go and learn your trade that'll make it better when you are on that big stage. It's called experience and nobody has any now, because there's nowhere to go to get it."

On giving the belt to smaller stars like Savage and Bret: "No. Absolutely not. It's like putting the belt on someone who wants to be a wrestler. It didn't work. It downgraded, made the belt worthless. When Terry Funk, Harley Race had world titles, it meant more."

On the rumor that Hogan wouldn't drop the belt to Bret in 1993: "I don't blame him. I wouldn't have either. Bret Hart was a nobody from Canada and Hogan was the greatest star in wrestling. I don't blame him. He did the right thing."

He also gave some quick fire thoughts on several wrestlers:
-Ultimate Warrior: "I gotta go to the bathroom………………..NEXT!"
-Vince McMahon: "One of a kind."
-Hulk Hogan: "Great."
-Bret Hart: "I don't care much for Canadians."
-Randy Savage: "OK."
-Ric Flair: "A Joke."


WWE News: Big WWE Network updates - no timetable for launch, McMahon addresses current standing & challenges, will PPVs move to Network?, specific shows in the works...

WWE remains unsure when a proposed WWE Network will launch and what form the Network will take.

During the annual shareholders meeting Friday, WWE executives fielded numerous questions related to the Network. Near the end of the Q&A, WWE CEO Vince McMahon was finally asked point-blank when the Network will be launching.

"That's a really good question," McMahon replied. McMahon then repeated WWE's stance that they want to make sure they "do it right" by exploring all of their options with a traditional cable TV model versus a hybrid model incorporating newer media.

Specifically related to when the decision will be made, McMahon said, "An announcement is forthcoming." After a pause, McMahon said, "In other words, I don't have that answer."

McMahon suggested earlier in the meeting that WWE could launch a cable-specific Network right now, but the volatility of the market and "times being different now" makes them more cautious to continue looking into other Network options.

"We're close to closing - if we wish - a linear network. We can do that," McMahon said. "We can also look at other opportunities at the same time that might be better for us, but, then again, it might not be."

One investor offered three proposed alternatives to a traditional cable TV network that included a suggestion for PPV event distribution through GFL.TV, a YouTube model alternative, and an a la carte offering online.

WWE CFO George Barrios replied that their research shows TV viewing behavior is still ahead of online/new-model consumption by a ratio of 5:1 hours. He said consumers may supplement their TV viewing on smart phones and other devices, but they still watch TV at a high rate, which is why they continue to pursue a traditional cable TV network model.

-- Another major aspect of the Network discussion centered on whether PPV events will be offered on the Network, as has been rumored over the past year. McMahon was vague in response, saying, the Network policy "may or may not include PPVs." He added, "It's certainly a factor we're considering."

The topic was also looked at from a different angle when a shareholder asked about offering current PPV events in a season pass form to curtail lower PPV buys for non-WrestleMania events. McMahon said, "That's a possibility," before noting PPVs could be part of the Network package. However, the key for WWE would be knowing when to pull the trigger on changing the PPV model and whether it's feasible to include PPVs on the Network.

-- Some of the key phrasing WWE used was their belief that they can drive the current WWE audience to a Network and that there is strong demand for more WWE content, which would be made available through a Network. "Give audience more of what they want," McMahon said. WWE did not provide supporting evidence for their belief that there is more demand for more content, though.

-- Asked of WWE Classics-on-Demand will go away when the Network launches, McMahon said it most likely will. Earlier in the meeting, WWE management stressed they are creating new shows based on their tape library.

-- Two shows WWE stressed for the Network were a show based on the Monday Night Wars and a WWE Countdown show, which WWE is currently pushing in new DVD releases.

Link: WWE's full shareholders meeting can be viewed at this link from WWE Corporate (Pro Wrestling Torch)


HULK HOGAN Take My Naked Ass Off the Internet!!!...

Hulk Hogan is freaking OUT over screengrabs of his alleged sex tape that have leaked onto the Internet -- and now, the wrestling legend's taking legal action ... sending in his lawyer to clean up the XXX mess.

The black-and-white pics -- which appear to show a naked Hulk doing the nasty with an unidentified female -- surfaced on TheDirty.com last week ... and more pics followed.

But Hulk isn't taking the affront on his knees -- unlike a certain unidentified female -- in fact, his lawyer just fired off a cease and desist letter to TheDirty.com editor Nik Richie, demanding Nik take down the pics forthwith ... or face a lawsuit.

The lawyer writes, "As you know, should a sex tape or photographs of Mr. Bollea exist, they were taken without his consent and therefore the same would constitute a felony in the State of Florida."

We're told Nik and TheDirty.com have no plans to remove the pictures in question. Stay tuned ... (TMZ)


Lakshmi Mittal retains tag as richest man in Britain, tops Sunday Times Rich list...

LONDON: It's not a good year to be in metals,mining or owning football clubs. Lakshmi Mittal, who still retains his tag as the richest man in Britain, topping the annual Sunday Times Rich list, is GBP4.8 billion poorer than he was last year, with his wealth estimated at GBP12.7bn - the main reason, a Eurozone crisis that has eroded the share price of Arcelor Mittal.

Anil Agarwal, Vedanta's promoter, has seen his position dropping from 12th place to 26, thanks, again to dropping share prices that's seen his wealth erode by GBP1.5 bn. Ravi Ruia, who entered the list last year at number 12, has also seen his share price bomb, and in 2012 clocks in at 33, with his wealth almost halved by GBP2.9 bn to GBP 2 bn. The newspaper noted that Essar Global, which was valued around GBP 5.4 bn in 2010 when it floated, is now valued at GBP 1.6 bn.

The only Indians who have seen their position going up are Sri and Gopichand Hinduja, who last hit the headlines for buying a palatial mansion at Carlton Terrace, within a stone's throw of Buckingham Palace in Pall Mall, who are now estimated to be worth GBP8.6bn, up by GBP 2.6 bn from last year. It puts them at the 4th place in the top 1000 rich list.

Anurag Dikshit, the reclusive, Gibralter-based former owner of poker site Partygaming, makes it to the number 3 in the top philanthropy list in 2012, with recent donation of GBP 23.4 million to his charitable trust in India, Kusuma, in addition to the GBp 172 million he gave away last year, reducing his personal wealth to a mere GBP 35 million.

In the top 50, another Indian who's seen he's position rise is Ajay Kalsi, of AIMS-listed Indus Ind Gas, who at number 42 has significantly crawled up the ladder from number 58. The newspaper attributed this to share prices holding up despite the recession.

Of the other top 3, though, Alisher Usmanov, the Russian mining tycoon best known for his recent acquisition of Arsenal football club, has also lost wealth, as has Roman Abramovich, the oil mogul best known for his ownership of Chelsea football club, has also lost money.


SkyCity holds winning hand, say Oz analysts...

SkyCity's controversial expansion plans have not dented its share price - nor the view taken of the business by three Australian-based professional investment experts.

Not only are analysts picking better fortunes for the gaming business, but their latest market research out this month on four ASX- and NZX-listed gaming industry businesses showed they had rethought the longer-term outlook for SkyCity's earnings.

They picked it as the best performer on a profit revision basis, piling on more money than the other three.

Shares are still rising despite the business suffering a backlash against its $350 million offer to build an international convention and exhibition centre in Auckland's Hobson St in return for Government permission to have more gaming machines.

The company, with a market capitalisation of $2.2 billion, is trading at $3.81, below its $4 two-year high but well above the $3.30 of last November.

Deutsche Bank Markets Research's Mark Wilson, Daniel Pi and Anthony Hanna revised up their SkyCity earnings estimate forecasts by 2 per cent, the highest for any of the Australasian stock exchange-listed gaming businesses.

Instead of making $145.4 million net after-tax profit in 2012, $150.7 million in 2013 and $164.9 million in 2014, SkyCity will make $145.8 million, $153.6 million and $168.1 million, they predict.

They advise investors not to sell, issuing a hold recommendation on the stock because they believe it has good potential - although they have not gone as far as issuing a buy, which they have on the giant Melbourne and Perth Crown.

Some of the risks and rewards of buying shares in SkyCity are major capital expenditure projects with the benefits the business has gained from recent main gaming floor refurbishments, they say.

Changes to the regulatory environment, movements in the New Zealand and Australian dollars and changes to the New Zealand economy, particularly household disposable incomes, are also singled out for mention.

Auckland accounted for 60 per cent of the group earnings, they said, exposing the business to booms and busts in one area.

"SkyCity's earnings are sensitive to movements in the Australian dollar given the translation of earnings from the Adelaide and Darwin casinos," said the analysts, who used various financial metrics to give a favourable review of the business, benchmarking it against gambling rivals Aristocrat, Crown and Tatts Group.

Crown owns and operates two of Australia's leading gaming and entertainment venues: Crown Entertainment Complex in Melbourne and the Burswood Entertainment Complex in Perth.

Aristocrat Leisure makes and sells gaming machines and supplies gaming systems, table gaming equipment and other services for casinos, clubs and hotels. Tatts provides leisure and entertainment products and services to the Australasian gambling industry and has investments in overseas businesses.

Nigel Morrison, SkyCity's chief executive, has wanted to expand Auckland because he says international gamblers, particularly from Asia, do a circuit of major Australasian casinos. (New Zealand Herald)


Bwin.party Commits to Teradata to Drive Single Customer and Operational View...

Online gaming and sports betting leader will use advanced data warehouse system to integrate its customer base, strengthen analytics and improve BI performance...

LONDON, April 24, 2012 -- Teradata (NYSE: TDC), the analytic data solutions company, has agreed to a deal with Bwin.party Digital Entertainment Plc, the world's largest listed online gaming company, to supply a new, high-performance enterprise data warehouse solution.

Based in Gibraltar and listed on the London Stock Exchange, Bwin.party is one of the largest online gaming operators. It was created in March 2011 through a merger Bwin Interactive Entertainment AG and PartyGaming Plc.

The agreement will see the Teradata Database and a Teradata integrated data warehouse platform implemented across Bwin.party's gaming and sports customer bases to create a single customer view across all gaming verticals. In turn, this will enable Bwin.party to segment its customer base and target marketing campaigns more effectively based on previous customer activity.

In addition to facilitating essential financial reporting across the joint organisation, the new integrated Teradata solution is expected to strengthen the data analytics used for essential campaign planning, reduce operating costs and contribute to an easier-to-use and maintain business intelligence environment.

"Data analytics are essential to our organisation," said Bwin.party's Group Technology Director Tod Martin. "We believe that the new Teradata solution will be extremely effective in consolidating data generated by our joint organisation, whilst providing the platform for better reporting analytics and insight."

Current planned developments include the provision of a more widely-available self-service Business Intelligence model across the wider organisation.

"We are delighted that Bwin.party has chosen the latest Teradata integrated data warehouse platform," added Teradata Corporation Area Vice President, UK, Chris Armitage. "The technology is well-placed to help drive business performance and consolidate key performance indicators across the organisation."

About Teradata Teradata Corporation (NYSE: TDC) is the world's leading analytic data solutions company, focused on integrated data warehousing, big data analytics, and business applications. Teradata's innovative products and services deliver data integration and business insight to empower organizations to make the best decisions possible and achieve competitive advantage. Visit teradata.com for details.

About Bwin.party Bwin.party digital entertainment plc (LSE: BPTY) is the world's largest listed online gaming company. The Company was formed from the merger of bwin Interactive Entertainment AG and PartyGaming Plc on 31 March 2011. Incorporated, licensed and regulated in Gibraltar, the Group also has online poker licences in France and Italy. With offices in Europe, India, Israel and the US the Group generated total pro forma revenue of euro 816.0m and pro forma Clean EBITDA of euro 199.3m in 2011. Bwin.party operates one of the world's largest online poker networks, www.PartyPoker.com and also owns the World Poker Tour. The Group's scale, proprietary poker software, online gaming platform and strong portfolio of games collectively differentiates its customer offer from those of its competitors. Bwin.party is a constituent member of the FTSE4Good Index Series, which identifies companies that meet globally recognised corporate responsibility standards.


bwin.party will go social in 2012...

bwin.party digital entertainment plans to launch into the social gaming sector this year.

Commenting on the company’s financial results for the full year 2011, co-CEOs Jim Ryan and Norbert Teufelberger said: “As integration projects are completed, we are channelling more resources into driving innovation across the business and through new channels including our proprietary mobile gaming platform. We are also extending our reach into new areas of digital entertainment such as social gaming, where we see significant potential.”

bwin.party reported a 0.2 per cent increase in total revenues to €816m for the year ended December 31, 2011, and it remains “on track to deliver approximately €40m of synergies this year and €65m in 2013." The growth in casino and games, as well as slight improvement in sports betting revenues, made up for a decline in its poker and bingo offering.

Looking ahead, Ryan and Teufelberger said they expect to gain competitive advantage this year from additional scale and improved flexibility, which will flow from the integration and migration of the company’s main products to a single technology platform. The company will also add more casino games and continue to improve its poker and bingo offerings.

They continued: “We have secured strong business partners in the US ahead of any regulation there and have also applied for a licence in Spain, which is expected to regulate in the second quarter of this year. In Germany, we have applied for a gaming licence in Schleswig-Holstein, the only EU-compliant licensing regime available.” (Intergame)

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Gold Coast hotel Palazzo Versace for sale; Property buy opportunity of decade?

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Palazzo Versace Hotels Luxury Gold Coast Fashion Property Brands


Palazzo Versace, the ultra glamorous hotel that put Queensland's Gold Coast on the international map at the start of the new millennium, is going on the market.

Owner the Sunland Group, which snatched a coup by opening the world's first fashion-branded hotel in 2000, is aiming to sell the Main Beach hotel to reinvest in other projects.

These could include building another property on the site of Mariner's Cove, south of Palazzo Versace, and an upmarket Brisbane apartment tower.

The new owner will have the keys to a property that has been admired around the globe since it was constructed nearly 12 years ago.

It is the ultimate entertaining venue, one where guests can be spoiled and feted in six-star luxury.

The hotel has had hundreds of famous guests since it first opened its doors, including the Rolling Stones, Paris Hilton, Sir Anthony Hopkins and Beyonce and Jay Z, and more recently Rod Stewart and Chris Brown. Ruler of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Maktoum bin Rashed al-Maktoum passed away at the hotel in 2006.

Major features of the three-level landmark are 200 ensuite bedrooms, a 65m lagoon pool, luxury spa, high-tech gymnasium and marina.

The owner, in building this property, spared no expense, importing specially-designed Italian fittings and furnishings and flying in Italian artisans to undertake the intricate tiling and mosaic work.

The decision to sell the 200-room Palazzo Versace comes six months after Sunland regained 100 per cent ownership of the property in a deal with a Middle Eastern partner who acquired a 49 per cent stake seven years ago.

McVay Real Estate principal Dan McVay says he expects the hotel to bring at least $80 million.

"It's totally unique and will be seen as a trophy property, not just by hoteliers but by some of the world's wealthiest people," he said.

"There has been a never-ending trail of people wanting to buy the hotel over the years, virtually all of them from offshore.

"Hence I expect the buyer to be international, with Asian parties probably at the front of the queue."

Mr McVay, who with son Sam is marketing Palazzo Versace through an expressions of interest campaign, says he expects the hotel to sell well below replacement cost.

"The 200 rooms average 50sq m and at $80 million that equates to $8000 a sq m.

"For that figure you're not getting just 200 rooms - you also get three restaurants, a ballroom, shops, a gymnasium, a spa, a marina and other facilities."

Mr McVay says Palazzo Versace has performed solidly in the past year against the backdrop of what he regards as the worst market for hotel operators in more than 20 years.

"It's been making money and should net $4 million or more in the 2011-12 year.

"It's also being sold in pristine condition, having undergone a multimillion-dollar revitalisation in the last 18 months."

A Media Man analyst said "This Palazoo Versace purchase opportunity could very well end up one of the top luxury and property buys of the decade. For a company or individual looking to make a huge intentional splash into the property and / or high end luxury market, this is it".

Expressions of interest in Palazzo Versace will close in early June.


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Advertising Promotions Brands Publicity Media Man

The Media Man Network is currently accepting approved advertisers and campaigns - both online and traditional campaigns.

Media Man is primarily a media, publicity and internet portal development company.

They were established in 2001 and are a multi-time award winner.

Ranked in the Hitwise Australia top ten (entertainment - personalities category), Google 'Best Of The Web', and AllExperts (TV and Radio).

Campaign portfolio includes WWE, UFC, Messages On Hold, Human Statue Bodyart, PartyCasino, Virgin Games, Marvel Entertainment, Aston Martin, Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, PlatinumHD, Ric Drasin, Eva Rinaldi Photography, Music News Australia, Richard Bradley Productions, Gizzi's Cafe, Frank Sinatra Enterprises, Palazzo Versace, IGT and Endemol.

The Media Man website network currently attracts approximately 5 million hits per month.

Media Man is regularly quoted in mainstream media including The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Daily Telegraph, B&T, The New York Times blog, Gambling911, Street Corner and News Limited blog websites.

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Saturday, April 7, 2012

Casinos in Italy

For more information about casinos in Italy and around the world see Global Gaming Directory and World Casino Directory


The Casinò di Campione is the largest employer in Campione d'Italia, an Italian enclave within Switzerland's Canton of Ticino, on the shores of Lake Lugano. The casino was founded in 1917, opened in 1933, and is owned by the Italian government, and operated by the municipality. The income from the casino is sufficient for the operation of Campione without the imposition of taxes, or obtaining of other revenue. The casino offers roulette, chemin de fer, baccarat, black jack, poker, and slot machines.

The Casino became prominent in news in 2006 when the son of the last king of Italy, Vittorio Emanuele di Savoia, was accused of procuring girls for prostitution to be sent to clients of the casino. On its website, the casino denies any knowledge of this.


“Bond, James Bond.” That’s the image you get of the incredible Italian Casinos. You’re just waiting for 007 to walk through the doors. Although there are very few Casinos in Italy, no other country has done more for the development of gambling than Italy. In ancient times, the Italians adopted the fortunetelling cards of the invading Saracens and first used them for gambling. Bacacart was invented in Italy, probably in the late 15th century. The lottery first appeared in 1530 and from this bingo was born – in Italy! The first casinos were opened in Venice in 1726.

Until recently, gambling was not viewed positively by Italian citizens. Certainly the “involvement” of the mafia in illegal gambling clubs caused concern. Gambling was something that most Italians avoided. Although horse racing and casinos were legal, they have not been popular like in the States. Slowly this has changed. In 2007, Italy allowed legalized online gambling and betting stations. Now, the legalized gambling age in Italy is 18. And so gambling is starting to grow in Italy.

There are just a few casinos in Italy, but most are very beautiful – especially the first three in this list:

Casino de la Vallee, Casino Municipale di Campione d’Italia, Casino Municipale di Sanremo, and Ca’ Vendramin… and so here they are:

Casino de la Vallee

The largest casino in the country, Casino de la Vallee is located just off A5, Northwest of Milan and features 95 table games and 512 slot and video poker machines. Games include 5 Card Stud, American Roulette, Blackjack, Caribbean Stud Poker, Chemin de Fer, Craps, English Roulette, French Roulette, Poker, Punto Banco and Trente Quarante.

Address

Via Italo Mus Valle d’Aosta, 1
Saint Vincent, Italy, 11027
Tel. +39 1665 221
Located just off A5, Northwest of Milan – Highway A5 Torino-Aosta, exit Saint-Vincent, Chatillon. At the end of the turn right towards the center of Saint-Vincent, and follow the signs to the Casino.
Opening times – Slots:
2.00pm – 2.00am Sun – Fri
2.000pm – 3.00am Sat
Opening times – Tables:
3.00pm – 2.00am Sun – Fri
3.00pm – 3.00 am Sat

Fast Facts
Location: 90 km from Turin in North West Italy
Nearest Airport: Turin, Caselle (TRN)
Minimum Gaming Age: 18
Entrance Fee: Free Mon to Thu; 3 Euro Fri, Sat & Sun and festive days.
ID/Passport: Required
Dress Code: Casual for the slot hall only, Smart for table games and for French games jacket is also required for men.
Gaming Currency: Euro

Games to play:

Two halls electronic games
“Slot Club” 300+ slots/video machines with progressive jackpots, 2 Royal Ascot horse racing, open daily from 14:00
“Slot Circus” 90+ slots/video machines, open daily weekdays from 15:00 weekends from 10:30 (free entrance, parking, cloakroom and breakfast)

Live table games:
Two halls
“French games” 17 French roulette (from 10 Euro), 18 Fair roulette (from 5 Euro), 9 Chemin de Fer (from 100 Euro), 3 Trente et Quarante (34/40, min. 50 Euro), 3 Poker Teresina (5-card stud poker, from 5 Euro), 3 Saint-Vincent poket (Caribbean style poker, from 10 Euro), Texas Hold’em
“American games” 28 American roulette (double zero, from 2.5 Euro), 11 Blackjack (from 10 Euro), 1 Craps (min. 10 Euro), 3 Punto Banco (from 25 Euro)

Casino Municipale di Campione d'Italia

This ulta-modern casino was opened in May 2007. This striking building has nine floors and three levels of underground parking. It was designed to provide “an exclusive experience, the perfect union between culture and fun, relaxation and sophistication, splendor and warm hospitality.”

The first casino here was opened in 1917, but closed only two years later in 1919. It did not reopen until 1933. Now the casino has become not only a powerful economic engine of the city, but also a place suitable for the culture and social events. It has hosted VIPs and intellectuals, international stars, fashion shows and concerts ranging from pop, to jazz, rock.

Campione d’Italia is an enclave located 60 km from Milan, on a strip of land situated on the shores of Lake Ceresio. Campione d’Italia has been described as a small air bubble in a glass slab, for its particular location: the small town – belonging to Lombardy- is actually set in the Swiss confederation. The casino features baccarat, blackjack, craps, Punto Banco, roulette, European roulette and Chemin de Fer. 225 gaming machines are also available. All major currencies are accepted, and the minimum age to enter is 18.

Address

Piazzale Milano 1
22060, Campione d’Italia, Italy
Tel. +41 916 40 1111
The casino is located in northern Italy, approximately 60 km from Milan, 28 km from Como, 33 km from Varese, 60 km from Lecco, and only 10 km from Lugano. By car, you would take the Motorway A9 Milan-Como-Lugano.
Opening times :11.30am – 5.00am Mon – Thur
11.30am – 6.00am Mon – Fri
10.30am – 6.00am Sat
10.30am – 5.00am Sun

Fast Facts:
Nearest Airport: Lugano Airport 5km (3.7 miles), Malpensa Airport 45km (27.7 miles), Milano Linate Airport 55km (41.3 miles), Zurich International Airport 165km (101.6 miles).
Minimum Gaming Age: 18
Registration: Required
Entrance Fee: Free
ID/Passport: Required
Dress Code: Smart/Casual
Gaming Currency: Swiss franc (CHF), Euro currency exchange facility

Games to play:
600 Jackpot Slots/Video Machines with progressive games, Touch-bet Roulette, Horse Racing, Random Bingo; Live table games: French Roulette, Fair Roulette, Blackjack, Caribbean Stud Poker, Texas Poker, Texas Hold’em Bonus Poker, Punto Banco, Chemin de Fer, Craps, Trente/Quarante (roulette min. from 5 CHF, card games min. from 10 CHF); Cardroom area: Texas Hold’em Poker, Tournaments

Remarks:
Campione d’Italia is an Italian island in Swiss territory. It is an Italian enclave 60 km from Milan. Casinò di Campione is one of the largest in Europe. It was founded in 1933. In the 75 years to 2008 the gaming activities of the Casino have increased to the point that a new, larger and more modern site was built close to the old one and renamed Nuovo Casinò di Campione.

Casino Municipale di Sanremo

The Casino of Sanremo opened January 14 1905. It’s certainly one of the most important monuments of the Belle Epoque in Sanremo. Over the years, its appeal has remained unchanged. The elegance of the interior furnishings and offers visitors a unique environment where you can spend unforgettable moments.
Everything started on Jan.12Th 1905, when, for the first time ever, the halls of the Casino’ Municipale of Sanremo (which used to be called Kursaal ), opened to the public, during a luxurious Gala night exclusively reserved to special guests. From that moment on, the Sanremo Casino started to write its own, fascinating history, full of alternate luck (especially for the players ) and big cultural, artistic, theatrical attractions which complete the activities of the house of games, making it an important cultural magnet for the Citta’dei Fiori.

The project for the Liberty-style building was edited by the Parisian architect Eugène Ferret, who had previously made a project for other casinos ( Saigon and Cannes ) and soon the white building became one of the symbols of Sanremo throughout the world.

Many celebrities, kings, actors, singers, rich tycoons went through the playing halls of the Casino… For over 100 years, its salons have seen some of the most famous people in the world. The playing house of Matuziana has always been an important cultural magnet, also thanks to the presence of a theatre which offered prestigious plays ( the De Filippo used to play there quite often ). The tradition of the theatre still carries on today, with great success.

Many have been the important cultural events through the decades, from concerts, to music competitions, ballet dancing, operas…art exhibitions ( Aligi Sassu, Salvador Dalì, Giacomo Manzù, Antonio Rubino ……..). In 1951, two of the symbols of the Citta’ dei Fiori met in the party salon of the Sanremo Casino, the Festival della Canzone Italiana ( Festival of Italian Songwriting ), which started on Jan. 29Th 1951 right under the wing of the House of games.

The notorious “Festival” that’s still going and it is the reason why Sanremo turns into the capital of the world for a week…

Not to be forgotten are the “Martedi’ Letterari”, a “remake” of the “Lunedi’ Letterari” of the 30′s ( a time when the main characters of the conferences were as prestigious as Francesco Pastonchi e Luigi Pirandello ). Every year, these events offer a wide variety of the most important writers and literary men, known internationally ( Rita Levi Montalcini, Arrigo Petacco, Vittorio Sgarbi, Magdi Allam……).

This casino features two restaurants and live entertainment. There are a total of 433 gaming machines and 38 table games. These games consist of American roulette, baccarat, blackjack, and French roulette.

Address
Corso degli Inglesi 18
18038 Sanremo Italy
Tel. +39 0184 5951
From the A10 Savona – Ventimiglia, exit at either Sanremo East or West.

Opening hours
Slot machines room: 10.00 – 02.00 (04.00 during festive periods )
European gaming room: 14.30 – 02.00 (04.00 during festive periods )
American gaming room: 14.30 – 02.00 (04.00 during festive period)

Fast Facts
Nearest Airport: Villanova d’Albenga “C. Panero Airport” 37 km; Nice “Cote d’Azur Airport” 59 km; Genoa “Cristoforo Colombo Airport” 139 km
Minimum Gaming Age: 18
Membership: Required
Entrance Fee: Free from Monday to Thursday. 7.50 from Friday to Sunday and during festive periods
ID/Passport: Required
Dress Code: Smart/Casual; Jacket and tie are required in the Private Hall, the Roof Garden, the Liberty Hall, and the theatre.
Gaming Currency: Euro

Games to play:- “Antique Hall for Parties” on the ground floor of the building, completely renovated becoming the actual Slot Machines Hall with about 470 of the latest slots/video machines with progressive games (including reel slots, video slots, video pokers, multi-games and virtual horse racing)
- “Liberty Hall” dedicated to the American games including Blackjack (min. bet 5 Euro), Hold’em Poker, Fair Roulette (min. bet 5 Euro) and 41 latest slot machines
- “Giò Ponti Hall” French Roulette, Chemin de Fer and Trente et Quarante
- “Comune Hall” completely dedicated to the French games
- “500 Hall” close to the Comune Hall, dedicated to the Roulette, Chemin de Fer and American Roulette
- “De Sanctis Hall” also known as Yellow Hall, American games: 10 Roulette tables and 8 Card tables including Blackjack, Mini Punto Banco and Texas Hold’em Poker
- “Golden Hall” or ‘Super Privé’ hall for French games only (Reserved only for high rollers who can bet 500 Euros or more per bet. To get into this elegant and refined hall a direction authorization is needed because its guests want to protect their privacy during the game. The Golden Hall can accommodate 250 people also for gala nights.)
- “Events Area” close to the Golden Hall, the Texas Hold’em Poker games and ‘Sit and Go’ tournaments take place in the Event Area during high attendance periods (New Year’s day, the Italian Song Festival, Easter and mid-August holidays)

Remarks:
The Casino of Sanremo was elegantly planned by the French architect Eugenio Ferret and on 14th January 1905 it opened for the first time to the public. The building, rich in Art Nouveau and Baroque style decorations. VIP players are offered high betting standards as well as confidential and refined playing areas.

Casino Municipale di Venezia

The very first casino was established in Venice. And the magical city built on water still preserves the oldest gaming house in the world. Opened in 1638, the Casinò di Venezia has always been a centre of international attraction. Classic games in a sumptuous environment and innovative entertainment entrusted to highly professional personnel. All in the privilege of a totally unique setting.

From the golden sand of the Lido, where at the end of the thirties the Casinò di Venezia was opened as an important part of the city’s hospitality, entertainment and culture, to the noble banks of the Grand Canal where the Casino’s city location was opened during the 1950s. “A sculpted cloud resting on water”: is how Gabriele D’Annunzio immortalized Ca’ Vendramin Calergi. A perfect example of aristocratic renaissance architecture, home to doges and the last resting-place of Richard Wagner. This is one of the most elegant palazzi overlooking Venice’s main waterway.

In 1999 the Ca’ Noghera was opened, the first American-style casino in Italy. Games, lights, sound and colour in a modern, informal dimension. Here are the two locations in Venice of the Casinò di Venezia. (Note – third location is presently closed)

Ca'Vendramin

In The Lagoon


The heart of the Casinó di Venezia beats on the Grand Canal at Ca’ Vendramin Calergi, a sophisticated arena of classic casino games, including Chemin de Fer, French Roulette, Fair Roulette, Black Jack, Trente et Quarante, Caribbean Poker and electronic games with a total of 500 gaming places. A whole floor of new Slot Machines is scheduled to open in spring 2007. And then there are the gala dinners, concerts in the garden and numerous other events and shows. A historical setting for infinite emotions.

Address
Palazzo Vendramin Calergi
Cannaregio 2040 – 30121 (Venezia)
Just a few minutes’ walk from S.Lucia station
Tel. +39 041- 5297111
Opening times – Slots:
3.00pm – 2.30am Sun – Thurs
3.00pm – 3.00am Fri – Sat
Opening times – Tables:3.30pm – 2.30am Sun – Thurs
3.30pm – 3.00 am Fri – Sat

Fast Facts
Location: Just a few minutes’ walk from S.Lucia station.
Nearest Airport: Venice, Marco Polo (VCE)
Minimum Gaming Age: 18
Membership: Optional
Entrance Fee: 5 Euro (If you are staying at a hotel in Venice ask for the free entrance coupon)
ID/Passport: Required
Dress Code: Smart, guests wear jackets (available for hire inside).
Gaming Currency: Euro

Games to play:
Jackpot Slots/Video Machines with progressive games;
Live table games: French roulette, Fair Roulette, Blackjack, Trente et Quarante, Chemin de Fer, Caribbean Poker, Tournaments

Facilities:

Restaurant, Bar, Promotions, Free shuttle from Piazzale Roma every 10 mins from 2.50 pm onwards

Remarks:

Casinò di Venezia offers you in its two locations, both with their own special character, Traditional card games in the historical palazzo Ca’ Vendramin Calergi and slot machines and American-style games in the brightly coloured setting of Ca’ Noghera. An exclusive gift awaits all clients who come and play at the Casino di Venezia on their birthday.

Ca' Noghera

On Land


In 1999, Ca’ Noghera, the first American style Casinó in Italy was opened near the Marco Polo airport. A thousand gaming places in an area of 5500 square metres of entertainment, including Fair Roulette, Black Jack, Caribbean Poker and a floor of over 400 slot machines. Ca’ Noghera also acts as a show room for other gaming houses on the lookout for the latest electronic games. Like “Pepo”, the Ferrari of Roulettes, with its unique, futuristic design and the “Wheel of Fortune”, a new, European exclusive, 9-station slot machine. And for visitors who wish to extend their evening, there is also the Theatre Arena hosting concerts, shows and catwalks.

Address
Via Paliaga 4/8 (Venezia)
Opposite Marco Polo Airport
Tel. +39 04 1269 5888
Opening times – Slots:
11.00am – 2.30am Sun – Thurs
11.00am – 3.00am Fri – Sat
Opening times – Tables:
3.30pm – 2.30am Sun – Thurs
3.30pm – 3.00 am Fri – Sat

Fast Facts
Location: Opposite Marco Polo Airport.
Nearest Airport: Venice, Marco Polo (VCE)
Minimum Gaming Age: 18
Membership: Optional
Entrance Fee: 5 Euro (If you are staying at a hotel in Venice ask for the free entrance coupon)
ID/Passport: Required
Dress Code: Casual
Gaming Currency: Euro

Games to play:
Jackpot Slots/Video Machines with progressive games;
Live table games: Fair Roulette, Blackjack, Caribbean Poker

Facilities:
Restaurant, Bar, Promotions, Free shuttle from Piazzale Roma every 10 mins from 2.50 pm onwards

Casinó del Lida

At Sea


During the summer of 1938, on the “Spiaggia dei veneziani” overlooked by the Oriental-style domes of the Hotel Excelsior and the elegant Hotel Des Bains bathing areas, the classic summer location of the Casinò di Venezia was opened.

Closed in the year 2000, for gaming enthusiasts and lovers of the exclusive hospitality offered by the Lido, the dream of the Casino reopening may, perhaps, come true …

Casino del Garda

From their website: Located in Bussolengo, Verona, just besides the Verona Village center, an elegant and comfortable atmosphere warmly welcomes you, to let you live a truly unique experience. Casino del Garda is the new age of amusement: the thrill of the challenge, the pleasure of relaxing, the warranty of playing safely.

If you like to play, the casino offers several amusement opportunities – But there’s even more. Two giant screens allow you to follow all the live sport events, while you’ll have the chance to have a look at the most important horse races in a dedicated area. Moreover, a big, cozy bar area offers you the relaxing chance of a comfortable break

At Casino del Garda you can take your chance on luck – but also spend some time together without playing. A huge betting area, two electronic multiplayer roulettes, 90 last-generation Slots.

Address
Via del Lavoro, 131
Bussolengo, (VR) Italy
Telephone +39 04 5671 7778
Opening Hours
Mon. & Tue. 10.30 am – 00.30 am
Wed. – Sat. 10.30 am – 02.00 am
Sunday 10.30 am – 01.00 am
- Entrance allowed ONLY to 18- years olds or older.
- Entrance allowed after registration and subsequent release of an entrance card; The entrance card is strictly personal: it can’t be transferred or manipulated, under pain of revocation.

Queen Bingo Hall

Seventy table games are featured within the casino’s 1,250 square foot gaming area.

Address
Via San Vitale
Bologna, Italy

For more information about casinos in Italy and around the world see Global Gaming Directory and World Casino Directory