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Australian government to invest $174m in advertising ahead of election

The Australian government is set to spend more than $174m on advertising this financial year in the lead-up to the federal election.

The ad spend will cover 15 simultaneous campaigns set to run across TV, radio and print media as the government races to spend the money ahead of the next election.

The government spent #38 m in advertising in the first half of the financial year and is on track to spend $136m in the second half, according to The Syndney Morning Herald.

It is the most investment a government has made on advertising in a decade and has been met with heavy criticism from the opposition party and independent politicians.

The advertising spend, which is funded by tax-payers dollars, has been criticised as a PR-exercise to help the government win favour among voters ahead of the election campaigns.

The government is expected to call the next election this week, which is likely to be held on 18 May or 25 May. Once this process is in motion the government can only use party funding for its advertising campaigns.

The two major parties have agreed an advertising truce over the Easter break with no election advertising scheduled to run on Good Friday, Easter Sunday or Anzac Day.

Spring signing underway for new casino partnerships between EveryMatrix’s CasinoEngine and game operators

CasinoEngine is EveryMatrix’s platform of choice. It is the number one casino integration and productivity platform for the company, which has been entering into partnerships with game vendors to enhance its solutions.

The award-winning iGaming software provider has a full-product suite and managed sportsbook. In fact, EveryMatrix is the largest casino content aggregator across the globe. They haver recently launched a payment processing system, a flexible gaming platform, and a multi-brand affiliate/agent management system.

Big happenings at EveryMatrix
Forty-six new companies over the last eighteen months have made agreements with CasinoEngine. the popular platform has been a winner for nationwide operators and innovate startups. Its reach ranges across Italy, Spain, Sweden – and beyond.

New acquisitions include more than thirty casino clients. They have taken on Norwegian state monopoly, Norsk Tipping or Tipico, moving up the ladder to top-tier Wunderino. In fact, CasinoEnngine processes one billion in-game rounds per month (seeing an over 250% YoY GGR growth.

According to Stian Hornsletten, CasinoEngine CEO and Everymatrix co-founder, “We witnessed first-hand how many operators struggled in their efforts to offer players’ personalized experiences, mainly due to their platforms’ technical or operational limitations to quickly react to market changes, responsible gaming requirements or players demands.”

Hornsletten also states that CasinoEngine is much more than just an integration layer and our overall vision is to create value-added services around aggregation maximum value from each player.
In his words, “The combination of tools, services and deep integration is what makes up the product. Improving operational efficiency while offering endless possibilities in term of player experience, is exactly what CasinoEngine is offering to its clients.”

CasinoEngine is Driving Scalability and Performance
CasinoEngine has been adept at letting operators experience more game options and a greater ease of operation. They now enable access to the industry’s largest inventory of games – one integration offers over 8,000 across 140 vendors and sub-vendors.
Credit goes to the API driven and modular platform structure. It was a wise move made by EveryMatrix years ago. This allows for faster management of vendor integrations and a better use of various features (like lobby or reporting to wallets and players).
Even better, all web applications, servers and databases are horizontally scalable. New server nodes are diminishing technical problems. Furthermore, the platform now supports 125 transactions per section/per deployed application mode. New traffic is not an issue as more machines can easily be added.
More and More Benefits
A lot of great benefits are arising from the “build-your-own-universe” model implemented by CasinoEngine. The different player groups in a multitude of jurisdictions require special catering and content.
Of note is the powerful lobby management tool. Operators can reach the right audience instantaneously. They can build lobbies for live dealer tables (both on web and mobile) as well as for RNG games. They can design them for special demographics and alter the game order at will.
Scoring is expected to improve in 2019 driven by AI. Lobbies can be customized for players, markets and targeted demographics. Better solutions will no doubt enhance the player experience exponentially.
More strategies are in the works, reflecting the addition of sixteen new game vendors. The content library is expanding with new ever more engaging additions. Thanks to a dedicated team, CasinoEngine can concentrate on bringing popular titles on board.

Union: Protect casino workers form hedge fund neglect

The nation’s largest casino workers union is asking gambling regulations to protect employees from neglect by hedge funds or private equity firms seeking short-term returns from casino ownership.

Unite Here approached gambling regulations in three states Wednesday, asking them to keep workers in mind when approving Wall Street firms for ownership or management changes regarding casinos.

The request was made to regulators in New Jersey, Nevada and Ohio.

Bob McDevitt, president of the union’s Local 54 in Atlantic City, said private equity ownership has been disastrous for his city’s casino industry, with shutdowns and job losses attributable to the firms’ pursuit of short-term profits. He cited private equity ownership components of Caesars Entertainment, which owns the Caesars, Harrah’s and Bally’s casinos in Atlantic City, and MGM Resorts International, which owns the Borgata.

He said such firms prize the quick extraction of profits from properties for the benefit of investors, often to the detriment of workers and their communities. Caesars Entertainment, for example, shut down the still-profitable Showboard casino in Atlantic City in 2014 because it was not deemed profitable enough.

“We were devastated,” said Cindy Pemberton, who worked at the Showboat for 27 years. “No one would have thought that a profitable casino would close down. Many of my other co-workers never found jobs. Some have lost their homes and have to rely on state assistance to get through.”

McDevitt said private equity “has been a disaster for Caesars Entertainment, the workers and for Atlantic City. No one should have a license to strip money out of someone’s pocket. We’ve been down road before. Casinos were closed and thousands of jobs were lost. We don’t want to go through another five to 10 years of vanishing jobs so a few guys can make money.”

He cited several recent transactions in which hedge funds or private equity investors were able to affect far-reaching changes in casino companies while holding relatively small percentage of the firms, including Carl Icahn winning three board seats at Caesars Entertainment and effectively gaining the right to select its next CEO.

Under the control of Apollo Global Management and TPG Capital following a leveraged buyout in 2008, McDevitt said Caesars was left a “disastrous level of debt” that ended in the casino company’s bankruptcy. 

“I’m still waiting for a single coat of new paint at Bally’s,” McDevitt said.

The company owns over 50 casinos.

Messages seeking comment from MGM, Caesars Entertainment and Icahn were not immediately returned Wednesday.
As recently as 2010, nine of the 11 casinos operating in Atlantic City, were owned by hedge funds or private equity firms. Four of them – the Showboat, the Atlantic Club, Trump Plaza and the Trump Taj Mahal – were shut down, although the Taj Mahal was bought by Hard Rock and reopened last summer.

McDevitt said state casino regulators have the power – and the responsibility – to keep employees in mind when approving ownership or management change requests made by the casinos’ corporate owners. He cited the case of the Tropicana, whose former owner was stripped of his casino license in 2017 after letting the property deteriorate while drastically cutting investment in it.

James Plousis, chairman of the New Jersey Casino Commission, said his agency will carefully review each request it gets.
“We will do our due diligence on all these applications as they come forward,” he said.

Sri Lanka sets $50 casino fee for Sri Lankan Nationals

After initial confusion, the Sri Lankan government clarified that only local visitors to Sri Lankan casinos will have to pay $50-dollar entrance fee.

Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera said the measure is in place to prevent locals from gambling, and the country instead wants to focus on tourist dollars. Some countries in the region do not permit own citizens to enter unless they are employees.

The decision came as part of a wider group of measures from gambling authorities in the country. Sri Lanka also announced licensing fees for casinos would double to $2.2 million and a 15% tax on revenue.

These measures came into effect on April 1.

The country still has come other strict regulations on the look, including a ban on gambling on cricket. Samaraweera stated the government is looking to tighten up regulations in order to keep up with the county’s anti-money laundering laws.

Sri-Lanka has been regulation gambling since 2010 in specialized zones designated for legal gambling.

Casino-operating tribes influence sports betting debate

St. Paul, Minn (AP) – Native American tribes have emerged as key players in the legislative debates over whether states should legalize sports betting, with some opposing the idea because it could threaten their casinos and others supporting legalization but only if they retain a monopoly.

In many states, tribes are fighting sports betting or taking a go-slow approach because they worry it might force them to reopen decades-old agreements that give them exclusive rights to operate casinos and offer certain forms of gambling.

“the tribes have a major-league seat at the table,” said Bill Pascrell III, a lobbyist for gambling interests that are seeking legalized sports betting across the country.

Six states have joined Nevada in allowing sports gambling since a U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year opened the door to its expansion. Legalization is being considered in more than 20 others.

In Minnesota, a bill seeking to legalize sports betting cleared its first hurdle earlier this year, passing a committee in state Senate. But that’s likely to be as far as it goes, in large part because the state’s politically potent tribes oppose it.

Gambling “is the only successful economic development tool the tribes have ever had,” John McCarthy, executive director of the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association, told the committee.

The tribes, which operate 21 casinos and have given millions in campaign donations, are especially concerned about allowing sports betting on mobile devices, which they fear could invite wider Internet gambling that could threaten their casinos. 
In Texas, the only sports betting bill is almost certain to die. It was introduced by a Democrat, the minority party, in a state where casino operators from neighboring Oklahoma and Louisiana have donated millions to keep gambling out. Two Oklahoma tribes, the Chickasaw and Choctaw nations, have given more than $5 million to Texas officeholders and candidates since 2006.

Sports betting measures introduced in Arizona and Washington state are also considered longshots, mostly because of tribal ambivalence or opposition. In some states where tribal gambling is prevalent, sports betting bills have not been introduced at all. That’s the case in Oklahoma, as well as California and Florida, which are home to politically influential tribes that have been cool to the idea.

But elsewhere, casino-operating tribes are onces leading the legalization efforts.

The Mohegan and Mashantucket Pequot tribes have exclusive rights to casino gambling in Connecticut and are working with the governor’s office to add sportsbooks. Two tribal casinos in New Mexico began running sportsbooks after the Supreme Court decision, even though the tribes never received explicit permission from the state.

In North Carolina, a bill pushed b the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians would allow the tribe to offer betting on sports and horse races at its casino near Great Smoky Mountains National Park, without forcing it to make any substantial concessions.

Conservative religious groups have warned about the dangers of more gambling, but the legislation has so far sailed through committees in the state Senate. The tribe for bringing jobs to an otherwise distressed portion of western North Carolina.

“They’ve been incredibly good stewards of the revenue, and it’s transforming that community,” he said.

Like other powerful interest groups, tribes ensure they have access to lawmakers and governors through political contributions. Tribal governments have contributed more than $114 million to state-level candidates and political committees over the past decade, according to an Associated Press analysis of data compiled by the National Institute on Money in Politics.

in some states, including California, allowing sports betting would probably require a constitutional amendment. That and tribal reluctance means the NBA’s Sacramento Kings will have to wait longer, perhaps indefinitely, to allow gambling in a suite the team dedicated for that purpose inside the Golden 1 Center arena.

Arizona is the rare example of a state where tribes are the key players in the legalization debate but are on opposite sides.

The Navajo Nation is pushing for a measure that would give tribes the exclusive right to operate sports betting off their reservations in exchange for sharing winnings with the state. Tribes could put betting kiosks in non-tribal and private clubs.

But other Arizona tribes oppose the legislation, saying it could hurt existing casinos on reservations. Lawmakers in many states are not eager to push the issue without support from tribes, said Hilary Tompkins, a former solicitor with the Department of the Interior, which oversees the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

“It’s not worth the pain of engaging in a fight with the tribes in their states,” Tompkins said. If states “open the door to non-tribal sports betting, the tribes are going to say, ‘ We’re going to reduce our revenue to you.’ And that could end up in court.”

Minnesota state Sen. Roger Chamberlain, chairman of the tax committee that passed this year’s sports betting bill, acknowledged that it will be virtually impossible for the measure to succeed without backing from the tribes.

“They’ve got momentum and are telling folks they don’t want it to go anywhere,” he said. “I think that’s a little unfair, but we’re willing to talk with them and protect their interests.”

Blockbuster Movies That Would Make Great Slots

Movie tie-ins are in everything these days and when it comes to casino slots, they are proving to be more popular that other casino games. The inclusion of bonus features make them entertaining and exciting and you never know when you’ll hit the big jackpot prize.

If you haven’t played slots for real money but would like to test them out, we recommend looking for no deposit codes that let you play for free whilst still being able to win cash prizes. It’s the ultimate way to test out an online casino and there are lots of sites that offer no deposit bonuses free spins & more. Free spins are also offered with welcome packages and they can be tied to a specific slot, or a selection of games.

We already have some epic casino slots based on Hollywood blockbusters including Gladiator, Superman the Movie, Superman II, Man of Steel, Justice League, The Dark Knight, Planet of Apes, Highlander, Rocky and Pink Panter, but there are so many other great movies that could make excellent slots too. In this post we’re going to look at 5 movies that would make epic casino slots and the exciting bonus features that could be included in them.

Pirates of the Caribbean
Dead Man’s Chest was released in 2006 and has grossed $1,066,179,725 over its lifetime so far and we think it would make an awesome casino slot. With 5 reels and lots of paylines, with cinematic clips on every win. Symbols would include the main characters of Captain Jack Sparrow, Will Turner, and Elizabeth Swan, as well as the Black Pearl, Treasure chests, and lots of ghostly crew. Bonus features could include multipliers, free spins, expanding wilds, and a bonus game where you get to fight against ghostly pirates to recover the heart of Davy Jones.
Avengers Infinity War

One of the great Marvel universe movies, Avengers: Infinity War was released in 2018 and has grossed $2,048,359,754 worldwide. In this epic adventure, the Avengers and their allies have to fight against Thanos before he destroys 50% of the World’s population. This movie saw all our favorite characters from the various Marvel movies come together in an epic battle. We think it would make an excellent casino slot with so many great features to offer. There could be There could be a random/click me feature that offers cash prizes or respins. A free spins bonus feature like that of the Game of Thrones slot from Microgaming where the number of free spins isn’t fixed and players get to choose from a range of free spins with multipliers. For example, they could opt for 25 free spins with a 2x multiplier or 10 free spins with an 8x multiplier. There could be a Pick ‘Em bonus game where players are taken to a second screen and have to choose Infinity Stones to win cash prizes, multipliers, or free spins. If they uncover Thanos the bonus round ends. Symbols on the reels would include all our favorite characters including Iron Man, Thor, Captain American, Black Panther, Hulk, Black Widow, Loki, Nebula, and more. Be sure to check out our Avengers: Endgame theory to see how we think the movie series will end.

Back to the Future

Back to the Future released in 1985 and featured Marty McFly who travels back in time in a DeLorean invented by his friend Doc Brown. The movie was so successful that two more followed. In the first movie, Marty has to make sure his parents meet and fall in love so that he can return to the future. The total worldwide gross for this movie was $381,109,762. We think it would make a great casino slot with lots of bonus features including multipliers, free spins, expanding wilds, and maybe even a bonus skill game where Marty hit the right notes to get his parents dancing.


Avatar released in 2009 and is the number one ranking movie of all time. It has grossed $2,787,965,087 during its lifetime and brought CGI to life in a way we’d never seen before. The plot sees paraplegic marine Jake Sully being dispatched to Pandora where he has to choose between helping the native Na’vi people or following Colonel Quaritch’s orders. As a video slot we think Avatar would be fantastic. Not only could it include clips from the movie, but some great characters on the reels too. We’d expect it to include Jake Sully, Neytiri, Dr Grace Augustine and our villain Colonel Quaritch. We’d also expect to find superb visuals and animations, so the symbols come to life whenever you hit a winning combination. For bonus features, there would be scatters to trigger free spins, wilds that are sticky, expanding, or stacked, and some great multipliers too. We’d love to see a bonus battle style game where Jake in his avatar takes on Colonel Quaritch.

Harry Potter

The Harry Potter movies could make for some really great slots games and with all the movies to choose from, it would be tough. For the purpose of this article we have chosen Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 which released in 2011 and has grossed $1,341,693,157 during its lifetime so far. This is the final part of the movie franchise and sees Harry, Ron, and Hermione search for Voldemort’s remaining Horcruxes so they can finally defeat the Dark Lord. Characters to feature in the video slot would include Voldemort, Dumbledore, Snape, Harry, Ron, Hermione, along with death eaters, and more. Video clips and even animations could be included when you hit a winning combination and it would be great to see this as a progressive jackpot slot too. We’d love to see a trail bonus game included too where players would be taken to a second screen to spin a wheel or roll a dice to move the characters along a prize trail where can win cash prizes, free spins, multipliers, and more. If they get to the end of the trail, they win the jackpot prize. Another great feature could be a combat round where Harry gets to fight Voldemort for a jackpot prize. We would expand standard bonus features like free spins, wilds, scatters, multipliers and respins in what would be a truly epic casino slot.

As you can see, there are some great existing and new blockbuster movies that would make epic casino slots and when it comes to software providers willing to make them, we will be keeping a close eye on Microgaming and Playtech who have already embraced the movie genre in their video slots collection.

Live From The Field

Gambling can be fun and exciting, low risk recreational activity for some people. For others, however, gambling shifts from casual pastime to serious addiction.

Gambling becomes an addiction when it is something you or a loved one cannot control and when it begins to affect a person’s financial, familial, social, recreational, educational, or occupational functioning. Gabling addiction, much like some forms of substance addiction, is associated with a release of dopamine in the brain as much as 10 times more then what is normal. Dopamine has been referred to as the “feel good” neurotransmitter, and this special signaling chemical is active throughout the reward centers of the brain. So the release of dopamine tells your brain, “This feels good! I want more!” What begins as a harmless good feeling can turn into a compulsive need in some people.

This happens because of the body’s natural response to external stimulation of dopamine production. In essence, dopamine centers become lazy and stop doing what are intended to do, instead simply waiting around for gambling to do the work for them. This very natural physiological tendency creates tolerance, which drives a need for more and more gambling in order to receive the same rush. Gambling dependence may then develop in which a person must gamble just to feel good or even to feel normal.

Why do people start gambling?

There is no one-size-fits-all reasons that people begin to gamble. Gambling is readily accessible to those older than 18, from scratch-off and lottery tickets to casinos within driving distance in most states. Places like Las Vegas and Atlantic City are alluring to some because of their inherent novelty and glamour, and to others because of the competetive aspect of some card games. And the chances of winning a massive jackpot appeals to the most of us as a rapid financial solution.

No matter the reason someone starts gambling, it is important to remember that not everyone who goes to a casino or buys a scratch-off tickets will become addicted to making wagers. However, there is evidence to suggest that certain people may be more physiologically and temperamentally vulnerable to a gambling addiction can be helpful in deciding whether or not beginning to gamble is a wise decision for you and your future.

Who is at risk for getting addicted?
Several studies show that gambling, like substance use, may have certain genetic origins that predispose a person to becoming addicted. These include:
– People with lower levels of serotonin.
– People with a more impulsive nature.
– People who seek out activities that provide immediate rewards.
– People who tend not to consider long-term consequences of actions.

Some studies show that people who become addicted to gambling may actually produce lower levels of serotonin, which a general lack of interest in activities or a lack of pleasure derived from most activities (known as anhedonia in the mental health community). Operating at this baseline state may encourage a person to engage in activities that increase the amount of serotonin in the brain, leading to feelings of happiness and pleasure that others may feel without the added stimulus.

Other studies show that those who become addicted to gambling or substances are genetically predisposed to make more impulsive decisions and seek activities that provide immediate reward. These studies provide evidence that the parts of the brain that control inhibition and allow a person to think through potential consequences and rewards for certain actions may be under-active, leading to impulsivity and reward-seeking.

What are some common signs and side effects?
There are common signs that you can look for in yourself or a loved one if you suspect that gambling has become an addiction. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (Version 5), the diagnostic tome for mental health professinals, outlines nine common symptoms of gambling addiction, including:
  • A need to spend more and more money n order to get the gambling rush that a person seeks from the experience.
  • Restlessness, anxiety, or irritability when a person attempts to reduce the amount spent on gambling or to stop gambling altogether.
  • Many attempts have been made to quit gambling, but have been unsuccessful.
  • Continuous thoughts of gambling, including when the next trip will be, how to get money for the next trip, or constant reminiscing about previous gambling excursions.
  • A person is triggered to gamble more frequently when expecting negative mental and emotional states.
  • A person must gamble the next day after a loss, either in the hopes of recouping losses or to break even with the system.
  • A person lies about where he is going, how much he has spent, or downplays how involved he is in gambling.
  • Relationships with friends and family have been damaged, or educational and employment statuses have been negatively impacted by gambling.
  • A person consistently requests money from others in order to pay bills that have been ignored so that he could gamble.

Red flags for friends and family
The common signs of gambling addition mentioned in the previous section can alert you to a loved one’s addiction. Additional and more specific red flags that you can look for include:
  • Loved ones seem to have more mood swings that begin to resemble a mood disorder such as bipolar, where they seem to be “high” some days and deeply depressed, withdrawn, or snappy other days.
  • Noticing that your loved ones are neglecting bills, asking you for money frequently, or stealing from you. You may notice overdue bills in the mail or overhear calls from bill collectors. Your loved ones may also be in debt to several small loan centers, and they may even begin to steal money or other valuable items from you.
  • Noticing that your loved ones are skipping school or work. This may begin as an infrequent occurrence that then become chronic. They may flunk several classes if they are in college, or get fired or have several disciplinary actions against them at work.
  • You may begin to notice that the things they have told you about where they spend their time or money do not add up. Discrepancies in your loved ones’ stories will become evident the longer their addiction continues. If you confront these discrepancies, your loved ones may become angry, hostile, and aggressive, or they may turn it around you. They may be signs that your loved one is actually hiding an addiction.
  • You notice that your loved ones no longer make plans with you or keep the plans that they make with you. They may also become increasingly withdrawn when they are not gambling.
  • Your loved ones spend more time online playing games that are related to gambling and become upset when you try to get them to spend less time online.
  • Your loved ones seem to drink more frequently or you suspect them of abusing other substances. Gambling and substances use trigger the release of the same fell-good chemical in the brain. Your loved ones may increasingly rely on substances when they are not able to gamble.
What treatment option is right for you?

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) has been used successfully to gradually rewire and retrain the brain to overcome emotional and cognitive states that drive the impulsive behavioral patterns that are associated with addiction. In addition, now that gambling is recognized as actually changing the brain’s chemistry, treatment options have broadened to include medication-assisted therapy that addresses these changes. Naltexone, an opioid antagonist commonly used to treat opioid use disorders, has been successfully used to treat gambling disorders. Naltexone effectively reduces the cravings that are associated with addictive behaviors and also inhibits dopamine release, and the rewarding effects that accompany its release, when an addicted person engages in the addictive activity.

Retail Casino’s shares fall for second say in row after new downgrade

Paris (Reuters) – Shares in French supermarket retailer Casino fell sharply for the second day in a row on Thuesday, after suffering another downgrade from analysts over concerns about its cash flow.

Casino’s shares were down by 5 percent by 0710 GMT, after Morgan Stanley cut its rating on the stock to “underweight” from “equal weight”, citing potential hits to its cash flow from a tough business environment.

Morgan Stanley’s cut followed a downgrade earlier this week to Casino from credit rating agency Moody’s, which had knocked down Casino’s shares by 3 percent on Wednesday.

Casino is in the process of selling assets in order to help cut its debts.