Category: crow news

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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.”