Thursday, October 28, 2010

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Vince McMahon defends WWE; Conn. Dems cry tag-team

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Wrestling impresario Vince McMahon — who has largely avoided the role of political spouse and whose World Wrestling Entertainment alter ego has been on hiatus during his wife's Senate campaign in Connecticut — has emerged from ringside in the contest's final days, defending a business empire he says has been trashed because of politics.

Democrats call his actions a late tag-team effort to boost Republican Linda McMahon's campaign as she trails in the polls.

Fed up with what he called "malicious and misleading attacks," the bombastic 65-year-old McMahon recently launched an Internet campaign called "Stand up for WWE," whose past policies and programming have been attacked by his wife's opponents.

He also filed a federal lawsuit this week against the top state election official for suggesting that WWE fans who come to the polls cover up their wrestling clothing or paraphernalia, given Linda McMahon's ties to the company. A judge Wednesday ruled in McMahon's favor.

And on Saturday, the WWE is staging a fan appreciation event in Hartford just three days before Linda McMahon hopes to rally enough voters to defeat Democrat Richard Blumenthal for the seat being vacated by Democratic Sen. Christopher Dodd. WWE announced Thursday it will hand out free merchandise near selected polling places on Election Day to "celebrate" its success with the lawsuit.

Vince McMahon says such efforts have been "a monumental success."

"Certain members of the media, they're a little less likely to write untruths. Elitists, a little less likely to be looking down their noses at us. And even government officials, are concerned about the collective power of you, the WWE universe," McMahon proudly tells the fans in a WWE Web message posted this week.
While WWE and Linda McMahon's Senate campaign both claim the "Stand up for WWE" endeavor is strictly a company initiative, state Democrats have sought a federal elections investigation into whether the company has illegally cooperated with the political campaign.

"Linda McMahon's $50 million attack machine is calling in corporate reinforcements with no respect for the law or the voters of Connecticut," said state Democratic Chairwoman Nancy DiNardo, referring to how much the candidate has said she'll spend on her campaign.

Vince McMahon has appeared politically only once with his wife since she declared her candidacy last fall — in May, when she won the state GOP's endorsement.

Still, his image and reputation have made an impression in a race where the issues of steroid abuses and the WWE's controversial programming have often outmatched policy discussions.

Political opponents have enjoyed showing clips of Vince McMahon — as WWE character Mr. McMahon — forcing a woman to bark like a dog. They also point to his 1994 trial when was faced charges of conspiracy to distribute anabolic steroids to wrestlers. He was later acquitted.

Linda McMahon has touted her 30 years as an executive at WWE, and its past incarnations, in saying she has what it takes to turn around Washington.

Her husband of 44 years acknowledges he doesn't have much use for politicians and politics.

"When Linda mentioned to me that she wanted to give this a run and what did I think, I said, 'Well if you're successful, you'll be the only honest politician I know in Washington D.C.,'" Vince McMahon told The Associated Press.

On the campaign trail, Linda McMahon has mostly been accompanied by her paid campaign staff, appearing at times with the couple's daughter Stephanie, or Stephanie's husband Paul Levesque, the wrestler known as Triple H.

And on WWE's programming, the fictional Mr. McMahon has been incapacitated for months after some renegade wrestlers beat him up in June. McMahon told the AP that he hopes to end the character, saying the performances in the ring have become physically grueling.

"This was not about Vince McMahon, it should not have been about WWE, it was about Linda. The campaign was about Linda McMahon running for Senate," WWE spokesman Rob Zimmerman said.

The McMahons transformed a small wrestling company they bought from Vince's father into the success that it's become today, complete with pay-per-view matches and a planned cable TV channel. Both talk about sharing a desk in the old days, not sure whether they could afford to pay their taxes or their staff.

Vince McMahon acknowledges he underestimated the interest, and scrutiny, the Senate race would bring to WWE and the issues he and the company have faced over the years, such as steroids, wrestler deaths and raunchy programming.

And he's also been surprised by how he's been portrayed as a mythic, all-controlling figure who knew what was really going "back in the day," before the company revamped everything from its programming to drug testing.

"I'm supposed to be this Machiavellian character of some kind ... ," he told the AP. "Oh yeah, I'm extremely aggressive, over the top and real matter-of-fact, and I go for the jugular everyday and have an extraordinary work ethic and what have you, but the stories are legendary."

Credit: Google News, Wires

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Hulk Hogan Hulkamania Casino Slot Via Endemol Games UK, by Greg Tingle - 23rd October 2010

G'day punters, gaming entrepreneurs, casino billionaires, journalists, gamers, wrestling fans and Hulk-A-Maniacs!... one and all. The Hulk Hogan Hulkamania slot game will soon be coming to an online casino near you!. Media Man and Gambling911 catch Hulkamania as the red and yellow runs wild...

There's been talk of a Hulk Hogan themed online slot game for years, and it was only last year when Hogan's 'The Hulkamania Experience' slot hit a couple of American land based casinos, thanks to an Eric Bischoff deal inked with Rainmaker Technology, ID Interactive and the Dreamseekers Foundation. In the process some substantial funds were raised to help out Native American Indians with the support of the National Indian Gaming Association.

Hogan's latest gaming effort may be more commercial in nature, but we think just as newsworthy, and you can bet long time rival, Ric Flair aka 'The Nature Boy' is closely watching the situation, Flair with his own themed Carolina Lottery deals in place, with his trademark Woooooo! It's most interesting timing with WWE, Hogan's former home turf promotion where he largely built his fame, launching WWE Poker just last August to mixed, mainly positive response.

To say this is a major coup for Endemol Games UK is an understatement, and numerous media and gaming commentators predict more pro wrestling themed games to follow, with the names of Ric Flair, Andre The Giant, Jimmy Snuka, Jake "The Snake" Roberts, "Rowdy" Roddy Piper and Kevin "Big Sexy" Nash being thrown around. Nash, earlier in his career being known as Vinnie Vegas, has featured some online casino games on his website for a few years, so an official slot game for the NWO mainstay would not be a surprise.

A little known fact is that over a decade ago the then World Wrestling Federation purchased a land based casino in Las Vegas, but never got far with the project, actually selling it for a 2 million dollar profit (something unheard of these days).

Online casinos on the surface appear just as good a fit with pro wrestling aka sports entertainment, as action figures and wrestling video games. One may expect for security checks and age verification checks to be ramped up at online casinos as the trend towards pro wrestling slots continues.

A Media Man spokesperson said "This is one of the biggest online casino news stories in years. Hulk Hogan is of course one of the most recognizable people on the planet and a genuine living legend. Having met the man, we can say he's one hell of a great guy, generous of heart and spirit, and an innovator. He was one of the original pro wrestling entrepreneurs, having gained great experience working with the likes of WWE's Vince McMahon, Eric Bischoff and Jimmy Hart over the years. Hogan can create buzz and set trends like few other entertainment stars, and we predicate mega success for Hogan and his team on his latest venture. We're hopeful that the likes of PartyGaming and Virgin Games get his world class online slot machine, as we are keen to show it off to our loyal and vast readership. What's ya going to do when Hulkamania runs wild on you?"

For the record, here's the press release...

ENDEMOL AND HULK HOGAN TEAM UP FOR ONLINE GAMING DEAL

Los Angeles / London: 15th October 2010

Hulk Hogan is taking to the ring again, this time online. The world-famous wrestling champion, actor, TV host, entrepreneur and reality-show star has formed a new tag-team with global production company Endemol, and the licensing division of Bischoff Hervey Entertainment, in order to take on the online gaming industry.

Seen weekly in over 120 countries as the star of TNA Wrestling, Hogan has now partnered with Endemol, one of the world’s largest producers of TV, film and digital content. The result is Hulk Hogan’s Hulkamania, an online slot created by Endemol Games UK. The game is slated for worldwide release early next year and will be distributed internationally by Endemol Worldwide Brands, a global division dedicated to brand partnerships and digital media. Hulkamania will be one of the first games of its type to integrate original video content of its star, who appears personally throughout in order to inspire players and personalize the gameplay experience.
Endemol Games UK is the recently launched division specializing in online gaming and headed up by Managing Director, Jurian van der Meer. Van der Meer comments; “Endemol Games UK is expanding into new areas and this deal marks one of our first third party licensing partnerships. Hulk Hogan is an icon with massive global appeal and we aim to attract his fans with creative online slot games. This is a great addition to our portfolio.”

The deal was spearheaded by producers and longtime Hogan partners, Eric Bischoff and Jason Hervey, for the licensing division of Los Angeles-based Bischoff-Hervey Entertainment. “Endemol is a major player in international media. Titles like ‘Deal or No Deal’ and ‘Big Brother’ are still setting the standard for media properties across the world. We’re proud to be partners”, said Bischoff.

MX Gaming, a relative newcomer in the online world, is co-producing Hulkamania with Endemol and Bischoff-Hervey Entertainment, and was instrumental in the genesis of the deal. “We’ve worked closely with Bischoff and Hogan on prior projects, and when examining our options for online, Endemol was clearly the perfect fit. They know television, and they know gaming, and that’s precisely what we wanted”, said Ike Mcfadden of MX Gaming. “With a 25-year career and millions of fans, a game based on the exploits of Hulk Hogan is probably as close to a safe bet as exists in the highly competitive online gaming industry.”

For more information:
Eliot Nesmith
Memetix Public Relations
tel: + 1. 561.715.5907
eliot@memetixgroup.com

For more information about Endemol contact:
Rae Langford
Tel: +44 (0) 208 222 4176
Rae.langford@endemoluk.com

About HULK HOGAN
Known most recently as the star of TNA Nonstop Wrestling on SpikeTV, host of NBC’s top-rated “American Gladiator”, host and Executive Producer of CMT’s series, “Celebrity Wrestling”, and star of MTV’s “Hogan Knows Best”, Hulk Hogan is one of the best-recognized celebrities in the world. A twelve- time world wrestling champion, including six WCW World Heavyweight belts, six WWE Championships, and a World Tag Team championship belt, Hulk Hogan is arguably the greatest wrestler in sports entertainment history. Rarely has an athlete held so many professional titles to his name in such a vast career. Hulk Hogan is also well known among young fans for his four “demandments”: which include training, saying prayers, eating vitamins, and believing in one self. As a result, he is one of the most-requested celebrities for the Make-a-Wish Foundation children’s charity.

About BISCHOFF-HERVERY ENTERTAINMENT
Bischoff-Hervey Entertainment specializes in the creation and production of television content, as well as licensing opportunities for established entertainment properties. BHE has created, developed, and produced both television pilots and series for NBC, VH-1, CMT, A&E, E!, and SPIKE TV, including two seasons of the hit series “Scott Baio is 45…and Single” and “Scott Baio is 46…and Pregnant” on VH-1, and “Home Again” with Billy Ray Cyrus on CMT. In 2008 BHE produced “Hulk Hogan’s Celebrity Championship Wrestling” for CMT and is currently in production for an upcoming series on TruTV. BHE licensing has developed brand strategies, licensing opportunities, and retail distribution for entertainment brands including WWE, Playboy, Socko Energy, Hulk Hogan, LG, and WalMart.

About ENDEMOL
Endemol is a global leader in entertainment programming and the largest independent television and digital production company in the world. Endemol comprises a global network of more than 80 companies in 26 countries. Each year the company produces content and partners with more than 400 broadcasters and cross media platforms worldwide. Endemol is also one of the largest independent distributors of formats and finished programming in the world. The company has a growing library of over 2,000 formats and more than 22,000 hours of content across genres including entertainment, reality TV, game shows, animation, comedy, drama, docu-dramas, features and feature films. Endemol’s credits include international blockbusters formats such as Big Brother, Deal or No Deal, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, 1 vs. 100, Star Academy and Wipeout. Its growing drama portfolio includes worldwide hits such as Home and Away, Rush, McLeod’s Daughters; Wire in the Blood, Secret Diary of a Call Girl, Robin Hood and Nini. Endemol is also behind a wide range of multi-media sports content including football, cricket, rugby and motor racing. Endemol is owned by Goldman Sachs, Mediacinco and Cyrte, which acquired the company in May 2007

About MX GAMING
MX Gaming is an independent game developer with offices in Palm Beach and Buenos Aires, distributing games in the US, Western and Eastern Europe, Mexico, Central and South America. MX Gaming Partner Ike Mcfadden placed third in the 2004 Iditarod with a run time of 13 days, 15 hours.


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Wrap Up...

Readers... er, punters, are you looking forward to running wild with Hulkamania? Any other pro wrestling themes you would like to see? Keep checking daily for updates. If you have a bet, please bet with your head, not over it, and for God's sake, have fun.

*Greg Tingle is a special contributor for Gambling911

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PartyCasino Wins Media Man Online Casino Of The Month Award, by Greg Tingle

PartyCasino.com Wins Media Man Online Casino Award

PartyCasino.com has been awarded the Media Man and Casino News Media "Online Casino Of The Month".

PartyGaming's igaming suite has grown a custom to winning awards since they first opened for business in 1997.

The competition for the coveted award was intense again this month with massive bids from both WPTCasino.com, Captain Cooks Casino, Virgin Casino, Betfair, PKR and Noble Casino however there can only be one winner... ladies and gentlemen, that's PartyCasino.com

The award follows PartyPoker's EGR Poker Operator Of The Year and PartyGaming also made the shortlist for EGR Operator Of The Year. Recently PartyGaming's PartyPoker.com also won the Casino News Media "Online Poker Website Of The Month".

The Media Man - Casino News Media accolade is based on a combination of elements including user experience, innovation, trustworthiness, customer service, gameplay, affiliate program offerings, newsworthiness and company values.

PartyCasino.com is one of a number of PartyGaming brands.

The most popular PartyCasino.com games of late include Heist, Circus, Rambo, Palladium Slot, The Godfather, Sinatra, Slotbox, Call Of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Mission: Impossible, The Terminator, Cleopatra, Sinatra, Thor, The Incredible Hulk, The Amazing Spider-Man, Monopoly, Resident Evil, Melon Madness, Wheel Of Fortune and Mega Fortune Wheel.

The PartyCasino.com jackpot is currently approaching the $2 million mark. Players can also compete for The Big One and Marvel Hero Jackpot, playing the Marvel super hero themed online slot games.

PartyCasino's most recent game releases include Shaaark! SuperBet, Crocodopolis, Alice's Wonderland, Glamour Puss, Super Cubes, Heist, Palladium Slot and Circus Slot.

PartyGaming CEO Jim Ryan has gone on record advising PartyCasino will soon feature more Hollywood blockbuster themed slots. A few in the know journalists and media agents have been recently tipped off that an all time classic movie adaption will be showcased in the PartyCasino portfolio within 1 month. PartyCasino has the world's most impressive line up of Hollywood themed games, and more are just around the corner.

PartyCasino.com and PartyPoker.com customers can also benefit from rewards and bonuses via PartyPoints and the Palladium Lounge. Be certain to check out the PartyCasino exclusive "Cash Machine" that is being championed as one of the greatest online casino promos ever.

Media Man, Casino News Media and Global Gaming Directory do have a b2b relationship with PartyGaming, as they do with dozens of other companies in the gaming, igaming, media and entertainment industry.

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