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Ignition Poker Progressive Knockout Series Underway

Aussie online poker players don’t have a lot of options anymore. They have had to seek many opportunities in live poker or by traveling outside of Australia to play online tournament series. However, many players have discovered that there is poker action online at Ignition Poker, though, and the tables are fuller than ever this month with the site’s first-ever Progressive Knockout Series.

What is a PKO?

For those players who don’t typically play a lot of tournaments – at least in recent series – the progressive knockout may not be a familiar format.

PKO stands for progressive knockout, a type of tournament that puts a bounty on every player. A player will buy in to the tournament for a price, half of which goes to the prize pool and half of which becomes the player’s bounty. When that player eliminates another, they receive half of that player’s bounty as a prize, while the other half becomes a part of that player’s bounty.

Players who knock out a lot of other players can accumulate a solid payout regardless of the money bubble or payout position. However, that player also accumulates a large bounty on his or her head, making them a target for other players.

As an example, Joey Aus is playing in a standard PKO tournament with a $50 + $5 buy-in.

  • The $5 fee of the buy-in is a standard tournament fee for the poker site.
  • Of the $50 buy-in, $25 goes into the prize pool and $25 is on Joey’s head.
  • Joey immediately plays aggressively and knocks out a player at his table. He wins $12.50 that will be paid to him at the end of the tournament whether he finishes in the money or not. The other $12.50 is added to the $25 already on Joey’s head to make his bounty now $37.50.
  • Joey knocks out another player, taking another $12.50 as prize money and making his own bounty now $50.
  • Jane Aus (no relation) knocks Joey out of the tournament. She collects the $50 from Joey, though only $25 of that is her prize to keep, and the other $25 adds to the bounty on her own head.

Obviously, this adds an entirely different level of action to the game, requiring some creative strategies to pick up others’ bounties but also navigate the players gunning for that growing bounty.

Note that the Ignition Poker PKO Series often designates the amount of the buy-in to be allocated to bounties. For example, if the buy-in is $50 but the name of the tournament is the $10 PKO, that means $40 goes to the prize pool and $10 to each player’s bounty. If there is no designation, it will be a 50/50 split.

Inaugural PKO Series

For the first time, Ignition Poker is serving up an all-PKO series. It started on 1 June but runs all the way through 30 June. In total, the series consists of more than 100 tournaments that will guarantee more than $4.5M in prize money.

Buy-ins start as low as $7.70, though satellites offer numerous chances to qualify for even less.

For Sunday, 13 June, this list of events shows the type of variety of buy-ins available:

  • Event 32: $25 buy-in NLHE PKO Unlimited Reentry ($4K GTD)
  • Event 33: $20 buy-in NLHE $5 PKO ($12K GTD)
  • Special: $150 buy-in NLHE $50 PKO ($150K GTD)
  • Special: $300 buy-in NLHE High Roller $100 PKO ($100K GTD)
  • Event 34: $100 buy-in NLHE Super PKO MS $30K GTD)
  • Special: $75 buy-in NLHE $20 PKO ($10K GTD)
  • Event 35: $250 buy-in NLHE $100 PKO ($30K GTD)

Looking ahead to the last weekend of 26-27 June, there will be even more options, including the Main Event. There will be two versions with differing buy-ins so more players can participate. Those Main Events are in bold below:

  • Event 84: $25 buy-in NLHE $5 PKO ($3K GTD)
  • Event 85: $50 buy-inn PLO Crazy 8s $8 PKO ($8,888 GTD)
  • Event 86: $125 buy-in NLHE $25 PKO ($12K GTD)
  • Event 87: $250 buy-in NLHE $100 PKO MS ($40K GTD)
  • Special: $75 buy-in NLHE $20 PKO ($10K GTD)
  • Event 88: $75 buy-in NLH Early Bird $25 PKO ($10K GTD)
  • Event 89: $100 buy-in NLHE Mini Main Event $30 PKO ($100K GTD)
  • Event 90: $425 buy-in NLHE Main Event $125 PKO ($250K GTD)
  • Special: $150 buy-in NLHE $50 PKO ($150K GTD)
  • Special: $300 buy-in NLHE $100 PKO High Roller ($100K GTD)
  • Event 91: $125 buy-in NLHE 2nd Chance $50 PKO ($30K GTD)
  • Special: $75 buy-in NLHE $20 PKO ($10K GTD)
  • Event 92: $200 buy-in NLHE Super PKO Turbo ($25K GTD)

For all Aussie players who want to join Ignition to play in this series, one account will serve for poker and online casino games. We offer a special bonus code for anyone signing up through the link in our review of Ignition Casino.

 

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Poker vs Pokies adalah Hambatan Terbesar untuk Aussie Online Poker

Pokies dan poker adalah dua hal yang berbeda.

Pokies mengacu pada mesin slot, permainan keberuntungan murni, baik dimainkan secara online atau langsung. Poker, di sisi lain, adalah permainan kartu tradisional di mana pemain bersaing satu sama lain. Tidak ada keunggulan dalam poker, dan ada lebih banyak tingkat keterampilan dalam menentukan hasil daripada kebanyakan permainan kasino.

Perbedaan ini sangat penting. Tentu saja, para penjudi dan pemain kasino online harus mengetahui perbedaannya. Tetapi dalam arti yang lebih luas, pembuat undang-undang di negara-negara seperti Australia harus tahu bahwa pokies dan poker adalah permainan yang sangat berbeda. Kejelasan tentang masalah ini kemungkinan merupakan kunci untuk akhirnya melegalkan poker online untuk orang Australia.

Asal-usul Pokies

Kamus perkotaan mendefinisikan”pokies” sebagai istilah slang yang digunakan di Australia untuk mesin slot judi. Dictionary-dot-com mendefinisikan pokie sebagai istilah pendek casual untuk mesin poker.

Mesin poker (disingkat menjadi pokie) adalah mesin slot, mesin judi yang dioperasikan dengan koin atau token. Poki online hanyalah versi elektronik dari pokies.

Awalnya, mesin slot machine diciptakan pada akhir 1800-an. Mereka menawarkan cara untuk memainkan permainan tradisional poker di perangkat. Mesin kompak bisa duduk di atas meja atau pub dan berisi 50 kartu di dek. Pemain akan membayar satu sen atau satu nikel untuk menarik tuas yang memutar gulungan. Ketika mereka berhenti, dan jika mereka menunjukkan kartu poker yang bagus, pelindung di pub akan menerima minuman gratis. Tetapi untuk memberi rumah (atau pub ) keuntungan, mereka hanya menggunakan 50 dari 52 kartu. Permainan ini didasarkan pada keberuntungan murni.

Akhirnya, pembuat mesin slot machine menggunakan simbol yang berbeda: buah, lonceng, pub, tujuh, dan terkadang tapal kuda. Langkah ini memberi kesempatan untuk menghadirkan produk unik tetapi juga untuk menarik pemain yang tidak tahu cara membuat kartu poker yang bagus. Selain itu, penggunaan simbol-simbol seperti itu membuat rumah itu kurang terlihat memiliki keunggulan.

Seiring waktu, ketika popularitas mesin slot meningkat di seluruh dunia, orang-orang mulai menjuluki mereka. Istilah “bandit satu tangan” mengacu pada sifat perjudian mesin. Beberapa budaya memberikan nama panggilan hanya untuk kemudahan referensi. Orang Inggris menyebutnya buah, orang Skotlandia menyebutnya puggies, dan orang Amerika menyebutnya slot.

Pemain dari Australia dan Selandia Baru menyebutnya mesin poker, atau singkatnya pokies. Bahkan setelah setelan kartu telah lama menghilang demi simbol lain — dan mesin tidak lagi mencoba membuat kartu poker julukannya macet: pokies.

Mengetahui Perbedaan

Orang-orang yang secara teratur memainkan permainan poker tahu bahwa itu sangat berbeda dari mesin slot mana pun. Tidak ada keunggulan dalam permainan kartu, karena para pemain saling bersaing. Ini memungkinkan mereka untuk menggunakan keterampilan dari menggertak hingga menghitung peluang untuk mendapatkan keunggulan atas lawan. Dan itulah mengapa kebanyakan orang di seluruh dunia menyadari bahwa poker adalah permainan keterampilan.

Namun, ketika Aussies terus menggunakan pokies untuk merujuk ke mesin slotmachine, perbedaan antara mesin tersebut dan poker yang sebenarnya menjadi kabur. Ini telah menjadi kabur.

Mesin dan pokies poker telah menjadi istilah yang dapat dipertukarkan dengan mesin slot machine dan slotmachine. Permainan kartu poker yang sebenarnya, kemudian, menjadi bagian dari kategorisasi itu. Poker online dan poker online menjadi hampir tidak bisa dibedakan.

Pokies Mencegah Legalisasi Poker Online

Ketika anggota parlemen Australia mendengar istilah poker on the internet, sebagian besar dari mereka memikirkan pokies online. Itu adalah penolakan langsung dari mereka — tidak untuk melegalkan mesin slots online — dan mereka berhenti mendengarkan. Setiap undang-undang yang diusulkan untuk poker on line sudah mati sebelum suggestion itu bahkan menyentuh layar komputer mereka.

Kami mengetahui hal ini karena pakar hubungan masyarakat Joseph Del Luca telah mengatakan hal yang sama. Dia telah menjabat sebagai mediator antara pembuat undang-undang dan pendukung poker online dalam upaya untuk mengukir poker online dari larangan perjudian online saat ini melalui Interactive Gambling Act. Dia telah bekerja dengan Menteri Komunikasi Paul Fletcher selama bertahun-tahun untuk merancang undang-undang untuk melakukan hal itu.

Del Luca mengungkapkan informasi menarik tahun lalu, ketika muncul di Podcast PMA. Salah satu kesulitan utama bagi Del Luca dalam mendiskusikan poker online dengan legislator adalah”benar-benar menjelaskan kepada anggota Parlemen apa itu poker” Dia melanjutkan:

“Saya dapat memberi tahu Anda, dari mungkin 100 anggota Parlemen yang berbeda yang telah saya ajak bicara tentang masalah ini, dengan mudah lebih dari 80percent dari mereka berpikir ketika saya berbicara tentang poker on line, saya sedang berbicara tentang pokies online atau mesin poker atau mesin slot. . Karena menjadi satu-satunya negara di dunia yang menyebut mereka mesin poker, ada korelasi antara keduanya di kepala banyak orang, di mana kita tahu mereka sangat, sangat berbeda.”

Del Luca menemukan bahwa dia harus mulai dengan menjelaskan dasar-dasar kepada pembuat undang-undang, Dia menjelaskan bagaimana poker sebenarnya adalah permainan peer-to-peer, bukan permainan melawan rumah. Berbeda dengan permainan yang diprogram secara matematis untuk kalah, poker adalah permainan berbasis keterampilan dalam jangka panjang. Pemain yang terampil akan mengatasi faktor keberuntungan dari waktu ke waktu, jika tidak sebagian besar waktu.

Dari situ,” Del Luca harus menjelaskan manfaat poker on the internet. Tetapi rintangan pertama adalah yang paling signifikan, rintangan berbicara dengan orang-orang yang tidak tahu perbedaan antara poker online dan poker online.

Pendukung Poker Online Mungkin Menyerah

Selama sekitar satu tahun terakhir, pandemi telah menjadi fokus utama anggota parlemen. Dengan pemikiran itu, belum ada kemajuan terkait pembahasan undang-undang poker on line dengan anggota Parlemen.

Utas lama di forum Two Plus Two tentang poker online Australia telah berkurang aktivitasnya selama setahun terakhir ini. Mereka yang memiliki harapan bahwa Del Luca — atau siapa pun — akan membuat kemajuan dengan undang-undang pro-poker tampaknya telah menyerah.

Tampaknya siapa pun yang memilih untuk memperjuangkan poker online yang diatur Australia harus terlebih dahulu bersedia mendidik anggota parlemen — dan mungkin masyarakat umum — tentang perbedaan antara poker dan pokies. Baik dengan pamflet atau pamflet yang praktis, atau dokumen resmi yang digabungkan dengan suggestion poker on line untuk Parlemen, para pendukung harus memulai prosesnya dari tingkat dasar.

Pelajaran pertama harus: Poker adalah permainan keterampilan, dan mesin poker adalah perjudian.

 

Pos Poker vs Pokies adalah Penghalang Terbesar untuk Aussie Online Poker muncul pertama kali di Kasino Online Terbaik Australia 2020 — Mainkan Game Kasino Online.

WPTDeepStacks Breaks Own Record at WPTDS Gold Coast

Like poker players around the world, Aussies could not wait to get back to the poker tables in 2021. And there’s nothing quite like a live tournament series hosted by the World Poker Tour. Those were two of the factors that came together in May at the Star Gold Coast’s poker room to make WPT history.

The WPTDeepStacks Gold Coast just wrapped up its return series to Australia, after having waited out a global pandemic to do so. And while everything on the live poker scene hasn’t exactly returned to normal yet, the WPTDS series showed the dedication of the WPT and poker players to the game of poker.

Aussies Welcome WPTDeepStacks

When the World Poker Tour made its debut in Australia, it was September of 2019. The WPTDeepStacks series offered 10 tournaments, highlighted by a $2,500 buy-in WPTDS Main Event. It accumulated 658 entries for a prize pool of $1,480,500 prize pool, with Hari Varma ultimately declaring victory for a $274,247 first-place prize.

There were big plans to return in 2020. Not only would the WPTDeepStacks return twice that year, the WPT main tour would host its first-ever WPT Australia.

Of course, the pandemic prevented all of that from happening.

The World Poker Tour and the Star Gold Coast both monitored the Covid-19 trajectory closely and eventually planned to try to return in May 2021. Organizers set the WPTDS Gold Coast schedule for 21-31 May with 10 tournaments.

When the WPT arrived at the Star, players couldn’t have been more ready to play poker.

Preliminary Events Fill Tables

Setting aside the WPTDS Gold Coast Main Event for a moment, there were nine other tournaments on the schedule in May, each with a part of the WPTDeepStacks festival. And players showed up in big numbers for all of it.

  • Event 1: $675 NLHE Opener = 492 entries, $332,100 prize pool, Idris Hassan won for $65,270
  • Event 2: $1,850 NLHE = 132 entries, $244,200 prize pool, Eshan Amiri won for $68,988
  • Event 3: $300 NLHE Freezeout = 301 entries, $90,300 prize pool, Lily Sotsavanh won for $19,839
  • Event 4: $300 PLO = 248 entries, $74,100 prize pool, Simon Thwaites won for $17,172
  • Event 5: $400 NLHE Big Bounty = 402 entries, $80,400 prize pool, David Beckhaus won for $16,522
  • Event 7: $400 Mega Stack Super Turbo Freezeout = 186 entries, $71,600 prize pool, Lachlan Dykes won for $18,548
  • Event 8: $500 PLO = 185 entries, $92,500 prize pool, Hanan Braun won for $23,438
  • Event 9: $4,700 NLHE Challenge = 98 entries, $460,600 prize pool, Sean Ragozzini won for $140,481
  • Event 10: $400 NLHE Mega Stack Freezeout = 297 entries, $118,800 prize pool, Karsten Kobbing won for $26,103

Main Event Sets New Record

The WPTDS GC Main Event started on May 27 and offered three starting flights. Players needed to put up $1,500 to play but could also reenter once per flight if able and necessary.

Details of how it all happened came from Poker Media Australia and the team’s live updates.

Day 1A on May 27 showed 340 entries in total, with names like Joe Hachem and Shane Warne among the players at the tables. Other familiar names included Gary Benson, Mel Judah, Jason Gray, Graeme Putt, Angel Guillen, and 2019 champion Hari Varma. Only 54 players made it through the night, though, and Hussein Hassan had the top stack of 553K chips.

Day 1B on May 28 added another 330 entries to the tally, including players like Robert Campbell and Dennis Huntly among the competitors. And out of the 46 players who bagged chips at the end of the night, Harry Basle had the most with 529K.

On May 29, the final starting day delivered 443 entries. The final count of the night showed Daniel Smilijanic as the new overall chip leader, who took 620,500 chips into the official Day 2.

The tournament tally was:

  • 1,113 entries
  • $1,502,550 prize pool
  • 140 players paid
  • $2,013 minimum payout

The tournament officially became the largest WPT Main Event ever in the Asia-Pacific region. It also beat the 2019 WPTDS Gold Coast Main Event prize pool.

Playing for the Win

A total of 165 players returned to the poker room on May 30 to compete for money spots and final table seats. It didn’t take terribly long for the money bubble to burst and players to cash out for at least $2,013. Shane Warne was one of the first to make the money, and others who followed to the cage included Billy Argyros, and Hussein Hassan. Later in the evening, players like Anthony Hachem, Brooke Colless, and Luke Hanna busted.

Action stopped with 10 players still in contention. Mike Maddocks was the chip leader with nearly 7.7M chips, as Ratul Sayak and Alex Lynskey followed nearly 2M chips back. Omer Silajdzija took fourth on the leaderboard, followed by Will Davies, Joseph Sandaev, and Sheldon Mayer. Nuno Da Silva and Attilla Bognar sat in eighth and ninth places, with Josh Yeomans on a very short stack of 370K.

The final day of play started with a quick exit from Bognar, courtesy of Lynskey. Bognar collected $19,503 for tenth place. And that set the official final table.

Yeomans doubled through Silajdzija but couldn’t do the same against Da Silva. Yeomans accepted ninth place.

Mayer doubled through Maddocks, as did Sayak. Sandaev moved into the chip lead and took over. Sayak lost ground, though, and Davis was the one to send him out in eighth place.

Silajdzija doubled through Sandaev and the latter then busted Da Silva in seventh place. Davies eliminated Salijdzija in sixth place. And Lynskey had taken over the chip lead before then ousting Sandaev in fifth place. Davies took care of Mayer in fourth.

Lynskey had 15.5M chips as three-handed play began, with Davies holding 8.92M and Maddocks with 7.32M. But Maddocks took a solid pot from Lynskey to take the lead and quickly climb to 20M chips. Davies was the shortest of the stacks but doubled through Lynskey. Soon after, Davies busted Lynskey in third place.

Maddocks went into heads-up play at a 2-to-1 deficit, but both players went into the final duel with caution. After a few rounds, though, Davies chipped up further. Without much delay, Maddocks pushed his stack in with A-7 suited, but Davies called with pocket sevens. Two diamonds did show on the flop to give Maddocks the flush outs, but the turn and river allowed the sevens to hold. Maddocks accepted second place.

Davies, known to many in the Sydney poker community as the tournament director at the Poker Palace, claimed the WPTDeepStacks title.

The final payouts were:

  • 1st place: Will Davies ($252,729)
  • 2nd place: Mike Maddocks ($177,166)
  • 3rd place: Alex Lynskey ($114,960)
  • 4th place: Sheldon Mayer ($85,210)
  • 5th place: Joseph Sandaev ($64,429)
  • 6th place: Omer Silajdzija ($52,063)
  • 7th place: Nuno Da Silva ($43,018)
  • 8th place: Ratul Sayak ($34,108)
  • 9th place: Josh Yeomans ($25,288)

 

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Top Lotto Scams Targeting Aussies and How to Avoid Them

Scams are all too prevalent in today’s world. With the advent of technology, scammers have since used it to deceive people, prey on their dreams and vulnerabilities, all with the goal of cheating them out of their money.

Say what you will about lotteries, but regulated games such as ones offered by The Lott are transparent. Laws require that they publish the odds and results of the games. In addition, most lotteries must give a portion of their profits to the state to benefit the communities in which they operate.

Lotto scammers, however, use the public’s familiarity with lotto, combined with technology, to con people out of their money. And in the first five months of 2021, Aussies have lost more than $757K to prize and lottery scams.

ACCC Scamwatch

The Australian Competition & Consumer Commission was borne of the Competition and Consumer Act of 2010, and the ACCC subsequently created Scamwatch. The goal of the latter was – and still is – to serve as a consumer protection agency, detecting scams and notifying the public of them.

Unfortunately, there are many types of scams perpetrated by criminals, ranging from attempts to garner Aussies’ personal information to setting up fake investment deals and charities. There are scams that try to convince people to work for free or for little money, to threaten to disclose personal information or hack their computers if not paid off, and even to offer items for purchase that don’t actually exist.

One often-successful scam is the attempt to pose as a lottery corporation. Those scammers try to request money in order to forward lottery winnings or a down payment of sorts to secure a competition win.

Three Main Types of Winnings Scams

Scamwatch categorizes lotto-related scams as “unexpected winnings” crimes, of which there are three categories.

  • ) Scratchie scams are fake scratchies that promise a prize, but the winner must pay a fee or provide personal banking information to collect that prize. These scammers encourage “winners” to send money or disclose a photo identification, bank details for a wire transfer, or a debit or preloaded money card.
  • ) Travel prize scams offer people free or discounted holiday packages. For example, a scammer might insist that a person won a holiday worth $3K, but the person must pay $100 or $500 to claim that prize. This happens with everything from theme park tickets to airfare and hotel prize packages. Scammers may also ask for prepaid cards or bank account details to facilitate the winning transaction.
  • ) Lotto scams are common via technology used to claim that a person won a raffle or lotto-style drawing that they may not remember that they entered. Again, scammers will ask for bank details or for the winner to pay a fee for the winnings, such as a fee for taxes or bank transactions.

One of the most brazen lotto scams started years ago via email. The “Australian Lotto Lottery Inc.” sent a “winning notification” to people, stating that that email address was entered into a draw and won. The email listed a “ticket number” and “serial number” supposedly connected to that email address, and that person won $800K from a $2M lotto prize pool. The first ten people to claim it would win.

In addition, by claiming that win, the person will be eligible for an end-of-year international lotto for $1.3B. But for “security reasons,” winner information is not public to prevent “scammers” from trying to steal the prize money.

The email then asked for every piece of personal information from the full name to date of birth, address to occupation, and from nationality to marital status. This gives the scammer all of a person’s personal information they would need to steal that person’s identity. Requests for banking information typically follow soon after.

Money Lost in 2021

Only five months have passed in 2021 thus far, but Aussies have already lost hundreds of thousands of dollars to such scams.

In the full “unexpected winnings” category of scams, people have already submitted 2,696 reports in 2021 through May. While those have only included 4.4% with financial losses, those losses added up to $760,866 so far. April was the month in which people lost the most money.

Most scammers connected with victims via social networking sites and text messages.

  • Social networking: 210 reports; $555,540 lost
  • Telephone: 122 reports; $59,832 lost
  • Text messages: 1,784 reports; $56,016 lost
  • Emails: 372 reports; $51,037 lost
  • Mobile apps: 110 reports; $25,133 lost
  • Internet sites: 70 reports; $11,808 lost
  • Mail: 15 reports, $1,500 lost

Females seemed more susceptible and targeted than males, with 71.4% of the money lost coming from women and 28.5% from men. More males reported scams, though. Men reported 40.5% of them, and women reported 58%.

Most scams target the elderly, and they are the most susceptible to scams according to the amount of funds lost.

  • Ages 65 and older: 391 reports; $394,957 lost
  • Ages 55-64: 386 reports; $80,734 lost
  • Ages 45-54: 387 reports; $102,225 lost
  • Ages 35-44: 434 reports; $45,911 lost
  • Ages 25-34: 372 reports; $69,632 lost
  • Ages 18-24: 182 reports; $15,928 lost

Regarding locations, Northern Territory and Tasmania reported no money lost, with ACT reporting only 77 times and little more than $1K lost.

  • New South Wales: 759 reports; $423,579 lost
  • Victoria: 611 reports; $161,257 lost
  • Queensland: 574 reports, $91,770 lost
  • Western Australia: 298 reports; $40,502 lost
  • South Australia: 225 reports; $21,208 lost

The vast majority of the aforementioned numbers and statistics happened in the category of “unexpected prize and lottery scams.”

These followed the same patterns as shown above. Most of the scams reached victims through social networks and texts. And the majority of the victims were over the age of 65, female, and in NSW.

How to Detect Scams

Scamwatch and other consumer protection companies list the various ways that scammers locate and target their victims. There are many ways to absorb this information and protect from becoming the next victim.

  • No official lotto will award a prize to someone who does not enter.
  • No official lotto will contact a winner via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or any other social media site or mobile app.
  • Beware of messages on social media from new “friends” or followers.
  • Check a sender’s email address and compare the extension to that which might represent an actual company.
  • No official lotto will send a message or email with misspellings or punctuation and grammatical errors. And they will never request personal information via these methods.
  • Never pay a fee or tax to get winnings. No reputable company requires money to claim winnings.
  • Never provide bank account information or details for credit, debit, or prepaid cards.
  • Phone numbers from calls or texts beginning with 190 are not official.
  • Any valid lotto or company will happily provide their phone number, address, email, and other company information so that you may verify it by calling back.
  • Do not click any link in any text, email, or social networking message.
  • There is no Australian Lottery Corporation or Inc.
  • There is no Australian Online Lottery or Lotto Lottery.
  • There is no Australian International Lottery or Sweepstakes.
  • Never answer an email that starts with “Dear Winner” or misspells your name.
  • No official lotto will use a Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo, or Outlook account for emails.
  • Always verify information with sites like Scamwatch or other consumer protection agencies – or the purported company itself – before responding with information or paying any money.

There are legitimate ways to play and win lottery games in Australia, both in person and online. There are online lotto-style games on internet casinos that operate like slot games and online keno. But if anything triggers suspicions or falls into the categories of warnings above, have a good laugh and delete it.

 

 

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Aristocrat reports half-year profit slump

Australian gaming manufacturer Aristocrat Leisure has reported a significant drop in its half-year profits.

The Market Herald reports that after its operations took a hit from the coronavirus pandemic, the company’s revenue for the six months ending March 31 dropped to around $2.23 billion.

However, after-tax profit fell 73.5 per cent to $346.5 million compared to more than $1.3 billion last year.

The drop was partly due to a 31.4 per cent slide in operating cash flow, which fell from $620 million to $425.1 million after several strategic investments were made to support customer recovery.

Still, Aristocrat Leisure said its portfolio of digital and gaming assets continued to grow over the period, with around 80 per cent of its revenue driven from recurring sources.

Roughly 10.9 per cent of the company’s revenue, or $242.7 million, was put towards game design and development as part of its “refreshed growth strategy and unrelenting commitment to exceptional market-leading product portfolios.”

Notably, Aristocrat saw a 44 per cent jump in purchases for online activities as sweeping lockdown measures kept people at home.

Like many gaming and entertainment companies, Aristocrat Leisure has so far stood down 1000 workers, cut 200 jobs and transferred another 200 full-time positions to part-time roles.

“We expect uncertain and volatile conditions to continue near term and we are closely monitoring key factors including customer sentiment and gaming venue patronage,” managing director Trevor Croker said.

“Nevertheless, we enter the second half of fiscal 2021 with excellent momentum, resilience and confidence with a strong balance sheet to continue to invest organically to grow share and accelerate growth through M&A in line with our rigorous criteria.”

Online gaming jumps as pandemic took hold

The gaming giant also announced a 28.9 per cent jump in player purchases for online activities, to March, as lockdowns forced people to stay at home.

The rise was evident in all online offerings, from casino-style games to puzzles and role-playing games.

The nation’s largest manufacturer of gambling machines will issue a 15 cent interim dividend after reporting a 1 per cent decline in revenue last half-year.

Volumes of machine sales were down 10 per cent as the pandemic disrupted purchasing decisions.

Profits in Australia and New Zealand rose 10 per cent to $85.1 million.

Other regions crashed to a loss of US$9.5 million.

For the six months to March 31, online purchases jumped as pandemic lockdowns kept people away from bricks and mortar casinos and gambling venues.

Revenue for the digital segment jumped 28.8 per cent to $895.8 million in the six months to the March quarter.

The company attributed its growth in sales to a $242.7 million investment in game design, development and technology in the first half.

“The results are reflected in the share growth and margin expansion achieved across digital and key gaming segments in the six months to March 31, 2021,” Mr Croker said.

NSW Minister for Digital and Customer Service Victor Dominello said he was encouraged by the industry’s step up and that venues were embracing a cashless gambling technology trial to combat problem gambling and money laundering.

“I support this digital proposal as it is linked to identity, a bank account and with harm minimisation settings,” he said.

“This will help us combat the twin sins of money laundering and problem gambling, addressing the key concerns of the Bergin inquiry.”

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SkyCity commits to greater leadership diversity

New Zealand headquartered casino operator SkyCity Entertainment has signed up to 40:40 Vision, which pledges a commitment to achieve gender balance across its executive leadership by 2023.

Casino Beats reports that the investor and business-led initiative is aiming to achieve 40 per cent women, 40 per cent men and 20 per cent any gender across the leadership of all ASX200 companies by 2030.

SkyCity Entertainment chief people and culture officer Claire Walker said over the past 12 months, SkyCity has constantly challenged itself to increase female representation, particularly in senior leadership roles and has maintained a gender balance across the top four levels of the organisation.

“This has been driven by initiatives which support the development of our female talent pipeline and by ensuring strong female candidates are identified in the recruitment process for all executive roles and any systemic bias in recruitment, development and promotion processes are removed.

“SkyCity is also working to understand intersectionality and its impact on women from ethnic minorities, starting by measuring and understanding our ethnic pay gap.”

SkyCity is also a member of Women in Gaming and Hospitality Australasia, Champions for Change New Zealand and Global Women NZ.

In 2020, the company was awarded the gender tick for the second year in a row in recognition of its commitment to and ongoing work in providing an equitable workplace for all employees.

SkyCity chief executive Michael Ahearne said he is committed to building the capability of SkyCity’s leaders in understanding and leveraging diversity of thought.

“There is clear evidence that having women in leadership roles is not only fairer but leads to better profits and better corporate governance,” he said.

We’ve taken the 40:40 Vision pledge and we’re calling on Australasia’s biggest companies to do the same, drive real change and reap the benefits of having fairer, more inclusive workplaces and stronger business performance.”

In financial news, the casino operator wants to raise $125 million via bonds and has flagged its earnings will be well below pre-pandemic levels.

The gaming, entertainment and hospitality business has released an offer document showing how it can receive an additional $50 million, taking the offer up to $175 million, if it decides to.

“SkyCity has announced an offer of up to $125 million, with the ability to accept over-subscriptions of up to an additional $50 million at SkyCity’s discretion, of six-year, unsecured, unsubordinated, fixed-rate bonds, maturing on May 21, 2027, to institutional investors and New Zealand retail investors,” it said.

The offer opens on May 10 and will close on May 14 and the bonds could get a BBB- rating by S&P Global Ratings.

“Despite positive current trading, there is no change to the previous guidance for financial year 2021, with SkyCity expecting group normalised EBITDA to be well above FY20, but still well below pre-COVID-19 and FY19 levels,” it said.

The operating environment remains unpredictable due to COVID-19, it said, citing the most recent 11-day Auckland closures in February and March.

“Accordingly, SkyCity is unable to provide formal earnings guidance at this time.

“Based on expected performance and assuming no prolonged property closures before the end of FY21, SkyCity expects to meet its financial covenants for the June 30, 2021 testing period and pay a final dividend consistent with the revised dividend policy announced at the time of its 1H21 results,” it said.

The company raised $230 million new equity from shareholders last June and July.

It gave an update on the NZ International Convention Centre project, saying there had been no material change to previous guidance on total costs, which remained at $750 million.

 

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Money laundering suspected at Crown as recently as February

Victoria’s royal commission into Crown Resorts has heard that money laundering was suspected at the casino as recently as February.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports that criminal infiltration is suspected to be greater than previously thought, with suspected money laundering identified in 14 new bank accounts that were not examined in last year’s damning Bergin inquiry.

Commissioner Ray Finkelstein, QC, will have to decide on Crown’s suitability to hold its Melbourne casino licence without knowing the full extent of its money laundering problems, the inquiry was told, because the company delayed launching an investigation of its bank account until February.

“Had Crown started that review any earlier than February this year, the results would be known to this commission,” counsel assisting Meg O’Sullivan said.

Crown had delayed launching a full review of its accounts despite its banks warning of suspicious transactions in 2014; reports in August 2019 about money laundering in its accounts; and advice from an external expert to launch a full review in 2019 and again in late 2020.

The Bergin inquiry in NSW found Crown was unfit to run its new Sydney casino, with a key reason being that it facilitated money laundering through two patron deposit bank accounts held through shell companies called Southbank Investments and Riverbank Investments.

Ms O’Sullivan said the review currently underway by Deloitte into Crown’s other accounts would reveal if money laundering in those accounts were “just the tip of the iceberg”.

The inquiry heard on Monday that Crown did initially approach Katherine Shamai, an anti-money laundering expert at Grant Thornton, to run a review of its bank accounts in August 2019.

But she did not hear from Crown again until October 2020, when it asked her to review only the Southbank and Riverbank accounts.

She found more than $5 million of suspected criminal transactions between 2013 and 2019.

Crown engaged firms to look into alleged money laundering

Ms Shamai told the inquiry Crown’s lawyers MinterEllison then asked her in January 2021 to begin a review of other accounts linked to Crown’s Melbourne and Perth casinos.

This was two months after Crown told the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation such a review was already underway, Ms O’Sullivan said.

However, Ms Shamai said that in February Crown’s new lawyers Allens told her to cease the almost completed investigation because it was engaging another party to complete the work.

Crown instructed Ms Shamai to only conduct her search of its accounts to a limited number of “typologies” that could indicate illegal behaviour, meaning they could not be called a “full search”, she said.

Ms Shamai could offer no reason why Crown would limit her investigation if it was serious about rooting out examples of suspicious transactions.

Crown is undergoing what it calls a “reform” process to try and improve its money launder controls and governance to win back its Sydney casino licence.

But Ms O’Sullivan told the commission that external experts had already found some of Crown’s new anti-money laundering controls to be deficient, which she raised “serious concerns about Crown’s ability to implement consistent, effective and sustainable reforms to address its past money laundering failures”.

“It’s open to be concluded that Crown’s first steps on its pathway are simply a knee-jerk reaction to the revelations of the Bergin inquiry,” she said.

“Even the supposed new and improved Crown had continuing anti-money laundering problems.”

The inquiry, which must report back by August 1, continues this week.

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Sun and Stars Highlight 2021 Wazdan Online Slot Releases

Since Wazdan launched in 2010, the online slot games developer has grown in size, scope, and technological capabilities. Since its 10th anniversary, the company has been releasing games at a quicker pace. And the games have become more adventurous, with new themes and brighter colors, and even new features like the proprietary Hold the Jackpot mechanic.

Several new games are tapped for release in the coming weeks and months, including Midnight in Tokyo, Prosperity Pearls, and Fortune Reels. As players await those titles, let’s take a look at the five most recent releases in 2021 from Wazdan.

Unicorn Reels: January 2021

Unicorns automatically trigger thoughts of fantasies and dreams, of imaging the unimaginable. In the enchanted forest of Unicorn Reels, players see the incredible artistry of the developers. And creativity leads to action and payouts.

  • 5 reels, 3 rows
  • 10 paylines
  • 14% RTP
  • 1,000x max win
  • $0.10 min bet – $100 max bet
  • Low, medium, or high volatility

This is a more traditional slot game as far as symbols and payouts. The Wild can substitute for any symbol but the Scatter and offers the highest payout of 100x the bet. The yellow horseshoe is the next highest-paying symbol, followed by the green and then the pink/purple horseshoes.

Scatters contribute to solid payouts and need not be on a payline to show a win, but they do not lead to any free spins in this game.

The most sought-after symbol, however, is the unicorn. Five unicorns on the grid triggers the Unicorn Jackpot Game. The unicorn symbols stick to their places, as the grid opens to a 5×5 screen. Play then starts with three respins, though each time a new symbol appears, that respin counter goes back to three. When no new unicorns appear and respins are exhausted, the bonus round is over. But that’s when the payout calculation begins.

The lowest possible payout is for the five original unicorn symbols, and that equals 10x the original bet. That increases with unicorns, though, to 20x for 10 total unicorns, 120x for 16 unicorns, and 540x for 24 unicorns.

There are also three jackpot possibilities for hitting certain unicorn milestones:

  • Minor: 15 unicorns for 100x jackpot
  • Major: 20 unicorns for 200x jackpot
  • Grand: 25 unicorns for 1000x jackpot

Gem Splitter: February 2021

Online slot game developers, as well as those in the live slot machine realm, have been trying to find ways to take regular gems – diamonds, rubies, etc. – and give them new life. Wazdan did just that with Gem Splitter. They used multiways payouts and the relatively new Symbol Splitter feature to provide more action than traditional gems are accustomed to.

  • 5 reels, 3 rows
  • 243-59,049 ways to win
  • 27% RTP
  • 9,000x max win
  • $0.10 min bet – $100 max bet
  • Low, medium, or high volatility

The highest-paying symbol in Gem Splitter is the red ruby at 100x the bet for 15 on a payline, followed by the green emerald. The yellow and blue gems also have reasonable payouts. Payouts happen for anything from 3-15 symbols on a payline.

In this game, the Splitter is the most obvious feature. It happens on every spin, with one randomly-selected gem splitting into one of five different combinations. The combinations that create one gem on top of another increase the number of paylines available, and the ones to the left or right of each other increase the payouts.

At least three Scatter symbols activate 10 free spins. During that bonus round, if a symbol shows the +3FS, it means the player receives an additional three free spins. Another unique feature of the bonus round is that the Splitter operates by splitting a symbol on every spin into four, which is the maximum way to increase paylines and payouts.

Clover Lady: February 2021

Even though the Clover Lady has no name, she is the star of this game. She lives in the woods with her wolf, and only they can guide players through the enchanted forest. Combine somewhat traditional features with Wazdan’s Hold the Jackpot mechanic, and Clover Lady becomes an exciting adventure.

  • 6 reels, 3 rows
  • 10 paylines
  • 21% RTP
  • 3,500x max win
  • $0.10 min bet – $100 max bet
  • Low, medium, or high volatility

The best symbol to see on the board is the Direwolf, who incidentally sits to the right of the grid, looking friendly and watching the action. When his howling symbol appears on the grid with a spin, it multiplies any win by 1.5x. Each additional one on the same spin adds another .5x to the multiplier.

The Wild is the clover, which can substitute for anything except the Bonus and wolf, andit pays as much as 100x for six on a payline. The red, sparkling strawberry is the next best symbol, followed by the blue plum.

The Clover Lady herself is the Bonus symbol, and three of those on a spin activates the Clover Jackpot Bonus. This makes all Bonus and wolf symbols sticky, and they stay in place for the rest of the bonus round. Bonus symbols may appear anywhere but then move to the middle row, and wolf symbols appear only on the top and bottom rows.

The bonus game begins with three respins, but anytime a new Bonus or wolf appears and sticks, the spinner resets to three. When those are complete and no new symbols appear, the bonus is over. The wolves pay as previously explained for the ultimate multiplier, with a maximum of 7x. And filling the board with six Bonus symbols and 12 wolves ensures the game’s maximum payout of 3,500x the bet.

The four jackpots shown at the top of the screen during all gameplay as a teaser for jackpots available during the Clover Jackpot Bonus round. They equal:

  • Mini: 3 bonus symbols = 10x the bet
  • Minor: 4 bonus symbols = 25x the bet
  • Major: 5 bonus symbols = 50x the bet
  • Grand: 6 bonus symbols = 500x the bet

Burning Stars 3: March 2021

The third iteration of Burning Stars is better than ever. Wazdan took the popularity of the original game and has continued to improve on it. In this case, it actually helped to simplify the game but add the wildly popular Hold the Jackpot feature.

  • 3 reels, 3 rows
  • Unlisted paylines
  • 12% RTP
  • 2,187x max win
  • $0.10 min bet – $100 max bet
  • Low, medium, or high volatility

The Wild symbol substitutes for all others except the Bonus, as is expected. There are only a few symbols in the game, considering the grid is 3×3, and the highest paying is the red seven, which pays 200x the bet. The watermelon pays 50x, and the plum reduces it to 15x for nine symbols. The kicker for Burning Stars 3 is that symbols need not be on a particular payline, but there must be at least four on the board to constitute a win.

The Hold the Jackpot feature works as in the previous game. The difference is that the Bonus symbol in this game is the blazing globe of fire in the sky. When three of them appear on a spin, Hold the Jackpot begins with those Bonus symbols held in place. Players start with three respins and resets to three with every spin that produces a new symbol.

Three Bonus globes garner a simple 3x payout, but it increases quickly to 27x for five of them. The jackpots then kick in:

  • Mini: 6 symbols = 81x the bet
  • Minor: 7 symbols = 243x the bet
  • Major: 8 symbols = 729x the bet
  • Grand: 9 symbols = 2,187x the bet

Sun of Fortune: April 2021

Carrying over the brilliant, bright colors from Burning Stars 3, Sun of Fortune is filled with oranges and reds, fires and dragons, all playing out on a beautifully-decorated red background. The Asian-inspired game takes a simple 4×4 grid and dresses up every symbol. With that said, the Hold the Jackpot feature is the primary attraction.

  • 4 reels, 4 rows
  • Unlisted paylines
  • 15% RTP
  • 1,450x max win
  • $0.10 min bet – $100 max bet
  • Low, medium, or high volatility

Sun of Fortune is similar to the previous game in the way it pays as well. There are no official paylines, but when at least 8 of a particular symbol show up after a spin, they can be anywhere on the grid to pay. The gold dragon is the most lucrative one at 200x for the entire 16-square grid. The next on the list of payouts is the golden bird, then the golden lion and fish. The Wild substitutes for everything but the Bonus symbols.

The Hold the Jackpot feature is triggered by the blazing suns. Six of them trigger the bonus round, but simply hitting three, four, or five of them triggers a free respin with those suns holding for more. It is a second chance to hit the Jackpot feature.

Again, the player begins with three respins, as each new symbol sticks. That resets the respin counter to three, and this continues until the board is full or three continuous spins produce no new symbols.

Each symbol offers a dollar amount that is equal to 1x-10x, 12x, or 15x the bet. The suns can also display mini, minor, or major jackpots. And if all 16 symbols hit, the player wins the grand jackpot. They pay as:

  • Mini jackpot: 20x the bet
  • Minor jackpot: 50x the bet
  • Major jackpot: 150x the bet
  • Grand jackpot: 1,000x the bet

Where to Play Wazdan Games

All Wazdan games allow players to set their own volatility levels. Low increases the chance that players will hit more wins but lower wins, and high lessens the wins but increases their value. Medium is somewhere in between.

Players can also hit the shopping cart button on any game to purchase the Hold the Jackpot Bonus. This is expensive, though, as it costs 70x the bet. The hope is to recoup that cost with the bonus, but it is a risky bet.

The best way to familiarize with Wazdan games is to visit the Wazdan website’s games page. Simply click on any game to see the technical details or play the demo version. It allows players to experiment with all of the features and the volatility levels to see what works best before playing for real money.

When ready for that real-money casino action, click on through for our bonuses below.

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Aquis committed to $330m Canberra casino redevelopment

The $330 million proposed redevelopment of Casino Canberra is back on the table, with the venue’s operator, Aquis Entertainment, planning to resume talks with the ACT government about the plan.

Inside Asian Gaming reports that Aquis chairman Tony Fung told shareholders during the company’s annual general meeting that redeveloping the casino remained an important part of Aquis’ future, despite having seen talks stall on multiple occasions due to disagreements over the number of poker machines able to be installed.

We do remain committed to the redevelopment of the property and we believe that the post COVID-19 recovery in Canberra is the greatest opportunity to do so,” he said.

“We will be holding discussions with the government this year to discuss the conditions in place in relation to the redevelopment and electronic gaming machines and we look forward to the opportunity to deliver to Canberra the kind of world class entertainment precinct that our capital city deserves and to creating many new employment opportunities and further securing all existing roles within our business.”

Aquis, which purchased Casino Canberra in 2014, submitted its original redevelopment plans in 2015, including a request for permission to install up to 500 poker machines.

Casino Canberra is not permitted to operate poker machines under the current legislation.

The company’s initial bid was rejected in December 2018, with the government describing the proposal as untenable due to ongoing uncertainty surrounding regulation and financing details.

Instead, the ACT government issued a counter offer under which Aquis would be permitted to run 200 poker machines and 60 electronic gaming machines subject to strict conditions.

Aquis has largely balked at the reduced offering since.

Nevertheless, Fung said that redevelopment of the casino “still forms part of our longer-term strategy for growth in Canberra.”

Unexplained share price spike for Aquis

Aquis recently reported a profit of A$798,201 in 2020, reversing an A$4 million loss in 2020. In March, Aquis shares exploded, rising 48.89 per cent in a single day. The move caps off what has been a wild ride for Aquis over 2021.

Aquis is a company that until 2021, had been drifting in relative obscurity for years. Between mid-2015 and the end of 2020, the company had slowly lost around 80 per cent of its value. In 2020, Aquis even touched the depressingly low share price of less than half a cent.

2021 has seen a dramatic reversal in the fortune of the company.

After starting the year at four cents a share, it rocketed almost 2000 per cent between February 16 and 25, when it reached a new all-time high of 82 cents a share.

The difference between this company’s 52-week low and 52-week high is an astonishing 27,233 per cent.

The share price has subsequently slid from those highs, but remains well above where it was two months ago.

Aquis is a gaming company whose flagship asset is Casino Canberra, the only licenced casino in the Australian Capital Territory.

Beyond this, the company also states that it is “actively looking to grow its Australian operations”.

Casino Canberra offers everything you would expect from a casino, including entertainment, bars and restaurants, accommodation and gambling facilities.

Experts have found it hard to pin down one of the strangest movements that has occurred on the ASX this year.

Aquis paused trading on February 18 after an ASX query into the massive price movements that occurred in the days prior.

In response, Aquis said: “The company is not aware of any information concerning it that has not been announced to the market and which could be an explanation for the recent trading in the company’s securities.”

 

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Crown anti-money laundering training called into question

Training about the perils of money laundering was only given to members of Crown Resorts board two months ago, the Victorian royal commission into the besieged casino operator has heard.

The Australian Financial Review reports that the first time Crown Resorts directors received anti-money laundering training in person was last March.

Before that, the training was conducted online.

Giving evidence at the royal commission examining the suitability of Crown Resorts to operate its Melbourne casino, Crown’s head of anti-money laundering, Nick Stokes, said: “I believe the only training they had received was the online module,” which could take as little as 30 minutes.

I believe the only training they had received was the online module,” Stokes claimed.

Mr Stokes, who joined Crown in November 2019 following media revelations of money laundering linked to Crown’s junket programs, said the recent face-to-face training was run by Steven Blackburn, Crown’s new chief compliance and financial crimes officer.

Mr Stokes said when he joined Crown he had to copy in the chief executive, Ken Barton, to request more resources to beef up the anti-money laundering program.

“My direct supervisor at the time, former general counsel Josh Preston, didn’t believe that we needed the amount of resources that I was after,” he said.

Victoria’s royal commission was sparked by the NSW Bergin inquiry, which found Crown unfit to open its Sydney casino because it had facilitated the laundering of hundreds of millions of dollars via its partnerships with junket operators with links to criminal gangs and triads.

Crown announced its decision to axe junket partnership last Wednesday, the evening before the group was due to front the royal commission for the first time over its failure to prevent money laundering and criminal infiltration via its junket program.

Junkets are organised by gambling tours for foreign VIP high-rollers.

Royal commissioner Ray Finkelstein cast doubt on whether Crown’s decision to axe junkets at its Melbourne casino would be enough to prevent organised crime and money laundering from reinfiltrating the casino giant.

He flagged concerns that high-rollers previously linked to junket operators would now be dispersed and could just turn up at Crown to launder money unless Crown committed to doing deep background checks on them.

Mr Finkelstein asked Murray Lawson, the Deloitte consultant hired by Crown to examine its money laundering risks, if the players previously linked to junkets would effectively be put on a watch list because they were higher risk.

All the players who…previously came here through a junket operator…Crown is likely to go and chase them directly – that makes business sense?” Commissioner Finkelstein asked.

“Possibly,” Dr Lawson said, adding it would depend on the kind of new customer relationship Crown had with them, indicating they could be folded into standard anti-money laundering checks done on regular players.

Dr Lawson told the commission Crown withheld due diligence reports on key junket operators linked to organised crime from him when he was examining its anti-money laundering systems in 2020.

The reports, on junket operators linked to organised crime such as Alvin Chau’s Suncity and another operator, convicted criminal Song Zezhai, were deemed “too sensitive” by Crown former top legal counsel, Josh Preston, to be subject to review.

Counsel assisting, Penny Neskovcin, QC, told the inquiry in her opening remarks that Suncity produced a turnover at Crown Melbourne that “exceeded’ $20.5 billion in the 2015-18 financial years.

Overall, Crown’s revenue from junkets in the 2017 financial year was approximately $200 million, in 2018 it was $400 million and in 2019 it dropped to $300 million, she said.

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