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Gambling Option For New Digital In-Home TV Service
Demand for new gambling services to be allowed through digital televisions "has delayed the Howard Government's auction of new digital channels - a key part of its media reform platform - as it weighs up the issue," reported The Australian newspaper. Federal Communications Minister Helen Coonan "confirmed policy issues involving the kinds of gaming or wagering services that might be allowed under new broadcast licences were under discussion". While Coonan declared "we intended to be socially responsible & would not countenance any kind of against-the-house betting (games such as poker) in lounge rooms," she also confirmed: "But there are some activities which may be acceptable." Bingo! As the newspaper noted, a new "digital in-home TV service . . . . would become more valuable if it became a new platform for in-home betting. That option appeals to pay-TV racing channel ThoroughVision." TVN chief executive Peter Sweeney confirmed: "If there's an opportunity for that channel to be available for wagering, TVN would certainly be wanting to be at the table. Obviously part of TVN's medium-to-long-term plans are to leverage its rights in the best ways possible." He added TVN was "always looking at opportunities that come with the new technology." Stay Tuned!