Kiwi online and TV punters spend over NZ$1 million
By abigail
In New Zealand, the amount of revenue generated by online and interactive gambling in a year has just hit the NZ$1 million mark. According to figures just released, in the year up to 31 July, Kiwis gambled more than $1 million dollars using these formats for the first time. The TAB operated online branch took $94.5 million this year, compared to $86 million in the same period the previous year- up to 31 July 2003. The bets taken through interactive TV channel SkyBet exceeded $6 million.

Currently the TAB (the operating name for the New Zealand Racing Board) is the only organisation licensed to take bets online. There are plans however for the Lotteries Commission to join them, as well as selling gaming products through TV and mobile phones. The interactive channel SkyBet is run through Sky TV and again gives viewers access to placing bets through the TAB.

Peter Evans, the e-business manager with the New Zealand Racing Board released the figures, and added that the TAB is currently clearing more than $2 million a week through online operations. Warwick Wright, the organisationís general manager of technology said he is confident that online operations alone will see more that $1 million taken up to 31 July next year.

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