Jeff Voyles is looking to become gambling’s Ted Turner and/or Rupert Murdoch. Voyles, who runs a Las Vegas-based casino consulting business in addition to his role as a professor at UNLV, thinks there’s a market for a 24-hour gaming news channel. The plan is to get things started online, with the hopes of eventually convincing some cable provider to pick them up for terrestrial viewing.
In terms of content, Voyles is hoping for a mix of industry news and flashier fare – as he puts it, a mix of CNN, ESPN and the Travel Channel. Along with partner Randy Zinkil, Voyles hopes to create a platform from which industry people can communicate their message.
Investors have so far anted up $1m to help Volyes grease the wheels, but skeptics abound. Where, they ask, is the sizable audience clamoring for this type of programming around the clock, especially when so much content is already available 24/7 online? Even successful content providers such as Players Network can’t convince Las Vegas cable companies to carry their fare locally due to a perceived lack of interest on behalf of the average TV viewer. Clearly, Voyles and Zinkil have aimed high, but their ultimate fate may be more Wayne’s World than Rupert’s world.