ACMA Issues Warning to Kayo over Gambling Ads

Hubbl's sports streaming service Kayo has been cautioned by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) for violating the country's gambling advertising regulations.

ACMA Canberra Office. ACMA found that Kayo broadcasted 16 gambling ads outside authorized timeframe. (Source: Ben Wrigley)

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ACMA's decision follows an investigation into Kayo's gambling advertising practices, prompted by viewer complaints that the streaming service had broadcast gambling ads outside designated time slots during various live sports events.

Through the inquiry, ACMA discovered that Kayo broadcasted 16 different gambling ads outside the authorized time frames across 267 live sports events, indicating a breach of advertising rules.

Gambling advertisements during live sports events are only permitted between 5 AM and 8:30 PM on online content platforms. Additionally, these ads are not allowed to be broadcast five minutes before or after a live event.

In their response to the development, Hubbl attributed the issue to a technical glitch that affected Kayo's iOS app users and resulted in the inadvertent display of gambling ads for six weeks, from February to March 2023.

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Besides the warning, ACMA ordered Hubbl to undergo an external audit of its technical systems and processes, including any measures implemented since the breaches. Failure to comply may result in daily penalties of up to AU$ 626,000, as decided by the Australian Federal Court.

Online streaming services as well as broadcasters all have a responsibility to put robust systems in place so that they adhere to these long-standing gambling advertising rules. The rules are there to reduce viewer exposure to gambling ads. This is particularly true for impressionable young audiences and those vulnerable to gambling harm. In this case, Hubbl has let those viewers down.

Carolyn LidgerwoodACMA Authority Member

While ensuring compliance with gambling ad regulations, ACMA primarily focuses on protecting Australian consumers from illegal gambling services.

Since the year began, ACMA has requested the blocking of 31 websites suspected of offering illegal online gambling services.


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