ACMA warns Kayo for breaching gambling ad rules

Home » ACMA warns Kayo for breaching gambling ad rules

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has issued a warning to sports streaming service Kayo after ruling it breached gambling advertising rules in the country.

Kayo, which is provided by Hubbl, has been accused of showing gambling adverts outside the allocated times of various live sports events. ACMA launched an investigation following complaints from viewers.

Online content providers may only show gambling adverts during live sport between 5am and 8.30pm. Such adverts are also prohibited five minutes before and after an event.

ACMA found 16 different gambling advertisements were provided outside the allowed times across a total of 267 live sport events. 

In its response, Hubbl said this was due to a system error that affected viewers using Kayo iOS applications. This took place over a six-week period between February and March 2023.

Ruling on the case, ACMA issued Hubbl with remedial direction to arrange an external audit of its technical systems and processes. This includes the measures that it has implemented subsequent to the breaches to prevent similar issues in the future.

Should Hubbl fail to comply, it may face having to pay penalties of up to AU$626,000 (£328,766/€388,572/US$417159) per day. This will be at the discretion of the Australian Federal Court.

ACMA says Kayo “let viewers down”

ACMA authority member Carolyn Lidgerwood hit out at Hubbl and Kayo over the breach. She said the scale of the error and failure to identify a system bug affecting the playout of gambling ads across a large number of live sport events was concerning.

“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,” Lidgerwood said.

“The rules are there to reduce viewer exposure to gambling ads. This is particularly for impressionable young audiences and those vulnerable to gambling harms. 

“In this case Hubbl has let those viewers down.”

Rule-breakers face action in Australia

Primarily, ACMA focuses on gambling operators and their actions. Last week, it requested the blocking of further three offshore gambling websites after ruling they were operating illegally.

ACMA flagged A Big Candy, Jackpoty and John Vegas Casino for breaching the Interactive Gambling Act 2001. The three websites were offering some form of online casino games without the relevant licence.

So far this year, ACMA has made 31 blocking requests against sites it deems to be running online gambling illegally.

Recent Comments

No comments to show.