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Kayo warned for breaching ACMA's gambling advertising rules

26 June 2024

(PRESS RELEASE) -- The Australian Communications and Media Authority has found that sports streaming service Kayo, provided by Hubbl Pty Limited, breached gambling advertising rules by presenting gambling advertisements during live sports events outside allowed times.

The ACMA investigated Hubbl following complaints from viewers relating to live streams of a number of sporting events on Kayo. Gambling advertisements must not be shown by online content providers during live sport events between 5am and 8.30pm, including in the five minutes before and after the event.

The ACMA’s investigations identified 16 different gambling advertisements were provided outside the allowed times across a total of 267 live sport events. Hubbl advised that this was caused by a system error that affected viewers using iOS applications in a six week period over February and March 2023.

ACMA Authority member Carolyn Lidgerwood said the scale of the error as well as Hubbl’s failure to identify a system bug affecting the playout of gambling ads across a large number of live sport events was very 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,” Ms Lidgerwood said.

“The rules are there to reduce viewer exposure to gambling ads, particularly for impressionable young audiences and those vulnerable to gambling harms. In this case Hubbl has let those viewers down.”

The ACMA has issued Hubbl with a remedial direction requiring it to arrange an external audit of its technical systems and processes, including the measures that it has implemented subsequent to the breaches.

If Hubbl fails to comply with the terms of the remedial direction it may be ordered by the Federal Court to pay penalties of up to $626,000 per day.

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