ACMA finds Kayo in breach of gambling advertising rules

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ACMA finds Kayo in breach of gambling advertising rules

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has determined that the sports streaming service Kayo, operated by Hubbl Pty Limited (Hubbl), violated gambling advertising regulations by displaying gambling ads during live sports events outside permitted hours.

Following complaints from viewers about gambling ads during live sports streams on Kayo, the ACMA investigated Hubbl. According to regulations, online content providers must not show gambling ads during live sports events between 5am and 8:30pm, including in the five minutes before and after the event.

The ACMA’s investigation found that 16 different gambling ads were shown outside the allowed times across 267 live sports events. Hubbl attributed this to a system error affecting viewers using iOS applications over a six-week period in February and March 2023.

ACMA Authority member Carolyn Lidgerwood expressed concern over the scale of the error and Hubbl’s failure to detect a system bug impacting the display of gambling ads during numerous live sports events.

Ms. Lidgerwood said:

Online streaming services and broadcasters have a responsibility to implement robust systems to comply with these long-standing gambling advertising rules. The rules are designed to reduce viewer exposure to gambling ads, especially for impressionable young audiences and those vulnerable to gambling harms. In this case, Hubbl has let those viewers down.

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

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