ACMA Takes Action Against Kayo Over Gambling Ad Violations

Kayo, provided by Hubbl, has come under fire for showing gambling ads outside the permitted times during various live sports events. Following complaints from viewers, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) launched an investigation.

Online content providers are only allowed to show gambling ads during live sports between 5 am and 8:30 pm. These ads are also banned five minutes before and after an event. ACMA found that 16 different gambling advertisements aired outside the allowed times across 267 live sports events.

Hubbl responded, stating a system error affected viewers using Kayo’s iOS applications. This issue occurred over six weeks between February and March 2023.

ACMA’s Ruling and Consequences

In response, ACMA issued Hubbl with a remedial direction to arrange an external audit of its technical systems and processes. This audit includes measures implemented to prevent future breaches. If Hubbl fails to comply, it could face penalties of up to AU$626,000 per day, at the discretion of the Australian Federal Court.

ACMA authority member Carolyn Lidgerwood expressed concern over the breach. She criticized Hubbl and Kayo for failing to identify the system bug that allowed gambling ads during prohibited times.

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“Online streaming services and broadcasters must have robust systems in place to adhere to these long-standing gambling advertising rules,” 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.”

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