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June, 2024

Kayo Sports streaming service breaches gambling ad rules, says ACMA

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has found that sports streaming service Kayo, provided by Hubbl Pty Limited (Hubbl), breached gambling advertising rules. The breach involved the presentation of gambling advertisements during live sports events outside the allowed times. ACMA launched an investigation into Hubbl following viewer complaints relating to live streams of various sporting events on Kayo.

According to the rules, gambling advertisements must not be shown by online content providers during live sports events between 5am and 8.30pm, including in the five minutes before and after the event. ACMA’s investigations identified 16 different gambling advertisements were provided outside the allowed times across a total of 267 live sport events.

Hubbl attributed this to a system error that affected viewers using iOS applications over a six-week period in February and March 2023. ACMA has issued Hubbl with a remedial direction requiring it to arrange an external audit of its technical systems and processes, including the measures 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.

“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,” said Carolyn Lidgerwood, ACMA Authority member. “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.”