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Kayo Breaches Australian Gambling Ad Rules

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ACMA Finds Kayo in Breach of Gambling Advertising Rules

The world of sports streaming is under scrutiny!

Kayo, a popular sports streaming service, has breached Australian gambling advertising regulations.

Discover how Kayo’s violations impact viewers and what steps are being taken to ensure compliance.

Stay informed about the latest in gambling advertising rules and the measures to protect audiences.

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Kayo Sports Found in Breach of Australian Gambling Advertising Rules

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has found Kayo, a leading sports streaming service, in breach of strict gambling advertising regulations. Owned by Hubbl, Kayo aired several gambling advertisements during live sports events outside the legally permitted times, raising concerns about compliance and viewer protection.

In Australia, online content providers like Kayo must adhere to stringent rules that prohibit the display of gambling advertisements during live sports events between 5 am and 8:30 pm. This includes a buffer of five minutes before and after the event. However, an investigation by ACMA revealed that Kayo had aired 16 different gambling advertisements outside these permitted times, affecting 267 live sports events in total.

The breaches came to light following multiple viewer complaints, prompting ACMA to launch a thorough investigation into Kayo’s advertising practices. According to Hubbl, a system error was to blame, specifically affecting viewers using iOS applications during a six-week period between February and March 2023.

ACMA’s findings have serious implications for Kayo and its parent company Hubbl. The regulatory body has issued a remedial direction, mandating Hubbl to conduct an external audit of its technical systems and processes. This audit will include a review of the measures implemented to prevent such breaches in the future. Failure to comply with this directive could result in hefty penalties, with potential fines of up to $626,000 (US$415,585.75) per day, imposed by the Federal Court.

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Carolyn Lidgerwood, a member of the ACMA Authority, emphasized the importance of robust systems to ensure compliance with gambling advertising rules. “Online streaming services and broadcasters have a responsibility to adhere to these long-standing rules. They exist 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,” she stated.

This incident highlights the ongoing challenges in regulating advertising in the digital age, where system errors can lead to significant breaches. Kayo’s situation underscores the necessity for continuous monitoring and stringent compliance measures to protect viewers from the potential harms of gambling advertisements.

In a broader context, ACMA has been actively working to safeguard Australian viewers from illegal and harmful gambling practices. Just last week, ACMA collaborated with local Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to block access to illegal offshore gambling websites, including A Big Candy, Jackpoty, and John Vegas Casino. This proactive stance demonstrates ACMA’s commitment to maintaining a safe and regulated online gambling environment.

Impact on Viewers and Industry

The breach by Kayo has raised concerns about the effectiveness of current advertising controls and the potential impact on viewers, especially young and vulnerable audiences. Gambling advertisements during live sports events can be particularly enticing, potentially leading to increased gambling activity among viewers.

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Hubbl’s system error, although unintentional, resulted in significant non-compliance with regulations designed to protect viewers. The company’s prompt acknowledgment of the error and willingness to conduct an external audit is a positive step towards ensuring future compliance. However, the incident serves as a stark reminder of the need for vigilant oversight and robust technical safeguards in the digital broadcasting industry.

Looking Ahead

As Kayo and Hubbl work to rectify the issues identified by ACMA, the case sets a precedent for other streaming services and broadcasters. Ensuring strict adherence to advertising regulations is crucial for maintaining viewer trust and avoiding hefty penalties.

For viewers, particularly those concerned about the influence of gambling advertisements, this incident highlights the importance of regulatory bodies like ACMA. Their role in monitoring and enforcing advertising standards is vital in protecting the public from potential harms associated with gambling.

In conclusion, the ACMA’s findings against Kayo underscore the ongoing need for stringent oversight in the broadcasting and streaming sectors. By addressing these breaches and implementing robust compliance measures, companies like Hubbl can help maintain a safe and regulated advertising environment, ensuring the protection of all viewers.

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Following the completion of her master's degree in publishing and writing, Amanda embarked on her professional journey as an online editor for a prominent gaming blog. Now, she has smoothly transitioned into the iGaming industry, where she plays a vital role in upholding the highest standards of writing in our news pieces. Working closely with senior management, Amanda ensures that our content meets the utmost quality standards.

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