SBC News Hubbl in trouble with the ACMA for streaming gambling ads on Kayo

Hubbl in trouble with the ACMA for streaming gambling ads on Kayo

Sports streaming service Kayo has been found guilty of breaching out-of-hours advertising regulations by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

According to the ACMA, the investigation into the Hubbl Pty Limited-owned platform was launched following reports from viewers seeing gambling ads shown during live sports events between the hours of 5am and 8:30pm – a timeframe that is currently out of bounds for online content providers. 

A total of 16 different gambling advertisements were identified to have aired outside of the permitted hours, spanning across a total of 267 live sports events. 

Kayo’s owner Hubbl issued a counterclaim that the breach was caused by an error in its system affecting iOS users over six weeks between February and March 2023. 

However, the ACMA maintained its position that Hubbl’s failure to intercept the system bug in a timely manner despite the large scale of the problem was still a cause for concern. 

Carolyn Lidgerwood, ACMA Authority Member, commented: “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.

“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.”

As a next step the ACMA has asked Hubbl to appoint an external audit of its technical system, and include a detailed report on the measures implemented following the breaches. 

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