June 25, 2024 3 min read


Fact-checked by Velimir Velichkov

ACMA Could Fine Kayo in Australia for Allegedly Breaching Ad Rules

The Australian Communications and Media Authority has sent a remedial direction to Kayo for allegedly breaching the country’s gambling ad regulations

The independent Commonwealth statutory authority that regulates communications and media services in Australia, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), has issued a remedial direction to the video sports streaming subscription service Kayo.

The direction was sent as a result of the service owned by Hubbl allegedly breaching the country’s gambling advertising rules

Kayo to Undergo a Full External Audit

The streaming service that is home to the biggest line-up of sports including all the big Australian and overseas sports was previously warned by the ACMA over a similar gambling ad breach in the spring of 2023

Kayo had shown a series of ads during an Australian Football League match in May 2022.

Now, the company will need to have its technical systems and processes completely audited, allowing the ACMA to establish whether Hubbl’s claim that the gambling ad breach occurred due to a system error that targeted iOS device users was the culprit or not.  

If Kayo fails to comply with the external audit’s requirements, it may be slapped with a federal court order that would force it to pay fines of up to A$626,000 ($420,000) on a daily basis. 

16 Different Ads Aired During Prohibited Time Frame

According to the ACMA’s investigation, Kayo had aired 16 different gambling advertisements during the forbidden 5 am to 8:30 pm time frame when online content providers are not allowed to show any betting ads during live sports streaming.

The Australian law also prohibits gambling ads from being shown during the five minutes prior to and after a live sporting event.  

The 16 ads allegedly aired across 267 different live sporting events during the six weeks between February and March 2023.  

ACMA Member: “Hubbl Has Let Those Viewers Down”

When commenting on the sanction, ACMA authority member Carolyn Lidgerwood took the opportunity to show disappointment regarding Hubbl’s inability to not let its viewers down. 

Namely, Lidgerwood explained that both online streaming services and broadcasters have the shared “responsibility to put robust systems in place” so they adhere to the country’s “long-standing” gambling ad regulations.  

She further added the rules are needed to “reduce viewer exposure to gambling ads, particularly for impressionable young audiences and those vulnerable to gambling harms,” emphasizing  Hubbl had “let those viewers down” in this particular instance. Earlier in the month, the ACMA announced a crackdown on illegal gambling after it blocked offshore sites A Big Candy, Jackpoty, and John Vegas Casino.

After finishing her master's in publishing and writing, Melanie began her career as an online editor for a large gaming blog and has now transitioned over towards the iGaming industry. She helps to ensure that our news pieces are written to the highest standard possible under the guidance of senior management.

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