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NEWS 20 March 2020

Australian broadcaster warned over breaching gambling advert regulations

By Iqbal Johal

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has told broadcaster Nine to prove compliance with gambling advertising rules, after it was found to have breached them.

An investigation from communications watchdog ACMA found commercial free-to-air broadcaster Nine aired gambling adverts during the pre-game show for games one and two of Rugby League’s State of Origin series, on its streaming platform 9Now.

Australian rules stop gambling adverts from being shown five minutes before the start of a sporting event, if they let viewers know when the game will start at least 24 hours in advance.

But Nine did not notify viewers 24 hours in advance, leading them to be in breach of regulation. This is because, without a 24-hour notice, rules dictate adverts must stop five minutes before the pre-game coverage, 

The ACMA issued the broadcaster with remedial action, including requiring it to conduct staff training on adhering to gambling advertising rules on online platforms, and to submit two written reports proving compliance with the rules within the next 12 months.

Failure to follow these directions may result in a penalty of up to AU$420k (US$246k) issued by the ACMA.

ACMA Chair Nerida O’Loughlin said: "I hope this sends a message to all streaming services that this is something they need to get right.

"One of the reasons these rules are in place is to allow families to watch live sport without exposing children to gambling."

RELATED TAGS: Sports Betting
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