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ACMA takes stick to Channel 9 over illegal SOO gambling ads

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The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has taken action against the Nine Network for breaching gambling advertising rules during online streams of the 2019 NRL State of Origin.

An ACMA investigation found Nine aired gambling advertisements for online bookmakers during the pre-game programming for State of Origin Games 1 and 2 on its streaming platform, 9Now.

Under gambling advertising rules, restrictions start five minutes before kick-off if the broadcaster lets viewers know when the game starts at least 24 hours in advance. In this case, Nine did not do this, so the rules applied five minutes before the pre-game coverage.

ACMA Chair Nerida O’Loughlin said the rules prohibit all gambling advertising during live sport streamed online between 5am and 8.30pm.

“I hope this sends a message to all streaming services that this is something they need to get right,” Ms O’Loughlin said.

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

The ACMA has issued Nine with a remedial direction requiring it to conduct staff training on the rules for gambling advertising on online platforms, and to submit two written reports showing compliance with the rules over the next 12 months.

In the event that Nine does not comply with the remedial direction, the ACMA may seek penalties of up to $420,000.

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