Online sports radio station SEN+ breached gambling advertising rules, says ACMA

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has found that SEN+ breached gambling advertising rules.

The Melbourne-based online sports radio station, owned by Pacific Star Network, streamed a gambling promotion at 10:58am during online audio coverage of the Australian Open women’s quarter final on 23 January. Gambling advertisements on streaming services during live coverage of sport are banned between 5am and 8:30pm.

The rules banning gambling ads during those times came into effect in September last year. In addition, the ad aired two minutes before the 11am coverage of the match commenced, and the rules also ban gambling ads five minutes before the scheduled start of an event and five minutes after play finishes.

“Online service providers need to be aware of their obligations,” said ACMA’s chair, Nerida O’Loughlin.

“The rules are in place to create a safe zone for children and families as they enjoy live sport broadcast on television or streamed online.”

The airing of the ad was an accident, caused by an unexpected scheduling delay experienced by SEN+. Accordingly, ACMA has ordered Pacific Star Network to commission an independent audit of its processes and practices and train staff on the rules to avoid future breaches.

The Network will have to report back to ACMA on the audit’s findings and recommended improvements.

Should Pacific Star Network fail to comply with the direction, it will face a fine. It can appeal ACMA’s decision with the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.


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