Australian watchdog cracks down on gambling ads during live sports

28 April 2023


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Australian watchdog cracks down on gambling ads during live sports

This article provides an update on the recent announcement by Google that it will delay the phase-out of third-party cookies from its Chrome browser until 2023. The company originally planned to phase out the cookies by the end of 2022 but has pushed back the deadline due to concerns from advertisers and publishers about the impact on their revenue and ability to target ads. The delay will provide more time for companies to transition to alternative tracking methods and for Google to develop and implement its Privacy Sandbox initiative, which aims to provide a more privacy-friendly approach to online advertising. However, some privacy advocates have expressed concerns that the delay may further delay the shift toward a more privacy-centric digital ecosystem.

Sports streaming service Kayo has been issued a formal warning by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) for breaching gambling advertising rules. An ACMA investigation found that Kayo showed gambling advertisements during the May 2022 Australian Football League (AFL) match between Fremantle and Collingwood, with the promotions being streamed within a five-minute window of play commencing and during scheduled breaks. Australian law dictates that gambling ads must not be streamed during live sports events between 5 am and 8.30 pm, including the five minutes before and after the event.

ACMA Chair Nerida O’Loughlin stressed that streaming services need to comply with the same rules as traditional television broadcasters. She further noted that gambling advertising during live sports is a major concern for Australians, as families want to watch live sports without needing to worry that children may come to think of gambling as a part of the game. During its investigation, ACMA found that Kayo implemented live production testing and technical enhancements to both the processes and software it uses to schedule advertising. In addition, the Authority said Kayo will now have senior management review and sign off on future system changes that may impact the streaming platform’s compliance with rules on advertising.