Australia’s ACMA blasts online sports radio provider

The investigation showed that SEN+ streamed a gambling promotion during online audio coverage of AO’s women’s quarter final.
The investigation showed that SEN+ streamed a gambling promotion during online audio coverage of AO’s women’s quarter final.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) said that SEN+ breached online gambling advertising rules during the Australian Open.

Australia.- The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has released an investigation that blasts online sports radio provider SEN+. The authority says that the Melbourne-based provider breached gambling advertising rules during the Australian Open.

The investigation showed that SEN+ streamed a gambling promotion during online audio coverage of the women’s quarter-final. The game took place on January 23, 2019, and Australia’s rules had come into effect three months earlier, in September 2018. The rules ban all gambling advertisements on streaming services during live coverage of sports between 5 am and 8:30 pm. They also ban gambling ads five minutes before the scheduled start of the event and five minutes after it ends.

The monitoring body of ACMA found that SEN+ streamed a gambling advertisement at 10:58 am, just before the 11 am coverage of the Australia Open kicked off.

ACMA Chair Nerida O’Loughlin said: “Online service providers need to be aware of their obligations. 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 error

ACMA reported that the breach happened because of an inadvertent error by SEN+ due to an unexpected scheduling delay. In response, the ACMA issued a remedial direction to SEN+’s owner Pacific Star Network (PSN) to commission an independent audit of its processes and practices and conduct staff training on the rules to ensure future compliance with the rules.

“PSN must, under the remedial direction, formally report to the ACMA on its findings and recommended improvements. Providers face financial penalties if they fail to carry out the requirements of a remedial direction. PSN has the right to appeal to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal for a review of the ACMA’s decision,” explained ACMA.

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