TikTok said it was running a controlled pilot for gambling ads.
Australia.- TikTok has been criticised for showing SportsBet ads despite the platform having banned gambling ads. The company said the ads were part of a controlled pilot test and contained the responsible gambling messages required by law. It said the ads have limited frequency and are only shown to over 21s.
However, Nicholas Carah, director of digital culture and society at the University of Queensland, said it would be difficult for TikTok to control whether users who saw the ads were aged over 21. He suggested that the federal government should regulate gambling advertising on social media as it does on TV, radio and online sports streaming.
Social services minister Amanda Rishworth had previously said she was “very keen” to discuss further gambling regulation after the results of a parliamentary inquiry into online gambling that began in September.
A week ago, the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) announced that it has commenced an enforcement investigation into Sportsbet and Bet365 due to suspicions they failed to comply with anti-money laundering laws.
External auditors will be authorised to assess Sportsbet’s and Bet365’s compliance with the AML/CTF Act and Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Rules Instrument 2007 (No. 1) (AML/CTF Rules). It follows the recent launch of an investigation into Entain.
AUSTRAC chief executive Nicole Rose said that AUSTRAC will take action if it finds systemic deficiencies. She said: “Sportsbet and Bet365 are amongst the largest operators in the corporate bookmaking sector. AUSTRAC is putting the whole industry on notice to lift their game.”