The Seven Network Operations Ltd (Seven) was found to have breached online content rules following an Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) investigation.
A gambling advertisement was shown at 10.38am on 7plus during a live stream of an NFL American Football game. The December 2022 breach came just two months after the media regulator published a formal warning to Seven for a similar incident. Under Australian law, gambling promotions cannot be shown during live streams of sporting events between 5am and 8.30pm. They can also not be shown during the five minutes before and after a game.
Seven has paid a penalty of AU$13,320 (US$8,400/€7,900/£6,900) for the breach, the maximum amount that ACMA was able to apply.
In mitigation, Seven said that the streaming of the ad was an isolated event. It said it had implemented additional mitigation measures to avoid future error, including additional oversight and training.
ACMA chair Nerida O’Loughlin said the regulator is mindful of public concerns about the level of exposure to gambling advertising.
“The ACMA expects broadcasters to have robust systems and processes and associated assurance mechanisms in place to support compliance with these laws,” O’Loughlin said.
“Seven has told us that the measures it has in place are adequate to ensure future compliance and it does not need to do more. Following repeated breaches by Seven, we will continue to closely monitor their compliance.”
More than one million gambling ads in Australia
ACMA recently published data showing over one million gambling adverts featured on Australian free-to-air television and radio in 12 months. Of all adverts that appeared on free-to-air television and metro radio, 50% – or 502,800 – were from licensed online gambling operators. As for how much was spent on adverts, this hit AU$238.6m (£124.6m/€143.7m/US$151.4m).
Earlier this year, ACMA issued sports streaming service Kayo with a formal warning after ruling it breached gambling advertising rules. Kayo showed gambling advertisements during a May 2022 Australian Football League (AFL) match. The promotions were streamed within a five-minute window of play commencing and during breaks.