Nine breaches television code for gambling advertisements

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) announced that General Television Corporation Pty Ltd (Channel Nine) has breached the Commercial TV Industry Code of Practice 2015 by broadcasting on 9Go! commercials for a gambling service during a program principally directed to children.

An investigation by the ACMA found six commercials for the gambling service were shown between 7.30 pm and 8.30 pm during the adventure/fantasy film, The Spiderwick Chronicles, broadcast on 30 September 2016.

Starting at 6.31 pm, the film, an adaptation of a series of books of the same name, was classified PG. The code states that a commercial relating to betting or gambling must not be broadcast during any program broadcast between 5.00 am and 8.30 pm that is principally directed to children.

"The restriction on gambling adverting was expanded in the 2015 code to address community concern about children's exposure to betting and gambling advertising," said acting ACMA Chairman, Richard Bean.

"In this case, the commercials encouraged viewers to use an online betting platform to stake money on the outcome of the 2016 AFL Grand Final and the player who would score the first goal in that match. Since the code came into effect in December 2015, these types of commercials cannot be broadcast in programs principally directed to children, regardless of their classification," Mr Bean said.

Nine has indicated it has taken a number of steps to minimise the likelihood of a breach occurring in the future. In light of those steps, and taking into account that this is the first breach of this new obligation, the ACMA considers that the compliance issues raised by the investigation have been sufficiently addressed.

Findlaw

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