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Channel Nine gets slap on wrist over gambling ads

Sat, Apr 1, 8:59am by Senior Writer

Channel Nine has received a slap on the wrist after airing a gambling advertisement promoting betting on the 2016 AFL Grand Final during children’s viewing times.

Nine was found by the Australian Communications and Media Authority to have shown six sports betting ads during the broadcast of The Spiderwick Chronicles on its Go! channel in September

The ads promoted betting on first goals scorer and head to head in the grand Final, which was won by the Western Bulldogs.

Broadcasting gambling ads during children’s viewing times is a breach of the commercial TV code of practice.

The code states that gambling ads are not to be broadcast before 8:30pm, unless it is during a sporting event.

“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.’

This is the first investigation the ACMA has undertaken that considers the new clause of the 2015 code.

“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,” the statement said.

ACMA’s powers in relation to the gambling industry are set to be widely expanded under the recently passed Interactive Gambling Amendment Act.

AMCA is now empowered to impose civil penalties on those who breach IGA laws.

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