An advert created to promote an online casino game based on Monopoly has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority. What led to this was the fact that, in the advertisement, a Monopoly mascot appears, and according to ASA, the appearance of the famous Rich Uncle Pennybags caricature could attract children’s interest. The timing didn’t help either since lately, there have been some major concerns over children’s exposure to gambling content.
Breach of Regulations
While appearing on the Mirror Online site, the ASA has reached an agreement that the advert, featuring Rich Uncle Pennybags doesn’t comply with their code which clearly states that gambling ads can’t be made in such ways that attract a younger population. In addition, recent proclamations that via TV ads, social media, apps, computer games, etc., children have been in contact with gambling info more than ever, have made circumstances even more difficult.
Even though ASA hasn’t officially confirmed their decision to this point, it’s been revealed that they’ve conveyed their issues to Entertaining Play, the company responsible for the game, giving them clear instructions about removing the ad permanently.
ASA contributed by stating that Monopoly, in general, is a family game, mostly played with children or by them under 18 years of age. Therefore, the appeal is obvious, especially considering the appearance of the Monopoly famous mascot that strongly gives suggestions for cartoonish content, appealing to younger people. Altogether, the ad appears to have the capacity to attract more interest from those under 18 years-old than the older population.
Bishop of St Albans, Right Rev, Dr Alan Smith agreed with ASA on the matter, adding about the game being widely sought-out by young people, and as such, the advert would draw children’s attention. In his opinion, this is yet another proof that children are a new target audience for companies in the gambling industry.
He further explained that board games should remain exactly that instead of allowing the gaming industry to transform them into casino content with addictive repercussions. He remains hopeful that all companies which use similar tricks will take this particular case as a sign, and cease to display adverts alike.
According to an audit, made by the Gambling Commission, it has been revealed that, in 2018, gambling problems which concern age between 11 and 16 have increased to 55,000 over just two years.
Entertaining Play’s Response
Entertaining Play also gave their opinion on the whole situation by saying that they don’t see Rich Uncle Pennybags attracting children and their interest. Furthermore, the character is clothed as an adult without any characteristic which can be found in cartoons or anything that resembles programs for kids.
They also made a key point by adding that the company takes measures for the content to be oriented towards those who are 18 years old and older. They’ve spoken to ASA, informing them that, in their opinion, the advert isn’t created to appeal to young people. Mr Monopoly in the advertisement doesn’t include bright, optimistic colors that can appeal to youth. They also elaborated that the ad has a +18 label.