4th of November 2012 Author: Ava Jackuard
Bingo Friendzy continues to cause a stir. The real money online bingo application has raised eyebrows with folks due to its whimsical graphics that appeal to children. Should online gambling of any kind feature graphics to appeal to children? This is the issue the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is faced with.
Bingo Friendzy is the first real money gambling app to become available on Facebook. The ads are splashed on Facebook and appeal to many kids with the cartoon-like graphics. Despite concern and subsequent submission of complaints, the ASA has rejected them.
The ASA did side with the concerns as the design of the mascots and graphics would be more likely to be attractive to kids. They also expressed their satisfaction with Profitable Play's, the owner of Bingo Friendzy, Facebook page being accessible to individuals of at least 18 years old.
Profitable Play insists that the bingo games and advertising are age-gated meaning that those able to view the content are filtered by Facebook. This includes restricted fan pages and posts derived from the application to those users over 18.
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Let's hope that the filters on Facebook are robust enough to keep the kids out of the gambling sites, this one included. Not that it's that big of a difference from the gaming sites which are directly targeting the younger generations. These gaming sites often invite pay-per-play and encourage the use of gift cards and other methods of payment in order to get to higher levels and gain status.
At least with the bingo site, there is a chance to win some money back! However, we can't let the kiddies start gambling. Leave that to the adults in the family.
It's good that there are folks out there like the ASA to check on any wrong-doings in the social media money games. As long as Facebook is filtering the ads out as it seems they are, there is no reason to worry. The diligence of the watchdogs, though, should be kept up. You never know when a bit of programming is going to slip through that might not be as secure as it should.
In general I feel that groups like Profitable Play should tone down the 'kid appeal' of mascots and adverts. Kids are curious, and love to play games. So if you leave your Facebook account open and find your bingo money is all gone, well, you know where to find the culprit. And you hopefully learned to keep your account secure from unintended users, your kids included!
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