New Facebook Bingo Causing a Christian Stir

New Facebook Bingo Causing a Christian Stir

Written by: ava carson on 08/08/2012 13:10

You didn’t need a crystal ball to predict that certain groups were going to be in an uproar over the launch of Bingos Friendzy on Facebook. The online bingo app that allows players to place wagers on Bingo and Slots certainly must of knew and been prepared for some type of public negative reaction.

The Advertising Standards Authority has been contacted and asked to step in by Christian groups that are outraged. According to these groups there is a strong likeness on the graphic design to a children’s social network Moshi Monsters.

“Gambling is age-restricted for a reason: children are excluded because they are vulnerable,” said Toby Scott, director of communications for the Methodist Church.

“It is especially concerning that Bingo Friendzy’s visual marketing is the kind that you see in children’s games, with bright colours and friendly characters.

“This appears to be a blatant breach of the ASA’s Gambling Advertising rules, which clearly state that marketing ‘should not be likely to be of particular appeal to children or young persons, especially by reflecting or being associated with youth culture'.

There is no real way at this point to verify Facebook members are the required 18 years of age and allowed to access Bingo Friendzy. This causes concerns for Mr. Scott who refers to chief executive Reg Baily of Mother’s Union, a Christian charity organization who wrote a report for the Prime Minister in regards to protecting children online:

With the appealing fluffy animal imagery, the site is clearly designed to appeal to a young audience,” a spokesman said”.

“It is well known that Facebook has over one million under-age users. Whilst we acknowledge the age-verification system Gamesys has put in place, we are concerned that this may incentivise young people to find ways to access this site once they see constant wall updates promoting online gambling.

“It is yet another online pressure for parents to be aware of: we continue to urge parents to have ongoing conversations with their children about responsible internet use.”

A spokesperson for Gamesys, the developer of the app said: "We are fully compliant with ASA rules on advertising to under 18s as we don't advertise to under 18s.

"Our Facebook application is not visible to under 18s, and nor is any friend activity relating to the application. Furthermore, users must pass stringent age and identity verification checks before being allowed to use the application.”

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