Masked Singer Under Fire for Deal with Gambling Site
Bandicoot, the production company behind The Masked Singer, has come under fire this week after signing a deal to launch gambling games centred around the show’s theme. The games will offer fans the opportunity to win money via an online gambling platform.
What’s the deal?
Players can choose between a range of digital games based on The Masked Singer, including scratchcards, bingo, and slots.
I’m personally a little disappointed that there’s no option to place bets on the winner, or bets on who it is behind the mask. Some US gambling sites seem to have offered bets of this nature for their version of the show, which just finished Season 4, but I can’t find any sites with bets for the UK version. Drop us a message if you find somewhere!
I’ll just have to make do with the games on offer through PlayOJO, and with a jackpot of up to £200K, I can’t complain too much.
But some people are complaining, and they have a valid point…
What’s the problem?
The Gambling Commission and Advertising Standards Authority are serious about the dangers of gambling games that may appeal to children, E.g., both 32Red and Casumo have had adverts banned that featured Fairy Tale slots. There’s also been much controversy over the appeal of loot boxes to children, and whether they constitute gambling.
Against the backdrop of this current climate, The Masked Singer’s popularity with children means that any gambling games could potentially grab their attention, especially if they’re marketed on platforms used by children, e.g., Instagram.
Anti-gambling advocates are concerned and have asked for Bandicoot to reconsider its decision.
Mark Zarb-Cousin, from Clean Up Gambling, told the Daily Star,
“Not only will this appeal to children, it is yet another example of using a popular TV show to sanitise an experience that is all too often life-destroying.
“There are no limits to how much you can stake on addictive slots online, nor are adequate affordability checks carried out by online gambling firms.”
Marc Etches, from GambleAware, echoed concerns saying that the deal takes one step forward in the normalisation of gambling to children.
As a well-known family entertainment programme, The Masked Singer may be a poor choice of theme for gambling games.
What does PlayOJO say?
PlayOJO says its advertising practices fall within the Ofcom Broadcasting codes and that they have a range of tools available to promote safer gambling, including age verification and affordability tests.