Back in October The UK Gambling Commission warned casino and bingo operators that adverts and their websites must stop appealing to children. Popular games such as Fluffy Favourites, Piggy Payout and Jack & The Beanstalk were cited as potentially appealing to a younger audience. Operators have been asked to remove these from their sites. The use of use of "particular colours, cartoons and comic book images, animals, child and youth-orientated references" were also mentioned.
Operators have heeded the warning of The UK Gambling Commission. Adverts that previously included strong references to Fluffy Favourites have been amended or are being amended. The slot, and others of it's ilk, has also been demoted from the front pages of most - if not all - slot brands and bingo sites.
The Loquax Duck Gets Culled
However, it's not only the characters of Fluffy Favourites that have been culled due to the new directives. Many sites have created characters as their mascots. These characters are now deemed to be appealing to children and unfortunately will quite likely be consigned to online gambling history.
Visitors to our own Loquax Bingo will notice that our duck has now left residence on the site. It was felt that the character was too cartoony and therefore needed to go. It does seem strange seeing our logo without a duck, but we fully understand the need for the change.
Our duck isn't the only character that's been made homeless. A quick visit to City, Costa, Sing and Fancy this morning and there's evidence of significant changes there. At Costa, Sunny - there sunshine inspired character - has had it's face wrapped with a £5 bonus message. Sunny is now just a sun!
But he has survived in some format. Sing have removed their Bingo Starr character from their homepages whilst the Mad Hatter at Fancy Bingo has also been removed. CityCat, who's been a constant figure at City Bingo since launch, is now no longer standing next to the logo when you visit the site.
We anticipate similar action at other sites and do wonder whether the likes of Monkey, Dino and Season will be retained. All boast cartoon images with Santa, Marvin and a Dinosaur occupying key locations on the sites. Our own Snappy and Clucky no doubt will have to undergo some transformation as and when the time comes.
Whilst the loss of these cartoon images is understandable, given The UKGC's concerns, it does leave the bingo world a little more cold and clinical. That said the likes of Mecca, Tombola and Gala don't rely on a 'mascot' so perhaps it's not a necessary element for a brand.
It does make us wonder though whether Foxy Bingo were aware of these issues long before everyone else. Back in January 2017, Foxy's owners dumped affiliates and then revamped all their sites including changing Foxy to become A-List celebrity Heather Graham.
Affiliates have been a hot topic in online gambling circles with the likes of Sky ditching their partners because it was easier than trying to encourage compliance (or they just wanted to rip people off). We wonder if Foxy had a similar idea or issue and pulled the plug rather than deal with it (or they just wanted to rip people off).
Changing Foxy from a cartoon-ish character seemed bonkers earlier in the year, but now it seems like a sensible move. It does make us wonder whether they had a strong tip off of these many compliance and regulation issues or they were just very very foresighted.
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