McDonald’s Takes Heat for Super Mario Slot Machine Toy

McDonald’s is now offering a Super Mario-themed slot machine toy in their Happy Meals. And the National Council on Problem Gambling and Florida Council on Compulsive Gaming (FCCG) aren’t happy about it. Jennifer Kruse, the FCCG’s executive director, expressed shock and disappointment that McDonald’s would offer kids a gambling themed toy. “We were shocked when […]

McDonald’s is now offering a Super Mario-themed slot machine toy in their Happy Meals. And the National Council on Problem Gambling and Florida Council on Compulsive Gaming (FCCG) aren’t happy about it.

Jennifer Kruse, the FCCG’s executive director, expressed shock and disappointment that McDonald’s would offer kids a gambling themed toy.

“We were shocked when we noted the slot machine toy in a Happy Meal here in Florida. Nintendo and McDonald’s need to be attentive to the messages their products are promoting among children,” said Kruse.

“Youngsters are very impressionable and despite the restrictions to gamble among minors, research reveals that adolescents are involved in gambling activities and are at higher risk for developing gambling problems than their adult counterparts.”

FCCG Believes that a Slot Machine Toy is Just as Inappropriate as Alcohol or Cigarettes

Kruse went to extreme lengths to explain why she thinks the Super Mario slots toy is so inappropriate for kids.

“Just because you cannot easily ‘see’ a hazard, does not mean it doesn’t exist,” she said.

“Had the Super Mario Happy Meal toy highlighted a bottle of beer or bloodshot eyes, or had the fantasy character smoking a cigarette, government and others would be up in arms.

“Unfortunately, we can no longer afford a double standard when research confirms that problem gambling is a growing public health issue, in general, and especially among adolescents, that demands attention now.”

Is the Super Mario Slots Toy Really Such a Big Deal?

Casino gaming has become a more-acceptable form of entertainment for adults over the years. The increase of land-based and online casinos has helped introduce more people to the concept.

Given that casino gaming is legal for adults aged 18 or 21 (depends upon jurisdiction), it’s not a completely taboo subject.

Of course, alcohol and cigarettes are also legal for of-age adults. And these would be considered totally inappropriate as a Happy Meal toy. Therefore, maybe McDonald’s shouldn’t put Mario holding a slot machine in their Happy Meals.

 

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