Promoting (ir)responsible gambling

I am one of the few people around who actually like junk mail and ads, be they on TV or radio. I find it fascinating how advertising executives put it all together. My favorite TV ad for the moment have to be the one for MiWay Insurance. I will have to try and find a link to it and post it for you. Viewed in the South African context, I causes for quite a good chuckle, which is exactly what it’s supposed to do.

As a rule, I don’t get too worked up about ads and honestly think people tend to make a hoo-ha over nothing when they run to the Broadcasting Complaints Commission. I do, however, have a serious problem with the latest radio advertisement campaign of Grand Slots.

The ad starts of with the theme song of the 80’s hit series Cheers – Where everybody knows your name. The narrator then paints a very rosy picture of great times with great friends that come together with Grand Slots. It’s all good and well when speaking of a restaurant or coffee shop, but a casino?

In a country where unemployment is a huge problem, I think this ad further promotes financial problems. How inviting for someone who is depressed about their finances: go to a place warm and friendly, “family” and “friends” who knows your name and, as an added bonus, you will have the chance to get out of your financial difficulties!

I have been to casinos on a couple of a occasions and have seen a lot of heartache playing itself out there. I have seen the exhilaration of a big win. I have seen the tears over losing that money. I have seen women selling their jewelry in front of the doors. I have seen casinos install 5c, 10c and 20c machines, just so gamblers with almost no money can get in.

Very noble of Grand Slots to stick to regulations then and add this disclaimer at the end of the ad:

“Grand Slots supports responsible gambling. Winners know when to stop.”

Kind of hypocritical of them, don’t you think? If you go to the casino often enough for everyone to know your name, I’m thinking you’ve been there once too often.

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Author: nanuschka

I am a free spirit born in the Free State, 20 years to late. I am Ying and Yang. I am the girl next door who prefers daisies and peace rallies, but can just as easily rock at a rally. I love all things Latin and am sure that in my previous life (if that existed) I was Spanish. The dark side of me, however, tells me that I lived in Mother Russia. On a quest to find my happy-ever-after, I am in constant search of answers to all things that makes us human. What we do and, more importantly, why we do it. I hope you enjoy my rambles and would love to hear from you!

4 thoughts on “Promoting (ir)responsible gambling”

  1. Well said. I went to the Casino the other day because my kiddie was at an ice skating party. My buddy said let’s play. I’ve never played and am really glad I’m not hooked. I too saw the desperation and heartache. I felt my spirit very heavy. This ad is truly kicking the people that’s down, even lower.

    1. Thank you for reading and commenting! Yes, sadly it only puts those who already are in a bad place somewhere even worse. I’m yet to hear of someone who turned their life around after a big win at a casino.

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