Teenager refused free ice cream prize because of gambling laws

A mum slammed McDonald’s for refusing her 13-year-old son a free ice cream prize – because of GAMBLING laws.

Teenager AJ Reeves peeled off a voucher for a £1 McFlurry on his Monopoly Prize Choice wrapper after buying a Big Mac last Thursday (23/3).

He returned to the fast-food resturant in Blackpole, Worcester, that evening to claim the prize but was left devastated when staff told him he was “too young”.

McDonald’s say only customers aged 16 and over can play the game despite it being advertised on every product apart from their Happy Meals.

AJ, who suffers from Asperger’s syndrome and anxiety, said: “I felt sad and disappointed. I’m not sure whether I will go back.”

Outraged mum-of-four Kay Reeves, 52, of Warndon, Worcester, is writing to McDonald’s to complain.

Kay, a carer, said: “I can completely understand if McDonald’s want only 16-year-olds and over to play.

“But if that is the case they should not be selling these vouchers to under 16s.

“It feels like they are tricking kids into buying their meals without letting them claim the prizes.

“Monopoly is a child’s game, it’s clear that’s who they are aiming this at.

“They say they don’t advertise it on Happy Meals, but how many 14 and 15-year-olds buy Happy Meals?

“It is ridiculous, they can’t have it both ways.

“When he went to claim it he was asked his age and when he told them he was 13 they said he was unable to have the McFlurry as he was under 16 and it was classed as gambling.

“My son was very upset by the incident. Due to his problems there are not many places he will actually go.

“He had only recently built up the confidence to actually go into McDonald’s.

“Now this has knocked him back and he thinks they will be asking his age every time he goes in.

“They should not give out the stickers if they’re not going to get them the prizes.”

McDonald’s said: “In accordance with Ofcom guidelines, and as clearly stated on all McDonald’s Monopoly promotional materials, advertising and packaging, the promotion is only open to those aged 16 years old and above.

“Monopoly prize stickers are not included with a Happy Meal and whilst it is possible a person under 16 could purchase a product sold within our promotional packaging, the terms and conditions are clear that they are unable to take part in the promotion.

“Any prizes can be claimed by older family members.”

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