New Monopoly Game Uses Debit Card, Not Cash

A new version of the Monopoly board game being sold in the UK uses a debit card and scanner instead of cash.

British version of the classic Monopoly board game released this week substitutes a Visa-imprinted debit card for the stacks of yellow, blue and purple play money long hoarded by children worldwide. “We started looking at what Monopoly would look like if we designed it today,” said Chris Weatherhead, a Britain.-based spokesman for Hasbro Inc., which makes the best-selling board game. “We noticed consumers are using debit cards, carrying around cash a lot less.” British players might not be the only ones switching to plastic. Officials at Pawtucket-based Hasbro say they’re considering a similar change for American versions.

Monopoly Using Debit Card Rather than Cash (Photo) his photo provided Tuesday, July 25, 2006, by Hasbro Inc., shows a British version of the classic Monopoly board game released this week which abandons traditional paper money, right, for an electronic debit card system. Hasbro, the game's maker, says it's considering similar changes in future editions. (AP Photo/Hasbro, Inc.) First offered in 1935, Monopoly offered players a form of financial escapism during the country’s worst financial depression. Players become pretend real estate magnates who compete for fictitious property named after real places in Atlantic City, N.J. A British version released that same year featured London neighborhoods.

In the new British version of Monopoly Here & Now, players type amounts into a palm-sized scanner and swipe their debit cards to seal the deal.

If only the real economy would follow suit. The old system of cash, and even checks for that matter, are horribly inefficient in the digital age.

The only down side here is that kids will lose the ability to practice their math skills inherent in the old game.

UPDATE: Charles Hill offers a set of 10 rather amusing change suggestions in the same spirit. (via McGehee)

FILED UNDER: Uncategorized, , , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. McGehee says:

    Charles Hill offers up some additional “improvements” to modernize Monopoly.

  2. B. Minich says:

    Can we still pay all our taxes and fees to the middle for the Free Parking rule that just about everyone adds? Because if that isn’t possible, I’ll be very unhappy. There’s nothhing quite like winning the lottery of the middle when there’s a lot of money in there.