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Popular game apps: Coin Master

3 minutes reading time
6-17 years
Tool description

Cute animals and a colorful adventure world make the game interesting for children, but it also comes as a virtual slot machine and is therefore not suitable for children.

In a nutshell:

  • Game app where you have to build villages and defend them against others
  • free for Android and iOS, but contains in-app purchases
  • Age rating according to USK: 16 years and older
  • Carries the risk of introducing children to gambling

What is Coin Master?

In this interactive game, players build their own villages for virtual play money (coins), and plunder and conquer other villages. Also, it’s about attacking a Coin Master and becoming a Coin Master yourself. Coins can be collected by operating a virtual wheel of fortune. However, the wheel of fortune can be spun only a few times per hour. You can buy more coins via in-app purchases. Generally, windows with offers to buy game items constantly appear in the app. The further you get, the more difficult it becomes to advance to the next level without in-app purchases.

You can link the app to your Facebook account and Facebook contacts to play with or against your friends.

What fascinates children and young people about Coin Master?

The game app is well-known among children and young people mainly because some of Germany’s best-known Youtubers have advertised it. The game principle of protecting your village against friends and conquering foreign villages yourself is a great incentive to play. Although the age recommendation is over 16 according to the USK, the colorful world with cute animals and colorful graphics is very appealing to younger players. Children love to play and spinning a wheel of fortune especially fascinates children.

What is problematic about the offer?

Younger people in particular, for whom the game is not suitable, are more easily influenced by advertising and are tempted to make in-app purchases. Although all the functions of the game can be accessed only by operating a virtual slot machine, the provider does not declare the app as a game of chance. He is therefore criticized for introducing children to gambling without making it obvious. The temptation to make in-app purchases is great, as windows with offers constantly appear on the screen.

According to the Youth Protection Act, access to gambling is only permitted from the age of 18, as there is a risk of addiction associated with it. Because no real money can be won at Coin Master, online games of this kind currently do not fall under the jurisdiction of the Youth Protection Act. Still, it can introduce gambling to more than just minors. After the app came under criticism, Apple changed the age rating in its App Store to 17+ and added a note that read “Strongly pronounced: simulated gambling.”

Data protection in the app is also problematic. You cannot delete your game account and the associated personal data from the provider without further ado. You have to contact the provider directly first.

What does the provider say?

The provider Moon Active points out in its terms and conditions that the game is not available for persons under the age of 16. However, there is no age check. The provider is criticized for being financed by gambling operators and thus wanting to introduce minors.

What should parents pay attention to?

The app is simulated gambling that is unsuitable for minors. Make it clear to your child that it is about paying real money without being able to win real money in return.

Be aware that an age restriction in the App Store or Google Play Store does not prevent access for younger children. With one click, the game can be freely downloaded without age verification. This can only be prevented on the smartphone itself or via corresponding parental control settings. Especially for younger children, make sure to disable the possibility of in-app purchases for this game on the smartphone.

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