New edition of Monopoly ditches cash in favor of digital banker

By Sarah Min

/ MoneyWatch

Monopoly, the beloved board game known for teaching players basic money principles, has a new lesson to teach: Cash is so yesteryear. Toy company Hasbro, which makes the game, recently announced a digital version that does away with the classic paper money and adds a voice assistant to manage all the buying and selling.

Instead of handling the familiar pink, blue and orange bank notes, players can press a button atop a top hat at the center of the board to access a digital "Mr. Monopoly," a nod to the game mascot traditionally known as "Rich Uncle Pennybags," to purchase property or pay rent.

Players can tap the top hat to access voice assistant banker Mr. Monopoly Hasbro

"Say a command like, 'Pay Rent on Marvin Gardens,'" reads a description of the game. "Mr. Monopoly will respond and move the payment to an opponent's account." The game will be available for purchase starting July 1 and may be pre-ordered from Target and Walmart for around $30.

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Predictably, not everyone is thrilled with such innovations.

#monopoly is going cashless… no no no I'm not having that

— Alex Irvine (@AlexIrvineLeeds) June 25, 2019

But dispensing with paper money seems like a natural twist these days given the popularity of ecommerce and as some retailers decline to accept cash. Meanwhile, handing control of the Monopoly bucks to a computer could presumably discourage cheating by aspiring real estate moguls tempted to pocket an extra $500 or two.

In the real world, cashless policies remain contentious. Proponents say ditching notes cuts time and costs associated with managing money, while detractors say that discriminates against lower income Americans. San Francisco, Philadelphia and New Jersey all have banned brick-and-mortar retailers from refusing to take cash.

First published on June 25, 2019 / 2:34 PM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc.. All Rights Reserved.

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