LoBiondo Leads Congressional Delegation in Efforts to Protect Atlantic City's "Boardwalk" from Monopoly Redesign
Petitions Hasbro Inc. President to Reconsider Proposed Changes
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a concerted effort with the Atlantic City Convention & Visitors Authority to ensure Atlantic City remains on one of the world's most popular games, U.S. Representative Frank A. LoBiondo (NJ-02) has sent a letter to the Alfred Verrecchia, President and CEO of Hasbro Inc. - the maker of Monopoly - urging the company to include the infamous "Boardwalk" space on the upcoming "Here and Now" Edition of the game. Created in 1935, Hasbro Inc. has sold more than 200 million Monopoly boards world-wide.
Joining LoBiondo in sending the letter was the entire New Jersey Congressional delegation: Senators Frank Lautenberg and Robert Menendez, with Representatives Chris Smith (NJ-04), Jim Saxton (NJ-03), Frank Pallone (NJ-06), Rob Andrews (NJ-01), Bill Pascrell (NJ-08), Steve Rothman (NJ-09), Rush Holt (NJ-12), Mike Ferguson (NJ-07), Donald Payne (NJ-10), Scott Garrett (NJ-05), and Rodney Frelinghuysen (NJ-11).
LoBiondo's letter to Hasbro Inc. President and CEO Verrecchia is as follows:
We are writing to express our dismay with the decision of Hasbro Inc., to exclude landmarks from Atlantic City, New Jersey in the Monopoly's latest "Here and Now" edition and urge the company reconsider its decision.
As you know, when Charles Darrow created Monopoly at the height of the Great Depression, he used Atlantic City's famous Boardwalk, the street names and neighborhoods as his inspiration. He believed basing the game around the dazzling tourist destination would help his fellow Americans escape the drudgery of Depression era life. Since that time, Monopoly has been a beloved past-time of generations of families worldwide and millions have identified Atlantic City with the game.
Unfortunately, Hasbro's current online contest to name the new properties on the "Here and Now" edition board fails to include a representative landmark from Atlantic City or anywhere in New Jersey to choose from. Rather, the contest forces voters to choose between some relatively obscure landmarks in 22 other cities to replace the internationally-renowned landmarks of Atlantic City.
Like the images of "Mr. Monopoly" and saying "Do Not Pass Go, Do Not Collect $200," "Boardwalk" is a fundamental characteristic of the game that is instantly recognizable by players and fans world-wide. Excluding "Boardwalk" and other place names in Monopoly is like leaving out the queen in a game of chess, or the candlestick in the game of Clue; or the Ace of Spades in the game of poker.
Atlantic City is the fifth most popular tourist destination in the United States with nearly 35 million visitors annually. Most of these tourists come to experience for themselves the Boardwalk and other Atlantic City landmarks made famous by Monopoly. The residents of Atlantic City are extremely proud of their connection to Monopoly and have even honored Mr. Darrow with a plaque in recognition of contribution to the City. The new edition of Monopoly should continue to pay homage to its heritage and connection to Atlantic City by including at the very least the "Boardwalk" space.
Again we urge Hasbro to reconsider its decision to exclude a representative landmark from Atlantic City from its "Here and Now" edition of Monopoly. Thank you for your attention to our request.