May 25, 2012
Jyeshth Shukla Panchami, Kaliyug Varsha 5114
Hindus are upset at the reported launch of Hindu goddess Lakshmi themed new online slot game titled Lakshmi Gold, calling it highly inappropriate.
According to reports, wild symbol in this game, launched by Isle of Man headquartered company Playtech, is Hindu deity Ganesh, which offers the jackpot payout of 10,000 coins. Other regular symbols in this game include cow, which is sacred to Hindus. Lakshmi is the bonus symbol in this five reel 25 payline video slot and a hymn to Lakshmi is delivered during the free spins. Claimed to be suitable for high rollers, it is said to be already live at few Playtech online casinos.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesh, who were highly revered in Hinduism, were meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not for promoting gambling on an online slot for mercantile greed of an online gaming company.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, urged Playtech to publicly apologize and immediately recall this slot game showing Hindu Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesh. Inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees.
Hinduism was the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about one billion adherents and a rich philosophical thought and it should not be taken lightly. Symbols of any faith, larger or smaller, should not be mishandled, Rajan Zed stressed.
In Hinduism, Lakshmi is the goddess of good fortune and beauty and is also known as ‘world-mother’. Lord Ganesh is worshipped as god of wisdom and remover of obstacles and is invoked before the beginning of any major undertaking. Moksh (liberation) is the ultimate goal of Hinduism.
Founded in 1999, Playtech, whose tagline is “Source of Success”, claims to be “the world’s largest publicly-traded online gaming software supplier”. Besides Isle of Man headquarters, it has units in United Kingdom, Sweden, Estonia, Ukraine, Bulgaria and Israel. Roger Withers is its Board Chairman while Mor Weizer is Chief Executive Officer. The Isle of Man is autonomous dependency of British Crown.