sle of Man headquartered company Playtech has reportedly withdrawn its recently launched Hindu goddess Lakshmi themed online slot game titled Lakshmi Gold, which upset Hindus.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, who spearheaded the protest, calling identifying of slot gambling with Hindu deities as “highly inappropriate”, has thanked and commended the company for showing responsibility, respect and maturity by taking quick action and for having an understanding for the hurt feelings of worldwide Hindu community. It was a “step in the right direction” but a statement of apology by the company would still have been better, he added in a statement in Nevada (USA) today.
According to reports, wild symbol in this game was Hindu deity Ganesh, which offered the jackpot payout of 10,000 coins. Other regular symbols in this game included cow, which is sacred to Hindus. Lakshmi was the bonus symbol in this five reel 25 payline video slot and a hymn to Lakshmi was delivered during the free spins. Claimed to be suitable for high rollers, it reportedly went live for few days at some Playtech online casinos and reports suggest that it is not available anymore at those casinos.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, had stressed 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.
Rajan Zed had urged Playtech to 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, he had stated.
Symbols of any faith, larger or smaller, should not be mishandled, Zed noted.
Rajan Zed further said that Hindus were for free expression and speech as much as anybody else if not more, but faith was something sacred and attempts at trivializing it were disturbing for the devotees. Businesses should be respectful to various faith traditions, Zed added.
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.