Hindus close down Shiva gambling game
Complaints earlier this month by Rajan Zed of the Universal Society of Hinduism that an online slot machine themed on the god Shiva was insensitive to his religion have been followed by the product’s withdrawal from the market and an apology from the Germany developer.
According to this report, Gauselmann chairman Paul Gauselmann wrote:
We understand the confusion and irritation concerning this. Therefore, we will immediately remove this game from our games portfolio and no longer offer it. At no point in time did we have the intention to insult the religious or ideological feelings of Hindus.
We truly regret the confusion this has caused and you may rest assured that we will be even more diligent concerning the design and the designation of our games in the future.
Accepting the apology, Zed thanked Gauselmann AG and Paul Gauselmann for understanding the concerns of the worldwide Hindu community, and suggested that multinational corporations do more to ensure their senior executives are better educated in religious and cultural sensitivity.
Following Zed’s original complaint, other religions, including Muslim, Christian and Jewish representatives, voiced their support in moves against religious icons being used in gambling applications.
This report has more, saying that the “Shiva” slot gambling machine was developed by the Merkur Division of Espelkamp (Germany) headquartered ny the Gauselmann Group. It features a blue four-armed Lord Shiva with dark red lips carrying damru (drum) in one hand. Besides Lord Shiva other religious icons were featured. Gamblers were invited to:
Step into the realm of the god Shiva and experience an exciting adventure!
One could play it on various online casinos.
“Distinguished Hindu statesman” Zed noted that Lord Shiva, who was highly revered in Hinduism, is meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not used for promoting gambling on slots “for mercantile greed of an international company”.
Zed demanded a public apology and the immediately recall of the game. He pointed out that inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts for commercial or other agenda was unacceptable as it “hurt devotees”.
He added that Hinduism was the oldest and third largest religion of the world with about one billion adherents and is rich in philosophical thought. It should not be taken lightly. Symbols of any faith, larger or smaller, should not be “mishandled”.
In Hinduism, Lord Shiva, along with Lord Brahma and Lord Vishnu, forms the great triad of Hindu deities. Moksh (liberation) is the ultimate goal of Hinduism.
The global Gauselmann Group, launched in 1957, claims to be “world’s leading gaming companies” which reportedly did over €1.8 billion business in 2013. Merkur Gaming, whose tagline is “More than just a game”, has a large game selection and develops “cutting-edge casino machines” with presence in various countries of Europe; besides Mexico, Peru and Colombia.
Hat tip: BarrieJohn