Sikh Community supports interfaith statement opposing casino expansion in the GTA

The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation has recently proposed the expansion of casinos in the GTA. The Ontario Gurudwaras Committee (OGC) is proud to announce its support behind an interfaith statement from 265 GTA faith leaders which was released yesterday at the Toronto City Hall which vehemently opposes this new casino expansion.

The inclusion of a casino in the GTA holds strong potential of being detrimental to the many communities which reside within the city. It is strongly suggested that gambling often leads to alcohol abuse, addiction and even criminal behavior – all of which pose a serious threat to the Community. Furthermore, it often leads to a complete breakdown personally, emotionally and financially. 

There are many communities within the proximity of a casino who are already facing such issues, therefore having a Casino could very much become a catalyst in escalating these issues even further. And quite often it is seen that the social services agencies and faith-based organizations such as the OGC are the ones who have to brunt the burden and assist those in need. This is a difficult undertaking seeing as many of these groups don’t often have the resources or the expertise to deal with the kinds of issues that gambling brings such as addition, substance abuse, personal finance, bankruptcy and criminal behavior.

The coordination between faith groups has been a  fulfilling experience. “Along with all others involved, we’d like to thank Suraj Persad from the Hindu Chaplaincy at the University of Toronto for coordinating this initiative and bringing light to this issue” said Amarjit Singh Mann, Spokesperson of the OGC.  

As a religious organization that works to promote, unite and strengthen the community, we cannot be in support of such a notion that is so strongly against our morals and a potential detriment to our social fabric and coming generations.

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