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Ethnic and Religious Leaders Can No Longer Be Ignored in City Planning

Submitted by on February 5, 2013 – 6:50 amNo Comment | 303 views

According to the Vancouver Sun: “Surrey’s Sikh community played a key role in defeating a proposed mega casino in the city’s last month.” In the interview, Surrey Coun. Barinder Rasode referred to the influence of Sikh community leaders on Surrey Council’s decision. Two Sikh largest temples in the city gathered close to 4,000 signatures in opposition to gambling in their community. Sikh leaders were joined by other community leaders from the Hindu, Jewish, Muslim and other religions.

During the public meeting required before the City Council could approve the proposal, 200 speakers presented their point of views where 74 South Surrey residents opposed the casino and the meeting lasted over two nights.

According to Dr. Bo Bernhard, associate professor and executive director of the International Gaming Institute at the University of Nevada, said “cultural ignorance can cost casinos millions.” He gave an example of the MGM Grand casino opened in 1993 in Las Vegas. The entrance was made in the shape of a massive lion head which drove away Asian customers who believed that crossing that kind of entrance might bring bad luck. “That cost them millions” Bernhard said. “You have to to be aware of the cultural context. It makes a difference”

Source: Vancouver Sun, Feb 4, 2013. A2. Casinos working to woo ethnic communities.

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