Faith-based organizations call for more research

January 17, 2024 4:53 pm

Fiji Council of Churches President Archbishop, Peter Loy Chong

Fiji Council of Churches President Archbishop Peter Loy Chong has emphasized the critical need for extensive research to acquire a better understanding of the proposed casino development.

The faith-based organizations that were part of the casino consultation today recognized the potential benefits of economic development associated with the casino but expressed concerns about potential social consequences, all of which have been persistent issues in the community over the years.

Loy Chong says the Fiji Council of Churches believes that thorough research is needed to ascertain the impact of a casino setup in a small island state like Fiji.

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“There’s a galore of literature among people on gambling. So research needs to be done properly. And a lot of the groups raise fears, concerns, questions, and uncertainty about this measure. So to help lay away those fears, we need more information.”

Arya Samaj Fiji Satish Nand representative underlined a shared belief that while development is important, it is critical to confront and prevent its potential negative social consequences.

“Will these two industries also be amalgamated into that through the backdoor channels? To prevent that, the David Group can create a control mechanism, of course, with the local stakeholders as well.”

David Group Consultant Sandeep Singh highlights that societal difficulties have multiple causes and that it is impossible to solely attribute them to casinos.

The Fiji Council of Church’s demand for in-depth research reflects a commitment to make well-informed judgments that take into account both the possible benefits and risks of the development.