Swedish Parliamentary Committee Terms Minister’s Claims on Casinos Unfounded

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A Constitutional Committee formed by the the Riksdag, the Swedish parliament, has rejected the the claims of Minister Ardalan Shekarabi that gambling at online casinos would have increased during the covid-19 pandemic.

Temporary restrictions were enforced on casinos functioning on several occasions, following the minister’s claim.

The Constitution Committee concluded:

“The review has also included Minister for Social Security Ardalan Shekarabi’s (S) statement on the basis for temporary gambling regulations. It has become clear that the Minister has based his statement on information that does not allow for a definite conclusion as to whether gambling had increased or not. The Minister is responsible for his opinions and also for the information he provides being correct.”

Gustaf Hoffstedt, is the Secretary General of the Swedish Trade Association for Online Gambling (BOS) criticised the minister and urged the government to remove the restrictions:

“Everyone has known that there was no basis for the statement about the alleged increased online casino gambling. It is welcome that the Riksdag’s Constitutional Committee now confirms that. Ministers must have a basis for their statements, it is not enough to say things just because it fits into the policy you want to pursue. The Minister’s statements about the alleged but unfounded increase in online casinos during the pandemic are the main reason why this form of gambling is still subject to very strict temporary restrictions. The next step must reasonably be for the government to quickly end these restrictions.”

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