Antwerp police gambling: “Stakes higher than a month’s wages”

More information has be released about the Antwerp police officers that are suspected of having stolen identities in order to use online gambling sites. The Gaming Commission has told VRT News that the officers used the sites often and sometimes bet large sums of money.
Jonas Roosens

The Gaming Commission’s Peter Naessens said “It is not just one officer that is involved and it hasn’t been purely recreational”. As we reported on Saturday an investigation has been opening into a number of officers from the Antwerp Local Police Service.

They are suspected of having gambled in casinos and on online gambling sites.

Police offices, bailiffs and notaries in Belgium are forbidden from gambling in casinos or online and their national registration numbers appear on a black list in order to prevent them from doing so. In order to get round the ban the police officers are alleged to have stolen identities.

"Not just one police man and not only recreational”

The Gaming Commission is now investigating how many officers are involved and how much was gambled. What is clear is that we are talking about a lot of money.

"Sometimes large sums are gambled that are in excess of an average monthly wage”, Mr Naessens added.

The Gaming Commission adds that the issue of gambling not limited to the Antwerp police.

"From the modus operandi and the experience we have gained since the start of the investigation we assume that this isn’t just a problem in Antwerp”.

However, the Commission doesn’t work proactively to investigate gambling within the police. “We don ’t have the means to do so. We respond to complaints”.

The Gaming Commission also believes that many police officers don’t even know that they aren’t allowed to gamble.

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