The Belgian Gaming Commission has begun investigating officers of the Antwerp Police force following identity theft concerns. Law enforcement officers in Belgium are strictly banned from gambling in the country, whether online or on land. Legislation in the country requires that all officers’ national identity numbers be added to a database.
However, it would seem that a handful of officers have been using false identities to gamble illegally to sidestep the database. In early October, it was revealed that several Antwerp police officers were being investigated. Complaints were sent to the Gaming Commission following the illegal activities of the officers.
Antwerp Police Investigation
It has been revealed by Peter Naessens, the Gaming Commission Director, that these officers had not been playing for fun. In fact, the investigation revealed that the issue might be larger than expected. Mr Naessens indicated that ‘large amounts of money’ had been wagered by the individuals, far more than the monthly wages of an officer.
The Belgian Gaming Commission has found that there might be more law enforcement members gambling illegally. However, the regulator does not have the means to examine the police system throughout Belgium. For now, the investigation will continue in the Antwerp Police force.
Belgian Gambling Laws
Belgian officials are looking to protect those at risk of gambling addiction in the country. This will include raising the legal gambling age to 21, instead of 18 in a new gambling bill. At the moment lotteries and sports betting require that players are over the age of 18 to play. On the other hand, Belgian gamblers may only use Internet casinos if they are 21 and older.
Another bill proposed that gambling advertising should also be looked at. Similar to Australian and Canadian laws, officials are looking at banning ads during sporting events and before eight at night. These changes could make it safer for gamblers, but they could also spiral like the current AU regulations. At the moment, it’s all up in the air until the Antwerp police investigation is settled.