Federal office investigates possible corruption within Belgian Gaming Commission

Federal office investigates possible corruption within Belgian Gaming Commission
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The federal ombudsman service is investigating the federal gaming commission for possible breaches of the rules on integrity of civil servants, possibly including corruption, reports Het Laatste Nieuws.

The Centre for Integrity is a division of the federal ombudsman service, whose job it is to register and investigate complaints from within the federal administration regarding any breach of the rules of integrity.

Complaints from members of the public should be addressed to the service in general.

According to the paper, the complaint concerns allegations against senior members of the gaming commission, including the director, Peter Naessens.

Members of the commission are accused of the abuse of power and of public funds, intercepting emails and even accepting gifts from companies in the betting industry.

The gaming commission was set up in 1999 with the aim of protecting the interests of players of games of chance, including bingo machines and some casino games. It also keeps a register of those who are not allowed to enter casinos or betting shops either because of debt and personal issues or because of their profession.

The Centre for Integrity received a complaint from somewhere inside the administration, and has since interviewed a number of unidentified parties, as well as seizing computer equipment.

Informed of the paper’s revelations, Naessens’ lawyer said, “My client has a reputation for integrity, and will defend himself against all allegations.”

Federal justice minister Koen Geens, under whose ministry the commission operates, declined to comment. “I am studying the report, and I will take the appropriate measures,” he said.

Alan Hope

The Brussels Times

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