Israel Police Chief Roni Alsheich reiterated Monday that members of the force are banned from visiting casinos anywhere in the world – meaning in Las Vegas and on the French Riviera, too, if there was any doubt.
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Gambling is against the law in Israel, with the exception of paying for tickets in the National Lottery and state-run sports betting operations. The Israel Police enforces this law, among other things by closing down “pirate” casinos around the country.
Naturally, policemen are prohibited from gambling at these impromptu establishments, but until now they have been free to indulge in their vice overseas, where it is legal.
Changes in Israel's aviation policy have made foreign travel more affordable and have led to the rise of cheap vacations to Eastern Europe. For their part, Romania, Hungary, Poland and Bulgaria are known for casinos that draw numerous Israeli tourists – in fact, some of the facilities are even co-owned by Israelis, among them criminals or their lackeys.
Commissioner Alsheich has now explicitly banned members of the force from entering any casino. He handed down the order to the top brass, who are now disseminating it.
The new, sweeping directive has sparked some disgruntlement in the ranks. A foray into a casino when visiting Vegas or a European country, say some officers, doesn’t mean one is a compulsive gambler; of course, if there are suspicions of that nature, the policeman in question must be investigated.
“The police know exactly who might be a problem and which casinos belong to crooks,” complained one officer. “I don’t think it’s serious enough to restrict all policemen [from going to casinos] everywhere in the world. Gambling is sometimes part of a trip.”
In response, the Israel Police commented that it updates its directives from time to time regarding the norms expected of the force, in the belief that its members should abide by even stricter norms of behavior than regular citizens.