SBC News KSA-commissioned gambling harm research programme to begin this year

KSA-commissioned gambling harm research programme to begin this year

The Dutch Gambling Authority, Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), has announced that its research programme into gambling harm and problem gambling will commence later this year. 

Commissioned by the KSA and taking place between 2022 and 2025, the ‘prevention of gambling addiction’ survey will aim to contribute to prevention and treatment of gambing addiction, ‘gamblng related damage’ and problem gambling. 

Specifically, the research sets out to develop new knowledge around these areas, subsequently ‘stimulating its use’, with a ‘mix of short-term projects’ planned for quick results and development of ‘valuable knowledge in the long term’.

Government health research financing organisation ZonMw was first commissioned in August 2020 to develop the research programme, ahead of the passing into law of the KOA Act on 1 October 2021, launching an re-regulated online betting market in the Netherlands.

The KSA explained at the time: “Based on this research program, ZonMw is expected to open the first funding round for research into the prevention of gambling addiction from October 2021.”

Funding for the research has come from the Addiction Prevention Fund, which is managed by the KSA, as well as the Justice and Security Ministry and Health, Welfare and Sport Ministry, which are respectively responsible for games of chance policy and addiction care.

“The Addiction Prevention Fund was created as a result of the Remote Gambling Act and is financed by an extension of the gambling levy on providers of high-risk games of chance,” the KSA detailed.

“One of the spending goals of the VPF is research into the prevention and treatment of gambling addiction.”

Meanwhile, a theoretical background has been provided by a literature study by knowledge institute Trimbos, which mapped out existing research and what areas require further analysis.

Since the regulation of the industry 11 months ago, the Dutch regulator has begun to focus more and more on social responsibility, gambling harm reduction and player protection. 

The industry has fallen increasingly under the political spotlight over the past year in tandem with its growth, with the government banning use of ‘role models’ such as football players in marketing campaigns, and shirt sponsorships set to be phased out by 2025. 

In a recent statement, KSA Chairman Rene Jansen asserted that operator cooperation with regulators and authorities is necessary for safer gambling, having publicly called on the sector and individual companies to ‘take responsibility seriously’.

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