The Netherlands Gambling Authority, Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), has announced the appointment of Dr. Gert-Jan Meerkerk as its new senior research consultant on gambling addiction and compulsive behaviour.
Meerkerk is regarded as a Dutch health and public welfare figurehead, having led the academic studies of the Rotterdam-based research unit IVO on addiction, care and rehabilitation for the past 25 years.
All contemporary lifestyle issues related to drugs, tobacco , alcohol, social media, games of chance, gaming, porn and mobile addiction have been covered by main IVO projects led by Meerkerk.
As the regulatory agency fulfils its final duties, Meerkerk joins the research and policy development team of the KSA, seeking to open its new Dutch business licencing window on 1 March 2021.
KSA Chairman René Jansen warned industry leadership last month that the KSA will follow the ‘strictest licencing process’ to check operators and executive actions that will enter the Netherlands online gambling marketplace in 2021.
In addition, the KSA was forced to revise the launch of the Dutch online gambling marketplace by 1 September 2021, as Sander Dekker, the Dutch Minister of Justice for Legal Security, requested that final amendments be introduced to safeguard the proposed centralised player self-exclusion scheme of ‘CRUKS’-Dutch gambling.
Meerkerk advocated a cautious approach from the KSA by stating: “Next year, the KOA ACT will come into force, legalising and regulating online gambling.”
He added: “That means there will be more supply and a lot of marketing. I hope and expect to contribute to the knowledge at the Ksa about effective means for addiction prevention.
“That will be a subject that will receive a lot of attention. Gambling addiction is not a huge problem in the Netherlands at the moment, it must remain that way. Incidentally, I am in favour of the law, because reclamation does not work. It is easier to protect consumers in a legal, regulated market.”