Addiction Expert Gert-Jan Meerkerk Joins Dutch Gaming Body

Researcher and addiction expert Gert-Jan Meerkerk, has joined the Dutch gambling regulator – KSA. In his new position, the expert will assist with regulation, fighting gambling addiction, and gambling harm.

The Dutch Gambling Regulator Hires a New Addiction Expert

The Dutch gambling regulator, Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) increased its academic team by hiring the addiction expert Gert-Jan Meerkerk. Meerkerk becomes the organization’s fourth expert after one of the members – Dick de Bruin passed away this year. Previously, the KSA has hired three other researchers which are assisting with regulation, fighting gambling harm, and preventing gambling addiction.

On his new position, Meerkerk joins researcher Joost Poort, from the University of Amsterdam. A part of the KSA team are also Johan Wolswinkel from the Tilburg University and Karin van Wingerde from Erasmus University in Rotterdam.

The new addiction expert joins KSA in at a time when the new Remote Gambling Act is expected to be established next year. The Act is expected to come into effect on March 1, 2021, with a possible market launch in September 2021. The new act proposes licensees to create guidelines aiming at reducing gambling harm where each player must set a maximum credit limit for their account. Furthermore, licensees will need to hold record and establish reporting procedures. In addition, the act calls for limits on the bonuses for players as well as advertising over a specific period.

Meerkerk Holds Significant Experience in Addiction Research

The KSA’s new expert gained his Ph.D. in 2007. Previously, Meerkerk studied clinical psychology and for the last 25 years, he has been affiliated with the Institute for Research into Lifestyles and Addiction. During that time, he conducted multiple types of research over social media, gambling, alcohol, and smartphone addictions.

Meerkerk said that the Dutch gambling market is on the move. He predicted that with the Remote Gambling Act coming into effect next year, there will be more supply and significant amounts of marketing.

I hope and expect to contribute to the knowledge at the KSA about effective means for addiction prevention,”

Gert-Jan Meerkerk

Furthermore, Meerkerk stressed that addiction prevention will be a topic that will receive a lot of attention. He acknowledged that gambling addiction in the Netherlands is not a huge problem, but it also must remain that way. Meerkerk added that he is a supporter of the new law. In conclusion, the addiction expert said that it is always easier for customers to be protected in a legal and regulated market.

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