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Dutch gambling regulator Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) has appointed 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.

“Next year, the KOA ACT will come into force, legalising and regulating online gambling. 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,” Meerkerk said.

“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,” Meerkerk added.