Dutch gambling regulator Kansspelautoriteit (KSA) has launched a research program on the prevention of gambling harm, developed by The Hague-based health organization ZonMw.

In March 2021, the KSA named ZonMw as one of the groups selected to develop the program.

The new program follows the publication of a study on gambling addiction by the Dutch knowledge institute Trimbos in December 2021.

The KSA said the aim of the program will be to gather new knowledge about the prevention and treatment of gambling addiction and gambling-related harm, so that it can be turned into new treatment measures.

The first round of funding for research proposals is expected soon. ZonMw will aim for a mix of short-term and long-term projects, which will lead to both quick results and long-term studies of gambling harms.

Trimbos published a report following the review outlining the direction in which future research should look:

“Research should focus on preventing problems and harm caused by gambling, better treatment for people with gambling problems and tailor-made solutions for vulnerable groups,” the report states.

“It follows that research is also needed on the physical and digital context of gambling behavior, including advertising, and the features of gambling products themselves.

“Finally, in part because essential data is centralized within a financially interested party, the infrastructure of research practice also deserves serious attention.”

The program is funded by the Addictions Prevention Fund. The fund was created under the provisions of the Remote Gaming Act, the law that legalized online gambling in the Netherlands.

The news comes amid a toughening Dutch legal regime, with KSA chairman Rene Jansen calling just days ago for the introduction of gambling spending limits.