KSA funds Dutch pilot projects on harm reduction

KSA ‘happy to take risk’ on minimum spend for young bettors

Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), the Netherlands’ gambling authority, has announced the funding of three new pilot projects to “raise awareness of problem gambling.”

The Addiction Prevention Fund (VPF) will finance the development of these projects, which aim to educate the Dutch public on detecting gambling risks and intervening in addiction and related harms.

Established in 2021, the VPF supports the launch of the KOA marketplace, which regulates online gambling in the Netherlands. The fund, managed by the KSA, collects a “levy from providers of high-risk games of chance”.

Working alongside the KSA, the Ministries of Health, Welfare and Sport (VWS) and Justice and Security (JenV) oversee the fund’s support for public initiatives related to addiction prevention, harm minimisation, research, education, and the improved supervision of the KOA market.

Announced this week, the VPF will fund a trial of an “e-learning early detection of problem gambling” training programme developed by the addiction clinic Jellinek.

This e-learning programme aims to train “front-line professionals such as doctors, mental healthcare providers, psychologists, and debt counsellors” to detect early signs of gambling-related harms and addiction.

The second project is spearheaded by the public finance bureau Geldfit, which will introduce a problem gambling support segment to its Money Fit Platform.

Geldfit offers Dutch citizens advice on financial matters and debt management. The KSA has observed a need for direct assistance regarding financial concerns tied to problem gambling, enabling “individuals to regain control of their situation.”

The final project pertains to the ‘Bright at School’ education program by the Trimbos Institute, designed “to encourage healthy choices among Dutch youth and assist their environment (parents and school staff) in identifying and mitigating risky behaviours associated with gambling.”

Previously, the Trimbos Institute has crafted educational programmes for Dutch public schools on drug addiction, alcohol abuse, and online safety.

All three projects are tasked with developing their ‘pilot programs’. Should these pilots prove successful, KSA, VWS, and JenV will consider extending their funding.