General Article Behaviour – online games can ‘hook’ children into gambling

Topic Selected: Gambling
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Academic urges teachers to educate students about perils of play.



The rapid increase in the number of young people playing online computer games, often via social media sites, could lead to a surge in childhood gambling problems, a leading academic has warned.

Popular games are introducing teenagers to the excitement and rewards of gambling, even when they do not involve playing for money, according to Mark Griffiths, director of the International Gaming Research Unit at Nottingham Trent University in England.

Professor Griffiths, a world authority on gambling, believes that teachers have a vital role to play to ensure that children understand not only the potential rewards of gambling but also its risks. He wants to see gambling and gaming covered on the timetable during personal, social and health education (PSHE). Such lessons could explore the mechanics of gambling and the fact that there must always be more losers than winners, he said.

‘I’ve always said that gambling and g...

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