SCHOOLS should give pupils lessons in gambling to counter a rise in exposure to addictive online poker games, a leading academic has warned.

Children should be taught about the dangers of losing and building up significant debts because of a feared increase in childhood gambling problems, it was claimed.

Professor Mark Griffiths, director of the International Gaming Research Unit said large numbers of under-16s were becoming hooked on games often accessed through social media websites.

Recent research from Ofcom, the broadcast regulator, found that children aged four to 15 potentially watched TV gambling adverts 473 times in just 12 months. It follows a decision by the last Labour government to allow adverts to be broadcast before the 9pm watershed.