HUNDREDS of children have been treated for gambling addiction by the NHS after being hooked on titles like Fifa and Minecraft.
Since it opened in late 2019, nearly 500 youth or their families have received medical help from the National Center for Gaming Disorders.
Almost nine out of ten patients were teenagers and young men.
Seven referrals to the clinic were for dangerously possessed gamblers under the age of 13.
Experts say their addiction can be so severe that they lose the “power of choice” — giving up food, school and even sleep.
The World Health Organization classifies it as a medical disorder.
Nuno Albuquerque, Advisory Treatment Manager for the UK Addiction Treatment Group, was “not surprised” by the scale of the problem.
He said: “We speak to concerned parents every week who are trying to figure out how to help their child.”
Becky Harris, family therapist at Central and North West London NHS Trust, who runs the clinic, said staff are working with clients “to reduce playtime and increase other activities”.
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