On the 20th July 2015, it was announced in Adelaide that problem gamblers in South Australia will be receiving help through a special program.

The Department for Communities and Social Inclusion’s Office for Problem Gambling with the Court’s Administration Authority have funded a new pilot scheme that will allow magistrates to refer defendants to a special trial program that will offer support in defeating an addiction to gambling.

This program is a first in Australia and will only apply to the defendants that are addicted and have pleaded guilty to their crimes. The program is on an 18-month trial.

Zoe Battison, the Minister for Communities and Social Inclusion said that the program will give the support and case management to those that need help in breaking the cycle of compulsive gambling and offending. She also said that about 1.6% of the population has a severe gambling addiction.

As the program aims to break gambling habits in South Australia, the program will include intensive therapy for gambling addiction and will also offer other help, which will include financial and employment assistance.

The program is the latest move to help problem gamblers in the state. It was considered last summer that pokie machines should have printed warnings on them about the risks of problem gambling.

It has also been reported that AUD $12 billion of bets have been lost on pokies since they were introduced in the state 20 years ago.