Thursday, October 10, 2013

Bermuda to Allow Cruise Ship Casinos to Open in Port

The Bermuda cruising season has come to an end this year, but there's good news for cruise lines returning in the future. Last week The Royal Gazette reported that cruise ships visiting Bermuda will be allowed to keep their casinos open when in port.

The concession, which allows onboard casinos to operate between 9pm and 5am, was made to ensure that Bermuda will remain competitive as a cruise destination, according to Tourism Minister Shawn Crockwell. In a statement, Crockwell said the move would economically benefit both the cruise lines, by boosting their on board revenue, and the Island, which would collect license fees.

“The use of the casino is to be limited to passengers on board the ship only. No local residents or visitors to the ship will be allowed to participate in casino activities,” said Crockwell, who added that the key concern for many would be the impact on local retailers, restaurateurs, and entertainers, but he believes it would be “minimal.”

In order to qualify for the gaming license, ships would have to be in port for one night or more to gain permission and, of course, pay the fee. An exception to the licensing fee requirement is made for smaller ships with a passenger capacity not exceeding 2,000 and capable of docking in Hamilton and St George’s. Bermuda authorities recognize that the Island has failed to attract small, high-end ships to those ports in recent years and they hope the exemption will encourage more calls by cruise lines with such vessels in their fleets.

The Dockyard, Bermuda: Image (c)

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