BTA says 24-hour cruise ship casinos won’t keep passengers on board
Cruise ship passengers will still disembark despite an extension clause that could allow on-board casinos to operate 24 hours a day, the Bermuda Tourism Authority said yesterday.
Charles Jeffers II, the chief executive of the BTA, said: “Ideally we would like to have cruise passengers off the ships enjoying Bermuda attractions, shopping, and dining for as much of their time as possible.”
But he added: “The reality is that in the current climate, modern travellers expect the freedom to determine their day-to-day experience.
“The all-day gamers represent only a portion of the passengers and we will support our industry stakeholders by promoting all there is to do and see to the cruisers both on and off the ships.”
Mr Jeffers was speaking after the Cruise Ship (Casinos) Amendment Act, which will allow ships’ casinos to apply for an extension to their hours, was listed in the Official Gazetteas having been given Royal Assent.
Casinos on ships were earlier allowed to open between 9pm and 5am only while berthed in Bermuda.
The legislation will also allow cruise ships to get a 12-month gambling licence rather than the eight-month licence, which runs from April to November, permitted at present by the Bermuda Gaming Commission.
The Act said: “It is expedient to amend the Cruise Ships (Casinos) Act 2013 to widen the period during which a cruise ship casino licence remains valid and to enable additional operating hours to be determined in respect of a licensed cruise ship casino.
“Where the owner of a cruise line wishes to operate a casino during additional periods to the period permitted … he or an agent authorised pursuant to Section 5 to act on his behalf may make such a request in writing to the commission at the time of making an application for a licence.”