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Cruise ships get right to extend casino hours while in port

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Betting on tourism: Cruise lines will be able to apply to extend their opening hours while in port to assist them to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.
David Burt, The Premier (File photograph)

A bill extending the operating hours of cruise ship casinos was passed in the House of Assembly on Friday night.

Currently, casinos on ships can only open between 9pm and 5am in Bermuda’s waters but the Cruise Ships (Casinos) Amendment Act passed yesterday allows operators to apply for an extension of hours.

It also permits cruise ships, on request, to obtain a 12-month gambling licence rather than the eight-month licence, which runs from April to November, in force at present.

David Burt said the move would help to mitigate the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the industry.

“The principle which it sets out is one which will form a critical part of economic recovery for Bermuda, flexibility and speed to market,” the Premier said.

Craig Cannonier, Shadow Minister of Tourism, asked if a sunset clause could be inserted to ensure existing entities would “cease and desist” should any local operator become ready to operate within the 12-month extension period.

Mr Burt responded: “We are not changing it entirely, it is just for these unique circumstances where applications can be made that can be based upon policy which will be agreed between the government and the Gaming Commission.

“When we are talking about sunset clauses etc, that might be something we consider in the future, certainly now this is literally about allowing the flexibility for hours to be extended in these particular cases.”

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Published November 15, 2021 at 7:50 am (Updated November 15, 2021 at 7:50 am)

Cruise ships get right to extend casino hours while in port

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