At the beginning of the last century, passengers were spending their leisure time at the casino tables during long transatlantic journeys, when cruise liners were the only way to cross the ocean. Nowadays, the cruise industry is developing rapidly and sea voyages are becoming more accessible. In reality, cruise ship casinos are popular entertainment not only for millionaires.
Today almost all passenger liners and many smaller vessels, such as sailboats and yachts, have casinos onboard. The exceptions are expeditionary cruise companies and Disney Cruise Lines, which are fully family-oriented. In countries where gambling is prohibited, tourists are sometimes more attracted by the opportunity to play in the casino than the cruise itself.
Gambling business in the open sea
International maritime law avoids the traditionally high taxes in the gambling business since in neutral waters the laws of the country whose flag the vessel is registered operate. Therefore, most cruise ship casinos have their Panama or Bermuda licenses. And while the ship is ashore, the casino is not working to avoid breaking the law and competing with local entertainment venues. The exceptions are the ports of Nassau, Labadi, Coco-Kei, and some others.
The types of casino games on cruise ships depend on tourists’ preferences. Therefore, they differ on each route. However, the usual situation is when the number of tables in the casino is less than the options for games, from which you can choose on request. In the Caribbean, many Americans traditionally have a rest, so the games like “Craps” are very popular while roulette is often idle. Tourists from Arab countries like to play three-card poker, and in Asian countries, they play punto banco. In reality, the ultimate Texas Poker is the most popular type of poker in most countries.
Cruise ship casinos peculiar rules
Usually, you need to pay a certain amount for entering the cruise ship casino. You will buy a number of your lucky chips. In this case, you can play them, but you cannot exchange them for money. There are no such requirements on a cruise ship. Therefore, everyone can try their luck by exchanging the minimum amount at the box office or the gambling table. Moreover, it is not forbidden to just walk around the hall, watch the game, and even take photographs. Besides, sometimes tourists come to the casino, not for the game, but to sit in the bar.
The only restriction on entry is age. In Europe and Australia, you can gamble from 18 years old. Meanwhile, in the United States, – from 21 years old, and in Japan – from 20 years old.
In most cases, depending on where the ship is located, bets are accepted in dollars or euros. However, in many companies, passengers receive free lucky chips, which helps to attract more visitors to the casino. Besides, for regular guests, there is a cumulative reward system. Meanwhile, for tourists visiting cruise ship casinos for the first time, educational lectures on the rules of the games are held at one of the free tables. And if you prefer to gamble from the comfort of your own home, then we suggest you visit one of the online casinos in the USA. Play in the Bovada Casino and make real money from any place in the world.
Classification of cruise ship companies
Cruise ship casinos companies can be divided into several categories. Ships are assigned “stars” according to the totality of ratings. However, this system differs from one of the hotels. At the same time, the liners of one company can belong to different categories. The determining role is the ratio of the number of personnel to the number of passengers on board and the characteristics of the vessel.
The companies of this category occupy more than 80% of the market. The largest among them are:
Distinctive features of this category are the large passenger capacity of ships (from 2000 passengers), focus on family vacations, and relatively low prices. Besides, companies in this class are developing rapidly. Combining in large holdings and borrowing the best from other market players, they reach a higher level in the hierarchy of cruise operators.
In general, Standard class companies, offering low prices for cruises, partially compensate for this due to the expenses of passengers on board. Besides, a significant role is played by cruise ship casinos. Their attendance, like the size of bets, is very heterogeneous depending on the ship, the seasons, and the route of the cruise.
Premium Cruise Companies
This class has long cruise routes and large liners only. You can have a nice family holiday there or even weeks of parties. In these cruise ship casinos, the bets start from $ 5 on cards and from $ 1 on roulette. Passengers of the liners are wealthy people, many of whom regularly spend time in casinos. Besides, the selection of games is usually very wide. This class includes such companies as:
Luxury Cruise Ship
The main features of these companies are high cost, long duration of cruises, and exotic routes. Usually, there is no orientation to family vacations. Therefore, the target audience is the global business elite and wealthy people of mature age. Besides, the liners are relatively small (300-800 passengers). Luxury companies often buy old ships and make luxurious repairs rather than build new ones. The main emphasis is on the highest quality of service, and not on cost optimization. Thus, the ratio of passengers and staff is approximately 1:1.
Their cruise ship casinos usually have all traditional games. However, you can rarely find lotteries and bingos there. Betting often starts from $ 5 on roulette and from $ 10-25 on card tables. Among the companies of this class, casinos onboard have the following:
To sum it up
Even those who usually do not play on land have a reason to visit cruise ship casinos. On the new modern ships in the Caribbean, the United Arab Emirates, and South America, the casino is fully operational. On old ships or in the low season, when the casino is idle, visitors are attracted by lowering rates to 25 cents per room on roulette, and $ 1 on cards.
In reality, cruise ship casinos are much the same as land-based. However, at the same time, they are much more democratic and cosmopolitan – as well as their visitors who prefer to spend their free time traveling around the world. Indeed, in no land-based casino do so many representatives of different nationalities and cultures gather together. Find out more information in our article about Casino Junket Tours. And if you prefer gambling from home, then visit one of the online casinos in the USA. The Bovada Casino has everything you need to have a pleasant gambling experience. Check it out!