Gamblers rejoice! It’s just been announced that the port of Bermuda will now allow cruise ships to open their casinos overnight whilst in port, following legislation that was passed this week.
The Cruise Ship (Casinos) Act 2013 permits cruise ships that are docked in Bermuda to open the shipboard casinos between the hours of 9pm and 5am, whereas previously casinos had to remain closed for the duration of the visit. It’s not yet been announced when this law becomes effective, but that will surely follow soon.
There are a couple of caveats but nothing too restricting. Ships have to remain in port for at least one night (which makes sense, considering the law applies to overnight hours anyway) and any ship with a passenger capacity that exceeds 2,000 must pay a licensing fee to the Bermuda government. Smaller ships are exempt from this in a bid to encourage more of the smaller, high-end cruise liners to return to the port.
This is partially in response to worries from the government that cruise passenger numbers visiting the port are dropping, so this law will hopefully encourage more ships to reverse this trend. 128 cruise ships visited or are visiting Bermuda in 2013, which is a drop of more than 25% on the 163 ships that visited in 2012.
It’ll be interesting to see how this affects the luxury cruise market. Many cruise lines have on-board casinos, so we’ll soon see whether itineraries are planned to include more overnight stays in Bermuda, as this potential stumbling block has now been removed.
It’s a magnificent destination in its own right but does this sway your opinion? Would you be more inclined to look for a cruise that had overnight calls to Bermuda now that you could play casino games in the evening, or are you just not interested?
By Ian Lewis