Cruise ship casinos: why they appeal to tourists

Cruise ship casinos: why they appeal to tourists
23.10.2019

Today cruise ships are not just a means of transportation but vast platforms will all needed conditions for leisure and entertainment. Many ships that go for long voyages arrange casinos onboard. At such places, players can try their luck and have fun.

Read more about the peculiarities of casinos on water further in the article.

UGW: Cruise ship casinos: why they appeal to tourists 1

Ship casinos: what are their
distinctive features?

People were gambling on ships back in those times when airplanes did not exist and one could cross the ocean only using ships. Only rich people could afford such leisure time at that time. Thanks to the active development of the cruise industry, today ship voyages are available to people of different wealth.

UGW: Cruise ship casinos: why they appeal to tourists 2

The popularity of cruise ships and high demand for games of chance have led to the casinos opened not only on large passenger liners but also smaller ships such as yachts and even sailing ships.

Modern gambling houses based on sea transport in many ways resemble land-based casinos. Here you will find various games of chance and comfortable conditions for leisure time. Gambling platforms on ships also do not lag behind land-based facilities in terms of the service. However, such casinos have some peculiarities.

UGW: Cruise ship casinos: why they appeal to tourists 3

Cruise ship casinos
pay less tax

By placing gambling facilities on ships, entrepreneurs avoid high taxes, which gambling businesses have to pay in many countries. When a ship is in neutral waters, it falls under the laws of the state, whose flag flies above the ship. For this reason, many liners register in offshore areas, for example, in the Bermuda Islands. When the ship arrives at the harbor, where the local laws prohibit or regulate the gambling business, the casino suspends its operations. In such a way, entrepreneurs can avoid fines.

UGW: Cruise ship casinos: why they appeal to tourists 4

Gambling assortment depends
on the preferences of passengers

The available list of games offered by the casino depends on the preferences of tourists and can differ depending on the route. For example, Americans like playing poker and craps, and Asians love baccarat. Having taken into account the tastes of passengers, casinos form the assortment of available games. For this reason, it often happens that ships have a fewer number of play tables than presented entertainment activities. This relates to the fact that casinos allow gamblers to define what games to prefer.

UGW: Cruise ship casinos: why they appeal to tourists 5

Availability of gambling to tourists
from countries that ban gambling

There are countries where gambling is banned at the legislative level. One of them is China. Despite the restrictions, this kind of entertainment is popular among local residents. Therefore, many Chinese people find a voyage on a cruise liner as a good opportunity to visit gambling facilities. Cruise operators consider this fact and provide Chinese tourists such a chance. When the ship enters the waters of China, the casino closes down and stops accepting customers.

In the future, some companies are planning to organize cruise voyages with passengers from China only.

UGW: Cruise ship casinos: why they appeal to tourists 6

Advantages of
cruise ship casinos

Despite the similarity to land-based casinos, cruise ship gambling facilities have the following advantages:

  • openness for guests. Any passenger of the liner can visit the casino even the one that does not plan to play casino games. The most important thing is being of the required age. Some casinos welcome visitors above 18 years old and others accept customers not younger than 21. Besides, many facilities allow making photos inside, which is forbidden in most land-based casinos;
  • floating bet sizes. This characteristic depends on the demand for sea voyages. During the peak season, casinos increase the minimum size of bets. During the low season, they decrease it in order to attract more customers;
  • training lessons for beginners and incentives for experienced players. Tourists not familiar with games of chance but willing to try luck at a casino may have rest on cruise ships. Especially for such travelers, there are training lessons, during which specialists explain the rules of certain games of chance. There are bonus systems for loyal customers;
  • a big choice of slot machines. Slots remain one of the most in-demand gambling entertainment in the whole world. Therefore, slot machines are found in most of casinos on water;
  • lucky chips intended to attract players. In order to interest customers, some companies give out free chips for passengers to place bets at play tables.

UGW: Cruise ship casinos: why they appeal to tourists 7

Top 3 cruise ships with casinos

Today gambling houses work on ships of different scale and classes. We suggest that you familiarize with the three most well-known and in-demand of them.

Ruby Princess

This cruise liner was built in 2008. It is 290 meters long and houses 1,530 rooms that can accommodate up to 3,672 passengers. During its voyages, the liner makes stops in harbors of Canada, the USA, Australia, Mexico, New Zealand, etc.

The liner has restaurants, bars, a swimming pool, conference hall, sports complex, beauty parlor, tennis court, library, cinema, church, spa, nightclub, and Gatsby’s Casino, of course. The casino offers a wide range of slot machines including those with a progressive jackpot as well as poker and other table games.

Queen Mary 2

This ocean liner has been sailing since 2004. Its length is 345 meters and it has 1,296 rooms. Its overall passenger capacity is over 3,000 passengers. The ship annually sails from Southampton to New York.

There is Empire casino onboard. The available gambling entertainment includes slot machines, roulette, and card games, among other things.

Besides, the liner offers restaurants, bars, a gallery, bookshop, spa, nightclub, planetarium, ballroom, theatre, etc.

Crystal Serenity

The liner was built in 2003. Its length is 250 meters, width – 32.2 meters. The ship can house 1072 passengers.

Crystal Casino lies onboard offering roulette, craps, baccarat, blackjack, texas hold'em poker, and slot machines.

Besides, visitors will find swimming pools, restaurants, cafes, bars, stores, a fitness center, baths, a cinema, and other places for leisure activities and entertainment.


You can find out more about the arrangement and organization of land-based
and online casinos at the Ukrainian Gaming Week 2020.

You can read more about the event here ►►►

Sign up to receive news