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Cruise ships can open on-board casinos while visiting Malta

Cruise ships can open on-board casinos while visiting Malta

Cruise ships calling in Malta can operate their onboard casinos in territorial waters, following the publication of new rules by the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA).

The new Cruise Casino Regulations are a result of the policy announced by the Maltese Government last November. The legislation aims to regulate casino operations on board cruise ships, which are either berthed in Malta, Gozo or within Maltese territorial waters.

The MGA's executive chairman, Joseph Cuschieri said that, ‘Through the Cruise Casino Regulations, we will be able to safeguard both the interests of passengers on board cruise ships, as well as those of the Maltese gaming industry. Cruise ships that are issued with the necessary approval by the MGA will be able to operate their casinos in line with the stipulated conditions whilst berthed here.’

In welcoming the new ruling Stephen Xuereb, ceo of Valletta Cruise Port said, ‘These regulations make Malta a more attractive proposition for cruise ships particularly those who do opt to call at Malta for an overnight stay. This is undoubtedly an incentive to encourage cruise ship to include both Malta and Gozo in their Mediterranean itinerary. ‘

Valletta Cruise Port has already starting promoting these regulations, and feedback from the cruise industry has been positive, he commented.

The Parliamentary Secretary for Competitiveness and Economic Growth Hon. Dr. José Herrera said the MGA will be assuring the best principles of fair play and player protection.

Cruise lines wishing to open their casinos during visits to Malta must make a formal application to the MGA. Once conditions are met and approval is granted, onboard casinos will be allowed to operate for the duration of their stay.

Conditions stipulate that only those persons listed on the passenger manifest of that particular voyage can gamble at the vessel’s casino, and that the casino is only operated during the time window specified in the MGA approval.

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