Minister Moves To End Cruises To Nowhere

Minister Moves To End Cruises To Nowhere

Western Australia Minister for Racing and Gaming Terry Waldron

Government Moves On Cruise Ship Gaming Laws

Victor P Taffa

Cruise Ships transiting through Western Australian waters are now able to operate their on-board casinos, following agreement reached between the State Government and Burswood Casino.

Racing and Gaming Minister Terry Waldron today announced the signing of a formal agreement with the operators of the Burswood Casino to lift the long-standing prohibition on cruise ships conducting casino gaming while in WA waters.

“Under the previous Casino Agreement, cruise ships were required to close down their casino when they entered WA waters.” Mr. Waldron said.

“This restriction was more about preventing so called ‘cruises to nowhere’, where the principal aim of the cruise was to sail out behind Rottnest and conduct gaming for two or three days to avoid the State’s tough stance on gaming machines in the community.”

 

The Minister said with the renewed interest in cruise ship travel, Fremantle and other WA ports had become regular stops on the cruise ship calendar and the gaming restriction was proving a drawback for local tourism.

“Burswood Casino has agreed to the restriction being lifted provided gambling cruises to nowhere could still be prevented.  This has been achieved by the new agreement.” Mr. Waldron said.

The Terms of the Agreement provide that gaming may occur under the following conditions:

  • Vessel has a minimum capacity of 100 Passengers;
  • Vessel is conducting a scheduled deepwater cruise;
  • Vessel is transiting through WA ports from and to locations overseas or interstate;
  • Gaming takes place outside a distance of 12 nautical miles from the WA baseline.

The change to the Casino Agreement will be submitted to State Parliament for ratification later this year, however with the consent of Burswood Casino, the Department of Racing, Gaming and Liquor are advising cruise ship operators of the revised gaming restrictions which will apply from today.