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Bermuda to Allow Late-night Casino Play in Port
The Bermuda Royal Gazette is reporting that the government of Bermuda has ruled to allow gambling and onboard shopping on cruise ships late at night - after 10:00 p.m. The reasoning is that Bermuda needs to compete with other cruise destinations and that the laws were making the isolated island less attravtive to cruisers.
Bermuda is a solitary island due east of South Carolina. When cruise ships visit the islnd, they generally spend two days at sea to reach it, three days in port, and the two days returning. There are no other islands close by for ships to relocate to, so the ships remain docked. Previously, the ships were not allowed to open onboard services that would compete with local services, such as onboard shopping. Casino gambling is currently not allowed onshore in Bermuda.
Some cruise lines relocate the ship between the two ports, Hamilton and St George, to give them time at sea to open the casino and other onboard revenue sources at night. But many ships do not do this re-location.
There is a great deal of oppostition to this plan within the island community which opposes gambling, but island residents will not be allowed on the ships to gamble. Also, in exchange for the privilege, the cruise lines will be expected to contribute to local Bermuda funds to help promote locals arts and music shows.