The Government of Western Australia has finally given the green light to the State’s gaming expansion by lifting the long-time restrictions on cruise ship casinos. As a result, Western Australia is to allow cruise chips casino gambling with immediate effect.
The gambling regulatory change on the territory of the State comes as a step towards further expansion in the tourism sector of Western Australia. According to local media, such an expansion has long been needed, as the State has been looking to attract new investors, and the Government has expressed its hopes for the territory to increase its popularity among cruise companies.
If Western Australia becomes more popular among cruise operators, the State’s ports will probably become regular stops in these companies’ planned routes and journeys, which can finally result in the desired and long-expected boom in the tourism sector. The previous restrictions imposed on casino gaming in the State have been having negative impact on the tourism sector, which is one of the main reasons why gambling expansion was needed.
Under the new rules which were enforced with immediate effect, cruise ships will be allowed to host casinos in Western Australian waters, in case that they are at least 12 nautical miles from land. What is more, the cruise need to be a deep-water one with minimum capacity of 100 passengers on board of the ship, with the latter transiting through the ports of the state of Western Australia from and to both interstate or overseas locations.
What is more, gaming operations will be available only as a supplementary service, which basically means that the so-called floating casinos, which only purpose is providing gambling services to passengers, remain banned.
The Racing and Gaming Minister Terry Waldron explained that the previous Casino Agreement required from cruise ships to close their casino, if any, as soon as they entered Western Australian waters. Mr. Waldron further said that the restrictions were aimed at stopping cruise ships which only aim was to avoid the State’s regulations on gaming machines by offering gaming services for a few days.
The approval of cruise ship casinos ends a long-term ban on this type of gambling in Western Australia, which is the largest state in the country. In addition, new regulatory measures are planned to be added by the local Government in order for the latter to make sure that the gambling expansion will boost international tourism, hence more money is to be brought to local economy.
In an interview for a local media, the Tourism, Racing and Gaming Minister of Western Australia, Paul Papalia, has revealed that the Government was seeking the cruise industry’s growth by taking the necessary measures in terms of infrastructure and regulatory matters. According to Mr. Papalia, cruise shipping plays an important role in the local tourism industry, as it generates millions of dollars to the State’s economy every year, not to mention the new jobs being created in the sector.