CEO of Alliance for Gambling Reform Criticises P&O Cruises for Potential Irresponsible Gambling Practices Following Death of Passenger

CEO of Alliance for Gambling Reform Criticises P&O Cruises for Potential Irresponsible Gambling Practices Following Death of PassengerCarol Bennett, CEO of the Alliance for Gambling Reform, spoke with Travel Weekly on the circumstances surrounding the passing away of 50-year-old P&O cruise ship passenger Shane Dixon, who fell overboard after incurring a substantial AU$4,000 gambling debt aboard the ship. Ms Bennett put the responsible gambling measures of P&O into question and told Travel Weekly that the cruise line should be held accountable for what happened.

Allegations of Harmful Gambling Inducements

Allegations of Harmful Gambling InducementsDetails regarding the situation emerged when the deceased’s brother, Scott Dixon, reached out to the Daily Mail and claimed that the casino on the ship had utilised irresponsible incentives to encourage his sibling to gamble. The said enticements included the offering of free drinks and other promotions, practices banned under Australia’s gambling laws but not prohibited according to the rules governing gambling in international waters.

These claims were essentially backed by a VIP member of the P&O Cruises’ Players Club. While speaking with the Daily Mail, he described the cruise line’s tactics to tempt clients into wagering as “predatory” and went on to dub the gambling establishments as “offshore casinos’’ that simply bring Australians to international waters for the purpose of gambling. He also placed a focus on the provision of unlimited drinks, how patrons are not prevented from incurring massive losses, and the fact that the casinos are actually closed once the ships reach the shores of Australia. It should also be noted that the gambling expenses of clients can simply be added to their room bills, which is another cause for concern.

As described by Scott Dixon, his brother was on holiday with their mother, and they had recently gone through the loss of two family members. Aboard the ship, Shane Dixon first lost AU$5,000 while gambling at the ship’s casino venue as he was treated to free drinks and an AU$750 voucher by the staff. He wagered away a further AU$4,000 a day after paying off the previous debt with the help of his mother.

Shane Dixon fell overboard when the ship sailed closer to Sydney, a mere 10 nautical miles from the city. According to Scott Dixon, the proximity of Australia’s shores made his brother grasp the severity of his situation.

The Gaming Measures of Cruise Ships Do Not Match the Rules of Australian Gambling Establishments

The Gaming Measures of Cruise Ships Do Not Match the Rules of Australian Gambling EstablishmentsAfter describing his brother as having been a “bubbly, happy and easy-going” person, Scott Dixon condemned the way cruise line casinos operate and contrasted their practices with Australian pubs, where the balances of clients are checked and limits are enforced when necessary.

During her interview with Travel Weekly, Carol Bennett maintained that cruise companies are responsible for ensuring that guests wager “in a way that is not going to leave them completely out of pocket and completely without support or assistance.” She continued, questioning what P&O does to ensure safe gambling. According to Ms Bennett, the laws that govern cruise ships’ gambling establishments should be in line with the regulations of the jurisdiction they sailed away from.

P&O Cruises refused to comment on the situation in detail while the coroner’s investigation is still underway, but a spokeswoman stressed that the cruise line employs Responsible Conduct and Gaming Policies on its ships.

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Daniel Williams

Daniel Williams has started his writing career as a freelance author at a local paper media. After working there for a couple of years and writing on various topics, he found his interest for the gambling industry.
Daniel Williams
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