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New Malta law allows cruise ship casinos to operate in port

Written by Nick Blenkey
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JUNE 1, 2015 — When Crystal Cruises’ Crystal Serenity calls in at Malta later this week, the roulette wheel will keep on spinning and the slots will keep on clanking as casino activity aboard the cruise ship continues.

The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) has approved what is the first application received under recent legislation that allows cruise liners to operate their onboard casinos for registered passengers while berthing in Malta and/or Gozo overnight and within territorial waters.

The regulations lay down that a formal application for this purpose must be submitted to the MGA, which, in turn, issues its approval once it is satisfied that gaming on board the cruise liner casino will take place in accordance with the fundamental principles established by the Authority. Once approval is granted, cruise liner casinos will be allowed to operate between 6.00 pm and 6.00 am.

“This legislation makes Malta a more attractive proposition to cruise liners particularly those cruise liners that opt to call at Malta or Gozo for an overnight stay,” said Stephen Xuereb, Valletta Cruise Port’s Chief Executive Officer. “This is undoubtedly an incentive to encourage cruise liners to overnight in Malta or Gozo, and include both islands in their Mediterranean itinerary. Valletta Cruise Port has been promoting these regulations, and feedback from other cruise lines has been positive.”

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