Casinos and gambling on cruise ships

According to estimates by the international industry association CLIA Cruise Ships, almost 25,8 million passengers will travel with cruise ships in 2017. The offer is broad. It ranges from luxury liners to premium and club ships to small expedition ships that go to remote destinations.

Norwegian Sun Casino

Casino on the Norwegian Sun


The guests of the cruise ships are connoisseurs, explorers, city tourists, gourmets, sports enthusiasts and much more. They all appreciate cruises as a very pleasant form of travel, where they are taken care of by the grain. After unpacking the luggage and any sea rescue exercise, the pampering program begins.

Relaxation is high on the agenda for many cruise guests. The shipping companies are happy to meet this need with a wide range of sports, wellness and entertainment offers. Last but not least, the on-board casinos of many cruise ships also contribute to on-board entertainment.

On land, the range of games of chance is diverse: we are familiar with state-licensed casinos and slot machine casinos, arcades, some slot machines in the pub around the corner or online games of chance. Online casinos also have the latest games and offer various bonuses. On cruise ships, table and slot machine games dominate the on-board casino.

Here are some facts about the casinos of the floating hotels:

Gambling on the high seas is legal

Germany treats gambling in its national territory very rigidly. The organization of games of chance generally requires an official permit. In contrast, many of the flag states of the cruise ships regulate gambling on board the ships in a very generous manner. It follows from this: Gambling is legal on cruise ships, provided that the ship sails under the flag of a country in which gambling is also legalized.

No German cruise ship sails under the German flag. Flag states are: Italy (Aida ships), Malta (TUI Cruises), the Bahamas and some Caribbean islands. In all of these states, gambling is promoted as a way of generating taxes. This in turn means that the casinos in these countries are also regulated and subject to conditions. Players don't need to fear being treated unfairly.

The laws of the respective country on board the ships apply during port lay times. On the high seas, i.e. 24 nautical miles from the mainland, international maritime law applies. Games of chance may be offered without restriction in its area of ​​application.

Dress code

Many cruise ship casinos have a specific dress code. This is can Opportunity to dress up. Shirts and jackets are a must for men and women should also wear evening wear.

Introductions for newbies are offered

Not everyone knows the rules of poker, blackjack and roulette. It is of course possible to familiarize yourself with the games in advance, as you can now play classic casino games on any mobile phone. Many shipping companies, including AIDA Cruises, offer their guests short introductions to the world of casino games so that newcomers can also feel safe. On six cruise ships from AIDA cruises and the ships of TUI Cruises are offered various roulette variants, blackjack, poker and slot machine games.

princess cruises 271 majestic princess grand casino

Majestic Princess Grand Casino


Special poker cruises

Special poker cruises are organized regularly. In the course of this, tournaments are organized and workshops are offered by professionals. Often there are defined processes for these trips. The journey begins with an introductory seminar and ends with a large tournament. Some providers, such as Norwegian Cruise Line or Royal Caribbean International, personally invite high rollers (players with very high stakes) to these tournaments. Free drinks and food are often part of the offer.

Gambling loyalty programs

Many cruise casinos also offer loyalty programs. At the affiliated companies Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings, Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises, players can win points at machines and gaming tables, which they can collect, exchange for cash rewards at the end of the journey or transfer to the other brands.

Spacious and well-equipped casinos on board are mainly found on US cruise ships. The ships designed for the Asian cruise market, such as the Majestic Princess. However, not every cruise ship also has an on-board casino. The Disney Cruise Line, which specializes in family cruises, generally does not offer games of chance on board its four ships.

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