Malta is heaven for online gambling operators, as many of the biggest operators in the world are based in the small country outside of Sicily. But now it seems that it may also become a heaven for cruise liners who wants to be able to offer casino games to their visitors, as the first application submitted to the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) from Crystal Cruises has been approved.
Crystal’s onboard casino offers a wide variety of different casino games, which includes the most popular table games blackjack, roulette, craps and three card poker as well as slots and video poker.
“Valletta Cruise Port welcomes this first application, following our instigation to introduce this legislation. 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. 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", commented Stephen Xuereb, Valletta Cruise Port’s Chief Executive Officer.
"The Authority is committed to safeguard both the interests of passengers on board cruise ships, as well as those of the Maltese gaming industry. The regulations issued by the MGA mean that cruise ships will be able to operate their casinos in-line with the stipulated conditions whilst berthed within Maltese territorial waters," said the MGA's Executive Chairman, Joseph Cuschieri.
Parliamentary Secretary Hon. Dr. José Herrera added, “This is indeed very good and exciting news, which augurs well for the future. These new regulations were the result of direct consultation with the relevant stakeholders.”
The MGA introduced the cruise casino regulations in April this year, allowing those who applies for a casino and receives it can offer casino games to their registered passengers while being docked in the country.