MGA OKs First Cruise Liner Casino

A gaming cruise ship arrived in Malta this week, the first floating casino approved by the Maltese Gaming Authority. The Crystal Serenity (l.) will offer a number of table games as well as slots and video poker.

The Malta Gaming Authority has approved a casino cruise application from Crystal Cruises, represented in Malta by the Gollcher Group. The ship Crystal Serenity, which arrived in Malta last week, offers blackjack, craps, roulette, three-card poker, Ultimate Texas Hold ‘em and mini-baccarat, as well as slot and video poker machines, according to a statement from the MGA.

“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,” said Stephen Xuereb, Valletta Cruise Port’s chief executive officer.

Casino cruise ships will operate their casinos “with the stipulated conditions whilst berthed within Maltese territorial waters,” said MGA Executive Chairman Joseph Cuschieri.

Parliamentary Secretary José Herrera said the debut of the new ships “is indeed very good and exciting news, which augurs well for the future.” Herrera said the MGA and Valletta Cruise Port are committed to increasing the island’s gaming and cruise industries.