P & O Cruises has been accused of running an illegal gambling operation, after it was discovered that a casino was available on the property. A cruise that left from Sydney early last week was discovered to host a wide range of casino games, including 40 poker machines. The operation has been deemed illegal as it is being argued that ACT and NSW prohibit gaming activities from being held off the coast.
According to local laws, cruises are only allowed to host casinos and offer gambling activities if they travel at least 12 miles away from the coast. P & O has combatted the claims, stating that the cruise was in fact that far away; however, local club owners are convinced that the cruise line was breaking the law.
The main concern is that responsible gambling laws are not being enforced. Players are allowed to withdraw up to $5000 from ATMs and the staff allegedly does not stop players from gambling if they seem to have had too much to drink or are acting irresponsibly.
“You cannot operate a casino without a gambling licence in NSW or the ACT unless you are at least 12 nautical miles off the coast,” says Anthony Ball of Clubs Australia. “I hope P&O immediately sink their floating casino.”