The Republic of Malta will now be allowing anchored cruise liners the opportunity to offer casino gaming by paying a licensing fee to the government for operations from the time of 6pm to 6am. The announcement was made along the Valletta Waterfront by Jose Herrera, the Parliamentary Secretary, who says the new option will be a win-win for everyone; the cruise liner industry as well as Malta.
Cruise liners will need to a pay a fee of €500 when carrying 1,500 or less in passenger loads while ships that have more than 1,500 passengers will need to pay a €1,000 fee for operations. In the past, the cruise liners were not allowed to operate their casinos while anchored. Now due to the subsidiary legislation, the ships will be able to operate if the fee is paid and only during the times allowed.
According to Herrera, the option to allow gaming while docked will help to boost the presence of cruise liners in Malta which will boost tourism for the area. The sister island to Malta, Gozo, will not enact the fee to motivate cruise liners to dock at the island, which will then lead to more tourism in Gozo as well.
Many cruise bookings for 2016 are already closed, so most cruise ship patrons wont be able to enjoy the new amenity until 2017.