A Casino on the cruise ship 'Freedom of the Seas'. *AFP photo
A Casino on the cruise ship 'Freedom of the Seas'. *AFP photo

New charges to allow some cruise ships to open their casinos in Bermuda could inject more than $400,000 into the island’s economy, the Bermuda Sun can reveal.

The new laws that were tabled last week will allow liners to open their casinos to passengers between 9pm and 5am if they buy a licence.

Only ships that remain in port overnight for a minimum of 12 hours will be able to apply for a licence.

The move has been welcomed by Norwegian Cruise Lines.

CEO Kevin Sheehan told the Bermuda Sun: “We are pleased that Bermuda is considering the cruise ship casinos bill.

“We believe this will enhance the guest experience and therefore will ensure that cruise ships continue to visit.”

The Sun understands that next year’s cruise ship schedule is likely to be almost identical to this year’s 125 cruise calls. 

And the same five regular cruise ships; the Explorer of the Seas, the Grandeur of the Seas, the Norwegian Breakaway, Norwegian Dawn and Summit will again make just over 100 trips to the island between them.

The new rules could therefore see Norwegian Cruise Lines pay out $225,000 for licences for its two ships.

Royal Caribbean International will have to fork out around $110,000 for licences for the Explorer and the Grandeur if they want to open their casinos while in port.

Finally Celebrity Cruises will have to pay out $75,000 for a licence for the Summit, which is expected to make 19 trips to Bermuda next year.

This means that if all three lines choose to buy the new licences it will bring in $410,000 to the island’s economy.

This year there has been an additional 25 visits by ‘occasional callers’  — some of which have stayed overnight for more than 12 hours. Although next year’s schedule is yet to be confirmed it is understood there will be a similar number of ‘occasional callers’. And this could mean that if other lines choose to pay for the licence to open their casinos while in port it may in turn bring in further revenue to the tune of thousands of dollars.