Marine Link
Sunday, January 21, 2018

Cruises To Nowhere News

Anti-Gaming Decree Ruled Invalid

Administrative Law Judge Linda Rigot issued a summary final order in the case regarding the Day Cruise Association, which challenged Florda Gov. Jeb Bush's proposed rule to prohibit cruise-to-nowhere vessels from operating gaming cruises from state-owned docking facilities after the expiration of their "sovereign submerged land" leases. Rigot's final order stated the proposed rule "is an invalid exercise of delegated legislative authority because the Trustees have exceeded their grant of rulemaking authority." The Day Cruise Association is an association of private companies, controlling 17 vessels providing "cruises to nowhere" in Florida.

Legislation to Ban Cruises to Nowhere

Assembly Bill (A.) 6771, legislation to make cruise-to-nowhere gaming a class E felony, was introduced by Assembly members Richard Gottfried (D-New York), Adriano Espaillat (D-New York), Deborah Glick (D-New York) and Susan John (D-Monroe). Senate Bill 1399, introduced by Frank Padavan (R-Queens), Joseph Holland (R-Orange, Rockland), Kenneth LaValle (R-Suffolk) and John Marchi (R-Richmond) is identical to A. 6771. The bill would prohibit casino gaming on vessels embarking from any point within the state and disembarking at the same, or another point, within the state.

Federal Hearing on Cruise-to-Nowhere Measure

The House USCG and Maritime Transportation Subcommittee held a hearing on H.R. 316 (the Cruise-to-Nowhere Act of 1999, which would prohibit gaming in all states that haven't passed a bill specifically allowing it). The subcommittee heard from eight witnesses divided among four panels, with the first two panels consisting of a single witness: Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.), chief sponsor of H.R. 316, and Florida Attorney General Bob Butterworth, who joined Wolf in support of the bill. Panel three, opponents of the bill, included Allen Walker, president of the Shipbuilders Council of America; C. Dean Hofmeister, chairman/CEO of SeaEscape Cruises; Lester Bullock, president of the Day Cruise Association; and Robert Williams, chairman of the Port of Palm Beach.

"Cruise to Nowhere" from Myrtle Beach

Federal District Judge David Norton issued a declaratory judgment, giving Dewayne Williams, who runs LA Cruise, Inc. of Mayport, Fla., permission to operate a "cruise to nowhere" vessel out of South Carolina. Williams has expressed interest in operating a casino boat out of Murrells Inlet. Casino gambling is banned in South Carolina, but federal law permits "cruise to nowhere" gaming ships to operate in the absence of a state law specifically prohibiting them. Norton pointed out in his ruling, the only way the state could prevent "cruises to nowhere" from taking passengers into international waters (three miles offshore) to gamble, would be to pass a law specifically forbidding such activity. A general ban on casino gambling is not sufficient.

Measure Gets Subcommittee Nod

A bill banning gaming "cruises to nowhere" received unanimous approval from a subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee. The measure, known as the Gambling Cruise Prohibition Act, would prohibit casino gaming on any voyage that begins and ends in South Carolina, "during which the vessel does not make an intervening stop within the boundaries of another state or possession of the U.S. or a foreign country." The purpose of the bill, as stated in its first section, is to "clearly and unequivocally…prohibit gambling activities on so-called 'cruises to nowhere' as provided in 15 U.S.C. 1175." General Bill 4491 explicitly applies to all vessels, regardless of registry, and offers no exclusion for the large Carnival Cruise Lines ships that call on Charleston.

Offshore Gaming Bill

The South Carolina Senate amended and then approved General Bill 3002, which would prohibit certain "cruise to nowhere" gaming operations. As passed by the Senate, the bill would impose a general prohibition against gambling on cruises that begin and end in the state, and which do not make an intervening stop within the boundaries of another state or a foreign country. The measure provides an exemption from the general prohibition for voyages and voyage segments that begin and end in the state, are part of a voyage to another state or a foreign country, and in which the vessel reaches the outer state or foreign country within three days after leaving the state in which the segment begins.

Offshore Gaming Bill

The South Carolina Senate amended and then approved General Bill 3002, which would prohibit certain "cruise to nowhere" gaming operations. As passed by the Senate, the bill would impose a general prohibition against gambling on cruises that begin and end in the state, and which do not make an intervening stop within the boundaries of another state or a foreign country. The measure provides an exemption from the general prohibition for voyages and voyage segments that begin and end in the state, are part of a voyage to another state or a foreign country, and in which the vessel reaches the outer state or foreign country within three days after leaving the state in which the segment begins.

Report Confirms Increased Assessments on Maritime Industry

U.S. ports got confirmation at its Annual Convention meeting from a just-released General Accounting Office (GAO) Report that both the number and the dollar amount of fees assessed on the maritime industry have increased since the last study was released in 1993. The GAO Report, Federal Assessments on the Maritime Industry, states 11 federal agencies collect 124 different fees and assessments on maritime commerce, for a total of almost $22 billion ($21 billion of which is collected by U.S. Customs alone). Total collections have increased from $18.2 billion in fiscal 1991 to $21.9 billion in fiscal 1998. "This confirms what we've been saying for years: Shippers, vessel owners, operators, importers and exporters are already heavily taxed," said Kurt J. Nagle, AAPA president.

Lawsuit Aimed at Stopping Casino Boat

Florida Attorney General Bob Butterworth filed a complaint in Volusia Circuit Court, seeking to force SunCruz Casinos to get rid of the slot machines and other casino games on one of its cruise-to-nowhere boats, which docks in Ponce Inlet. The refusal by the U.S. Supreme Court to tamper with a lower court ruling that federal law does not prevent states from deciding their existing laws prohibiting land-based casino gaming also apply to cruise-to-nowhere operations may have been the motivation for the complaint. States are not required to pass new anti-gambling laws aimed specifically at offshore gaming, according to last year's ruling by the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

"Cruise-to-Nowhere"Legislation Sees Mixed Results

House Bill (H.B.) 19, in North Carolina, was passed by the North Carolina House of Representatives. The bill prohibits "cruises to nowhere" and regulates other offshore gaming operations the state doesn't have the authority to ban outright. Vessels that embark and disembark passengers in North Carolina, but make an intervening stop in a neighboring state, would be regulated under the bill. To be considered to have made an intervening stop, a vessel would have to dock at a port in another state, remain continuously at the port for at least six hours, and allow passengers to disembark the vessel for sightseeing, shopping or other similar tourism-related activity.

Iowa Specifies Operating Location

House File 103, introduced by Rep. Gary B. The measure was referred to the State Government Committee. In New York, S. 1399, introduced by Sens. Frank Padavan (R), Joseph R. Holland (R), Kenneth P. LaValle (R) and John J. Marchi (R), would prohibit gambling "cruises to nowhere" from New York. The prohibition would not apply to gambling activity conducted on vessels traveling to New York from a foreign nation or another state, up to point of first entry into New York waters. Nor would it apply to vessels traveling from New York to a foreign country or another state, starting from the point of departure from New York waters. The measure was referred to the Codes Committee. General Bill 3002 would prohibit gambling on "cruises to nowhere" from South Carolina.

Two Bills from New Jersey

Assembly Concurrent Resolution (ACR) 89, sponsored by Assemblywoman Nilsa Cruz-Perez (D), proposes a constitutional amendment authorizing the New Jersey State Legislature to legalize riverboat gaming if a bordering state authorizes casino gaming. Also, Assembly 983, sponsored by Assemblymen Kenneth C. LeFevre (R) and Francis J. Blee (R), would prohibit cruise-to-nowhere gaming from New Jersey. Both bills are carried over from last year, and were referred to the Assembly Commerce, Tourism, Gaming and Military and Veterans' Affairs Committee,

New York Appeals Court Affirms Earlier Ruling

The U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Bay Casino, which operates a gaming vessel on "cruises to nowhere" from Brooklyn, did not violate federal law by operating its shipboard casino more than three, but less than 12 miles offshore, concurring with a lower court's decision. The court affirmed the lower court's dismissal of the civil forfeiture action against the company. The government argued when Congress passed the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996, in which it extended the U.S. territorial seas out to 12 miles "for purposes of Federal criminal jurisdiction," shipboard gambling was rendered illegal within the 12-mile limit.

Grand Opening

Stardancer, the second cruise-to-nowhere vessel to dock in Little River, S.C., had its grand opening last month. The vessel includes 160 slot machines, offers a full restaurant with a chef, can hold up to 500 passengers, and will employ more than 100 people, making it the largest single employer in Little River. The community's other gaming vessel, Victori, has been conducting twice-daily gambling excursions to international waters since November.

New Jersey Bans

New Jersey's governor signed into law a bill prohibiting the operation of gaming "cruises to nowhere" from the state. The gaming prohibition does not apply to "gambling activity conducted on U.S.-flagged or foreign-flagged vessels during travel from a foreign nation or another state or possession of the U.S. up to the point of first entry into New Jersey waters, or during travel to a foreign nation or another state or possession of the U.S. from the point of departure from New Jersey waters." Assembly No. 983, sponsored by Assemblyman Kenneth LeFevre (R-Atlantic) and Francis Blee (R-Atlantic) took effect immediately upon signing.

Report Confirms Increased Assessments on Maritime Industry

U.S. ports got confirmation at its Annual Convention meeting from a just-released General Accounting Office (GAO) Report that both the number and the dollar amount of fees assessed on the maritime industry have increased since the last study was released in 1993. The GAO Report, Federal Assessments on the Maritime Industry, states 11 federal agencies collect 124 different fees and assessments on maritime commerce, for a total of almost $22 billion ($21 billion of which is collected by U.S. Customs alone). Total collections have increased from $18.2 billion in fiscal 1991 to $21.9 billion in fiscal 1998. "This confirms what we've been saying for years: Shippers, vessel owners, operators, importers and exporters are already heavily taxed," said Kurt J. Nagle, AAPA president.

Cruise-to-Nowhere Measure Introduced

U.S. Rep. Frank R. Wolf (R-Va.) introduced legislation (H.R. 316) that threatens to halt, and even reverse the expansion of the offshore gaming industry. Under existing law, offshore gaming in international water is legal, unless states pass laws specifically prohibiting the activity. Wolf's bill would reverse the situation, requiring states that want offshore casino vessels pass laws to allow them. Offshore gaming operations would be outlawed in states that have not passed laws to legalize them.

Carnival Cruise Lines Takes Delivery Of Victory

Carnival Cruise Lines, a unit of Carnival took delivery of its new $440 million, 893 ft. cruise ship, the 102,000-ton Carnival Victory, during the traditional "hand-over" ceremony at the Fincantieri shipyard in Monfalcone, Italy, where the 2,758-passenger vessel was built. Carnival Victory is the third member of the company’s Destiny-class; departing Monfalcone on August 2 on its transatlantic crossing, the vessel is expected to arrive in New York on August 14. From there, Victory will sail on its inaugural voyage – a sold-out two-night cruise-to-nowhere departing Aug. 18, followed by three additional sold-out two-night cruises, an overnight voyage and various travel agent and fund-raising functions.

Carnival Repositions Carnival Legend

Carnival Cruise Lines' new 2,124-passenger Carnival Legend will operate a series of eight-day "exotic" Caribbean voyages from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Nov. 10, 2002 - April 19, 2003, marking the first time the line has deployed a brand new ship to that port. Originally, this program was scheduled to operate from Miami. Carnival Legend's new Fort Lauderdale-based schedule is the line's first long-term cruise program from that port in more than a decade. Eight-day southern Caribbean cruises will visit St. City, Belize; Limon, Costa Rica; and Colon, Panama. Carnival Spirit, in November 2001. vessels to visit exciting destinations previously available only on longer length voyages.

Judge Dismisses Complaint

Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) Administrative Law Judge Norman Kline ended the dispute between the South Carolina State Ports Authority (SCSPA) and South Carolina Maritime Services, Inc. Maritime Services, operator of cruise-to-nowhere vessel M/V Tropicana, filed a complain against the SCSPA in October. It was seeking an investigation by the FMC regarding its claim by the SCSPA to refuse Maritime Services a berth for its vessel at state-owned docking facilities, while at the same time allowing Carnival Cruise Line to operate similar cruises, was discriminatory and in violation of the Shipping Act of 1984. In dismissing the complaint…

Judge Dismisses Complaint

Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) Administrative Law Judge Norman Kline ended the dispute between the South Carolina State Ports Authority (SCSPA) and South Carolina Maritime Services, Inc. Maritime Services, operator of cruise-to-nowhere vessel M/V Tropicana, filed a complaint against the SCSPA in October. It was seeking an investigation by the FMC regarding its claim by the SCSPA to refuse Maritime Services a berth for its vessel at state-owned docking facilities, while at the same time allowing Carnival Cruise Line to operate similar cruises, was discriminatory and in violation of the Shipping Act of 1984. In dismissing the complaint…

The South Carolina Senate amended the House-passed version of General Bill 3002 before approving the measure, which would prohibit certain "cruise to nowhere" gaming operations. The House subsequently altered the Senate amendments; the Senate failed to concur with the changes; and the measure was referred to a conference committee. The House-passed version prohibited gambling on voyages beginning and ending in the state, consistent with the standards specified in the Johnson Act Amendments of 1992. The Senate version prohibits gambling on cruises beginning and ending in the state, that don't make an intervening stop within the boundaries of another state or foreign country.

Legal Matters

Senator Slade Gorton (R-Wash.) introduced the "States Prevention of Oil Tanker Spills Act" (S. 2506), which seeks to reinstate Washington state oil tanker safety laws overturned by the Supreme Court in Intertanko v. Locke and United States v. Locke. In a press release, Senator Gorton said, "I disagree with the Court's decision, because I believe Washington State should be allowed to protect its shores as it sees fit." The Gorton legislation would reinstate the right of all states to adopt additional standards beyond existing federal requirements governing the operation, maintenance, equipment, personnel and manning of oil tankers. While the legislation would apply to all coastal states, Gorton's interest is focused on recently overturned Washington statutes.

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Dec 2017 - The Great Ships of 2017

Maritime Reporter and Engineering News’ first edition was published in New York City in 1883 and became our flagship publication in 1939. It is the world’s largest audited circulation magazine serving the global maritime industry, delivering more insightful editorial and news to more industry decision makers than any other source.

Subscribe
Maritime Reporter E-News subscription

Maritime Reporter E-News is the subsea industry's largest circulation and most authoritative ENews Service, delivered to your Email three times per week

Subscribe for Maritime Reporter E-News