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Saturday, January 20, 2018

The Big M Casino News

Eastern Wins Casino Vessel Contract

The Big M Casino, Inc of Fort Myers, Fla., has awarded a contract to Eastern Shipbuilding Group, Panama City, Florida to construct a casino vessel. The as yet unnamed vessel will join the existing vessel, Royal Gambler, in providing offshore casino services to the Fort Myers market. The vessel was designed by John W. Gilbert and Associates, a prominent naval architect firm located in Hingham, Massachusetts. The interior design will be performed by Bauer Interiors of New Orleans, Louisiana.Bauer Interiors is one of the best-known companies in design, traffic and ergonomics of casino vessels. The vessel is 186 ft. long with a beam of 38 ft. and a molded depth of 11.5 ft., and depending on conditions, will have a loaded draft of 8 ft. She will accommodate 600 passengers plus a crew of 72.

Cummins to Power Big New Casino Boat

Alabama Shipyard Inc will be building a casino boat for Hollywod Park, Inc. who will operate the cruising riverboat from Belterra Resort and Casino in Indiana about 35 miles south of Cincinnati Ohio. Shore side facilities will include a hotel and golf course, while the vessel will contain 1,800 gaming positions. The Hollywood Park casino vessel will be the 14th casino vessel built by Atlantic Marine companies and the second such vessel to be built at Alabama Shipyards. At 370 x 104 ft., it will be one of the largest casino vessels in operation. Propulsion will be provided by three 12-cylinder Cummins KTA38 M2 engines each producing 1,300 hp at 1,800 rpm for a total of 3,900 hp turning cardon shafts and driving three Shottel rudder propellers.

Washburn & Doughty to Build Casino Boat

Washburn & Doughty has signed a contract with Cajun Express, Inc., of Boston, to build a 186-ft. offshore casino boat. Hull 65 is the second vessel to be built by Cajun Express at Washburn & Doughty. The first, Big M Casino, is operating out of Fort Myers, Fla. Hull 65 wil be a longer and wider version of the first vessel, and was designed by Washburn & Doughty and John W. Gilbert Assoc., Inc. It was designed specifically to handle off-shore conditions with heavy gaming equipment aboard. Hull 65 measures 186 x 38 ft., with a 7.5 ft. draft. It will carry a minimum of 500 passengers and up to 72 crew. The vessel will be powered by two Caterpillar 3508B DIT main engines rated at 1,100 bhp @ 1,800 rpm.

Largest Hull from Washburn & Doughty

Washburn & Doughty Associates launched a 186 ft. offshore casino vessel for Cajun Express, Inc., of Boston, Mass. Hull 65, yet to be named, is the largest vessel built by Washburn & Doughty, edging out 185-ft., Great Point, an 800-passenger vessel running from Hyannis, Mass. The new vessel is a lengthened and widened version of 162-ft. Big M Casino, which was delivered to Cajun Express in July, 1996, and now operates out of Fort Myers, Fla. Specifically designed to handle offshore conditions with heavy gaming equipment on board, Hull 65 measures 186 x 38 ft., with a 7.5 ft. draft. It will carry a minimum of 500 passengers and 72 crew. The vessel's anticipated running speed is 15 knots, making for a quick trip to gaming waters.

South Korea Okays Casinos on Cruise Ships

Sapphire Princess. Image by Princess Cruise Lines, Ltd

South Korea has given the go-ahead for cruise ships to operate onboard casinos for foreign guests, , reports the Korea Joongang Daily newspaper. South Korean cruise vessels voyaging overseas will be able to operate casinos on board – but casino admission will be only for foreign passengers from as early as next year. “The ministry is in no talks to push for admission of Koreans to [such] casinos,” said Han Dong-soo, an official at the Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries, as quoted in comments to the Korea Herald newspaper. The ministry has been taking the lead on the casino cruises initiative.

Casino Boat Catches Fire off Florida Coast, 15 Injured

Photo: New Port Richey PD

At least 15 people were injured when a fire engulfed a boat off the coast of Florida on Sunday, causing the 50 people aboard to jump into the Gulf of Mexico and swim to shore, local officials said. A preliminary investigation showed the fire broke out at about 4:17 p.m. EST from an apparent engine issue, said Shawn Whited, division chief with Pasco Fire Rescue. “The captain of the boat said there was an issue with the engine. He said he noticed smoke coming form the engine room and turned the boat around,” Whited said.

Omega Commercial Finance Corp. Acquires Casino Cruise Ship

Omega Commercial Finance Corporation announced that it has finalized its acquisition of a luxury casino cruise ship with Oceans 21-Miami LLC and its majority shareholder. The casino cruise ship's name shall be changed to the Omega Royale and will be deployed in international waters as part of the offshore casino cruise industry. The Omega Royale will be a 100,000 sq. ft. resort-style casino vessel equipped with a 49,000 sq. ft., state-of-the-art casino that will include approximately 500 player tracking slot machines and 64 table games consisting of Baccarat, Black Jack, Craps and Roulette. The casino will be spread over four decks, which will be connected via elevators and escalators. Omega Royale expects to compete primarily with other gaming operations within a one hundred mile radius.

Bets Are off for Stranded Hong Kong Casino Ship and Forlorn Crew

Captain Valerie Lyzhyn and his 45 crew are stranded in Hong Kong, big losers in a gambling slump triggered by a Chinese crackdown on corruption that has scared off the high-rollers. Lyzhyn, 62, a Russian-born Ukrainian and veteran seaman, and his colleagues, refuse to leave their 140 metre (460 foot) casino cruiser the New Imperial Star until they get the six months of pay they say they are owed. Hong Kong's Marine Department has impounded the ship due to what it called "serious deficiencies" found during an inspection. Rations are running low, the ship's owners can't be reached and the cobalt blue felt covering the 16 baccarat tables is gathering dust.

Riverboat Casino Ratings Bouyed by Regulations, Demand, Moody's Says

The operators of many of the riverboat casinos along the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers are likely to enjoy smooth sailing as growing demand, limited new supply, and relaxed regulations support stronger operating results and possibly rating upgrades, Moody's Investors Service reports. The rating agency also cautions, however, looser gaming restrictions in one jurisdiction or the strengthening of one casino's position through the addition of new amenities could put pressure on neighboring operations. "Overall, our rating outlook is positive and we expect more upgrades than downgrades of companies in this industry over the next 6-18 months," says Moody's VP/Senior Analyst Todd Gray.

Riverboat Casino Ratings Buoyed by Regulations, Demand

The operators of many of the riverboat casinos along the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers are likely to enjoy smooth sailing as growing demand, limited new supply, and relaxed regulations support stronger operating results and possibly rating upgrades, Moody's Investors Service reports. The rating agency also cautions, however, looser gaming restrictions in one jurisdiction or the strengthening of one casino's position through the addition of new amenities could put pressure on neighboring operations. "Overall, our rating outlook is positive and we expect more upgrades than downgrades of companies in this industry over the next 6-18 months," says Moody's VP/senior analyst Todd Gray.

Alabama Shipyard And Hollywood Park To Build Casino Vessel

Alabama Shipyard and Hollywood Park have signed a contract to construct a casino vessel for the Belterra Resort and Casino in Switzerland County, Indiana. Known as a diversified gaming company, Hollywood Park received the last available license to conduct riverboat gaming operations on the Ohio River in September 1998. The fourteenth casino vessel to be built by Los Angeles-based Hollywood Park, the vessel measures 370 ft. (112.7 m) with a beam of 104 ft. (31.6 m) - making it one of the largest casino vessels in operation. Designed by Rodney E. Lay and Associates, the casino boat, which is to be delivered in July 2000, will feature 1,800 gaming positions.

Alton Belle Undergoes Conversion

M/V Alton Belle, the former 156 ft. casino vessel is being converted to dinner cruise service by Cape Fear Riverboats of Wilmington, N.C. Renamed Henrietta III, the vessel's engineering will be completed by DeJong & Lebet Naval Architects. The vessel operated for several years in Alton, Ill. after undergoing a lengthening and conversion for casino service in 1991. This marks the second casino-into-dinner vessel conversion for DeJong & Lebet - the company initially converted Celebration Cruises' Joe Schadler, which was later renamed Celebration Belle.

J.Ray McDermott Begins Construction on Casino Barges

The Houston Business Journal has reported that J. Ray McDermott Inc has begun construction on two specialty barges for Harrah's Entertainment Inc. The two casino barges currently under construction will become part of Harrah's Horseshoe Casino expansion project in Hammond, Ind. Each measures 276 feet long by 102 feet wide and 22 feet deep, with a weight of about 1,700 tons. They will be combined with four other barges being built elsewhere to create a 564-foot long, 320-foot wide casino vessel.

Casino Boat to be Unveiled

According to the Chicago Sun Times, pending regulatory approvals, the grand opening of the new $170 million gambling vessel at the Blue Chip Casino & Hotel in Michigan City, Ind., will be celebrated next week. It will mark the culmination of a two-year on-site construction project. The new boat will feature a 65,000-sq. ft. casino on one level and is reported to have the largest hull of any casino boat in the nation.

Odds are Improving for Riverboat Casino Employees Seeking Jones Act Seaman Status

In 1991, casinos were legalized in the state of Louisiana through the passage of the Louisiana Gaming Act. Riverboat casinos have been operational in the state since 1993. The Louisiana Gaming Act allows for fifteen riverboat licenses with mandatory Coast Guard certification of the vessels. The Act allows for both dockside and riverboat gaming. Five other states have riverboat casino gambling: Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri and Mississippi. Although riverboat gaming has gained legal recognition in these states, riverboat casino employees have not had the same success in gaining seaman status under the Jones Act. The Jones Act (46 U.S.C. sec.

World's Biggest Cruise Liner Set To Sail

The world's biggest cruise liner, the 311-m (1,035-foot) Voyager of the Seas, will set sail this week from Finland to the United States. The $500 million vessel is the first of three sister ships ordered by cruise operator Royal Caribbean from Masa-Yards in the western Finland city of Turku. The ship will leave Turku on Saturday for a three-week passage across the Atlantic to Miami, from where it will sail on its maiden commercial cruise on November 21. "We are eager to get this baby to Miami and get as many passengers on board as possible," Royal Caribbean representative Magnus Granholm told reporters on a tour of the luxurious ship. The 137,000-ton floating hotel will be able to carry around 3,000 passengers and 1,800 crew in over 2,000 cabins spread over 15 decks.

Title Insurance did not Include Casino Vessel Being Built

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that title insurance written to cover a real estate project for a gaming development did not include a casino vessel that was under construction at a distant location. In the instant case, a financial institution loaned monies to a casino company to build a gaming development. The development was to include both a landside infrastructure and a casino vessel. The casino vessel was to be built at a remote location and towed to the site when completed. The insurance used to protect to investment was a slightly modified version of a standard real estate title insurance policy. Construction of the casino vessel went far over budget and the shipyard brought suit, forcing the gaming company into bankruptcy.

South Korean Okays Casinos in Cruise Ship

Image: Sapphire Princess

South Korea plans to enable its citizens and foreign tourists to wager on new cruise ship services that will serve ports around the country, reports the Korea Joongang Daily newspaper. Some major overseas cruise companies – such as Genting Hong Kong Ltd’s Star Cruises – operate shipboard casinos that only open once the vessel is in international waters. The plans also include allowing local residents to use casinos on cruise ships. The National Assembly passed the Cruise Act in January to open casinos on cruise ships carrying the Korean national flag for foreign passengers only…

LEEVAC Wins $40M Casino Boat Contract

Leevac Industries, LLC of Jennings, La., won a $40 million contract from PNK (Lake Charles), LLC for the construction of a 330 x 225 x 13-ft. (100.5 x 68.5 x 3.9 m) Paddlewheel Casino Vessel. Lay, Pittman and Associates, Inc. of Jacksonville, Fla., are the naval architects. The casino vessel will hold more than 1,500 slot machines and 60 table games and will be moored in Lake Charles, La. This vessel will be the largest riverboat casino built in the State of Louisiana. Leevac’s President, William F. Stokes said, “We are pleased that Pinnacle Entertainment has placed the confidence in our ability to construct this project and the award…

Major Bill Passed in Illinois

The Illinois General Assembly passed legislation eliminating the ban on riverboat gambling in Cook County, opening the way for a riverboat casino to be floated in a close-in suburb of Chicago, most likely Rosemont. Senate Bill (S.B.) 1017 also allows Illinois riverboat casino operators to operate permanently moored casinos. Under the bill, licensees may conduct gambling, whether on excursion cruises or on permanently moored platforms. Patrons are free to enter and exit permanently moored casinos as they please. The measure removes the ban on riverboat gaming in a county having a population of more than three million. Under Illinois gaming law…

Goa’s Casino Royale at Three Years

In 2011 Goa’s most elaborate floating casino will celebrate three years of successful operation on the Indian province’s Mandovi River. The M/V Casino Royale was designed by AMC Marcon of Mumbai and her builder Water Ways Shipyard with the lines of a small cruise ship. The ship has capacity for up to 400 passengers, 35 operational crew and seven professional mariners. The Casino Royale is out-fitted to meet international safety standards for a passenger vessel. Although she is equipped to sail…

Capesize Rates Post Biggest Weekly Drop in 2 Years

File photo: © HHM / Dietmar Hasenpusch

The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index fell on Friday and continued to linger around five month lows as the capesize segment recorded its biggest weekly percentage decline in two years. The overall index, which factors in rates for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize shipping vessels that ferry dry bulk commodities, shed 14 points, or 1.23 percent, to 1,125 points, the lowest since Aug. 10, 2017. For the week, the index ended 12 percent lower. The capesize index fell 118 points, or 7.32 percent, to 1,493 points, its lowest since Aug.

Jamestown Metal Marine to Construct Casino Vessel

Jamestown Metal Marine Sales, Inc. has been awarded a contract by Blue Chip Casino, LLC, a subsidiary of Boyd Gaming, to construct a new casino vessel at Blue Chip's Michigan City, Indiana facility. The new vessel, which will replace the present vessel, will be approximately 400 ft. in length with a beam of 200 feet and provide about 75,000 square feet of gaming area on a single deck. In addition to the gaming area there will be another 85,000 square feet of back of house and future gaming areas on other decks. Jamestown was selected by Blue Chip Casino for this high visibility project based on Jamestown's significant experience outfitting casino vessels and managing other turnkey marine construction projects. This will be Jamestown's 26th casino project.

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

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