Proposed changes to the Gambling Law, which go before the Legislative Assembly this week, are designed to allow cruise ships to be registered in the Cayman Islands.
The amendments permit gambling on board Cayman Islands-registered ships, as long as they are on an international voyage.
Gambling is still not allowed in Cayman waters, even for cruise ships, which typically have casinos on board.
“The sole purpose is to enhance the Shipping Registry’s ability to register cruise ships. What we are doing is defining a passenger ship in the Gambling Law so we can register a cruise ship which has gambling on board,” said Minister for Commerce Wayne Panton.
A Cayman Islands-registered ship is subject to Cayman Islands law anywhere in the world, so the Gambling Law would apply.
Mr. Panton said the changes would not facilitate any kind of ocean-going gambling businesses operating from Cayman.
“The law allows gambling if they are 12 miles out to sea and on an international voyage. They have to be going to an overseas port. That would exclude that type of scenario. The aim is solely to facilitate the shipping registry in marketing its services to cruise lines.”
He added that “Cayman’s legislation will continue to ban all forms of gambling within the Cayman Islands, including on local commercial and recreational vessels.”
Sian Pairaudeau, head of business development and corporate communications at the Cayman Islands Shipping Registry, said she could not comment on the specific advantage to Cayman of having cruise ships registered here.
She said the territory ias ranked in the top 13 jurisdictions in the world in the International Chamber of Shipping’s annual Flag State Performance Table and continues to promote itself to the maritime industry generally.
The bulk of U.S. cruise ships and commercial vessels are registered in foreign ports under what is known as “flags of convenience,” meaning they are subject to the licensing regulations and associated fees of that country.