FL cruise ships looking to become local casinos

The Orlando Sentinel has reported that the Canaveral Port Authority is looking to legislators to allow gambling on their ships while in port.  Right now, cruise ships can only offer gambling three miles off the coast because they are in international waters.  The Orlando Sentinel explains:

Under the plan — being lobbied for by Canaveral’s two existing cruise-to-nowhere operators, SunCruz Casino and Las Vegas Casino Lines — as many as three ships would be allowed to run gaming operations from 7a.m. until 2a.m. every day at the port.

But the plan faces long odds. It will almost certainly generate intense opposition in the state Capitol from evangelical groups, competing pari-mutuels and the Seminole Tribe of Florida, which runs its own casinos.

The Port Authority will also face a tough Republican controlled legislature and a major player who has consistently stood strong on the side of families – Disney.  The Orlando Sentinel continues:

Port Canaveral could face opposition from its signature cruise tenant: Disney Cruise Line, whose parent company has historically fought efforts to expand gambling in Florida.

Unlike rival cruise operators Carnival Corp. and Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, Disney did not include casinos when it built its two cruise ships.  Disney, which recently signed a 15-year contract extension to continue sailing from Canaveral, was never briefed by the port on the gambling plan.

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