Casino Watch Focus has reported many times on the gambling cruise industry in Florida. These cruise ships take customers out into international waters where there are no gambling regulations. Legislation has even been considered that would allow ships to stay docked. Recently a cruise company offered a cruise to customers online, but after they paid for the trip and showed up, the ship wasn’t boarding or leaving port. A local NBC affiliate explains:
A Palm Beach County family says a planned trip on a casino cruise never happened.
And they’re not alone. NewsChannel 5 has heard from three people who say they recently bought a ticket for the Island Breeze Casino Cruise. When they showed up for departure, no one was at the port and the boat wasn’t going anywhere.
“Free drinks, live entertainment, a cruise for six hours, it all sounded exciting,” said Jeannie Therrien.
She didn’t hesitate to book tickets for the Island Breeze Casino last week and even invited her nephew in Vermont to come down and tag along.
“I just flew 1,500 miles just to get disappointed. I’m [not] happy about that,” Brooks explained.
“Oh I was irate, I was angry,” Therrien added.
She called the company asking for an explanation, but never heard back. And later this week, her credit card was billed three times what she paid.
There is virtually no oversight when it comes to cruise ship gambling. There are no laws protecting customers to ensure fair or safe gambling. In cases like this, the customers will have to travel all the way back to the area the next time the ship actually plans to leave port to even participate. The official story was that the website was up and running too early, but the company only offered refunds after the news station got involved, not before. If they cant be trusted to provide reasonable customer service, why would anyone think the casino gambling games they run would be any better?
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