Carnival Cracks Down on Unsanctioned Poolside Gambling During Cruise

Carnival Cruise Line recently stopped many passengers from gambling on one of its lido decks. The discovery originated from an online tip received by Brand Ambassador John Heald. 

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Carnival Luminosa in Brisbane (Photo courtesy of Carnival Cruise Line)
After tipping off Carnival Luminosa’s crew, Heald took to Facebook and shared what happened. “Yesterday, I was informed that the group leader had been arranging a card game played on Lido each day where quite large amounts of money were changing hands. This was reported to me and as brand ambassador, it was my duty to report that to the ship,” Heald wrote.

He reiterated, “…gambling outside of the casino is strictly forbidden aboard any of our ships.”

Crew members onboard the Spirit-class ship have since intervened, preventing them from continuing their activities. It was later reported that the group had been playing a dice game called LCR (Left Center Right). Though it isn’t usually a gambling game, multiple accounts attest that the passengers were exchanging cash.

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Winners Club Casino

There has been some pushback against the crackdown. Some Facebook users claimed that the rule was profit-motivated. In short, Carnival only wants people to gamble in its ships’ casinos.

Heald responded by reminding the public that cruise ships must follow different gambling regulations, including the laws of the countries they visit. Onboard casinos have been specifically designed to adhere to them.

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(Screenshot via John Heald Facebook)

Another online user, who claimed to be part of the gambling on Luminosa, reasoned that only small amounts of money were involved.

“I am the organizer of this game, and ‘quite large amounts of money’ did not change hands. We played for about 90 minutes per day, and each person played with five $1 bills. It is innocent fun and is NOT gambling. None of us had any clue we were doing anything wrong,” she explained.

The same user described how she was disturbed in her cabin at 9 in the evening and how “humiliated” she felt by the security officers. “They called this a ‘very serious matter,’ as if I was smuggling drugs onboard or something.”

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One of the many games in the cruise ship casino.

Regardless of the sums at stake or the type of game being played, gambling is generally understood as any activity where players can lose or win money and other assets. Even gambling cruises confine their games of chance to their casinos. 

It’s best to listen to what Heald said as he ended his post, “Gambling with dice or cards for money organized by a group leader is not allowed. It is really truly that simple.”

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