Cruise ships calling at Western Australian ports will be able to open their casinos after the state government lifted restrictions.
The move is designed to protect and grow an industry already pumping $275m into the state’s economy, and the suspension of the ban forms part of the government’s ongoing efforts to further develop Western Australia’s tourism industry, particularly its cruiseship sector.
Western Australia Tourism Minister Paul Papalia said the government was committed to growing the cruise industry in the state by addressing regulatory and infrastructure issues.
“Cruise shipping is a vital part of WA’s tourism industry, bringing in millions of dollars to the State’s economy annually and creating jobs,” said Papalia.
Under the new rules, cruise ships will be permitted to host casinos in WA’s waters provided they are at least 12 nautical miles from land.
They must also be a scheduled deepwater cruise with minimum capacity of 100 passengers, and be transiting through WA ports from and to locations overseas or interstate.
The government of Western Australia has announced that the ports in the cities of Fremantle and Geraldton will be upgraded to respond to the new demand for cruise ship tourism.
The changes required an agreement from James Packer’s Crown Resorts which has exclusive rights to operate casinos within 200km of Perth.