Page title

Intro

Effective date: 29 July2011
Last amended: 2 August 2019
Next review: August 2021

Disclaimer

This policy is designed to provide information in regard to the subject matter covered, and with the understanding that the Gaming and Wagering Commission is not passing legal opinion or interpretation or other professional advice. The information is provided on the understanding that all persons undertake responsibility for assessing the relevance and accuracy of its contents.

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to provide guidance for cruise ships with onboard [casino gaming] facilities travelling through or docking in Western Australian waters.

Background

Prior to the 2011 amendment to the Casino (Burswood Island) Agreement Act 1985 (“the CBI Agreement Act”) the Western Australian Government was prevented from authorising casino gaming other than in the Burswood Casino (now known as Crown Perth). 

Cruise ships travelling through or docked within Western Australian waters were therefore prohibited from using their onboard casino gaming facilities.

‘Casino gaming’ facilities include gaming machines, blackjack, roulette, baccarat, craps, keno, two-up, mini dice, money wheel, big and small and any other game commonly played in Casinos (both in Australia and elsewhere).

In 2011, amendments were made to the CBI Agreement Act to authorise casino gaming to occur on cruise ships travelling through WA waters on interstate or overseas cruises whilst the ship was more than 12 nautical miles away from the WA baseline. This authorisation was subsequently extended to intrastate cruises under certain conditions in 2017.

Legislative basis

The Fourteenth Supplementary Agreement scheduled to the CBI Agreement Act and a subsequent amendment to the Gaming and Wagering Commission Regulations 1988 (the regulations) came into operation in May 2017. The purpose of the amendments were to change the definition of a cruise ship so that intrastate cruises were permitted to conduct casino gaming.

Definition of cruise ship

The regulations define a cruise ship as:

a vessel that:

  1. has a minimum capacity of 100 passenger berths; and
  2. is conducting a scheduled deep water cruise; and
  3. is transiting through Western Australian ports from and to locations overseas or interstate; or

a vessel that:

  1. has a minimum capacity of 100 passenger berths; and
  2. is conducting a scheduled deep water cruise that departed from the Port of Fremantle; and
  3. .is transiting through the Port of Bunbury, the Port of Geraldton or any other Western Australian port south of the Port of Bunbury or north of the Port of Geraldton; and
  4. iv.is scheduled to remain at a port referred to in subparagraph (iii) for a period of at least 6 hours before continuing with the remainder of the deep water cruise.

Casino gaming is not authorised once the vessel travels within 12 nautical miles of the scheduled destination where the ship is to berth or anchor. At times when casino gaming can be lawfully conducted on a cruise ship, the gaming activities must only be operated as an ancillary service on the ship.

This means that an intrastate cruise that, for example, leaves from Fremantle and stops overnight at Busselton before heading back to Fremantle, can only conduct casino gaming on board when cruising and located more than 12 nautical miles away from either port.

Chairman
Gaming and Wagering Commission of Western Australia

 

Page reviewed 25 June 2019