Riverboat Casinos and Casino Cruises-Then and Now

Long before the online gambling revolution and even before the boost of tribal casinos, a casino cruise was the only legal way to gamble in the US besides Las Vegas and Atlantic City casinos. Nowadays, gambling on a riverboat casino is only one of the many options that the recreational gambler faces when he feels like shooting dice.

The history of casino cruises and riverboat casinos in the United States goes back to the beginning of the 19th century when the Mississippi River was a major trade center for farmers and merchants. The river towns became major attraction for professional gamblers, also known as cardsharps, who were hunting the travelers who used to carry large amounts of cash with them.

When five cardsharps were lynched in Mississippi in 1835, the professional gamblers drove away from the south. The fashion of riverboat gambling remained as an informal routine between travelers. The two decades before the Civil War saw the pick of luxurious riverboat casino gambling.

The public image of the average riverboat gambler has changed a lot in the last century. If during the 19th century riverboat gambling was part of the frontier lifestyle, nowadays, a casino cruise is something you would buy for your grandparents anniversary.

The first State to legalize casino riverboats was Iowa in 1989. Now, riverboat casinos are legalized in Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, South Carolina and Texas. In some states, the casino riverboats actually sail along the sea, while others are anchored permanently and never leave the dock. The second type of riverboat casinos enable recreational gamblers to simply hop on a nearby casino and play their favorite casino game for a few hours.

The types of casino games available in riverboat casinos vary from one state to another. You can usually play slot machines and classic table games such as blackjack, roulette, craps, baccarat, etc. Some of the riverboat casinos also have poker rooms where passengers can play Texas Holdem against each other. Most of the casino cruises are family oriented and offer other activities besides gambling such as live entertainment for children.

If you are planning to take part in a casino cruise, you do not have to worry about cardsharps or a tough competition around the poker table. Most of the people who join a casino cruise are recreational gamblers who appreciate a good game of craps in between fine dining and sun tanning on the dock. In addition, you would enjoy a much nicer and patient service from the casino dealers and employees than in an average Las Vegas casino.

If spending a weekend on a riverboat casino is too much for you, you can try some of Florida daily casino cruises. If you take Sterling Casino Lines cruise, for example, you can leave at 11 am and be back by 18 pm. Sterling Casino Lines cruises take place on a 75,000 square feet gambling area with more than 1,000 slot machines and 50 table games.

Sterling Casino Line cruise is only one example from numerous options available around the states for those of you who want to gamble at the country rivers, lakes and seas. The variety of casino cruises and dockside riverboat casinos includes the most luxurious Las Vegas styles casinos and simpler alternatives. If you enjoy gambling just for fun and you tend to get sea sick, joining a casino cruise can be an enjoyable distraction for one day or for a whole weekend.

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Florida Allows SB 788 No-Limit Poker Gaming Bill to Pass

A new bill has been passed by the Florida State Legislature called the SB-788 No-Limit poker gaming bill. It allows various new venues to hold poker games legally. A good thing for gamblers in the state of Florida is the fact that race tracks are now allowed to have poker games. Previously, games set in Florida had a maximum buy-in at $100, poker tournaments had a maximum limit of $1,000, and the limit bets per round were $5.

Furthermore, one of the biggest changes the sb-788 bill has brought is the hours at which a card room can be open. The new bill has allows card rooms to be open 18 hours a day Monday-Friday, and twenty-four hours a day on the weekends. It has also raised the legal age limit in which a player can play from eighteen to 21 in Seminole nation casinos keeping it in line with the rest of the state. Finally, Hialeah park in Miami-Dade County has been also authorized for poker games.

The SB-788 bill was a widely debated topic before passing by a huge margin. The votes of 82-35 and 31-9 the bill seemed as if it was destined to pass all along even after some believed it was going to be very close. This was largely seen as a facade, because of the estimated $150 million a year in revenue for the state generated by gambling taxes. The billed seemed in good shape as well with Florida State Governor Charlie Christ endorsing the bill.

The Florida SB 788 No-Limit Poker Gaming Bill is just to most recent in a string of legal victories for poker gambling in Florida. As recently as 1996, only low-limit poker gambling was allowed (with a maximum bet of $10 per pot), and even then it was only allowed people’s homes or in community centers. In 1997, when public pari-mutuel betting facilities (including poker card rooms) were allowed to open legally, the $10 per pot limit remained in effect.

In 2003, the $10 pot limit was removed. It was replaced instead by a $2 per round maximum bet, with a limit of only three raises allowed per betting round. In 2007, no-limit poker was legalized in Florida. The new law, however, mandated a maximum buy-in limit of $100. This effectively meant that the highest-stakes poker game in Florida was only a $5/10 NL game.

In 2007, poker rooms were allowed to carry No-Limit games with a maximum buy-in of $100. This was due to the state of Florida passing a new bill legalizing No-Limit poker. By doing this it raised the stakes to the largest ever in the state to $5/$10 No-Limit poker.

Unfortunately, the Florida Supreme Court declared the agreement between the Seminoles and the Governor to be invalid. This was due to the Seminoles disagreeing with the use of the buy-in law, in which they were pressured to abide by the same laws that most casinos in Florida had adopted.

The Governor had overstepped his authority, the court ruled, by not obtaining the State Legislature’s approval of the Seminole agreement first. The Governor dutifully introduced the Florida SB 788 No-Limit Poker Gaming Bill to the legislature, where it recently passed.

Time to Legalize Gambling

Native American reservations being sovereign territory have become ideal venues for gambling interests to fund Nevada like casinos and attract those who enjoy the games which offer little reward to the player. The Indians have gone so far as to resurrect near nonexistent tribes close to large cities to better attract customers. Behemoths sprout from the reservation soil and the people come to place their money on the table or in those hungry cash cow machines. These casinos were and are backed by investors with non Indian backgrounds and I think it is time that we revisit the way we look at legalized gambling.

Even though gambling is legal in three states, Nevada, Mississippi and New Jersey, events like horse racing, dog racing, Jai Ali, off track betting at state approved locations, slot machines, the lottery, scratch off games and card rooms are legal in many states. These various forms of gambling provide huge amounts of revenue for the casino operators, Native Americans, and the government.

Individuals that take bets off track are called bookies. There is no control or regulation and business is good. These are crimes subject to statute and carry penalties of jail time and fines. This makes little sense given the many forms of gambling that are legal today. If gambling was made legal and oversight provided these now illegal operators would be put out of business by approved off track wagering locations like the lottery is today. The positive result, a tremendous boost to the economy. It’s obvious that the demand is there so why do we think that making these operations illegal is taking the moral high ground?

I am currently living in South Florida and Thorough Bred horses, trotters, dogs, poker rooms, off track betting, bingo machines ( slots), lottery and I don’t know how many rotating scratch off ticket games are legal but gambling is still illegal.

Frankly, I just don’t get it. It gets better.

The Seminoles have sovereign nation status and have seven casinos in Florida, two which are Hard Rock sites. The Seminoles have made enough from their action in Florida that they purchased the entire Hard Rock Franchise. That includes Las Vegas

Till this year all the approved gaming venues in Florida had slots called bingo machines and poker. This year the governor entered into a pact with the Seminoles giving them the right to Blackjack, Las Vegas style slots, Baccarat, Pai Gow, Three Card Poker and Let It Ride. For this privilege and entering into the compact the Seminoles will pay 100 million dollars per year. Not bad but giving a severe disadvantage to the other non Seminole venues and consequently drawing business from those that are now less competitive.

The good governor had the states interest in mind when he did this but the Florida State Supreme Court looked at it differently. The Supreme Court of Florida ruled that the governor had exceeded his authority. So now they litigate but the Hard Rock continues to operate the games. The other state approved casinos not under the Seminole umbrella are still working at a serious disadvantage. This is not unlike, if I may, giving big chain like Wal-Mart the right to sell certain popular goods and banning other retailers from selling the same merchandise giving the big player another leg up.

I am perplexed at the fact that all of this goes on with the approval of the government and they still look at gambling as an illegal venture.

I think it is time that gambling is legalized and managed in select areas to allow those adults who do enjoy gaming to do so and enriching not only the operators, creating employment but giving a big advantage to the states. I look at the condition of a lot of schools and wonder where is all of that lottery money going? I think the ticket manufacturer is the real winner there.

I do believe that if gambling is made legal the revenue should be targeted directly to education and higher education. We should not in any way give the politicians free reign over the funds as we have seen how silly they act when they have excess capitol just laying around.

Gambling is the one form of adult entertainment that I have never heard a player say that the gaming taxes are too high. When you observe the Seminoles not only buying the entire Hard Rock franchise for $80,000,000 ( 80 million dollars) and shortly there after were able to commit to the State of Florida for $100,000,000 (that’s one hundred million) for the first year of operating with the new games I would think there is more than enough to go around.

Kenya Casinos

When one thinks about visiting Kenya, they seldom wonder what kind of gambling opportunities exist in the region. Yet, there are a number of casinos in Kenya that can prove the perfect location to plan one’s next vacation. So, just how many Kenya casinos are there and where are to be found? There is a total of thirteen Kenya casinos, all scattered throughout the country. Kenya casinos can be found in Malindi, Mombasa, Nairobi, and Ukunda. Malindi is home to the Casino Malindi; Mombosa has five casinos and the remainder of the Kenya casinos can be found in Nairobi and Ukunda.

Kenya casinos offer an amazing array of gambling. The Casino Malindi located on Luma Road has sixteen different table games including Blackjack, Craps, Indian Ocean Stud, Punto Banco, Roulette and Texas Hold’em. The Casino Malindi also hosts slot machines, thereby appealing to every gambler’s preference.

Alternatively, those visiting Mombasa can visit one of five beautiful casinos, all with something to offer the gambling enthusiast. The Florida Casino in Mombasa is small but fun, offering 5 slots and 7 gaming tables; The Golden Keys offers Poontoon, Blackjack and Roulette; The Leisure Lodge has 4 American Roulette tables and 4 Blackjack tables; The Quarterdeck Casino has Blackjack, Pontoon, and Roulette as well as 28 slots; and finally, the Oceanic Hotel and International Casino of Mombasa, Kenya has 6 Roulette tables, 6 Blackjack tables and 30 slots for gambling entertainment.

Meanwhile, Nairobi, Kenya has no shortage of casinos. The Casino de Paradise is extensive, offering Blackjack, Baccarat, Chemin de Fer, Mini Baccarat, Pontoon, Roulette and an astounding 300 slots! A variety of restaurants easily appease any appetite at the Casino de Paradise: African, Asian, French, and Barbeque delights are all sold on site. Also, the Florida Casino in Nairobi is a smaller and therefore more intimate establishment, supplying guests with 55 slots and ten tables to choose from. Plus, visitors can choose from the International Casino in Nairobi, the Mayfair Hotel and Casino, or the Sixty-Eight Hotel and Casino, as well as the Resort Kenya: all located in the heart of Nairobi.

Finally, a nice diversion can be found in the city of Ukunda, Kenya: the Diani Reef Grand Hotel and Casino fixed along Diani Beach is perfect for both residents and travelers. Offering over 300 rooms, splendid accommodations, diverse menus and table games, gambling connoisseurs truly adore the offerings at the Diani Reef.

Florida Casinos

Florida is well known for Disney, sunshine, amazing beaches and fresh citrus. Every year hundreds of thousands of people make their way to visit Tampa and other places to soak up the sunshine, do some swimming in the ocean at the coastal areas, and to check out Disney, Universal Studios, and other theme parks.

Florida features almost too many great tourist towns to count, including Tampa, Orlando, Cape Canaveral, Fort Lauderdale, Daytona Beach and many more. The Sunshine State has a population of well over 15,980,000 and features great weather year-round, making it a popular destination for those tired of the winter weather up north in areas such as Chicago, St. Louis and Minneapolis. Florida is also the home of many famous writers include the late, great John D. MacDonald. His Travis McGee series was set in many areas around Sarasota, Bradenton and Miami. These bestsellers are still on the racks waiting for non-Floridians to discover them.

In addition to all the great sun, surf and sights, Florida Casinos are a booming business in the Sunshine State. Florida Casinos and Florida gambling include many well-known games; slot machines, table games such as blackjack and Texas Hold-em poker; but also roulette and many other table games. What some don’t know about Florida Casinos is that many of them also feature dog-track betting, which is a famous Florida pastime. Many books have been written which feature a day at the Florida dog track as part of the plot! Florida casinos are an excellent way to discover fun without the need for sunblock and swimwear.