Full Steam Ahead
by Muhammad Cohen
Shipboard gaming undoubtedly developed as soon as two sailors weren’t yanking an oar or pulling a sheet – that’s a rope for you lubbers. The riverboat gambler is a staple of American folklore, and the phrase resides in the American lexicon as a synonym for big risk taker. After New Jersey became the second US state to legalize casino gambling in 1976, some Midwest jurisdictions bet on a revival of riverboat gaming with mixed results. In India’s Goa state, table games are only permitted on ships. Grand Korea Leisure floated the idea of gaming cruises and got torpedoed by South Korean authorities. Floating casinos that didn’t leave the pier were fixtures of pre-liberalization Macau and gave NagaWorld in Phnom Penh its start in 1995.