Current Florida Casino Cruise Lines
There are nowhere near as many casino cruise operators in Florida as there were a decade ago with many casino cruise lines closing in the period 2008 to 2010.
Back in 2004 there were 17 gambling boats in Florida, today there are just two casino boats in Florida the Victory I sailing from Port Canaveral on the Atlantic coast and the smaller Tropical Breeze Casino sailing from Port Richey, north of Tampa on the Gulf Coast. Both offer a range of Las Vegas style casino games.
This means there are no longer any casino cruise boats operating from North or South Florida, only Central Florida but most of the land based casinos and pari-mutuels are in South Florida.
Find Out What’s Happening In New Port Richeywith Free Real
All the passengers aboard the boat were able to make it to shore where paramedics treated them. About a dozen people were treated for exposure, anxiety and other minor injuries, said Chief Gerard DeCanio of the Port Richey Police Department. None of the injuries were believed to be life threatening at the time.
The fire began just after leaving Port Richey about 4 p.m. and the boat was about 100 yards from land when it became engulfed in flames, officials said. Most of the 50 passengers waded to shore. Others were rescued by other boats and rescue workers who jumped from land into the water.
Woman Dies After Fire On Casino Boat Off Port Richey Coast
A female passenger has died hours after a casino boat caught fire off Pasco County, forcing her and about 50 other passengers and crew to jump into the chilly waters to escape.
Regional Medical Center Bayonet Point spokesman Kurt Conover said Monday that the woman died late Sunday, shortly after she arrived at the hospital’s emergency room at 10 p.m. He said she had apparently gone home after the fire but became ill.
Pasco County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Kevin Doll said the victim was 42. Her name has not been released and a cause of death has not been determined. Conover said eight other passengers were treated at the hospital and released.
Port Richey police said 15 people were injured in the fire. Officials originally said no injuries were life threatening.
Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class Michael De Nyse said investigators will determine the cause of the fire and examine the history of the boat and the company, Tropical Breeze Casino. The company said early Monday it might have a statement later in the day.
The shuttle boat caught fire about 4 p.m. Sunday, quickly engulfing the boat close to shore near residential neighborhoods.
Port Richey Police Chief Gerard DeCanio said the shuttle boat experienced engine problems after leaving the dock at Port Richey, a suburban community about 35 miles northwest of Tampa. But as the vessel turned back, flames kicked up and people began jumping overboard into shallow water, according to witness accounts.
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Casino Boat New Port Richey Fl
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Presentation Of The Port Richey Tropical Breeze Casino
The Tropical Breeze Casino is a famous casino situated on a ship in Port Richey, Florida. Come and take your chance with a variety of games in a 13,000 square feet gaming space featuring: 100 slot machines, video poker, 12 gaming tables with Blackjack, Let It Ride, Three Card Poker, Roulette, and Craps.A bar is also available on the spot, where you can order your favorite drinks and cocktails, by relaxing and profiting the ocean wind at the same time. The boat sails daily, except for Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Stay & Play packages are offered by Quality Inn & Suites Conference Canter.Proper attire and valid ID are required to enter. Nearby casinos: Tampa Bay Downs Silks Poker Room , Tampa TGT Poker and Racebook , St Petersburg Derby Lane Poker Room , Tampa Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino , Sarasota One Eyed Jacks
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Florida Casino Boat Catches Fire Near New Port Richey
Garrett Pelican, Digital executive producer
NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. A casino cruise went up in flames Sunday evening in Southwest Florida, authorities said.
Authorities were called after the vessel caught fire at some point before 5 p.m. near the mouth of the Coty River near New Port Richey, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.
Keep Up With Tampa Bays Top Headlines
Mollie Kolokithas’ brother, Floyd Howard, told the Tampa Bay Times in 1998 that they were so cash-strapped, they had to scrape together gas money.
“The first lemons, limes and oranges that were put on the first Mr. Lucky cruise were bought with Mollie Kolokithas’ food stamps,” he said at the time.
In 2002, when the Kolokithases had moved on to Port Richey and were trying to collaborate with local government, Mollie Kolokithas told a Times reporter they wanted “immortality” in the small city.
An obituary shows she died in 2015.
But state corporate filings for Tropical Breeze Casino Cruz, LLC show the business remains in the family, and in Port Richey, with Alex Kolokithas as manager.
Times senior news researcher John Martin contributed to this report. Contact Zachary T. Sampson at [email protected] or 893-8804.
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Woman Dies After Large Fire On Casino Boat
Port Richey – A casino shuttle boat was engulfed in flames near Pasco County, killing one person and injuring a dozen others.
Passengers were seen jumping overboard into the chilly Gulf waters after the boat caught fire Sunday night. There were about 50 people on board and all were accounted for immediately after the fire.
One adult female passenger died after experiencing “symptoms” later in the evening, according to Port Richey police, but her cause of death has not been released.
A hospital spokesperson tells the Associated Press about 14 people were injured.
Engine problems on board the shuttle boat for the Tropical Breeze Casino Cruise led the captain to turn the boat around and head back to the dock around 4 p.m. Sunday.
Before the boat could make it back to the dock, it went up in flames.
About 50 people, passengers and crew, had to jump from the boat into the chilly waters to safety.
The boat was in shallow enough water that people were able to wade to the shore of a nearby neighborhood, where neighbors aided them with towels and water.
More than a dozen passengers were taken to the hospital for chest pain, smoke inhalation and other injuries.
It was an ordeal passengers onboard are still trying to wrap their minds around.
It smelled like an electrical fire, and then the crew came on and they started saying they were having engine issues, told us we needed to move up to the upper deck, said Darrell McAfee.
Tropical Breeze released the following statement:
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History Of Casino Cruise Lines No Longer Sailing From Florida
Casino boats in the United States have been sailing into International waters from as early as 1928 to get around strict gambling laws.
There has been quite a shake-up in Florida gambling boat companies over the last decade and many companies have suspended operations from specific ports or ceased operations entirely. As a result all but two Florida casino boats have left the state.
Many new companies offering one day Florida casino cruises opened in the early 2010s with boats mostly purchased from bankrupt casino cruise operators only to cease trading themselves a few years later.
Palm Beach Casino Line
The Palm Beach Casino Line operated from 1997 out of the Port of Palm Beach with Blackjack, Poker, Roulette, Craps and slot machines plus live entertainment, cabaret shows, a dance club and a sports bar.
The 421 foot Palm Beach Princess could carry 800 passengers and had three casinos offering Blackjack, Craps, Three Card Poker, World Series of Poker, Let It Ride, Texas Holdem, 7 Card Stud, Roulette, mini Baccarat and over 400 slot machines plus Sportsbook and Bingo.
Other entertainment including a live review show, a lounge, dining room, bar and grill, sports bar, swimming pool, sun deck, cabins and a massage therapy room.
In 2005 a second ship, the larger 1,200 passenger Big Easy Casino joined the cruises with over 550 slot machines, and a similar range of table games. The ship even included a full service restaurant and four themed bars.
In 2009 they filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy to allow them to continue trading whilst resolving their financial difficulties but they ceased operations in 2010.
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Typical Casino Cruise Intineraries In Florida
Because it is illegal in Florida, there are no casino river boats. You have to go to the coast, then by sailing a few nautical miles offshore, these casino cruise ships can take advantage of International waters where there are no gambling restrictions.
Passengers can then participate in a whole host of Las Vegas style casino games including Blackjack, Roulette, Poker, Craps, Mini Baccarat and traditional slot machines.
Casino cruises in Florida typically last around four to six hours with one sailing late morning and the other early evening . You may also find late night cruises on offer as well but Florida law prohibits them from staying offshore overnight.
Bear in mind that after leaving port, it takes around 45 minutes to an hour to reach International waters and then the casinos can open. Once back into US waters on the return trip the casinos have to close again.
Gambling cruise ships in Florida are smaller than ocean going cruise liners and essentially operate close to land but the waters can still be choppy some days so it is worth taking that into consideration, especially if you are prone to seasickness.
Casino Boat Fire Claims Life A Life Off The Coast Of New Port Richey
When ships catch fire, it doesnt matter how far they are from the coast. A boat of any size can become a deadly inferno quickly, and passengers often have nowhere to turn and nowhere to escape. This is unfortunately exactly what happened just a couple weeks ago right off the coast of New Port Richey, Florida, a small community located on Floridas gulf coast.
Tampa Bay Times reports that the fire spread rapidly, and the crew was unable to stop it, even using an onboard fire extinguisher. The boat The Island Lady was used to take passengers from shore to an offshore casino boat in international waters. There are a lot of these operations in Florida, because gambling is legal in international waters. On their way back to shore, the boat caught fire, leaving passengers with a dangerous choice stay and die or jump into freezing cold, shallow water.
The ship got within about 100 yards of the shore. The water was so shallow that passengers had to jump from about 12 feet and land in waist-deep water. They then walked through heavy, dense mud and water to get to land.
Victim Identified as 42-year-old from Lutz
The mother victim was a mother of two who lived in Lutz, a neighboring town on Floridas gulf coast. She was taken to the hospital, where she later died from her injuries.
Investigating Boat Fires
Common Reasons for Boat Fires
- Surrounding Fires: Something nearby catches fire, usually while in the harbor and docked.
Florida Offshore Injuries
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Cruise Lines With Onboard Casinos
If you fancy a slightly longer gambling cruise then many of the major cruise lines operating out of Florida also offer gambling on board their short Bahamas cruises and longer Caribbean and South America cruises. Note that within a given cruise line the actual game tables may vary from ship to ship.
Be aware that a cruise billed as a two day cruise is usually two nights i.e. depart port on day 1, spend day 2 at your destination and return to port on day 3. Likewise a three day cruise will typically span over four days.
With these types of cruises you are officially leaving the United States for another country and therefore will require your passport before boarding. You also need to be at least 18 years old to enter the casinos on most cruise ships.
A lot of the cruise lines have their own private islands in the Caribbean which make an ideal destination for a mini-cruise.
The following cruise lines all offer Florida casino cruises, with shorter cruises to the Bahamas and Western Caribbean and longer cruises to Central and South America.
The one glaring omission that sails out of Florida is the Disney Cruise Line. As part of their family friendly ethos they do not operate casinos on any of their cruise ships, nor does Viking Cruises.
Azamara Club Cruises used to have casinos on their ships but they closed all their casinos on January 1, 2022.
Reviews For Tropical Breeze Casino
I read some reviews prior to making the choice to go. Wow, I was so glad to form our own opinion. The boat was a little older but ran well, Capt was great, staff was fun, helpful, and provided great service. Dealers were a good time and interacwith the players. Casino games, selection of slots that paid out and the upstairs deck was relaxing, entertaining and so much fun. Had a great time.
Staff – 5 out of 5. They were fantastic. Friendly, tolerant and made sure everyone had a good time. Shout out to the bartender! She was fun. Dealers were great, again, 5 out of 5.Will definately be back and will tell my friends!
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Florida Casino Boat Entices New Guests With Freebies And Discounts Days After Deadly Fire
Posted on: January 18, 2018, 05:00h.
The Florida casino boat Tropical Breeze is back open for business less than four days after its shuttle vessel that previously carried patrons from port to the floating casino caught fire and led to the death of one person. The horrific event took place during the casinos Sunday night departure on Jan. 14.
All 50 passengers and crew aboard the shuttle were quickly forced to jump ship after it erupted in flames just moments after the vessel departed Port Richey, Florida. Evacuees swam in chilly, albeit shallow, Gulf of Mexico water about 100 yards to shore.
More than a dozen people were transported to a nearby emergency center. A 42-year-old widow and mother of 12-year-old twins later died as a result of her injuries. A GoFundMe campaign has raised nearly $24,000 for the deceaseds family.
Now just four days later, the Tropical Breeze has its seafaring casino back up and running. With the shuttle damaged beyond pair, the casino ship began picking up passengers in Port Richey this morning. Once the boat is at least 12 miles offshore where Florida laws no longer govern gambling, the slots and table games can start taking wagers.
Las Vegas Cruise Lines
The newest player in the Florida casino cruise market was Las Vegas Cruise Lines and they had hoped to start operations in April 2008 with their ship, the 300 foot Liquid Vegas but first sailings from Port Canaveral were delayed.
When operations did commence, Las Vegas Cruise Lines offered Craps, Blackjack, Three Card Poker, Roulette, Let-It-Ride, Mini Baccarat, Texas Holdem and over 500 slot machines.
The ship held around 900 passengers and had four cocktail lounges, live entertainment, a dance lounge with DJ, hot and cold buffets and gift shops.
In early 2009, Las Vegas Cruise Lines filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and in May 2009 they ceased operations.
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