Congress has passed a measure, sponsored by Sen. Daniel K. Inouye, that would bar gaming casinos from cruise ships on voyages that begin and end in Hawaii. The only casino-equipped ship that plans to run cruises with Honolulu as its base is Norwegian Cruise Lines' SuperStar Leo and the measure apparently could put a stop to its plans.
lines isle plans
Officials at the line's Miami headquarters said they would have no comment until they have studied the bill.
Inouye said the change would not affect cruises that start elsewhere and stop in Hawaii.
Inouye said his opposition to gambling on Hawaii cruises is in line with his long stand against legalizing gaming in Hawaii.
He said Norwegian Cruise Lines' plan to call at Fanning Island in what is otherwise a round-Hawaii cruise is a "pretty obvious" ruse to get around the law that says foreign ships cannot carry passengers between Hawaii ports.
Cruise ships passing through Hawaii close their casinos and slot machines while in Hawaiian waters.
Inouye indicated that he feels that would not be enough for a ship based in Hawaii. Inouye said possession of gaming equipment in Hawaii is against the law. The anti-casino measure was attached to an appropriations bill that passed Congress Friday.
Norwegian Cruise Lines plans to base the SuperStar Leo in Honolulu late next year.