By Nick Sortal
12:22 PM EDT, July 17, 2013
You can make a quick gambling trip by sea to a new Bimini resort beginning Monday.
Genting Group officials announced Tuesday that the U.S. Coast Guard has cleared their ship to begin sailing from Miami to the tiny Bahamian island.
The ship, called Bimini SuperFast, offers blackjack, roulette, craps, baccarat and slot machines. Genting officials planned to launch the service July 1, but the U.S. Coast Guard had not cleared it until this week.
“We are pleased to work with the U.S. Coast Guard to bring Bimini SuperFast to first-class safety standards and appreciate their rigorous examination of the ship,” Dana Leibovitz, president of Resorts World Bimini, said in a news release.
The ship is owned by Malaysia-based Genting, the $46 billion casino and entertainment company that has been trying for two years to bring destination casino-resorts to Florida. Genting bought the German-built cruise ship for $70 million, then spent another $30 million on upgrades.
The ship can transport up to 1,500 passengers about 70 miles across the Gulfstream Stream to Resorts World Bimini, a casino resort in North Bimini that opened June 29 at the former Bimini Bay Resort.
Resorts World Bimini has 15 tables and 153 slots, a fraction of the size of the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood. But no South Florida casino can offer roulette or craps and only the Seminole Tribe of Florida can offer live blackjack.
The Bimini SuperFast cruises on Saturday and Sunday are sold out. The Monday sailing is at 9 a.m. from PortMiami’s Terminal F, arriving in Bimini about 2 1/2 hours later. Prices start at $49 round-trip weekdays and $79 on weekends and holidays, with $20 in port fees and taxes additional. Breakfast and dinner are included.
Resorts World will begin offering an overnight party cruise in early August. It will depart Miami at 10 p.m. daily and return at 6 a.m.More information at www.rwbimini.com or 1-888-930-8688.
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