Lower entry fees lure punters

Lower entry fees lure punters
ENGROSSED: The roulette table, easily the most popular one in Lido Casino on Deck 7, is always packed with punters, who are glued to their seats for hours.

MV Leisure World falls outside this purview of the Casino Regulatory Authority. The offshore casino is not illegal – it operates in international waters.

Unlike cruise ships, which have casinos on board and vacationers can opt to visit the gaming room, MV Leisure World is permanently moored off Batam, Indonesia.

There are other facilities such as a sauna room, video arcade, karaoke lounge, theatre, gym and hair salon on its main six decks but when The New Paper on Sunday’s special correspondents visited, these rooms were empty.

The lack of patrons in the non-gaming parts of the ship is also confirmed by regular gamblers and junket operators.

An April 2011 news report, published shortly after the two integrated resorts’ (IRs’) casinos opened here, noted that MV Leisure World had lost half its business.

A junket operator, who asks not to be named, says that MV Leisure World used to draw about 1,000 punters a day in the past.

“When the IRs came along, the numbers dropped by nearly half on certain days. But in the past year or so, I have seen the number (of punters) pick up again, and we easily get 800 people a day,” he says.

A junket operator brings gamblers to the ship. They receive commission from the cruise operator based on the total bets made by the gamblers.

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