published Monday, May 19th, 2014

Casino cruise ship to gamble on Savannah tourists

SAVANNAH, Ga. — A Florida-based operator of casino cruise ships is gambling that it can make a profit off Savannah tourists.

The Savannah Morning News reports Tradewinds Cruise Lines of Madeira Beach, Fla., plans its maiden voyage from Savannah in early June. The company has a 425-passenger, 200-foot casino boat that will take passengers out to sea where they can gamble legally in international waters.

Other casino cruise companies haven't had much luck in the Savannah market in the past. One casino boat operator was indicted in 2012 on charges that it allowed illegal gambling in state waters of Georgia and South Carolina.

Roger Humphreys, Tradewinds vice president for operations in Savannah, says the company's market research shows coastal Georgia will be "a great area" to expand its business.

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