Slot machines, table games, and other casino games have all been available on cruise ships for a long time – but America’s favorite pastimes sports betting has not been on offer for casino travelers until now.
BetMGM announced a partnership on June 17 to offer retail and mobile sports betting and iGaming on Carnival voyages.
Royal Caribbean (RCL) is a cruise line that operates throughout the Caribbean. Prior to the global health epidemic, Royal Caribbean Group Report offered some sports betting on some ships, but it was mostly only win/loss bets against the spread on important games (and it does not appear to have been brought back).
Carnival Corporation’s (CCL) Carnival Cruise Lines and MGM Resorts International’s BetMGM announced a partnership on June 17 to offer retail and mobile sports betting and iGaming on Carnival voyages.
We’re very proud to be able to deliver the excitement and engagement of sports betting and iGaming to our guests through our partnership with BetMGM,” Marty Goldman, vice president of global casino operations for Carnival, said.
“Our two leading global hospitality organizations will provide a wide array of immersive digital content as a complement to our exceptional shipboard casinos.”
Carnival ships will be kitted out with BetMGM-branded digital and cash-based betting alternatives as part of the arrangement. Onboard U.S branded ships in international waters, it will also offer cash-based and digital real-money gambling.
Once the ships reach international waters, gaming is not subject to the same strict rules that apply to land-based casinos in the United States. International seas begin around 12 miles off the shore of any host country, according to maritime law.
“With Carnival Corp., we’ve discovered a great partner and look forward to supplying our sports betting and iGaming products to its millions of passengers,” BetMGM CEO Adam Greenblatt said. “This is just another fantastic chance for BetMGM to grow its footprint.”
This is BetMGM’s first foray into the ocean, but it will surely not be its last. Ocean Sportsbook was used by Carnival’s Princess Cruises to conduct sports betting, but BetMGM will be replacing that cruise line’s mobile and kiosk capabilities.
One caveat for travelers to be aware of: just like with the Ocean Sportsbook, passengers on Carnival using the BetMGM app on a cruise will not be able to bet on the Miami Heat.
The sports betting industry has been booming in 2022 with sports betting accounting for 30 to 40% of the global gambling market, with a yield (the money casinos get from bettors minus the payment) of more than $400 billion in 2021.
For the month of June 2018, sports bettors wagered $310 million. Bloomberg stated that by October 2021, the figure had risen to $7 billion.
Other forms of online gambling are catching up as well. According to Goldman Sachs, the online sports betting market could reach $39 billion in annual revenue by 2033, up from less than $1 billion in 2021, as more gamblers opt for online betting over retail betting.
According to a new industry report by Technavio, the global sports betting market is predicted to rise by $106.25 billion between 2020 and 2025, a compounded annual growth rate of 10%.
In the United States, the sector is also expanding at a rapid pace. According to a Morning Consult estimate, legalized sports gambling in the United States will have risen to more than $52.7 billion by 2021.
According to a December survey, nearly 20% of U.S. people aged 21 and up bet on sports at least once a month, including internet wagering. This was an increase of 80% from January 2021.