Following Incident, Carnival Says Gambling ‘Strictly Forbidden’ Outside of Casino

In what’s become a bit of a dust-up, Carnival Brand Ambassador John Heald made the rules clear when it comes to gambling on the cruise ship. Put plainly, it’s only allowed in the casino onboard and nowhere else.

Passengers aboard a Carnival cruise were told their personal game ran afoul of Carnival’s rules of gambling outside of the casino.

The notice came on Facebook and was pointed specifically at a group of passengers sailing aboard Carnival Luminosa. That ship is on a 30-day repositioning cruise across the Pacific Ocean, sailing from Australia to Japan, Alaska, and finishing up in Seattle, Washington.

A group of passengers was reportedly playing a game on the pool deck with money involved. This was reported to Heald and he passed the information onto the ship, who then put an end to the game.

“Yesterday I was informed that the group leader had been arranging a card game played on Lido each day where quite large amounts of money were changing hands,” Heald shared with his followers via Facebook. “This was reported to me and as brand ambassador it was my duty to report that to the Ship.

“This is because gambling outside of the casino is strictly forbidden aboard any of our ships.”

The Carnival representative then explained that while he knows it stopped the fun for some passengers, given his position, he did what was required. 

“I do understand the disappointment. I’m sure that the card game was a lot of fun and perhaps you can play without money changing hands. I hope so. But I hope you understand that I had to report this.”

“Please do continue to vent at me and not to the crew members who asked that this be stopped immediately.”

You can see the post in full below:

Interestingly, a passenger claiming she was the one who organized the game responded to the post. According to her, the players were not gambling.

“John – I am the organizer of this game and “quite large amounts of money” did not change hands. We played for about 90 minutes per day and each person played with five $1 bills. It is innocent fun and is NOT gambling. None of us had any clue we were doing anything wrong,” the poster shared.

“I was humiliated by having two security officers come to my room at 9pm, when my husband and I were already in bed. They called this a “very serious matter,” as if I was smuggling drugs onboard or something.”

According to that poster, the group was playing a dice game known as Left-Center-Right, not playing cards.

“We weren’t hurting anyone. We weren’t gambling. The game does not involve bets or wagers. Crew members observed us every sea day for two weeks and said nothing, because even they didn’t think we were doing anything wrong,” she continued.

Nevertheless, Heald emphasized that gambling is only allowed in the casino.

“The simple factors (sic) gambling is not allowed outside of the casino and gaming involving money is not allowed outside of the casino and there strict rules about this on every cruise line,” Heald responded.

So what’s the official language of the rule from Carnival? We actually checked Carnival’s Ticket Contract for the comments on gambling on the ship and surprisingly found no specific mention.

That said, the cruise line has broad power to enforce rules as it see fit, whether it be an action they prohibit because it is illegal or they simply don’t like passengers doing it. If Carnival says no gambling, then there is no gambling.

Bottom line: If you want to gamble on the cruise ship, consider yourself warned that it’s only allowed in the casino.

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