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Carnival to Launch "Ocean Sportsbook" Sports Betting During Cruises

By Rhian Hunt - Updated Feb 1, 2021 at 7:17PM

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The company will use international waters to avoid legality issues.

Looking to get a piece of the digital sports betting action that has been swiftly gaining in popularity over the past year or so, Carnival (CCL 8.46%) (CUK 8.00%) announced today it plans to launch a new Ocean Sportsbook aboard its Princess cruise line. The digital betting app is under development in partnership with Miomni Online Gaming Solutions, an experienced British company with an American branch in Las Vegas.

Since national laws regarding sports betting only extend over the territorial waters of a country, Carnival's Ocean Sportsbook will be available anytime the cruise ships are in international waters. Availability inshore will vary depending on the laws of the specific area the ship is sailing through or visiting. Since Miomni also provides geo-fencing technology, this will likely be used to switch the sportsbook on or off by location.

The hands of a woman using the Ocean Sportsbook app on her smartphone.

The Ocean Sportsbook app. Image source; Carnival Corporation, Princess.

The service will be available on Princess MedallionClass ships sometime in 2021, once Princess resumes operations. A company press release recently noted its cruises won't resume overall until late April or early to mid May this year, though a handful are potentially postponed as far out as 2023. The MedallionClass ships are already outfitted with MedallionNet Wi-Fi and other advanced digital services and entertainment, making it easier to launch a new online service with the sports betting app.

Jan Swartz, president for Princess Cruises, said the Ocean Sportsbook ensures "a cruise vacation no longer means being disconnected from a big game." The company cited Zion Market Research figures indicating the sports betting market is growing at an 8.33% compound annual growth rate worldwide, and should reach approximately $155 billion in 2024.

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