The Gambling (Amendment) Law 2015, which came into effect on 1 January 2016, amends The Gambling Law (1996 Revision) to allow for gambling on cruise ships and exclude raffles being staged by non-profit organisations (NPOs).

The amendment, which was passed by the Legislative Assembly in October 2015, legalises gambling on cruise vessels if they are (1) registered in the Cayman Islands under a contract of carriage from a major cruise carrier; (2) passenger ships, carrying more than 12 people; and (3) in international waters and on an international voyage between Cayman and another port of call.

Gambling is not permitted on any vessel while it is in port in the Cayman Islands or in Cayman's territorial waters.

The amendment also legalises raffling by NPOs such as church groups, sports teams and community service clubs. Previously, NPOs that raised cash through raffles were considered in breach of the law and subject to penalties.

Commerce Minister Wayne Panton said the legislation will encourage more cruise vessels to register in Cayman, while also paving the way for community fundraising.

'The initial goal of the amendment was to attract the cruise ship industry to Cayman, with legislation that endorses gambling on their international voyages', Minister Panton said. 'After further discussion with my colleagues, it became clear that there was also a need to legalise the staging of raffles by voluntary organisations that raise funds for programs that contribute to society'.

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