The Boat to Perdition

Will 2006 prove friendlier for the casino cruise business?

Yaqui Williams reported he lost $250. A friend of his from Alabama who gave only his first name, Matt, declined to provide the amount he lost, but asserted he was "raped like a schoolgirl" on the blackjack tables.

Munching on cookies, the two of them shared a table in the dining room with Biancone for the ride back to the city. The hurricane clean-up worker nodded at a desolate-looking man in black. "That guy lost $1200 tonight," he said. "He was in front of me trying to get money out of the ATM."

On the upper deck, one couple salsa-danced doggedly to the band, whose persistent cheerfulness now seemed aggressively loud. In a plastic chair facing the singer, a neatly dressed gambler wearing a baseball cap that read "Foxwoods Casino" dozed peacefully. The man, who wished to remain anonymous, said he had lost $600 at slots. "I'm not like some people though," he reported when he came to. "I cut my losses." He pulled out a wad of cash from his pocket. "I'm leaving here with $1800 in my pocket." Then he paused. "I think I'm going to stay home tomorrow and watch the football playoffs."


The Year of Sinking Dangerously

April 24, 2005: SunCruz closes its casino operations in Hollywood.
June 10, 2005: U.S. Marshals seize the St. Tropez Casino Cruise in Port Everglades four months after it filed for bankruptcy.
July 2005: The Casino Princesa, which docked at Miami's Bayfront Park for seven years, is sold and relocated to Georgia.
August 2005: The Atlantic Casino ceases operation from the Miami Beach Marina, where it remains parked though unused.
August 29, 2005: The owners of SeaEscape, a Fort Lauderdale casino cruise company, are convicted of running a credit card scam that led to the failure of a Colorado bank in 1998.
August 11, 2005: Jack Abramoff and Adam Kidan are indicted on federal charges of fraud involving their purchase of SunCruz in 2000.
September 26-27, 2005: Police arrest three suspects for the 2001 murder of SunCruz founder Gus Boulis in Fort Lauderdale. Two had financial ties to Kidan.
January 6, 2006: The Horizon's Edge sets sail from Bayfront Park.

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