Casino Boat Delayed by G-8 - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

06/03/04

Casino Boat Delayed by G-8

The G-8 has the long-awaited Millionaire's Casino boat still tied up at the dock. Once again, the launch of the gambling cruise ship has been delayed.

This was the week the Millionaire's Casino was supposed to be sailing the high seas, wheeling and dealing. Instead, the boat's owners were told they would have to wait a few weeks, and all signs point to the G-8 summit.

"It's a little disappointing, but we're here for the long term, not worrying about the short term," said the casino's co-manager, Jim Monaghan.

Monaghan says, like the tropical storms and lengthy Coast Guard inspections which delayed the opening before, a new obstacle is in the way, the G-8 summit. "The Coast Guard was worried about protesters and they didn't want us docked near the Hyatt during the summit," he said. "So we agreed to get out of the way."

With its dock closed down for the G-8, the casino boat will be forced to move to Tybee Island where it will dock for a week. That will give them more time to train all 200 of their employees. The past week, dealers have been training on their games.

Erica Reynolds is one of 50 dealers. She told us, "I'm stoked. I'm excited. I cannot wait."

But, she says the delay is a blessing in disguise. "It actually gives me time to get ready, practice my blackjack dealing, and gives me a chance to get to know the people I'll be dealing with."

Monaghan says they had the manpower to open, but says he didn't want to start the business, then shut it down a week later. "We've come a long way," he said. "If we have to wait another week, it won't kill us."

The new game plan is to open the Millionaire's Casino boat along River Street the weekend after the G-8. Monaghan says cruises should start sailing into international waters the following week.

Reported by: Don Logana, dlogana@wtoc.com

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