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If you’re setting sail from the UK, you might assume that the laws onboard the ship will be the same as on land – in some cases, depending on where you’re sailing, this can be true. However in international waters there may be some changes you could be unaware of. Nobody want’s to get all dressed up for a night of fun and find out they’re not allowed in the casino or bar, so take a look below at our short guide to the laws applied onboard a ship.

Where do UK laws apply?

The legal age to gamble and drink alcohol in the UK is 18 – therefore onboard most ships these are also the laws that apply when sailing the UK and EU member states.

Certain cruise lines do specify otherwise, and their restrictions tend to be that anyone aged between 18 and 21 must be accompanied by someone over 21 and have valid ID in order to drink and gamble. Some cruises – such as those departing the US – have age restrictions below 21 and do not allow anyone below this age to drink or gamble.

Where don’t UK laws apply?

Royal Caribbean and Celebrity ships that call in any US ports have a legal drinking age of 21 – and have the right to change this according to the laws of the area.

Any money won in casino slot machines totaling over $1200 generally has to be taxed at a rate of 29%. Any winnings from table games are taxed at 26% or 29%.

The taxes above are a general rate and not applicable on all cruise lines. If you want to find out specific taxing percentages it is best to contact the cruise line direct before you sail or whilst onboard.

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