Gaming ship to lay off 415 people, CEO still looking for investors - Friday 12th of August 2005

On Tuesday, the cruise line that operates the Ocean Jewel gambling ship filed notice with the state that it is laying off its 415 employees as of Oct. 16.

The Ocean Jewel is scheduled to go into drydock for inspections and repairs on Oct. 15. "To be fair to our employees, I filed the notice to alert them to whats happening," said Dennis Shepard.

If the company doesnt have enough money to complete the drydock, the jobs will be lost, he said. "If we make our numbers between now and then, well be fine."

But with the company in Chapter 11 bankruptcy and the WARN (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification) notice filed with state officials, the future looks murky at best.

The demand for a gaming outlet is there, Shepard said. He just hasnt been able to service everyone because of a myriad of problems, mostly centered around the shuttles.

To counter the shuttle problem, Shepard is bringing in two more vessels next week that he will be leasing. With one of the two disabled shuttles repaired, he will have three vessels available to ferry passengers to the casino, enough to fill the demand, he said.

The cruise lines only remaining operative shuttle broke down Monday night, stranding nearly 100 passengers overnight. It finally debarked at noon on Tuesday.

Despite published assurances from Shepard on Tuesday that one shuttle would be operating on Wednesday, no sailing schedule had been posted on its Web site. "I wanted to be certain it was safe and not rush it into service," he said.

After an investment of several million dollars in the venture and the Port of St. Petersburg, Titan has been plagued with shuttle breakdowns, weather-related cancellations, low turnout and access issues.

But Shepard is hopeful that it will pay off down the road. He cites better attendance since he moved to Johns Pass, a cooperative banking relationship through the troubles and a new potential investor that would bridge the gap through the Chapter 11 proceedings.

Other news from around the same time

Gambling addict conned parents out of £100,000 - Friday 12th of August 2005

A GAMBLING addict conned his mother out of almost £17,000 by pretending his debtors were holding hi....


Staff terrified in Bookie raid - Friday 12th of August 2005

CUSTOMERS were ordered to lie face down on the floor by armed raiders during a robbery at a Bury boo....


Man shot in lotto hold-up - Friday 12th of August 2005

Armed robbers yesterday shot a man in the arm as they were being chased after staging a hold-up on a....


MGM Mirage defends valet parking with key left in car - Friday 12th of August 2005

Company: Leaving key in ignition faster, security is adequateUntil July, only one car had been stole....


Gold Reef Casino Resorts shine - Friday 12th of August 2005

Listed gaming group Gold Reef Casino Resorts (GRCR, GDF) reports a 9.9% rise in its headline earning....


888 TO LAUNCH - Friday 12th of August 2005

A FORMER Ladbrokes director is set for a big win after plans to launch poker website 888.com on the ....


Too scared to be a millionaire? - Friday 12th of August 2005

Most people are not natural gamblers, reveals a study of the game show Who Wants to be a Millionaire....


Video poker dilemma - Friday 12th of August 2005

At the request of a GamingToday columnist, Wynn Las Vegas last week installed two banks of video pok....


Casino boat trip turns out to be a bad gamble - Friday 12th of August 2005

One man missed his cancer treatment. A father scrambled to reach his 11-year-old daughter, who was l....


SUNCOAST SHOOTING: Woman killed outside casino - Friday 12th of August 2005

Authorities are hunting for a killer who tried to rob an elderly couple in the Suncoast casino parki....