SBM : Casino de Monte-Carlo takes to the sea with cruise line Crystal

The Casino de Monte Carlo – owned by the Société des Bains de Mer (SBM) – has entered into a partnership with American luxury cruise specialist Crystal. Boasting historic results, the Monegasque group aims to cast off its first ever casino at sea, aboard the Crystal Symphony cruise liner this November.


Société des Bains de Mers (SBM), a Monegasque group operating casinos as well as hotels, bars, restaurants and rental properties, signed a partnership agreement with Crystal, an American luxury cruise operator, on June 20.


The aim is to roll out SBM’s first-ever floating casino, aboard two Crystal-flagged cruise ships. While the on-water establishment will be managed by the American company, the Monegasque group will manage its implementation.


This diversification into the American market is in line with SBM’s internationalization strategy, which this year acquired its first hotel abroad (Courchevel 1850) and is currently targeting the United States and the United Arab Emirates.


Penetrating the world of cruises


Although accustomed to the charming shores of the Mediterranean through its gaming and hospitality establishments, SBM had never before ventured out to sea. Now it has, alongside cruise operator Crystal.


The tie-up took place at the Casino de Monte Carlo, in the presence of Pascal Camia, SBM’s Director of International Development, and Cristina Levis, CEO of A & K Travel Group, which acquired Crystal and its two ships, the Serenity and Symphony, in 2022. These seagoing flagships have seen their number of rooms reduced to make room for larger suites, each with an ocean view and most with a private veranda.


For example, the suites on the Crystal Serenity (740 passengers) feature linens by Italian designer Jesurum 1870, while toiletries are supplied by Sicilian manufacturer Ortigia. Each cabin has its own butler, while the liner boasts a fitness center, entertainment areas and no fewer than nine restaurants, including the only Nobu address on the water. The work added the Aurora spa, featuring a relaxation room as well as a treatment room offering biotech 2.0 facials, gold and caviar body polish and IV therapies.


“We have listened to our loyal customers and their wish to have casinos back on board, and we are proud to announce that we will keep our promise,” said Cristina Levis, before adding, “we are convinced that the reintroduction of casinos will further enhance the overall cruise experience, offering our passengers the entertainment opportunities they seek when sailing with us.”


Pascal Camia added: “It’s quite symbolic that gambling, Société des Bains de Mer’s historic business, should be the first operational growth driver for our international development.


The new gaming area, which will be inaugurated in Venice on November 14 aboard the Crystal Symphony, will include slot machines, blackjack, Three Cards Poker and Texas Hold’Em tables.


Following this pilot project, it will be the turn of Crystal Serenity, the second ship in the cruise operator’s fleet, to welcome the casino by the end of the year.


This new entertainment experience will then be extended to all new ships in the Crystal fleet, with the exception of expedition ships.


Historic results

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Photo à la Une : © SBM

Picture of Victor Gosselin
Victor Gosselin
Victor Gosselin is a journalist specializing in luxury, HR, tech, retail, and editorial consulting. A graduate of EIML Paris, he has been working in the luxury industry for 9 years. Fond of fashion, Asia, history, and long format, this ex-Welcome To The Jungle and Time To Disrupt likes to analyze the news from a sociological and cultural angle.

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