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Almost 200 Crew Members Stuck on the Texas Treasure Casino Ship

27 September 2000

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Sept 27, 2000 – As Reported by The Associated Press: "The Texas Treasure casino ship has been docked longer that it was at sea, with the passenger cruise liner's 188 crew members sequestered as authorities sort out their status along with their boat…."

"…The question of the crew nationalities has been resolved, but now officials must determine if the cruise ship is registered in the U.S. or another country.

Until then, the 188 crew members and their 2,000-passenger boat are stuck at Harbor Island, within the city limits of Port Aransas.

"…Under federal immigration law, foreign ships must make foreign ports of call at least once every 29 days. In addition, crew members on a foreign ship are not required to have permanent visas.

INS officials in San Antonio say since the ship spends most of its time at a U.S. port, it essentially goes nowhere and should be considered a U.S. vessel.

An attorney for Las Vegas-based Viva Gaming and Resorts Inc., which owns the ship, said it should retain its temporary foreign status, since similar gambling ship operations in Florida and New York are not considered U.S. businesses.

"…The company also plans a trip to Mexico next month, which would be the required trip to a foreign port…"

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