Black Diamond Casino Cruises remains docked at the Port of Palm Beach, but there will be no more gambling cruises unless the owners find a casino manager.
In fact, the vendor that owned 149 of the slot machines retrieved its property last weekend, port spokeswoman Julie Trieste said. That leaves the boat with about 100 slot machines, plus the other gaming tables and dining service.
Former company president Jonathan Greene said he and CEO Steven Craig are trying to sort out what happened when the boat abruptly stopped sails about two weeks ago. The casino manager, Steven Flood, was at the heart of the decision and is no longer with the company, Greene said.
“The company was never given the opportunity to do the right thing, which it would have done,” Greene said.
Flood said he and Craig met with the chief financial officer that Monday afternoon and determined that the boat could not continue operating. Flood said he later was told by port security that he was an ex-employee and needed to be escorted off the property, and he said he feels he has become a “scapegoat.”
Slot machines were taken from the boat overnight after it stopped operating, but later reloaded. Trieste confirmed the slot machines were unloaded and replaced. No law enforcement action has been taken, Greene said, and the owners are investigating.
“There hasn’t been any reason for law enforcement to get involved,” Trieste said.
Greene said most employees had been paid and groups with reservations received refunds. A statement by Craig issued last week indicates the company intends to rehire employees if the casino sails are reinstated.
“We have been told that they plan to be operational again and the port is standing behind them,” Trieste said.
Greene said Black Diamond managers are meeting with casino management companies to run the casino for future sails.
The company had not been drawing the business it expected. Ultimately the port expects cruises to contribute $900,000 or more to port revenues.