Technology may soon transform the way people gamble on a cruise ship.

Carnival Corp. is linking games that can be played on handheld devices to the casinos on its ships to enable passengers to gamble anywhere onboard a ship while at sea.

The games are being introduced on ships equipped with Ocean Medallion technology, which turns each vessel into a giant network of sensors that can be used to enable mobile gaming.

Passengers will be able to play poolside, while waiting in line for dinner, even while on the treadmill in the gym. If they're nonsmokers, they won't have to endure the tobacco smoke that is in most shipboard casinos.

And unlike a physical casino, the mobile casino is open 24/7.

John Padgett, chief experience and innovation officer for Carnival, said that onboard gaming will be a subset of a suite of games that use the Ocean Medallion to bring an extra dimension to game apps.

"The growing global demand for gaming across all audiences is undeniable," Padgett said, adding that the social, competitive and location-based nature of the Carnival games gives them broad appeal.

Princess Cruises' Regal Princess will be the first Carnival Corp. vessel to showcase the Ocean Medallion equipment. Its first Medallion-class cruise is scheduled for Nov. 13 from Fort Lauderdale.

To gamble with their smartphone, passengers will have to download an app and register an account in the ship's casino.

There will be four games available through the PlayOcean casino app: Queen Sea, a multiplayer, online poker game; Tipsy Tentacles Slots, an e-version of a slot machine; Roulette on Deck, described as "a continuous live event in which players place virtual bets on regularly occurring spins of a virtual roulette wheel"; and Bingo on Deck, which lets players seamlessly switch between their mobile device and a traditional bingo card.

The app is also programmed to include maximum amounts for wagering on a per-day and per-cruise basis.

Carnival said the games can be played without prize money on land or when the ship is not in international waters, as can five other Medallion-enabled social games it will introduce for non-gamblers.

A previous bid to bring mobile gaming to sea was announced in 2013 by Celebrity Cruises in partnership with Cantor Gaming, but that initiative is no longer actively promoted on Celebrity's website.  

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