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Casinos in Airplanes Face Legal Problems

Two French aviation design studios are betting on gambling inside the air.

Jean-Pierre Alfano of AirJet Designs and Frédérique Houssard, the founder of Designescence, have teamed up to produce the Casino Jet Lounge, a luxe bar-cum-casino they hope will a single day turn into standard on long-haul commercial flights. The Casino Jet Lounge characteristics trendy seating, a drinks location and also a blackjack table.

“We’re looking to bring back the glamor from the ’50s and ’60s a little bit bit; the sort you see in the James Bond movies,” says Houssard.

The concept is comparatively new (launched final October), so as of now, Houssard and Alfano are nevertheless in talks with many airlines.

The idea of in-flight gambling may possibly appear like a brand new a single, principally simply because no airline is presently performing it. But in reality, the idea has been around for decades.

Singapore Airlines took gambling up within the air in 1981, when they installed lightweight slot machines inside the aisles on a flight that operated between Singapore and San Francisco. It was an experiment that lasted a mere two months. The firm admits the machines posed “an operational challenge”, and had them removed.

Within the 1990s, Swissair installed gambling software that permitted passengers to bet up to $350 on many different casino classics, like poker, keno and blackjack. It seemed other carriers had been going to stick to suit, that’s, till a Swissair plane crashed in 1998. Air crash investigators implicated a failure in the jet’s in-flight entertainment system as a reason for your disaster.

Nevertheless, the idea of in-flight gambling re-emerged a handful of years ago. Virgin Atlantic Airways tycoon Richard Branson announced in 2005 that a handful of lately purchased A380 planes would contain double beds and in-flight casinos.

“You’ll have two approaches to get lucky on a Virgin flight,” he joked with all the New York Occasions.

The company seems to possess backtracked considering the fact that then.

“Casinos had been just an concept, in addition to quite a few other ideas we talked about a handful of years ago,” a Virgin spokesman told CNN. “Truthfully, we didn’t actually get any further with it.”

They declined to comment as to why they did not ultimately implement casinos on their A380s.

Ryanair announced in 2004 that it would introduce gambling via an in-flight entertainment method, though this as well has however to come to fruition. Ryanair’s head of communications, Stephen McNamara, said the company still hopes to do so in the future.

“We do not possess the technology in location in the moment, but hopefully we’ll within the next two or three years,” he says. “Really, the purpose we do not at present is depending on the expense with the Wi-Fi technology that could be essential for it. We’re waiting for your cost to come down.”

Aside from the initial investment, there are many other barriers to introducing casinos on airplanes. For starters, as a lot more carriers are unrolling Wi-Fi on their flights, passengers could feasibly just gamble online from their mobile devices. One particular wonders if this wouldn’t defeat the purpose of airlines investing in their own gaming systems.

McNamara says that Ryanair plans to combat the situation by ultimately supplying “closed loop” Wi-Fi, so that passengers will have to undergo the airline’s own method to gamble.

Houssard and Alfano also don’t see online gambling as competition to their very own idea.

“When you are gambling on your screen, or in your phone, you’re nonetheless cramped with other persons. In case you get out of one’s seat and enter an additional space with your pals and colleagues, it gives you a absolutely different practical experience,” notes Alfano.

“When you’re on a 14-hour flight, even when you happen to be in enterprise class, all you can genuinely do is eat, drink, watch films and sleep. The Casino Jet Lounge isn’t just a bar or entertainment notion. We see it as a social space.”

It really is difficult to think about that airlines could be willing to give more than prospective passenger space (plus the fares that include it) to a social arena, but Alfano says if made adequately, there should not be a conflict.

“Most major aircrafts have crew rest regions and lavatories inside the cargo region down beneath. The space could possibly be simply rearranged to include things like a social space, without representing a loss of income,” he says.

The biggest obstacle to in-flight gambling, nonetheless, is really a legal one. Considering the fact that 1994, gambling has been prohibited in U.S. airspace. Nevertheless, Houssard believes that this may modify within the future.

“A couple of years ago, it was forbidden to play games for income around the net. It was not open then, but now you can play on-line. Lots of issues are changing.”

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