‘Ladies and gentlemen… this is your captain speaking… We are currently cruising at 35,000ft and the blackjack tables are open. Minimum bet $1. Speak to your on board croupier for more information…’
Cruise ship casinos and gambling on the seven seas is as popular as ever and prompts the obvious question: why can’t you gamble on a plane?
The truth is: the concept has been around for a long time. Singapore Airlines dabbled with lightweight slot machines between the aisles in 1981 – an experiment that lasted only two months.
Swissair also had an in-flight entertainment system that enabled travelers to gamble up to $350, and Virgin’s Richard Branson is still seriously considering it. He famously said: “Now, you’ll have two ways to get lucky on a Virgin flight.”
We suspect the in-flight casino is just around the corner and landing soon. Here are 5 reasons why we think roulette, blackjack, and craps at 35,000ft is a banker.
#1. Planes Just Got (a lot) Bigger
Have you flown in an Airbus A380? These double-decker airborne behemoths beggar belief and there’s enough room on board for a fully staffed Las Vegas casino – complete with showgirls, cocktail bar, and guest appearance from Tony Bennett.
#2. Airborne Gambling is Nothing New…
If you’ve ever flown a budget airline like Ryanair or Easyjet, you’ve probably been offered a scratchcard. Ryanair’s ‘Fly to Win’ scratchcards cost €2 each and there are various prizes up for grabs. Unless you eat it.
It’s also worth pointing out that lots of airlines now have in-flight wifi. This means you can already log onto your favourite online casino – whenever you want!
#3. It Will Be Sexy
French aviation designers Jean Pierre-Alfano and Frederique Houssard have already designed the high altitude casino lounge of the future and it’s stunning. The lounge has a 1960s James Bond retro feel and puts the glamour into gaming. It’s good… really good…
Roulette might not be the first choice for the in-flight casino but turbulence is definitely going to spice up the action. Just imagine: the wheel is spinning, the ball lands on the number next to yours. Suddenly the plane lurches, and the ball jumps into your number. Result!
#5. Cheaper Flights
Gambling is a great source of revenue and could be a way for airlines to offer passengers reduced fares. Every square inch of space on a passenger jet has to be considered as a potential generator of revenue.
They can either stick a few more seats in or – take the gamble and gamble. We live in a red button world these days so it’s highly likely that the gamble option is probably coming to an airline near you soon. Wheels up, chips down…