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Airplane Casinos Could be The Next In-Flight Trend?

Travelers Today       By    Lena Vazifdar

Updated: Jan 19, 2013 05:49 PM EST

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Gambler's rejoice! Those sailing to Bermuda can now gamble while in port. Bermuda's Parliament has given cruise ships permission to keep their casinos open while staying overnight at the port on the island. (Photo : Reuters)

Could in-flight gambling be the next new trend. The founders of Air Jet Designs and Designescence, Jean Pierre Alfano and Frederique Houssard certainly think so.

CNN reports that the team has created a Casino Jet Lounge which is a bar and casino that they hope to become the standard on flights. CNN reports that the ounge has a bar, lounge seating and a black jack table for gamblers.

Houssard said to CNN, "We're trying to bring back the glamor of the '50s and '60s a little bit; the kind you see in the James Bond movies,"

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Designescence's website states about the new idea, "This innovative concept features a blackjack table in a bar/lounge area that gives First, Business and VIP passengers the ability to stretch their feet in style, gamble, and socialise during their trip. The Casino Jet Lounge bridges the gap between commercial and private aviation by giving airlines a VIP-type concept with revenue-generating potential and cost-effective solutions."

Gambling in the air has actually been around for decades including Singapore Airlines who started gambling in flight in 1981. CNN reported that they installed slot machines in the aisles on an airplane that went from San Francisco to Singapore. The trend only lasted for a few months and then were removed. In the 90s Swissair also had gambling software on their flights and passengers could play keno, poker and black jack.  However, "it seemed other carriers were going to follow suit, that is, until a Swissair plane crashed in 1998. Air crash investigators implicated a failure of the jet's in-flight entertainment system as a reason for the disaster," reports CNN.

Virgin America brought up the idea of inflight gambling back in 2005. "Casinos were just an idea, along with many other ideas we talked about a few years ago," a Virgin spokesman told CNN. "Truthfully, we did not really get any further with it."

Ryanair was another airline that announced it would have gambling on its in-flight entertainment system in 2004, but have yet to unveil it.

"We don't have the technology in place at the moment, but hopefully we will in the next two or three years," Ryanair's head of communications, Stephen McNamara said to CNN. "Really, the reason we don't currently is based on the expense of the Wi-Fi technology that would be required for it. We're waiting for the price to come down."

The Casino Jet Lounge has aims to bring back the excitement and "glamour associated with air travel in its heyday when flying was often the event of a lifetime." Only time will tell whether or not the idea takes flight.

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