Wheels up, chips down: French design consortium develops plans for in-flight casino

French designers unveil plan for mile-high card club with casinos on board airliners

Wheels up, chips down: a French design consortium has come up with a gambling concept that trumps a Ryanair scratchcard.

An on-board casino for first and business-class passengers is on the cards.

The “Casino Jet Lounge” proposed by the Toulouse-based firms, AirJet Designs and Designescence, is “a new entertainment and social space designed for long-haul commercial flights”.

The concept features a bar-lounge area, already familiar to premium passengers on some airlines, with the new twist of a proper blackjack table – bringing new meaning to the term Flight 21.

The idea, say the firms, is to bridge the gap between scheduled flights and private jets, providing “A VIP-type concept with revenue-generating potential [and] bringing back the excitement and glamour associated with air travel in its heyday”.

They have mocked up the forward section of a Boeing 777 to test the concept. On advice from European and American safety experts, gambling will not be permitted during ascent, descent or spells of inflight turbulence.

The plan is revealed in the latest edition of (i) Aircraft Interiors International (/i) magazine. The editor, Adam Gavine, said: “Many airlines like a unique feature onboard their new aircraft, so perhaps a combined bar and card table would work. But airlines go to great lengths to ensure a pleasant flying experience, and an inflight gambling loss could easily spoil that.”

Mr Gavine said card games would prove more successful than roulette: “Gamblers expect roulette tables to be in perfect balance, and that is simply not possible aboard an aircraft”.

Inflight gambling began in the 1980s when Singapore Airlines experimented with installing one-armed bandits aboard Boeing 747s. In the 21st century, Ryanair and other budget airlines have found selling instant-win scratchcards to be a lucrative sideline.

Mark Griffiths, Professor of Gambling Studies at Nottingham Trent University, said there was “no moral reason” why blackjack and other games should not follow: “Gambling has always been considered as a revenue generator for many different types of enterprise and the airline industry is no different.”

But Professor Griffiths warned of the risk of air rage among losing players: “Gambling is a well-known ‘mood modifier’ and wins can make players feel great. Conversely, losses can lead to frustration and irritability, and in extreme cases, anger and aggression. Just like alcohol, excessive use can - in a minority of cases - cause problems for other passengers and airline crew”.

British Airways, the only UK airline flying the 777, said it had no plans to install the casino. It already offers blackjack, roulette and poker games on its inflight entertainment system, but for fun rather than hard cash.

A spokeswoman for Virgin Atlantic said “We have no immediate plans to launch a casino but we have a few surprises up our sleeve for short-haul flights and our 787s”.

Both airlines fly to gambling’s galactic HQ, Las Vegas, but a US law known as the Gorton Amendment prohibits “any gambling device” to be fitted to jets using American airspace.

Even if technical and legal obstacles are overcome, there is still no certainty than the idea will prove financial viable. Douglas McNeill, analyst for Charles Stanley Securities, said: “Airliners cost a fortune to buy and fly around.  Every cubic foot of space has to earn its keep, so an inflight casino would have to make big money. Otherwise, the economics demand that the space be given over to paying passengers.”

Voices
voices
News
general electionThis quiz matches undecided voters with the best party for them
Life and Style
Men with beards rejoice: Your beard probably doesn't harbour faeces-like bacteria
health
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Matthew Macfadyen starred in the big screen adaptation of Austen's novel in 2005
tvStar says studios are forcing actors to get buff for period roles
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Ashdown Group: Technical IT Manager - North London - Growing business

    £40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A growing business that has been ope...

    Recruitment Genius: Technical Supervisor

    £24800 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As one of London's leading Muse...

    Recruitment Genius: Centre Manager

    £14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

    Guru Careers: Accountant

    £28 - 45k (DOE): Guru Careers: An Accountant is needed to take control of the ...

    Day In a Page

    Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

    Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

    Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

    Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

    Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
    China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

    China's influence on fashion

    At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
    Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

    The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

    Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
    Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

    Rainbow shades

    It's all bright on the night
    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
    'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

    Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

    Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

    The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
    Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

    Vince Cable exclusive interview

    Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
    Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

    Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

    Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
    Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

    It's time for my close-up

    Meet the man who films great whites for a living
    Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

    Homeless people keep mobile phones

    A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before