Many industries have struggled in the search for finding ways to make services and products more convenient for people. Two of them, in particular, are the casino and airline industry. The casino industry has moved from land-based establishments to thousands of websites where all you need to do is register to play slots, poker, blackjack, roulette or any other classic casino games. They’ve even turned to smartphones by making apps of the games and making mobile-friendly versions of the websites. Similarly, airline companies made their airplanes places where people could enjoy their flying time.
Many airplanes offer a WiFi option so you can use it to listen to music, watch a show or movie or just chat with your friends online. Since both industries struggle with making their customers stay more comfortable they have come up with the idea of merging their services. In fact, they’ve done so twice.
In 1981, the plane on the Singapore-San Francisco route was fitted with a few slot machines behind the last row of seats. It turned out to be a good idea that most of the passengers enjoyed. However, the experiment was short-lived because just a few hours into the flights the machines broke down or their levers were broken by some of the passengers.
The second attempt in 1998 was more ambitious but turned into a catastrophic disaster. SwissAir installed and IFE system in their long-haul jets that had a screen-based gambling option. This was done in partnership with Interactive Flight Technologies. Sadly, the flight crashed about 5 miles from Peggy’s Coast in Nova Scotia. An investigation in 2003 was conducted and in the report, it was stated that the crash was a result of faulty wiring.
After the tragedy, there was another attempt to make casino games available in the air with Airbus, but the project got buried in international legislation and was finished before it started. If both industries want to work together they will need to solve the technical issue first. The wiring of new systems to a plane can be tricky and might affect the performance and cause problems with fights in general.
On the other hand, an additional room can be fitted into a plane with a few regular tables where people can play casino card games or bingo. It can also be played from your seat without needing any extra equipment. In that way, both the airline companies and casinos can profit since they’d have found a safe way to keep their passengers entertained.
An example of this kind of cooperation is Ryanair. The airline has introduced scratch cards to passengers. This way of entertainment was accepted successfully and has been offered since its introduction. The airline representatives have even thought of converting some of their cargo space to a casino floor. It would be a popular and unique feature if the idea is worked out properly. Whatever happens, the chances of receiving a casino in the sky are getting higher every year.