A lot of people will agree that aeroplane flights are not the most exciting endeavours. In spite of the meals, alcoholic drinks and movies that many airlines offer, these trips can be boring, especially when the flight takes hours or requires multiple stops and changeovers.
Airports Offer Casinos, So Why Not Airplanes?
Aeroplanes do not feature casino games, but certain airports around the world do have slot machines. McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas is a perfect example of this. The airport houses 1,300 slots on its expansive floors. Some other airports around the world also feature gambling. That being said, airports are increasingly accommodating to gaming on a global scale. However, the industry is yet to show this tolerance to aeroplanes. Planes still fly with other forms of entertainment, gambling not included.
This Isn’t a New Idea
The idea of aeroplanes featuring casinos is not entirely new. As a matter of fact, the concept of aeroplane casinos goes back to the early 1980s. Singapore Airlines tried installing slot machines for a couple of months and made quite a lot of money from them during the short-lived experiment. However, the airline ran into a couple of key problems.
- Gamblers were blocking aisleways because of the high popularity of the gaming area.
- The lighter, more compact machines broke down faster.
Concerning the latter point, Singapore Airlines chose lightweight slot machines to avoid weighing the plane down. They helped maintain the fuel-efficiency of the aeroplanes but were not sturdy enough to last. Swissair also tried small gaming consoles in 1998. This airline placed small gambling screens at the seats of players. Unfortunately, tragedy struck as Swissair Flight 111 crashed and killed every single one of the 229 passengers on board. An investigation into the crash showed that faulty wiring in the gaming system was the cause of the crash.
How Would Airplane Casinos Work Today?
Aeroplane casinos have been a failure so far, but it has been over two decades since any such attempt has been made. Airlines might be better equipped to run mini-casinos on their planes nowadays. The technology required for it had significantly improved compared to what it was when the Swissair Flight 111 went down. Technicians would also have less trouble installing successfully running entertainment systems today. The airline industry could use a financial boost as well. The Covid-19 pandemic has caused even prominent airlines to lose billions of dollars. Slot machines might provide a way to recover some of those losses. It seems like an aeroplane casino is not too far off in the future. If so, they will look at past failures and make sure that those mistakes are not repeated. They don’t have to necessarily put slot machines on the plane. They could offer table games such as blackjack, baccarat, roulette and other games.
Table games would also be cheaper to install since they do not require wiring. The only catch is that the dealers will have to run the games all by themselves.