French Designers Urge for In-Flight Casinos

Posted By: Date: 02/06/2012 at 12:00 am Leave a comment

It may not be the most innovative concept, but two French aviation designers have presaged that casino gambling can and will be the next huge market in aeronautics. The idea is to incorporate a casino gambling atmosphere on long-distance flights.  In years past, casino gambling on an aircraft was attempted, but it didn’t last very long, and the US explicitly criminalized the activity in 1994. However, Frederique Houssard and Jean-Pierre Alfano, partners in a new project termed Casino Jet Lounge, believe that integrating casino gambling into air travel could resolve numerous issues, including the discomfort and boredom associated with long-distance flights.

Houssard, the founder of Designescense, and his partner Alfano of AirJet Designs, envisage a broad market that will reflect the opulent excitement of decades past. “We’re trying to bring back the glamour of the 50’s and 60’s”¦”? Houssard explicated. “The kind you see in James Bond movies.”?  The project designers of Casino Jet Lounge have yet to negotiate any official contracts with any major airlines, but both are staunch in their belief that mid-flight casino gambling is a successful concept in the making. The two plan to replace the small, restrictive seating of old with new, capacious seating arrangements and a full liquor bar.  “When you’re on a 14-hour flight, even when you’re in business class,”? reasoned Alfano, “all you can really do is eat, drink, watch movies and sleep. The Casino Jet Lounge isn’t just a bar or entertainment idea. We see it as a social space.”?

One of the biggest issues facing the design would be space. The seating arrangements are cramped enough as it is. However, Houssard and Alfano drew attention to the excess space in the lower regions of the plane, where the cargo is traditionally stored. They believe this area could be exploited to serve its initial purpose, while also allowing a spacious arena for integrating the casino lounge.  Another issue that arose was the simple idea that travelers do not need a physical casino on board the plane when they could just as easily use their mobile devices to gamble online, should they wish to do so. The Frenchmen held steadfast to their idea that a social atmosphere would be much more alluring, but also planned to counter this possibility by assimilating restrictive internet access to passengers. They would be constrained to accessing the internet via the airline’s network.

Last but not least, there could be multiple legal hurdles to overcome. Casino Jet Lounge would only be able to operate its casino on flights that depart from jurisdictions where online gambling is legally regulated. The UK, for example, would be a prime departure point. The US, on the other hand, strictly prohibits in-flight gambling, having officially banned the activity 19 years ago.

At the moment, the idea of casino gambling taking to the skies remains in the conceptual phase. However, if the stalwartly determined duo of French aviation designers Houssard and Alfano have anything to say about it, we could see Casino Jet Lounge launched into reality in the very near future.