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Casinos The Next Big Thing In Air Travel?

It has been attempted before. Casino gambling on long-distance flights is an idea that has already been introduced. Up until now, no airline or developer has been able to solidify the concept for air travel.

Two French aviation designers believe they have finally broken through and come up with a way that travelers can enjoy their flights without having to sit in cramped seats. Gone also will be the in-flight movies, all replaced by spacious seating, a full liquor bar, and operational casino games.

"We're trying to bring back the glamour of the 50's and 60's a little bit," said Frederique Houssard, the founder of Designescence. "The kind you see in the James Bond movies."

Houssard is joined by his partner in the project, AirJet Designs' Jean-Pierre Alfano. The pair has not formally agreed to a deal with any major airlines, but the concept is in place and the belief that casino gambling in mid-flight can be successful.

"When you're on a 14-hour flight, even when you're in business class, all you can really do is eat, drink, watch movies, and sleep," said Alfano. "The Casino Jet Lounge isn't just a bar or entertainment idea. We see it as a social space."

With the emergence of online gambling, some have questioned whether travelers would simply gamble on their mobile devices. One way to combat that for the airline that eventually opens an in-air casino would be to have limited access to the Internet, where passengers could only connect through the airlines' network.

Space inside a plan is another issue, but the developers believe that if properly designed, airlines would not have to give up any additional seat space. They pointed to the idea that the social lounge could be down near the bottom of the plane, where the cargo is stored.

Legally, the Casino Jet Lounge could run into some trouble. In the UK, where online gambling is regulated, the flight casinos could take off. In the US, online gambling is not yet regulated, and gambling on an aircraft has been banned in the country since 1994.

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