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Is Gambling Going In-Flight?

Marc Armstrong EN

Here’s a scenario for you; you’re stuck, in a tightly confined place, seated beside an extremely obese man who has had a falling out with deodorant. You’re not allowed to leave your seat, may only eat when it is the assigned time to do so, and the queue to the bathroom has just hit ten people long.

Is it a personal hell, imposed upon you for that time you stole ten bucks from your mother’s purse, back when you were still a snotty teenager? Yes. That is exactly what it is. Karma is, as they say, a female dog, and you’re going to have to sit, grin, and endure the torture. Don’t worry though; the flight is only another sixteen hours long.

Now, let’s be honest; aeroplanes are a great deal more hospitable than they used to be. I remember a time when plane trips didn’t even have the benefit of showing personalised movies to each person, so if the film was terrible, say a tooth grinding romantic comedy starring that person you hate, you were in for double decker hell-ride almost guaranteed to result in several suicide attempts.

These days it really isn’t so bad. Each person has a little personal computer, offering games; movies, television shows, and even audio stand up comedy. But, wouldn’t it also be great to be able to spend the hours playing the slots, or a bit of roulette?

Hours Melt Away With Casino Games

My personal approach to long plane rides, and I hadn’t been on a truly long one until I visited New Zealand a few years ago, is to think of the situation as a movie watching marathon. I sit back, get comfortable, and hope that they are showing movies worth watching.

My trip getting to New Zealand was really not so bad, despite it being an obscene length. But, being stuck with the same movies I had already seen, the journey home seemed to drag on forever. If I had had the option to hit a digital roulette wheel on that return flight, I dare say I may not have considered lunging for the escape door, tearing it open, and hurling myself into the dark abyss that lies beyond.

When faced with a roulette wheel I can lose myself for hours. Hell, even when not in a confined space I often find I’ve played into the early hours of the morning, so the prospect of having such games on a plane is a match made in heaven.

But, of course, it isn’t as easy as simply offering the games to passengers.

The Challenges

Airlines would likely have offered casino games to passengers long ago, were there not mountains of red tape, and confusing laws.  Since planes fly over various borders and countries, it really begs the question as to which laws the plane should be following. It’s a bit of an odd question when you think about it, and perhaps even silly.

But, if ships have to follow the laws of the country’s water they happen to presently be in, planes should have to do the same, shouldn’t they? I’m really asking here, it’s a question that sort of makes my brain put up a great big question mark. Shouldn’t they? But then, that could quickly get ridiculous. Should planes have a list of constantly updating laws displayed on a big screen, so passengers know what they can and can’t do? Silly.

Now, as far as I understand it, offering free casino games to passengers isn’t as difficult as offering real money games. After all, casino games that don’t allow real money to be played are simply games, and not necessarily casino games at all, as far as I see it. But, offering real money play to passengers is a whole new ball game.

Will It Ever Happen

After doing my research, I’ve found that there are a number of airlines looking into offering casino games to passengers. But, as far as I can tell, real money casino games seem like only a distant possibility. And, of course, the games would only be limited to very specific planes, and only very specific airlines. No plane that travels to a country where gambling is illegal would have such an option.

As to which airlines might one day offer digital casino games is very sketchy at present, but when if airlines ever do start offering casino games, you can sure bet I’ll be picking those for my next long plane journeys. Even free one would do me just fine. Anything that distracts me from the boredom, and draws my eyes away from the door and its promise of sweet release in the dark abyss. And if you think I’m being overly dramatic, you obviously have never been on a twenty-hour flight with no distractions. And a screaming baby in the row in front of you.

Marc Armstrong - Signature

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