But Declined To Give Odds On EOS
When you visit Las
Vegas, it's overwhelming to see the money spent on the hotels and
casinos there. Floating casinos on cruise ships have been with us
for years, and the game of poker was invented on a Mississippi
riverboat over a century ago.
So, it should come as no surprise that Airbus claims continued
interest in turning the A380, the world's largest airliner, into a
flying casino. The planemaker touted onboard gaming opportunities
when the superjumbo was first unveiled... but airlines expressed
little serious interest, since gaming tables take up valuable floor
space that could hold high-density seating.
But that may be changing -- especially when it comes to
outfitting the private "Flying Palace" version of the plane.
"We have had interests from customers who would like to do
something like (casinos)," said David Velupillai, marketing
director for Airbus's executive and private aviation division, to
Agence-France Presse. "We had discussions with several customers
After all, the A380 has 50 percent more floor space than a
Boeing 747, and has already pulled in over 200 firm orders -- many
from areas of Asia where economies, and gambling, are now booming.
In fact, gaming revenues from the southern Chinese territory of
Macau have already overtaken the Las Vegas Strip, and may surpass
those of the greater Las Vegas region in 2008. Singapore will also
open its first casino next year.
So -- assuming engineers can solve the problems posed by
roulette wheels that move when the plane turns, or dice which take
an extra hop going through turbulence -- how soon might we see an
A380 filled with gaudy carpets, scantily-clad hostesses and rows of
mesmerized senior citizens staring at slot machines?
Airbus says the first A380 flying casino could enter service in
2012... but, perhaps having learned its lesson from past A380
delays, it declined to give odds.