Giant, flying casinos poised for take off

George Carlin once said if you nail two things together that have never been nailed together before, some schmuck will buy it from you.

That seems to be the case this week as the gambling industry is apparently mating with the jumbo aircraft world to create giant flying casinos.

First, this week Airbus said it was holding talks with a number of customers interested in converting its superjumbo A380 - the world's biggest passenger plane - into a flying casino.

"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. He of course didn't say who it was that inquired, but added that a fully-fitted casino on the world's biggest airliner could be delivered as early as 2012.

The Las Vegas Sands Corp. wants to have flying casinos before that.

This week it said it had purchased two L-1011 jet airliners and would be retrofitting to serve as private jets that will chauffeur gamblers to the company's Las Vegas casinos from Asia.

In addition to the typical luxury items found on a casino company's private aircraft, customers will also have an amenity at their disposal - high-limit baccarat tables to pass the time during the 14-hour direct flights, the reviewjournal reports.

A spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration didn't see any safety issues that would preclude the gambling. Nevada gaming regulators said there was nothing in state law that would halt the activity. But any casino win from the gamblers obtained by Las Vegas Sands on the flights would not be subject to Nevada's 6.75 percent rate on all gaming revenues, regulators told the reviewjournal.

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