|11/03/2008||Up in the Air
The United States of America is, be it
by design or nature inherent, a land of convenience. To be successful as a
vendor, especially in a competitive industry such as airline and flight
travel, you need to offer just that one extra to win some customers.
Online gambling has become one of those little extras. It has now been upgraded past pretzels, or peanuts (depending on the last time you flew) to be available as an in-flight amenity. In the recent past, a handful of passenger airlines have announced their intention to offer internet casino service in-flight. Among these is the lower budget carrier for the U.S., JetBlue.
Using technology that we’ve had for a number of years, JetBlue hopes that the new opportunity to find real-time entertainment to help alleviate the boredom of long flights will be worth the cost of uploading the software necessary. They plan on completing agreements with Yahoo and RIM to offer the necessary Wi-Fi services that their passengers can utilize. In the beginning, the services available may be minimal, simply because it’s a relatively new product; RIM and Yahoo have only just begun developing the services, and are not experts unto themselves in online casinos and gambling. There is also the grey area of legalities: because Jet Blue is a domestic airline, there are details that need to be confirmed in regards to what is legal and illegal on U.S. flights through American airspace. At this writing, it seems the venture will open initially with a concentration on sports betting rather than virtual casinos.
This concentration on sports will include a partnership with DirecTV, and the ability to wager on halftime and interactive play-by-plays for televised sporting events. Most would be available through ESPN and major networks such as FOX and CBS.
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