Gambling at the Gate: Could Lady Luck Be Making An Appearance At IND?
If you’re feeling fortunate on your way to or through Indianapolis you might be in luck, as the airport is thinking about adding a few games of chance to the terminals and concourses. It certainly won’t be the Las Vegas of the Midwest, but officials are indeed thinking about allowing gaming at the airport.
Don’t book a trip to Indianapolis just for the chance to take a spin at the slots or to toss some dice, though, as the gambling plans at the airport are all electronic in nature. That said, you won’t be able to just start playing poker on your iPad at the gate, as the proposal indicates that travelers would have to file into lounges within the airport where games—on handheld devices—would be connected to a central server. The lounges would only be accessible for those with tickets since they'll be located in the terminals, but we’re sure you could get a refundable ticket to get through security if you really needed to get your fix (but if that's the case, you might want to consider calling 1-800 "I have a problem").
Airport officials sound like they think it’s a neat idea, but there's still an uphill battle to climb when it comes to convincing lawmakers it's a worthwhile one. Other airports have tried similar ideas, and the cash really doesn’t flow like some might imagine. Even the slots at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas don’t pull in that much revenue when compared to a full-fledged casino.
The thought at Indianapolis International Airport is that this kind of incentive could lure more nonstop flights to its gates. However, lawmakers are not convinced that the chance to gamble before or after a flight is going to bring in travelers on its own, but we guess we’ll stay tuned and see what happens.
[Photo of the sunrise at IND: Howard Kang]