Play Big & Win Big at 36,000 Feet

Las Vegas has the bright lights of The Strip to lure people in from all around the globe.  The draw from Asia to Las Vegas has meant big money for casinos and the courting of “whales.”

While some casinos have offered private jets to bring whales to their casinos since private jets first became available … one casino chain provides a different type of luxury fleet and a different type of high roller gambling.

Sands Casinos, owners of The Venetian and The Palazzo in Las Vegas, operate a unique fleet of aircraft that go beyond the standard private jet, including a pair of Boeing 747SPs, a Lockheed L-1011-385-3, Boeing 767-300, as well as Boeing Business Jets and Gulfstream IV & V aircraft.

While the interiors of these aircraft are not made public, as The Sands does not want to give away ‘their secret’ in luring in big money ‘whales’ to their casinos, including flying these high rollers from their three properties in Macau to Las Vegas … one feature of the L-1011 is known … it allows for high stakes gambling on the 12+ hour non-stop flights from Asia to Las Vegas.

Installed on board the L-1011, and possibly the 747SP and 767-300, are high stakes Baccarat Tables … yes tables, as in more than one. As the flights from Asia to Las Vegas take place primarily in international air space there are no laws to restrict the gambling.   The perk to those gambling in flight is that their winnings are not subject to Nevada’s 6.75% tax on their winnings … as well The Sands is not required to report any earnings from gambling on board these flights.

To simplify the gambling experience for the ‘whales’ being flown from Asia to Las Vegas on these flights, the tables are for credit only; no cash is allowed to be played in flight.   Although no cash is played at the in flight Baccarat Tables, the aircraft is equipped with state of the art table surveillance cameras to monitor the tables and each player. In flight security, like security at the casinos, is separate from all other passengers and crew on board (which I imagine is an interesting challenge on a number of aspects).

So … if you happen to have a spare US$500,000 to drop at the tables in Las Vegas … give The Sands a call and tell them you need a ride. If you win big on the flight over … you’ll be up 6.75% since the taxes don’t apply!

Below is a photo of the Sands L-1011, hot linked from Andrew Hunt’s photo on

Happy Flying!


  1. I saw a 747 in those colors (and maybe a 737) early this year at LAS, and at that time I only knew about the L1011, so I figured it was a Saudi king or something. Now I know it ’twas Sands.

  2. So that’s who owns the SPs I saw over there. It’s a shame that’s about the only way to fly on a Tri Star anymore.

  3. They are beautiful birds. I caught one of two L-1011s (according to FAA records) at Dulles (KIAD) where I also caught their 747-SP before and after it was painted. VQ-BMS had the Bahrain Amiri Flight colors before they added the flying casino and repainted it. I also caught one of the G-IVs and a G-V over the last couple of years. If you really want to see them, check out my Flickr page and just search my pictures for “Sands”

  4. Whilst the content is interesting, the links to the Boeing 747SP, etc. are not. As this is an article about the aircraft operated by a Las Vegas casino, why not make it more interesting and link to a Boeing 747SP, etc., that is operated by the casino?
    We all know what a 747 looks like. What does a casino 747 look like?

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