Allegiant Air Cancels Ad Deal - Sunday 30th of April 2006

by Richard N. Velotta

By Our Partners at the Las Vegas Sun

LAS VEGAS Allegiant Air, the Las Vegas-based low-fare air carrier, has abruptly canceled an ad deal with an online casino company that would have turned six of the airline's jets into flying billboards.

Allegiant specializes in flying tourists from middle-market cities such as Des Moines, Iowa, and Shreveport, La., to Las Vegas.

Ponder Harrison, Allegiant's managing director, said Allegiant pulled the plug on the deal with after airline executives learned more about the Justice Department's views on advertising Internet gambling, which the government considers to be illegal.

Allegiant canceled the deal after a Las Vegas Sun reporter questioned an airline executive .

Allegiant wouldn't disclose the value of the canceled deal, but published reports said it was worth $500,000.

Harrison said Mylar film with the Bodog brand had already been applied to the fuselages of five MD-80 jets .

"The more we did our due diligence, the more we became uncomfortable with displaying the brand," Harrison said.

Bodog had hoped its three-month deal with Allegiant would reach gamblers who go to Las Vegas once or twice a year and might consider playing online. Tray tables resembling blackjack tables were also planned .

In a statement, Bodog's founder and Chief Executive Calvin Ayre said he understood Allegiant's decision.

"I have no problem with Allegiant changing our agreement when faced with this type of threat," Ayre said. "We 100 percent support them and are saddened that they are not being able to pursue their constitutionally protected rights of free speech in this case."

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