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Sky's the limit in Ryanair gamble

COFFEE, tea or blackjack? That's the mantra Ryanair flight attendants may soon be spouting, as the airline prepares to launch an online casino as part of its revamped in-flight entertainment.

Online gaming will form part of the airline's new in-flight service, launching next month.

The airline is understood to be in the final stages of including online gaming as part of its new in-flight entertainment service to be launched on a trial basis next month.

Along with availing of the usual cartoons, movies and TV shows, passengers will get to gamble as part of the new service, available for ?7 a flight.

The service is expected to generate ?14m in additional revenue for Ryanair in its first year.

The Dublin-based carrier announced last week that it will introduce 6,000 lap-top style entertainment units to its entire fleet next March after 24 systems are placed on five aircraft on a trial basis in November.

Chief executive Michael O'Leary said the revenue-generating potential of the inflight service should not be underestimated. "The sky is the limit here. The potential is enormous," he said. "I think these things will become as common as the in-flight magazine."

Ryanair is also reportedly looking at setting up gambling links on its Ryanair.com website to gain extra profits. According to Mr O'Leary, ice is the only thing served free aboard Ryanair - but even that could change. "At the moment the ice is free, but if we could find a way of targeting a price on it we would," Mr O'Leary told an airlines conference recently.

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