Ryanair Plans In-Flight Online Bingo

Pending EU regulatory approval of the in-flight mobile phone service needed to play, the low-cost Irish carrier will offer jackpots of more than $380,000

Ryanair is planning to launch online bingo and gaming on its flights next year following the introduction of in-flight mobile phone connectivity for passengers.

Passengers will be able to use their mobile phones and other handheld devices on flights to have a flutter playing Ryanair's online bingo and a number of other instant-win games offering jackpots in excess of £200,000.

But the in-flight online gambling will be dependent on European regulatory approval for the mobile phone service, which is due to launch by the middle of 2007 and will allow passengers to make and receive voice calls and SMS messages via satellite broadband links.

A Ryanair spokeswoman told silicon.com the in-flight online bingo plans are still "in the pipeline" pending this regulatory approval.

Preparing the ground for in-flight gambling next year, Ryanair has this week teamed up with UK online bingo operator jackpotjoy.com to launch Ryanair bingo and other games on the no-frills airline's own website. During the first week all Ryanair customers who play any of the online games will get a free flight as an introductory offer.

Michael O’Leary, Ryanair CEO, said in a statement: "Finding a cheap flight is a racing certainty and now our passengers will have the chance to enjoy a flutter on Ryanair bingo and instantly win with just some of the money they have saved."

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