Casinos and card rooms have been common place on ocean liners for decades now. Recently Ryanair announced their intentions to take gambling a little higher... into the clouds.
Irish carriers, Ryanair, are well known for their low cost flying options and "cheap and cheerful" style. However, things could be about to change for passengers on this airline as plans for on board casinos and poker have been unveiled.
Described as "a real wallet phenomenon." by a Ryanair spokesman, the mile high gambling dens could be up and running as soon as March of this year. Ryanair will be introducing a new on board system known as "Digebox". 6,000 units are planned, each can tap into a wealth of real time gambling games.
Chief Executive Michael O'Leary said "I think these things will become as common as the in-flight magazine."
O'Leary is so confident that the Digeboxes will bring in so much extre revenue for Ryanair, that he sees a time in the future where everyone will be able to fly for free.
This type of gambling may seem new and revolutionary to many flyers. However, Singapore Airlines have tried something similar before. Installing two slot machines, only two feet tall, with plastic rather than metal cases to save weight, at the back of a plane. In the late 1990s. Swissair have introduced on board video gambling too. Since the tragic Swissair crash off Peggys Cove, Nova Scotia on September 2, 1998, which was generally accepted to be caused by a fire in the on board gaming system, few others have followed suit.
Where does this leave the UK poker player, though? Could it be the next time you hop on board a flight to Vegas, you'll be faced with a lively ten hour cash game? rather than leg cramps, bad food and even worse body odour? Perhaps not in the immediate future but, if Ryanair's Digeboxes are a hit, it's surely a case of "when" rather than "if".
Ed note: Fly on over to Everest Poker for $50 free and a whole host of WPT & EPT seats.