Omani politician’s wife blows £2 million at baccarat, sues The Ritz
Image source: Evening Standard
The wife of Omani Foreign Minister, Sayyid Al-Busaidi, has unleashed her legal team on The Ritz casino after losing a small fortune at punto banco.
Nora Al-Daher, 50, committed her baccarat blunder two years ago in April 2012 at The Ritz’ exclusive members club in London. She claims the casino ‘took advantage’ of her gambling addiction.
O man…that was silly
Mrs Al-Daher’s case is currently being heard in London’s High Court, with the multi-millionaire suing the Ritz for the full cost of her losses after refusing to honour the cheques used at the tables.
Arriving with her face concealed behind a headscarf, Al-Daher told the court that she was goaded into extending her cheque-cashing facility after hitting her £1.7 million limit.
“I needed someone that night to tell me to stop playing and bring me to my senses,’ she said. “If I had been told to stop, of course I would stop immediately. No one ever told me to stop or think about my gambling.”
Her defence lawyer, Barrister Robert Deacon, said that it was obvious that his client was a gambling addict and argued that the casino should not have encouraged her to continue playing.
“The Ritz Hotel and Casino Ltd failed to take any or any reasonable measures to prevent or mitigate the consequences or aggravation of self-inflicted harm by the assumption of control over [Al-Daher],” he said.
Tough luck, says the Ritz
The Ritz in London.
The Ritz casino has denied any wrongdoing, saying that Al-Daher was under no pressure to bet beyond her limits.
Ritz CEO, Roger Maris, told the court that high rollers often have their chequing account limits raised. He also said that it was not until months later that the Ritz realised the cheques had not cleared.
“[Al-Daher] was a very good customer for us,” he said. “There had been a very good history of paying. There was no thought in our mind that the cheques were not going to get paid.”
As a 13-year regular at The Ritz, Al-Daher has plugged more than £20 million into the casino, losing approximately £7 million across her gambling career.
The hearing is on-going.