Ritz wins court case against “unimaginably wealthy” Nora Al-Daher
A judge ruled on Saturday 16 August that millionaire Omani heiress, Nora Al-Daher, should make good on her
£2m debt to The Ritz casino, worked up over the course of a baccarat bender in April 2012.
This rather sizable bill first came to The Ritz’s attention when it became apparent that cheques from Al-Daher’s husband (Omani Foreign Minister, Sayyid Badr bin Hamad bin Hamood Al-Busaidi) were not being honoured.
Mrs Al-Daher, 50, had been attempting to sue the casino management for taking advantage of her gambling addiction by egging her on at the tables but Judge Anthony Seyes-Llewellyn was unimpressed, ruling that Al-Daher was at fault and could “easily afford” to pay.
A very expensive life lesson
Al-Daher is wife of Omani Foreign Minister, Omani Foreign Minister, Sayyid Badr bin Hamad bin Hamood Al-Busaidi
Al-Daher racked up her mind-blowing bill in just a few hours at The Ritz casino in London, blaming the club for her costly cold streak, claiming that she was goaded into raising her £1.7m gambling limit to £2m.
Al-Daher claimed that her problem gambling begun in 1999 and she subsequently plugged over £20m into The Ritz from until 2012, describing the establishment as her “exclusive favourite club.”
“I needed someone that night to tell me to stop playing and bring me to my senses,” said Al-Daher. “If I had been told to stop, of course I would have done so immediately. But no one ever told me to stop or to think about my gambling.”
However, Judge Seyes-Llewellyn ultimately rejected the defence that The Ritz exploited Al-Daher, concluding that there was “no medial or psychiatric evidence that [Al-Daher] was a gambling addict.”
Losses were “within her means”
Al Daher’s case was heard at the High Court in London. In a damning assessment, the High Court judge described the defendant’s account as “inconsistent and unreliable” and concluded that her limits had been raised at her own request. “Mrs Al-Daher is a person of wealth unimaginable to the ordinary person and, I suspect, to many of moderate or substantial wealth,” said Seyes-Llewellyn. “It is demonstrable that… the enormous sums she gambled, and the enormous losses she sustained, were within her means.” In his final statement, the judge ordered that Al-Daher should cough up her £1m remaining unpaid gambling debts, plus interest.