Ritz casino wins £1m court fight with gambling addict
- 15 August 2014
- From the section London
London's Ritz casino has won a £1m battle against a wealthy gambling addict who had failed to pay her debt.
Nora Al-Daher, whose husband is the foreign minister of Oman, tried to sue the casino in July after losing £2m in one night.
Cheques she handed over were not honoured and she later claimed the casino had a duty of care and should have stopped her from gambling.
But a High Court judge rejected her claims and backed the casino.
'Eager to gamble'
Mrs Al-Daher had also argued that the Ritz's claim against her could not succeed because it was based on "illegality" and the unlawful giving of credit.
But Deputy Judge Seys Llewellyn QC said he had no doubt that if Mrs Al-Daher had not been allowed to keep on gambling at the Ritz casino, she "would have been eager and inclined to gamble at other casinos thereafter, and very probably during her stay in London during the days or weeks after 3 April 2012".
Mrs Al-Daher had already suffered substantial losses at other casinos earlier the same day, on 3 April 2012.
The judge added: "It is striking that she and her family gambled away $5m US dollars in Las Vegas in June some two to three months later."
Mrs Al-Daher lost £2m within hours and said the casino should have refused to give her extra credit, but instead took advantage of her.
She told the court that staff stood behind her encouraging her and increased her facility when she reached her credit limit.
In December 2012 she paid £1m to the casino but left £1m outstanding and it was that amount, plus interest, the casino was entitled to recover, the court ruled.