The wife of an Omani government minister is suing London’s The Ritz casino after losing a reported £2m ($3.4m) gambling at a card table, accusing staff of taking advantage of her gambling addiction by extending her credit limit and encouraging her to keep playing.
Nora Al Daher, who lives in Muscat and is the wife of Omani Foreign Minister Sayyid Badr bin Hamad bin Hamood Al Busaidi ran up the gambling debts at the prestigious London club in April 2012.
Appearing at the High Court in London, she said she should not have to honour the debt as staff encouraged her to keep playing and took advantage of her gambling addiction.
“I needed someone that night to tell me to stop playing and bring me to my senses. 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,” she was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail newspaper.
The report said Al Daher reached her £1.7m cheque-cashing limit within a few hours but was allowed to continue playing and eventually lost £2m.
“The staff paid no regard to her distraught demeanour or what she told them and did nothing to discourage her from gambling or to reflect on the wisdom of further gambling,” her barrister Robert Deacon told the court.
Al Daher told the court she had been a regular visitor to London’s casinos and realised she had a gambling addiction problem in 1999.
As part of the case, The Ritz is suing Al Daher for £1m still outstanding on her debts.