Ritz Club Casino Incurs £12.7m Losses in 2015October 4, 2016 11:49 am
The fortunes of a casino can often fluctuate similar to the luck of its patrons, and even though the odds are heavily stacked in its favor there is still the chance a high-roller will strike it big and wipe out a huge part of its profits. The same situation may also arise when a casino’s VIP clientele are extended lines of credit and refuse to pay up after they lose, as the Ritz Club Casino in London has found out on numerous occasions.
According to its performance report for 2015, the Ritz Club incurred a £12.7m loss last year, with a filing estimating that it would have posted a £2.4m profit had its VIPs paid their overdue debts in a timely fashion. Elaborating further, Ritz CEO Roger Marris said that most of the money was owed by a handful of Asian high-rollers, although he did add that the casino maintains personal relationships and talks regularly with its customers, and that “they are paying us back.” Marris also stated that pursuing slow payers was a “normal” part of its business.
The Ritz Hotel Casino is owned by billionaire brothers Sir David and Sir Frederick Barclay, and last year’s loss of £12.7m in 2015 compares to a net profit of more than £5.2m in 2014, and an operating loss of £12.5m in 2013. Turnover in 2015 also fell to £38.4m from the £66.9m generated in 2014, and £32m in 2013.
The problem involving debts from high rollers does seem to have increased in recent times, however, as in 2012 and 2013 High Court action was taken against just one person in each year, but by 2014 that number had risen to 10 individuals. High profile customers taken to court includes Singaporean property magnate Bharat Kalwani, and Saudi heiress Nora Al-Daher, and as a Ritz Casino spokesman commented at the time:
“Whilst we enjoy very good relationships with the vast majority of our customers, on some rare occasions it is unfortunately necessary to take legal action in order to recover outstanding debts.”