Ritz Club Recoups £2.2m Debt From Billionaire High Roller

Ritz Club Recoups £2.2m Debt From Billionaire High RollerLondon’s exclusive Ritz Club in Piccadilly has won a High Court debt suit to recoup the money owed to it by a Swiss billionaire after his £2 million check bounced last year. In total, the casino is now owed £2.2 million ($3.43m) by high roller Safa Abdulla Al-Geabury, which includes £200,000 in interest. As well as the huge sums involved, the court case attracted a high level of attention as Mr Al-Geabury had voluntarily self-excluded (VSE) himself from the venue for life in 2009, having signed the form with the statement:
“I have brain problem, I am addict of gambling.”
During the recent court case, Mr Al-Geabury recounted how the Ritz Club enticed him back with a credit line of up to £5 million, and explained that after asking for his VSE to be cancelled, the UK Gambling Commission subsequently granted his request. As a result, defense attorney Kevin Pettican filed to have the £2 million debt cancelled, and also filed a further counter-claim for £3.4million ($5.3m) representing the money Mr Al-Geabury lost at the casino between the end of 2010 and start of 2014. According to Kevin Pettican, the Ritz Club breached its own license terms when it enticed him back to the venue using “undue influence and unconscionable transaction”.
Nevertheless, Ritz attorney Mr Freedman argued Al-Geabury had been using the casino for networking purposes, and that his losses “were of little or no consequence” to a billionaire, while judge Justice Simler said Mr Al-Geabury had failed to establish he had a gambling disorder. Summing up his decision, judge Simler said:
“The defendant’s claims fail and are dismissed.. The facts of this case are highly unusual and unlikely to be repeated.. [Al-Geabury] failed to establish that he had any gambling disorder at any material time and ultimately accepted that he never told any of the casino staff about any such problem. He was the author of his own misfortunes.”

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