LONDON: An Omani politician’s wife and gambling addict is suing The Ritz casino after losing a staggering £2million at its card table.
Nora Al-Daher, 50, who lives in Muscat, blew her millions at the exclusive London club’s punto banco table in just a few hours in April 2012.
But she claims she would not have lost the money if staff had not ‘taken advantage’ of her gambling addiction.
She told London’s High Court that employees had stood behind her at the table, encouraging her to keep playing the card game, despite having been made aware of her addiction.
As her incredible losses mounted, they had even extended her cheque-cashing facility, she said.
‘I needed someone that night to tell me to stop playing and bring me to my senses,’ the multi-millionaire told the court.
‘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.’
Mrs Al-Daher, who is married to Omani Foreign Minister, Sayyid Badr bin Hamad bin Hamood Al-Busaidi, had already suffered substantial losses at other casinos when she arrived at The Ritz on the evening of April 3, the court heard.
Despite allegedly telling staff she did not want to play, just a few hours later she had reached her £1.7m cheque-cashing limit and soon afterwards, she was £2million down.
Barrister Robert Deacon told Judge Anthony Seys Llewellyn that Mrs Al-Daher had made it clear when she arrived that she was ‘a gambling addict’ and did not want to play punto banco.
‘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,’ he said.
‘She commenced gambling and, as her losses mounted, staff encouraged her to continue, saying she was going to win and that her facility would be increased to £2million.
‘As her gambling continued, staff stood behind her with pre-written cheques which were provided to her until £2million was gambled and lost.