Written By: Dan Pearson
August 17, 2014

Ritz Casino Wins Case against Oman’s FM Wife

A judge allowed the Ritz to recover the debt a foreign minister's wife owed them.

A judge allowed the Ritz to recover the debt a foreign minister’s wife owed them.

Some people are just filthy rich they don’t know what to do with their money anymore. This can be the case with Mrs. Noora Abdullah Mahawish Al-Daher, who turns out to be the wife of Oman’s foreign minister. She is often described as “very wealthy” with money coming from the wealthy family of his husband and their business interests in both Oman and Saudi Arabia. We are not sure how much their real net worth is but if you can gamble £2 million in a night, then it is definitely really huge.

Now it is this £2 million that has been a bone of contention between Nora (her supposed Westernized name) and Ritz Casino (yup, the same casino where Julia Roberts’s character stayed in Notting Hill). For one night on December 2012, she took £2 million worth of chips. The problem was she lost. Since it was on credit, the casino had to recoup the $2 million. Nora paid half of the debt and issued checks for the rest, which was used to doing, but they were not honored by the casino.

Just when you think that it is such an immensely large of money to lose for one night, she gambled around £3 million when she went to Las Vegas only a few months after. Ritz then pursued the debt—and her—aggressively including filing for a claim in court.

Nora, on the other hand, is not the type of person who backs down so easily. She also countersued, planning to get back the $1 million she repaid the casino. Through her lawyer, she pointed out that the casino was remiss in exercising duty of care with her. Simply put, Nora assumed they had already recognized that she was a habitual gambler and an addict. As a casino that cares for its patrons, they should have no longer extended credit, more so let her play.

Seys Llewellyn QC, the deputy judge of the high court, however, ruled in favor of Ritz. They believed that the casino did not commit any illegality when it extended credit to Nora and that she instead should have paid her remaining debt. Since the matter was already brought to court, she also has to pay for the interest. She also pointed out that given her gambling addiction, she would still have gone through other casinos if Ritz had decided to practice player exclusion. In other words, the main issue in this story wasn’t the casino or the debt she owed but her battle against gambling addiction. The same circumstance that night could have ended the same way as long as her problem is present.

This type of story, nevertheless, isn’t entirely new. Rather, it’s happening in many countries such as Australia, Canada, and the United States. Many gamblers are suing casinos for hefty sums due to “lack of diligence” and “duty of care.” We would like to emphasize, however, that your welfare is your responsibility. Addiction is a personal battle that only you can manage and resolve. If you need to end it, seek professional help.

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