Wealthy Gambling Addict Sues UK Casino Over Huge Losses

By Paul Gaita 07/08/14

Nora Al-Daher has gambled away as much as £7 million at various London casinos in a single evening alone.

nora al-daher.jpg
Photo via

Millionaire gambling addict Nora Al-Daher is suing London’s Ritz Club for allegedly encouraging her habit and losing £2 million in a single evening.

Al-Daher, the wife of Omani Foreign Minister Sayyid Badr bin Hamad bin Hamood Al-Busaidi, was initially the defendant in a suit lodged by the West End casino over an alleged debt of £1 million in checks that were not cleared by her bank. She refuted the Ritz’s accusation, stating that she eventually paid back part of the sum, and that gambling on credit is illegal.

At the time of the incident, Al-Daher reportedly went to the Ritz but did not want to play, making it clear to the staff there that she was a gambling addict and had posted significant losses elsewhere. The staff is alleged to have encouraged Al-Daher to play punto banco, a card game similar to baccarat, providing her with pre-written checks and extending her credit limit from £1.7 million to £2 million. Within a few hours, she had lost the entire £2 million.

“I needed someone that night to tell me to stop playing and bring me to my senses," said Al-Daher. "If I had been told to stop, of course I would stop immediately. No one ever told me to…think about my gambling. They should have discouraged me, but instead they took advantage of me.”

The casino has denied the charges, stating that Al-Daher was under no pressure to place any bets. Clive Freedman QC, legal representative to the Ritz, also noted that Al-Daher had already paid half of her debt to the casino nine months prior to the suit without any complaints. “She was a very good customer,” said Ritz Club CEO Roger Maris. “There had been a very good history of paying. There was no thought in our mind that the checks were not going to get paid.”

Al-Daher claims to have been a gambling addict since 1999, but was unable to admit to herself that she had a serious problem. Between 1999 and 2012, she was a regular presence in London casinos, spending thousands and even millions of pounds in a single evening, including more than £7 million at the Ritz alone.

Please read our comment policy. - The Fix

Paul Gaita lives in Los Angeles. He has contributed to the Los Angeles Times, Variety, LA Weekly, Amazon.com and The Los Angeles Beat, among many other publications and websites.