Published on August 27, 2014 in Industry News

Ritz Casino Club LondonA London High Court judge has proven that even the ridiculously wealthy can't run from their debts forever. Judge Anthony Seys Llewellyn has ordered a Saudi heiress to pay back the huge debt incurred by her gambling spree at the Ritz Club Casino in London.

Noora Abdullah Mahawish Al-Daher, the wife of Oman's foreign minister Sayyid Badr bin Hamad bin Hamood Al-Busaidi, accumulated a staggering debt while gambling at the Ritz Club Casino in 2012. Once Mrs Al-Daher had reached her £1.7million limit, while playing the card game Punto Banco, she quickly had it increased to £2million.

However, after signing bad checks and eventually paying back only £1million of the debt, Mrs Al-Daher refused to pay the remaining £1million claiming that the Ritz had a "duty of care" to keep her from overspending. Al-Daher, also known as ‘Princess Nora’, even tried to claim that because the staff at the Ritz allowed her to gamble on debt that she should be refunded the £1million she had already paid.

Despite the objections of Al-Daher and her team of lawyers, Judge Seys Llewellyn has ruled in favour of the Ritz Casino saying that the heiress was fully aware of her actions and implied that as a "high roller" she may even have enjoyed losing, as it is all part of the thrill. Al-Daher now owes the Ritz Casino the outstanding £1million debt plus interest.

Even if Al-Daher did have a gambling problem, of which there is no medical or psychiatric evidence, the judge described her as being able to afford the debt as her personal wealth is “unimaginable to the ordinary person”.

The judge has also rejected the notion of the Ritz staff having a duty to stop Al-Daher and stated: "In my judgment, authority does not support such a duty."