Swiss businessman Safa Abdullah Al-Geabury was ordered by the court to honour his debts amounting to £2 million at the Ritz Casino. He claimed to be a gambling addict and not completely in control of his mental faculties while at the casino, but failed to convince Judge Simler who ruled that he must return the money to the Ritz casino with added interest. The judgement stated that Al-Geabury was a successful international businessman of repute and it was revealed that his assets can be valued at over £1 billion pounds. An un-credible and inconsistent testimony forced the businessman to return the amount to the Ritz casino.
The situation at play
Earlier in 2009, Al-Geabury had restricted all access to the Ritz club’s casino in an attempt to control his gambling habit. On 19th February, 2014 he finished watching an Arsenal football game and went to the casino where he signed a cheque to exchange for roulette chips. The amount was returned unpaid, and when he asked for a further £5 million in credit, he was refused. Kevin Pettican, his counsel, believes that by providing Al-Geabury with the facilities to gamble even after he had quit, the Ritz Casino had violated the terms of its gaming license.
The judge’s decision
Al-Geabury’s claims centre on his claim that he was provided with treatment against gambling addiction as of 8th April, 2014. Judge Simler revealed that the evidence at hand did not corroborate the defendant’s story, as he had used the Ritz as a location to meet friend and clients. Al-Geabury is believed to be a rich man whose financial assets are enough to freely manage socializing at the Ritz. In addition, the Ritz had already removed the clause for people voluntarily excluding themselves from gambling after consulting with the Gambling Commission.