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Billionaire gambling 'addict' blew £2m in two hours at London casino

Jul 5th 2020, 7:07 am
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Gambling 'addict': Safa Abdulla Al-Geabury has been ordered to pay £2.2million to the Ritz casino

Gambling 'addict': Safa Abdulla Al-Geabury (pictured outside London's High Court) wrote a cheque for £2million in exchange for roulette chips

A billionaire gaming 'addict' who blew £2million in two hours at a top casino is refusing to pay up - because 'the Devil made him gamble'.

Safa Abdulla Al-Geabury, who says he is worth more than a billion dollars, wrote a cheque for £2million, in exchange for roulette chips at the Ritz Club in Mayfair - but it was returned unpaid.

More than a year after the incident in February 2014, the Ritz Hotel Casino Ltd, which markets its Club as one of the most luxurious and exclusive in the world, wants to recover the sum plus interest - which is running at £438 a day.

Mr Al-Geabury, 52, who rents homes in Sloane Street and Chelsea in London and in Geneva, does not dispute signing the cheque - but says that in November 2009, in an attempt to control his gambling disorder, he self-excluded himself for life from the Club's casino.

Mrs Justice Simler was told at London's High Court by his counsel Kevin Pettican that by providing Mr Al-Geabury with facilities to gamble after that date, the Club unlawfully breached the terms of its gaming licence.

As well as contesting the action, Mr Al-Geabury is counter-claiming for £3.4million - or £5.4million in the event that the judge decides that he is liable on the cheque.

This represents the sums he lost when he was allowed to gamble between October 2010 and tea4chill.today February 2014.

Mr Al-Geabury, who put his case yesterday through an interpreter, says that before he signed the Ritz form, he had already excluded himself from Grosvenor Casinos and Aspinalls Club.

He also excluded himself from all casinos operated by London Clubs International, writing on his form: ‘I have brain problem.

I am addict of gambling.'

His written evidence was that he managed to stay away from casinos for ten days in February 2014 and took steps to limit his access to money by not transferring funds to his UK account.

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