Safa Abdulla Al-Geabury, who says he is worth more than a billion dollars, wrote a cheque for £2million on February 19 2014, in exchange for roulette chips, but it bounced.
images (57)
The Ritz Hotel Casino Ltd, which markets its Ritz Club as one of the most luxurious and exclusive in the world, went to court to recover the sum plus interest, which is running at £438 a day.

Mr Al-Geabury, who rents homes in Chelsea 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.

His counsel Kevin Pettican told a judge in London at a recent hearing that by providing Mr Al-Geabury with facilities to gamble after that date, the club unlawfully breached the terms of its gaming licence.
But today Mrs Justice Simler ruled in favour of the Ritz Hotel Casino Ltd, announcing that there would be judgment for the claimant “on its claim in respect of the dishonoured cheque, together with interest as claimed”.

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

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

Mr Al-Geabury, 52, 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.”

But the judge declared: “The defendant’s claims fail and are dismissed.”

She said: “The facts of this case are highly unusual and unlikely to be repeated.”

Mr Al-Geabury had “failed to establish that he had any gambling disorder at any material time and ultimately accepted that he never told any of the casino staff about any such problem.”

The judge concluded: “He was the author of his own misfortunes.”

The judge said Mr Al-Geabury “gambled away £2million on the roulette tables” at the casino on the evening of February 19 2014.

The question raised by the claim, she said, was whether the claimant “is entitled to recover from him the sum of £2million plus interest in respect of the cheque in that sum which he signed in return for gambling chips that evening, but was subsequently dishonoured by him”.

Mrs Justice Simler said: “At the heart of Mr Al-Geabury’s defence to this claim is his case that he suffers from ‘a very severe and serious gambling addiction which he is unable to control’ and for which he claimed he was receiving treatment as at 8 April 2014...”

In her concluding remarks she said the “evidence was a far cry from establishing the defendant’s account”.

The Ritz Club said in a statement: “We welcome today’s decision from the High Court.

“As a responsible provider of gambling we are committed to ensuring the strictest standards of care towards both our customers and staff at all times.”

Leander Stocks wanted to play some roulette one night in December 2013 at Maryland Live! Casino in Hanover, Md. About midnight Dec. 15, Stocks, who lives in Washington, D.C., wagered some money at the table.
images (56)
This, according to a lawsuit, is when things spun out of control.

A casino employee spun the unwieldy wheel, which caused the hard ball to allegedly become airborne and strike Stocks just above his left eye.

The lawsuit, which Stocks first filed last November in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, states the employee was operating the device “negligently” and the initial impact “caused a sharp and severe pain followed by general disorientation.”

Baltimore-based Cordish Cos., which owns the casino, filed to dismiss the case, although a judge denied that request last week. Cordish argued that it did not actually operate the casino (the judge noted that its Web site says it owns and operates casinos) and that because the casino is in Maryland, the D.C. federal court didn’t have jurisdiction in the case (the judge said the casino advertises in the District to attract customers.)

Stocks refiled the suit last week, and added Maryland Live! Casino and Casino Resorts Maryland to the list of defendants he is suing for negligence and battery. The Washington Business Journal first reported on the suit.

Stocks further alleges that after the roulette ball struck him, a security guard took him to a private room, presumably to help him. In the room, Stocks reclined on a bench and applied pressure to the bruised area above his eye.

But for some reason, Stocks alleges, the security employee poured an unidentified liquid into his eye without permission, even though he was struck above his eye. After the liquid was applied, according to the lawsuit, Stocks experienced “immediate blurred vision, increased pain and discomfort in the affected area, overwhelming disorientation and pronounced loss of physical coordination.”

He then allegedly tried to get up, but because of the disorientation, fell forward and hit his head on a hardwood door, which caused him to lose consciousness. He went to the emergency room where he was treated for a concussion from the fall and a contusion from the roulette ball.

Since then, Stocks says he has continued to have “bouts of blurred vision, occasional loss of coordination and regular episodes of post-traumatic headaches.”

He is suing the casino for $300,000. Cordish did not respond to a request for comment.

Every day gamblers risk harm to both life and limb as they gather by the side of a roulette table and place their bets, almost oblivious to the ever present danger that the roulette ball might accidentally become airborne and strike them straight in the face.

images (54)
Well, slight exaggeration, but accidents do happen as one hapless punter discovered whilst on a visit to the Maryland Live! Casino. In this case, the tale of carelessness and misfortune begins at around midnight on December 15, 2013, when a series of calamities eventually led to Leander Stocks losing consciousness and being treated for a concussion. Firstly, Stocks was near the roulette wheel when a casino employee accused of negligence caused the roulette ball to become airborne and strike him at “high velocity” just above his left eye. In an attempt to soothe the man’s discomfort, a security guard subsequently took Stocks to a private room where without consent he placed “unidentified liquid drops” in his eye. Recounting the incident, Leander Stocks said that he then experienced “immediate blurred vision, increased pain and discomfort in the affected area, overwhelming disorientation and pronounced loss of physical coordination.” Straight after, Stocks apparently “became disoriented, fell forward, hit his head against a door, and lost consciousness”, and as a result had to be taken to an emergency room where he was subsequently treated for a concussion. Ever since, Leander Stocks says he has suffered “bouts of blurred vision, occasional loss of coordination and regular episodes of post-traumatic headaches,” and is now suing the casino’s owner, The Cordish Cos, for $300,000, or two counts of negligence and battery costing $150,000 a piece. While unusual, incidents such as these are not unheard of and casinos regularly have lawsuits filed against them each year, with some of the incidents more bizarre than others. In May, for instance, Diana Bellerose brought a lawsuit against the Seminole Hard Rock Casino for accidentally dropping a poker-chip box on her head resulting, as she claims, in “disfigurement, disability, hospitalization and lost earnings”.