Wife of Omani foreign minister Al-Daher, Nora is suing the Ritz for negligent behaviour to the tune of £2million. The 50 year old lost a fortune playing Punto Banco – a high stakes table card game much like baccarat, at an exclusive club at The Ritz Hotel.
Multi-millionaire wife of Omani minister Sayyid Badr bin Hamad bin Hamood Al-Busaidi, claimed that employees of The Ritz casino took advantage of her addiction by supporting her through losses until she reached her cheque cash limit.
Journey to High Court
The case found its way to the High Court of London after the exclusive Hotel Ritz sued Nora for £1million, claiming that some of the cash-cheque payment promises handed over by her weren’t seen through.
Before her arrival at The Ritz, she had experienced major losses at several other casinos that evening.
The self-proclaimed gambling addict claims that The Ritz casino didn’t make an attempt to put a stop to her betting or to refuse her credit. Although completely aware of her gambling addition, the staff encouraged her to continue playing, instead.
Robert Deacon, arguing her case, let the court know that the staff boosted and assured her with phrases like “Anything at all for you, Nora” and “No problem, we trust you.”
The Ritz insists that the Foreign Minister’s wife wasn’t pressured into placing bets, and that it is common practice to have cheque-cashing facilities increased for members during play.
Within nine months of her colossal loss, Al-Daher had cleared half her debts without complaint.
About Punto Banco
A high risk card game, Punto Banco is much like Chemin de Fer, a game made popular by Secret Service Agent James Bond.
Punto Banco is more a game of chance and involves little strategy and skill. Players are forced to continue with the game solely based on the cards dealt.
The idea of the game is to carry cards to the count of nine or as close to nine as possible. Bets are made based either on the hand held by the player (Punto) or dealer (Banco). Tie bets can also be made.
The game advantage is mostly left to chance, and the table can turn in favour of either side with every new card dealt.