Ritz Club wins £2m roulette lawsuit; Maryland Live roulette ball assault

TAGs: Maryland, Ritz Club Casino, safa abdulla al geabury

maryland-live-ritz-club-roulette-lawsuitsLondon’s Ritz Club Casino has won its lawsuit against a high-roller who refused to honor a £2m marker after claiming the casino had a duty to stop him from gambling.

Billionaire Safa Abdulla Al Geabury ran up a £2m gambling debt playing roulette at the iconic London VIP gaming venue over the course of a single night in February 2014. On Friday, the High Court’s Mrs. Justice Simler ruled that the 52-year-old Al Geabury’s testimony “lacked credibility and was riddled with inconsistency” and ordered him to pay the full amount of the debt plus interest.

In 2009, Al Geabury signed a self-exclusion form barring him from playing at the Ritz but he later signed a different form stating that he’d gotten his gambling problems under control. In court, Al Geabury claimed he’d been improperly lured back to the Ritz after a casino rep bumped into him at a football match and offered the high-roller a line of credit.

Justice Simler called Al Geabury an “intemperate witness” who had “failed to establish that he had any gambling disorder at any material time” and was therefore “the author of his own misfortunes.” Simler also noted that Al Geabury’s net worth was “in excess of US$1b” and thus his losses at the Ritz posed no significant threat to his ability to put food on the table.

Across the pond, a man is suing Maryland’s leading casino for $150k after an errant roulette ball allegedly left him a physical wreck. Washington, DC resident Leander Stocks is suing Maryland Live casino operator Cordish Cos. Inc. in US District Court over the incident, which occurred in December 2013.

Stocks claims that a Maryland Live croupier “negligently caused the wheel’s hard ball to become airborne,” upon which the ball hit Stocks just above his left eye “at high velocity.” Stocks claims he became disoriented and staff led him to a private room, where he proceeded to lie down on a bench.

While he was on his back, Stocks claims a casino security guard “began to administer unidentified liquid drops” into his affected eye “in wanton and reckless disregard for [Stocks’} rights to be free of unsolicited medical treatment.” Stocks said he immediately experienced increased pain, blurred vision and an “overwhelming disorientation and pronounced lack of physical coordination.”

Following the guard’s “unwanted and willful act,” Stocks tried to stand up, only to fall forward and “violently” bang his head against a door, which caused him to lose consciousness. Stocks was subsequently treated at a local hospital but went on to experience “post-traumatic headaches.”

Without addressing the legitimacy of Stocks’ claims, Cordish attorneys attempted to have the suit dismissed on technical grounds, namely, that the company doesn’t directly own, operate or manage the casino, and that DC was the wrong venue to hear the suit.

Judge Amit Mehta rejected these arguments, and while she declared Stocks’ allegations to be “less than clear,” decided to let the matter proceed. Cordish attorneys plan to file papers addressing the merits of Stocks’ claims within the next few weeks.


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