A Malaysian businessman who lost £3.9million ($5.25million) in a 72-hour gambling spree at a London casino is suing them to get his money back, claiming they ought to have cut off his credit.
62-year-old Han Joeh Lim, a businessman reported to be worth £40million, was playing highstakes baccarat at the Crown London Aspinalls casino in the exclusive Mayfair district of London.
After losing an initial £600,000 in cheques playing the game made famous by James Bond in various movies and then Phil Ivey in real life, the Malaysian tycoon moved on to a £2million line of credit offered by the casino.
The horrendous 3-day run, in which Mr Lim took almost no breaks, took place in 2015, with Aspinalls suing Mr Lim for recovery of the money in 2018 – a case that they won. Lim was fined £100,000 for contempt of court when he failed to comply with disclosure of his global assets.
Now Mr Lim claims that the casino had a duty of care to him and that they violated the Gambling Act 2005, which requires gaming establishments to protect vulnerable people.
“Aspinalls allowed the claimant a further line of credit of £2 million, which he proceeded to lose as well. The claimant had a losing streak and was visibly desperate and panicked,” claims the lawsuit brought by Mr Lim against the casino. The writ continues: “However, Aspinalls took advantage of the claimant’s distressed attempts to claw back the losses by allowing further funds and more time to gamble.”
Aspinalls is reported to be “defending this matter and is seeking that the claim be struck out”, adding:
“As the matter is currently under consideration by the court, we await their decision and will not comment further.”
Lawsuits by players against casinos, and vice versa, are far from rare, and the most famous of all saw poker legend Phil Ivey on the receiving end of a double whammy in the US and the UK.
Phil Ivey and the Edge-sorting Scandal
Ivey’s infamous edge-sorting saga saw him win close to $10million at the Borgata in Atlantic City, and £7.8million at London’s Crockfords casino, in 2012.
Although the Borgata paid out in full, Crockfords returned only Ivey’s £1million stake after discovering he and colleague, Cheung Yin ‘Kelly’ Sun, had used an edge-sorting technique.
Ivey sued Crockfords for his winnings, while the Borgata sued Ivey, and it took years of court battles before Ivey finally ran out of legal options, having lost multiple cases on both sides of the Atlantic.
Ivey and Sun were branded as “cheats” in the UK and Ivey’s wealth was chased in the US, with federal marshals confiscating his WSOP winnings in 2019.
In July 2020 it was reported that the Borgata and Ivey had come to a settlement, although the details were not disclosed.
Loose Leon and the $3million Drunken Poker Loss
Another high-profile poker case saw Kings Casino owner, Leon “Loose Leon” Tsoukernik, and “Aussie Matt” Kirk embroiled in legal wrangles after a late-night drunken heads-up match at the Aria saw Tsoukernik lose $3million.
With Kirk suing for the $2million he says was unpaid of the $3million debt, Tsoukernik countersued, claiming:
“I was taken advantage of and can no longer remain silent”.
The King’s Casino owner alleged that the Aria purposely plied him with drink and refused to allow his friends to help him leave the Ivey Room.
The matter was eventually settled out of court and the pair were later seen playing $multi-million cash games in Rozvadov and in Montreal, Tsoukernik taking Kirk for $3.5million in a massive PLO game.
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