When someone hits a big jackpot, they often thank God for showering them with riches. So it should come as no surprise that one man who lost £5 million is blaming the devil for his string of bad luck.

Billionaire Safa Abdulla Al Geabury told a psychiatrist: “The devil made me gamble.” This tidbit of information came out in court, where the business mogul is battling it out with Mayfair’s Ritz Club.

The Rtiz Hotel Casino it suing Al Geabury for £2 million, plus another £200,000 in interest. The casino extended a huge credit line to the billionaire in 2014. It should be noted that Geabury doesn’t dispute that he was loaned the money. But he does dispute the circumstances surrounding the credit line.

You see, Geabury has a gambling problem. He’s admitted so. And he admitted so to the casino employee who extended the large credit line.

“I told the man I was a problem gambler and that I had limited my access to my own money for that reason,” noted Geabury in court testimony. “He said access to money was not a problem and I would be provided with credit of up to £5 million, which I could pay back when I liked.”

Not only is the billionaire business mogul refusing to pay back the £2 million plus interest, but he is also countersuing the Ritz Club for £5.4 million in an effort to cover his previous losses. Geabury claims that the casino breached its gaming license by shelling out cash to an identified problem gambler.

As this case plays itself out in the courts, we’ll be keeping a close eye on what transpires. But as more and more cases like this pop up, we can’t help but wonder if there’s a better system for ensuring problem gamblers don’t play at a land-based casino.

At Silver Oak Casino, and at most of the reputable online casinos on the Internet, problem gamblers who self-exclude themselves from online casino games simply won’t be able to gamble. Period.

If you have a gambling problem and let us know that you’re no longer interested in playing, we won’t just cancel your account. We’ll block you from playing on any other accounts. We go beyond simple IP addresses. Since you have to verify your account with ID to play for real money, you’ll be in our system as a self-identified problem gambler and we won’t allow you to deposit and play for real money.

In the real world, problem gamblers don’t have the luxury of a digital footprint. Gamblers entering a casino are usually only asked for ID if they look under the age of majority. If you’ve self-excluded yourself on a Monday, you could theoretically walk into the same casino on a Tuesday, drop $1,000 on the Roulette table, and go to town. Unless someone checks your player reward card or recognizes you, you won’t be stopped.

The only way to enforce problem gambling bans is to require all players to submit ID at the tables before playing or to swipe their driver’s license into a slot machine. While this solution makes playing cumbersome for the majority of gamblers who don’t have a problem, it could help avoid court cases like this.

What do you think? Would you play at a land-based casino if you had to show your ID to every single table, or swipe your ID before playing a slots game? Comment below and let us know.


Simon is an overactive gambler and the Staff Writer here at Silver Oak. He loves casino bonuses, online slots, and using the em dash too often. Currently, he rests his typing hands in Vancouver, Canada.