Debt Settlement Duel: Crown London Aspinalls Casino Triumphs in Lawsuit Against High Roller1 month ago
In a recent legal development, Crown London Aspinalls Casino has secured a favorable outcome in a case involving Lester Hui, a prominent high roller. The casino had contended that Hui was liable for settling a substantial £589,724 debt stemming from losses incurred in baccarat several years ago. Hui argued that the casino had intentionally provided him with alcohol until he reached a state of "blackout drunkenness," impeding his ability to make rational decisions. However, the UK High Court ruling aligned with the casino's stance, mandating Hui to fulfill his financial obligations.
Hui's lawsuit detailed his visit to Aspinalls on a night in 2016, during which he alleged that the establishment's staff offered him Moutai, a potent Chinese liquor with a 53% alcohol content. Hui asserted that the team deliberately refrained from intervening to deter his excessive gambling, allowing him to engage in high-stakes bets while under the influence. He claimed this led to financial gains for Aspinalls at his expense.
Hui's legal representatives contended that the casino had a "social responsibility" to safeguard its patrons, a duty they claimed the casino had neglected. Notably, a noteworthy element of their argument was Hui's statement upon entering Aspinalls, where he supposedly informed the staff of his intent to become heavily intoxicated and limited his potential losses to £30,000. Aspinalls contested this assertion, maintaining that it would not jeopardize its reputation for accommodating such an unusual demand. Alexander Robson, legal counsel for Aspinalls, emphasized the significance of maintaining a reputation built on trust between the establishment and its clientele, underscoring the potential harm resulting from deviating from this principle.
Aspinalls put forth evidence that Hui had indeed issued a check at the time to cover his gambling losses; however, the check was subsequently declined due to insufficient funds.
A pivotal component of the casino's defense revolved around Hui's sobriety on the night in question. Despite his alleged intoxication, Hui managed to drive his Bentley home, a distance of 20 miles, which the casino contended indicated he was not excessively impaired.
Ultimately, the presiding judge ruled that Hui had exaggerated the extent of his alcohol consumption and that Aspinalls' staff had not possessed adequate grounds to consider him too intoxicated to participate in gambling activities.
This legal episode raises pertinent inquiries about the extent of casinos' responsibilities toward safeguarding their clientele. The surge in sports betting within the United States has prompted gaming companies to advocate for "responsible gambling." Yet, the core objective of these businesses remains driving patronage to their gaming offerings.
Casinos are renowned for employing various tactics to prolong patrons' stay at gaming tables, such as the absence of windows and clocks, purported oxygen infusion into gaming spaces, complimentary drinks, and compensatory perks. These strategies aim to create a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere, often accompanied by intoxication, which can lead to more liberal spending. While a discernible threshold exists, in the Aspinalls case, the court determined that this threshold had not been crossed.
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