‘Fatman’ gambler tries to overturn £2m casino debt

Fouad al-Zayat, 65, a Syrian-born business man affectionately known as the “Fatman” within gambling circles, is attempting to overturn a High Court decision that has ordered him to pay a £2 million debt to a London casino.

The ‘Fatman’ was a regular amongst London’s casinos and was known as one of the biggest ‘whales’ (the highest of high-rollers) in gambling circles. In over a period of 12 years, the ‘Fatman’ visited Aspinalls casino more than 600 times, buying £91 million worth of gaming chips and losing £23 million.

In the case in question, the ‘Fatman’ lost £2 million in a single session at Aspinalls playing blackjack. He became disillusioned by his losses and began to doubt the legitimacy of the game. He then unsuccessfully demanded that the croupier was replaced.

He signed a cheque to cover his loss but did not date it, planning to discuss with the casino how the game was conducted. The casino then tried to cash the cheque, only to find that they cheque was blocked.

Nevertheless, the ‘Fatman’ was back at Aspinalls within three weeks. Despite the disagreement, Aspinalls invited him back and allegedly offered him credit.

Last February, Mr Justice of the High Court ruled that the ‘Fatman’ had to pay his debt and also pay the legal bills of Aspinalls. However, the ‘Fatman’ is now appealing the decision on the grounds the debt should not be enforced because the casino acted illegally by offering him credit.

That is the legal angle the ‘Fatman’ is taking.

But he also has a more succinct and witty reason for disputing his debt, as he once told a reporter: "If you go to a restaurant and you do not like the food, then you do not pay. If you go to the whorehouse and do not get the pleasure you were seeking, you do not pay."

Well, if you put it that way...

Editor, Jackpot.co.uk - 2007-10-03 11:28:27

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