Les Ambassadeurs, an exclusive private casino club in London featured in 1962 James Bond film, Dr. No, claims that one of their high rolling members, Saudi Sheikh Salah Hamdan Al Balawi, owes the club around $2.5M in gambling debts.
According to reports, the 52-year-old Sheikh became unreachable when cheques that were issued in September 2019 bounced. Les Ambassadeurs Club failed to recover the money and consequently, have pressed charges the chairman of the SAB Group. Sheikh’s global assets were halted in February 2020, after the Club expressed concern that the Sheikh plans to transfer UK assets to Saudi Arabia and leave the country. Al Balawi is known for owning assets worth over £100 million all across the globe.
The legal fight went to the High Court where Judge Clive Freedman rejected the legal plea and lifted the freezing order, explaining that Sheik’s debts at the casino include debts from illegal gambling. He also added that Al Balawi has strong ties to the UK such as valuable real estate, therefore there are low chances he would move his assets to Saudi Arabia and prevent the casino from getting their money.
According to some statements heard in court, Al Balawi has been a regular customer at Les Ambassadeurs since signing up for membership in 1993.