Thursday, March 01, 2007

Out of the Money

Where's Sidney Greenstreet when there's this role to play:

A gambler known as "The Fat Man", who has lost more than £23 million on the tables in 12 years, was yesterday ordered to pay a London club £2 million for a bounced cheque.

Fouad al-Zayat, a Syrian-born businessman, had his assets, including his personal Boeing 747 jet and a £158,000 Rolls-Royce, frozen as Aspinalls in Mayfair attempted to recover the debt.

Mr al-Zayat is a familiar figure on the London gambling circuit and is among high rollers known as "whales". It is believed he may have gambled a total of £150 million in casinos in recent years.

....Mr al-Zayat, who likes gambling on roulette and cards, is a regular visitor to all of the top London clubs.

When asked about his obsession with gambling he once replied: "This is the only sin I have. I have lost a lot of money.

"I know it is wrong to lose money like this, but if you have ever been to a casino you will understand what the atmosphere is like."

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