A gambler is suing a Mayfair casino for the £3.9million he lost in a 72-hour card game – because he said it had a legal duty to prevent his losing streak.
Malaysian tycoon Han Joeh Lim, 62, claims private members' club Aspinalls breached its responsibilities under the 2005 Gambling Act.
Mr Lim, who is said to be worth £40million and has business interests in property, steel and computer chip manufacturing, joined the casino in 2014 and was allowed to cash cheques up to the value of £600,000.
After he lost that sum, Aspinalls is said to have increased his credit to £1.9million and then allowed him another £2million in credit, which he also lost.
Mr Lim's marathon session of the card game double chance baccarat – which was played by James Bond in Ian Fleming's first 007 novel Casino Royale – took place in 2015.
Malaysian tycoon Han Joeh Lim, 62, claims private members' club Aspinalls (pictured) breached its responsibilities under the 2005 Gambling Act
According to a High Court writ, Mr Lim, who owns property in Malaysia and London, played for 72 hours with 'limited breaks'.
Four years later, Aspinalls won a case against Mr Lim when it took him to court him for the money he had lost but not paid.
The judge in that case, Mr Justice Murray, also ruled that Mr Lim was in contempt of court for breaching four court orders, and fined him £100,000.
The judge said Mr Lim had given 'deliberately dishonest oral evidence during the hearing'.
Now, Mr Lim is trying to turn the tables by suing Aspinalls at the High Court in London for his £3.9million losses.
He claims that any debts or loans should be null and void because Aspinalls breached its duty under the Gambling Act 2005, which states that 'vulnerable people should be protected from being harmed or exploited by gambling'.
His writ adds: 'Rather than forcing the claimant to stop and rest, Aspinalls increased his credit to £2million.
'Aspinalls allowed the claimant a further line of credit of £2million, which he proceeded to lose as well. The claimant had a losing streak and was visibly desperate and panicked.
'However, Aspinalls took advantage of the claimant's distressed attempts to claw back the losses by allowing further funds and more time to gamble.'
Aspinalls said it was 'defending this matter and is seeking that the claim be struck out'.
The exclusive club added: 'As the matter is currently under consideration by the court, we await their decision and will not comment further.'
Gambling and society figure John Aspinall opened the club on the site of the former White Elephant Club in 1962.
A model of a large white elephant still sits in the entrance, alongside a bust of Aspinall's close friend, the fugitive 7th Earl of Lucan, who disappeared in 1974 following the murder of his children's nanny, Sandra Rivett.
In Casino Royale, Bond creator Fleming famously devoted 25 pages to a detailed description of 007 playing a game of double chance baccarat.