London casino owners sue gambler said to have lost £2.4m in a night

London casino owners sue gambler said to have lost £2.4m in a night

The owners of a historic London casino have sued a high-stakes international gambler said to have once lost £2.4m in a night after complaining that they are owed £470,000.

Bosses at Les Ambassadeurs Club in Mayfair have told a High Court judge how cheques from Azam Kolia, who comes from Singapore, had bounced.

Detail of the case emerged at a preliminary High Court hearing before Mrs Justice Jefford on Monday.

She said Mr Kolia's assets should be frozen pending further developments.

A barrister representing Les Ambassadeurs told the judge that Mr Kolia - who was not at the hearing - was a prolific gambler and liked to "play for high stakes".

Daisy Boulter said Mr Kolia had gambled in the Philippines, London and Australia.

She said he had stayed at The Ritz hotel when in London and had used a bank account in Bournemouth, Dorset, England.

Miss Boulter said on one night in December 2012 he had spent £2.6m and lost £2.4m.

She said he had bought chips with cheques which had been "dishonoured".

"There is a history of evasiveness," Miss Boulter told Mrs Justice Jefford.

"This points to a man with the means to pay, who acknowledges that the debt is due, but simply refuses to pay - possibly because he thinks he can negotiate the debt down."

She said: "He has recently made an offer of settlement. The only thing he has not done is paid up."

Miss Boulter said Mr Kolia had a home in Singapore but was a frequent traveller.

She indicated that lawyers had found it hard to serve documents on him.

Miss Boulter said at one stage documents were left for him at the reception of The Ritz gambling club.

No detail of Mr Kolia's occupation emerged at Monday's hearing.

Miss Boulter said he failed to comply with a judge's order requiring him to provide detail of his assets.

Bosses describe Les Ambassadeurs as "one of the capital's most exclusive and distinguished gambling clubs" on the club's website.

They say the club has been "welcoming the cream of society" since the early 19th Century.

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